Guy Bergquist
Guy Bergquist
Guy Bergquist
Guy Bergquist
Guy Bergquist

Obituary of Guy Leonard Bergquist

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Guy L. Bergquist died Friday, May 3 at Maine General Medical Center in Augusta, Maine at the age of 75. He had been diagnosed with high grade, invasive bladder cancer at the end of January. He was born September 10, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois, to Gordon and Irene Bergquist (later Dodge).

Surviving are his spouse, Stacey Stewart, of Belfast, Maine; brother Larry (Velda) Bergquist of Alexandria, VA; and nephews Gary Fisher and Jay Bergquist of Falls Church, VA.

For more than 25 years, Guy served in a lead producing role at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. He joined the company in 1982 as production coordinator and went on to serve as associate producer, producer, interim managing director, and facility project director. He worked with three of Arena’s artistic directors, including founding artistic director Zelda Fichandler.

One of Guy’s first actions as production coordinator was to negotiate raises for the production staff. He recognized that he had two roles: he worked tirelessly to support and sustain the long-range vision for Arena as an institution, and he helped everyone understand that each performance was singular - each audience unique - and the very reason Arena existed. He shared this ethic and joy in the work with the production staff, actors, directors, designers, maintenance staff, and parking attendants. He knew them all by name and worked with many of them for years.

In his final role at Arena, Guy led the $137 million construction and renovation project for the Mead Center for American Theater, which opened on time and on budget in 2010.

In 2016, Guy received USITT’s Wally Russell Professional Mentor Award, for which he was proud to be nominated by three former Arena Stage mentees. In his acceptance speech in Salt Lake City, he said, “I love going to work…I go early, I stay late. I like to walk and talk, to visit every office, every shop, every rehearsal, every person, every single day. I especially like being backstage with actors and crew prior to curtain…I want to be there when people have problems…In this business, there is nothing more important or satisfying than problem-solving. The three words I hate more than any others are, ‘Not my job.’”

Before joining Arena, Guy served in the U.S. Army, Special Services. He was production stage manager for Hartford Ballet and co-owned Melodrama Theater in Austin, Texas. For 10 years, he was associated with the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, as stage manager for the National Theater of the Deaf and as production manager for the National Playwrights Conference. He served as producing director of the Theater and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University from 1993 to 1997. 

Guy was a lifelong – and long suffering - fan of the Chicago Cubs. When he retired in 2010, his parting gift from Arena Stage was a week at Cubs Fantasy Camp, where he met Cubs legend Fergie Jenkins and played with fellow Cubs enthusiast Eddie Vedder.

Upon moving to Mishawaka, Indiana in 2013 after Stacey accepted a job at the University of Notre Dame, Guy became a passionate supporter of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball. He was nearly as excited about their 2018 national championship as he was about the Cubs’ World Series win in 2016. He saw virtually all of the Notre Dame student theatre productions and enjoyed talking with students about his producing career. He also worked as an usher for the South Bend Cubs and played for years in the Mishawaka Senior Softball League.

Guy became an avid golfer in the spring of 2020. For the past four years, he spent as many days on the golf course as he could, enduring wind, rain, and even snow if he could get away with it.

For more than 20 years Guy owned a sailboat, Disguise, in which he sailed across Lake Michigan twice and docked for many years in Cobb Island, Maryland, where his dear friend (and former Arena Stage stage manager) Martha Knight Clements (d. 2021) owned a cottage on the water. He spent many weekends at Clements’ Cottage, cutting the grass, sailing, and playing cribbage.

Guy and Stacey moved to the coast of Maine in June 2023 after 14 years of summer visits. Guy loved their historic home in downtown Belfast, especially the attached barn, which he turned into a workshop and decorated with his hard hat and photos from the Mead Center project.

Per his wishes, Guy’s ashes will be scattered in Penobscot Bay, from a sailboat departing Bayside, Maine, just down the hill from where he and Stacey married in June 2014.


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