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About Us

Our Mission

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

About Us

Our Vision

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.

About Us

Our Values

For Every Ability 

We strive for our programs and organization to embrace all artistry, abilities, and talent by prioritizing working together and learning from each other.   


Youth Development

 We strive for the future of young people by nurturing their creative, social, and emotional growth through excellent, innovative theatre and arts education experiences.


Representation Matters

We strive for a safe haven for young people to explore their own identities by, in part, seeing themselves reflected in our staff and respected on stage.  


The Needs of Now

We strive to serve the evolving needs of our community by being in constant relationship with local partners and national leaders alike.


View our commitment to IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) and read our land acknowledgment statement.


About Us

Our History

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.


About Us

About Our Facilities


The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre opened in 2003 when Imagination Stage moved into its beautiful facility in downtown Bethesda. The theatre opened with the world premiere musical Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business and has been the home to Imagination Stage’s professional Theatre for Young Audiences ever since.

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The Christopher and Dana Reeve Studio Theatre

Since 2003, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Studio Theatre has been home to a tremendous variety of performances by Imagination Stage’s acting, dance, musical theatre, access and inclusion, and conservatory students. Performing ensembles who call the Reeve Studio Theatre home are Pegasus, Imagination Stage Performing Ensemble (ISPE), and Speak-Out On Stage (SOOS).

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