Imagination Stage empowers young people to discover their voice and identity through performing arts education and professional theatre.




Imagination Stage envisions a future where theatre experiences are a fundamental aspect of children’s lives, nourishing their creative spirit, inspiring them to embrace the complexity and diversity of their world, and helping them overcome their challenges with hope, courage and, above all, creativity.




We value inclusiveness and diversity by including all artistry, abilities, and talent, by welcoming and serving the diversity of our community and by respecting the diversity of our world and our work.


We value investment in the future of young people through our commitment to nurturing their creative and intellectual growth through excellent, innovative theatre and arts education experiences.


We value and create a safe haven for young people to embrace and explore their creativity.


We value service on behalf of children as we work to use theatre to improve the lives of children in our community regardless of their means or their location.


We value our staff associates and respect their contributions to the achievement of our mission and vision.



Imagination Stage was founded as BAPA (Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) in 1979 in response to the urgent need for arts education for young people. The company was renamed Imagination Stage in 2001 in anticipation of its move to its downtown Bethesda theatre arts center in 2003. Imagination Stage has grown from a handful of children in a single classroom to a full-spectrum theatre arts organization, with theatre productions by professional actors and artists. Unlike most children’s theatre companies, Imagination Stage commissions new works for children every year. These productions have been recognized with awards and productions by other companies around the world.