Imagination Profile: Jessica Boger
Jessica Boger first visited Imagination Stage ten years ago and now holds the position of Secretary of Imagination Stage’s Board of Trustees. She has two daughters that participate at Imagination Stage, ages 10 and 4. Read all about her time with us and what she’s working on right now.
Q: Why did you first come to Imagination Stage?
We came to Imagination Stage because my oldest daughter loved theatre, drama, and musicals and IStage was the only one that held us and had us coming back show to show. Not only shows we wanted to see because of titles but because the quality was such that we knew everything was going to be enjoyable.
From there, Margaret started taking classes, attending theatre, we’ve done birthday parties for other people and for us and started learning all the ways we could become part of the IStage community and through that process we learned all the stuff they did for the community that extended beyond us for children with different abilities and socioeconomic inclusion and that point felt more compelled because they were creating value in our community.
Q: What caused you to take the plunge and get involved?
I’m not sure what the plunge was, it was probably once we started realizing the work Imagination Stage did for members of the community who couldn’t participate in the ways we cold. I’ve seen what the programs can give to kids and what it did for my daughter. I said to myself “it’s not fair that children don’t get access to this; every child should have that opportunity.” I really do believe it’s inspiring for children to see the idea that you can change to be someone else, you can change your circumstance and who you are. It’s very important for children to see.
Q: You’re the Chair of the 2019 Imagination Stage Annual Children’s Festival: An Island Adventure. How is it to chair the event and what can families expect?
So far it’s been a lot of fun! I’m co-chairing it with Diane Lee and we have had a wonderful time being inspired from Escape from Peligro Island. We’ve been using the show as starting point to create all the imaginative details that will be used at the Festival. It’s going to be a really exciting activity for IStage and more importantly it focuses on what we’re all about – the children. I’ve worked with an incredible team at IStage to support Diane and me in creating this unique event and it’s not only a day for children and families to enjoy each other, and the food, activities, etc. but also models to our children how important it is to donate to the community.
Q: Between being a parent, Board member, and show patron you do a lot at Imagination Stage. Do you have a favorite program or memory here?
That’s an easy one. I have been involved with Imagination Stage for almost ten years and what amazes me about IStage is that I’m still continuing to learn more about all the ways they provide programming for children. What I’m incredibly excited about right now is our teen program. I recently saw The Little Mermaid and I was blown away not only by the skill of the acting which reflects well on Nikki K., the staff, and kids but also the professionalism these kids have on stage. It was amazing for me and my daughter. My daughter sat there during the performance and literally grinned from ear to ear holding her cheek because it hurt to smile so much. She really loved seeing these kids and signed up for her own acting class the next day.
My entire family also just saw the performance of Imagination Stage’s partnership with Piano Theatre from Russia. It was an afternoon filled with utter joy; these children were so happy and so expressive that we all walked away happy to have had the chance to experience everything they were. Plus, it’s a wonderful opportunity for those children and our students to build that relations.
Q: Imagination Stage celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year
Just as every actor we have is dynamic, Imagination Stage is dynamic. With the current leadership and the entire team IStage is poised to continue to transform itself and meet the needs of children as we enter the next forty years. I hope our presence in DC continues to grow and I hope were are able to reach more families with the amazing projects Imagination Stage is creating.
We’d love to hear how and why you participate at Imagination Stage – if you’re interested in talking about your experience please contact Sean Byrne, Development Coordinator, at [email protected] or 301-280-1628.