Dear Imagination Stage Families,

It is with very great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Stephen A. Hayes on Friday May 22. Stephen was Imagination Stage President of the Board from 2005 to 2007. 

Before, during, and after his Presidency he was a singular advocate for our organization.  His most enduring contribution was that he significantly heightened the profile of our organization, in part by bringing extraordinary people onto the board who helped position us for the opportunities that the new building offered, those new board members included John Kane, John Ourisman, Tom Collamore, and Billy Campbell. Together,  he and his wife, Theo, insured that our Galas were successful by persuading celebrities to join us, among them:  Denis Haysbert, Jane Goodall, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

He also was responsible for the inaugural event at Imagination Stage’s new home: the kick off to the Barbara Bush Literary Foundation of Maryland, which was attended by President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush, other First Family members and a packed house of friends and well-wishers.  Stephen was always the consummate gentleman, always ensuring that all his guests were taken care of and entertained, whether he hosted Imagination Stage events at his home, at IStage, or elsewhere.

Stephen’s great, great grandfather was US President Rutherford B. Hayes and Stephen and Theo certainly moved in exalted circles.  I remember asking him once:  why – with all the boards he served on, and all the boards he could serve on, he chose to become our President and to do so much for the organization.  His response was: “HERE, I can make a difference.”  He did.  And he will be remembered by all of us who were lucky to know him and to benefit from his kindness and good work.  Our hearts are heavy and are joined with Theo, the children, and the extended family at this time, to whom we send condolences.

Bonnie Fogel

Founder and Executive Director


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