Imagination Stage Will Host 2024 Gala: Celebrating the Women Who Made Imagination Stage

The event is on Friday, May 10.

By: Mar. 14, 2024
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Imagination Stage will host its 2024 Annual Gala: Celebrating the Women who Made Imagination Stage on Friday, May 10 at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. This highly-anticipated event is Imagination Stage’s biggest fundraiser of the year, with all funds raised supporting the DMV’s largest organization focused on youth development through the arts. Sponsorships start at $1,250. Individual tickets are $250 and may be purchased here.

The cocktail-style party starts at 7:30 and will fulfill all TGIF wishes. With a “Mamma Mia” vibe, guests are encouraged to dress in their best 70’s-reminiscent attire. Following inspiring performances by Imagination Stage students and by an ensemble of talented professional singers, guests will be invited to become “Dancing Queens” in the beautiful Great Hall and Mezzanine. In keeping with the event’s theme and location, they will have chances to honor the women in their lives on this Friday of Mother’s Day weekend in a variety of fun and meaningful ways, including having an Imagination Stage seat plaque engraved then and there, buying gifts at a silent auction and a live auction, and making a donation during a brief “raise the paddle” fundraiser. 

Imagination Stage’s Annual Gala: Celebrating the Women who Made Imagination Stage is chaired by Ashley Bronczek and Michelle Johnstone. Both are long-time supporters of Imagination Stage and say that “supporting Imagination Stage’s Gala means supporting more than just a night of celebration; it's about nurturing the very essence of creativity and self-expression in our community's youth. Theatre has been a bedrock of our lives, shaping who we are today, and we believe in paying it forward by backing an organization that empowers countless children across the DMV to discover their own voices and passions."

The Imagine Award is given at each year's gala to someone who, through their work or their advocacy, exemplifies service to theatre and to children, and who is a role model for our children. This year’s Imagine Award will be presented, on the occasion of her retirement, to Founding Artistic Director Janet Stanford, in honor of her 30 years of extraordinary artistic and leadership achievements at Imagination Stage.

Along with Imagination Stage’s Founder, Bonnie Fogel, Janet grew a small arts academy into a nationally prominent Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) and Youth Development institution with an annual budget of $6M, housed in a 42,000 sf purpose-built arts center in downtown Bethesda. Janet has heightened the profile of professional theatre for young people by commissioning 50 new works, adopting an Actors’ Equity contract, and successfully advocating for the inclusion of TYA productions in the Helen Hayes Awards. Janet has brought many distinguished playwrights to Imagination Stage including David S. Craig (Canada) and Charles Way (UK), as well as Americans Karen Zacarías, Joan Cushing, Eric Coble, Barry Kornhauser, and Psalmayene 24. Under her leadership, Imagination Stage has created educational plays for teens about social justice topics including youth migration and racial profiling. She introduced Theatre for the Very Young (ages 1-4) to the USA, and has co-produced and co-commissioned with other top TYA theatres both in this country and abroad.