Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater held a memorial on Oct. 8 for Dr. Jaylee Montague Mead, the NASA astronomer and arts philanthropist who died in September.
Jaylee and her late husband Gil were avid theater-goers and loved musicals the best. Together the Meads donated more than $50 million to theaters in Washington DC. Arena Stage’s Mead Center was named in their honor.
In celebration of Jaylee’s life in words and songs, perhaps the closing medley – Good Morning, Starshine and Let the Sunshine In – best summed up a woman who was passionate and positive both about her career as an astronomer and as a musical theater-goer.
By Sheila Wickouski, a freelance arts and culture journalist and longtime resident of Southwest who has contributed work on history, theater, music, and the arts to area publications for more than twenty years.