Pridemore stage dedicated to beloved RU theater professor
Charles L. "Chuck" Hayes, one of the most influential professors in the history of Radford University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, was honored on Saturday, Oct. 19, when the stage in Pridemore Playhouse was named for him.
Hayes joined the faculty at what was then Radford College in 1968. Over the next four decades he influenced, inspired and affected generations of students, finally receiving professor emeritus status in 2008.
The dedication of the Charles L. Hayes stage is the result of an alumni campaign spearheaded by Mark Curran '82, a former student of Hayes. In addition to naming the stage, funds raised will help support the Department of Theatre and Cinema Guest Artist Program.
Carl Lefko, chair of the theatre department, dedicated the stage prior to the Saturday night showing of "The Dining Room" by A.R. Gurney. He spoke briefly of Hayes' influence on thousands of RU's students and read from the commemorative plaque that will identify the stage.
"His students will never forget his many 'Chuck-isms,'" Lefko said, eliciting knowing smiles from the alumni in the audience. "The plaque reads 'To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late and to be late is to be dead.'"
Hayes took the stage to express thanks for the honor.
"We're here to see a play so I won't take much time," he said. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I've worked in an outstanding theatre program with some of the best colleagues and best students anywhere. You've made an old man very happy."