BHT Member Memorials – William M. Hannay, III

William M. Hannay, III

Died August 11, 2020

William M. “Bill” Hannay, III, BHT class of 1977, passed away in August 2020 in Sag Harbor, NY, surrounded by his beloved wife, Donna, and their three children, Capron, Blaike, and William. A lifetime G&S devotee, Bill was a member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society while a student at Georgetown Law. He loved the satire of the plots (especially those with a legal twist!), the quick wit of the dialogue, and the easy-to-get-stuck-in-your-head musicality of every note.

As a new attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office in ’77, Bill sought an outlet for his creative side. With Ron Romaine’s sponsorship, he eagerly auditioned as a Frontstage hopeful. The legendary Troupe musical director Charlie Walker, always with an eye and an ear for talent, spotted Bill’s potential and asked, “So, how are you with a camera and a hammer?” A true thespian to the core, Bill was delighted to join the Backstage crew and spent many happy years supporting the productions he loved—and never missing a good party!

His passion for the theatre continued long after leaving NYC. Settling in Barrington, IL, Bill and Donna raised their family with theatre and music at the core. Bill wrote, acted, and produced several plays with local play-reading groups. The children were all actively involved in their school and community choirs and drama programs, and they were members of their hometown Barrington Village Singers, where Bill got his “Frontstage” opportunity and cherished performing with Capron, Blaike, and William, everywhere from their high school stage to Beijing, China, to the Sydney Opera House.

When his eldest, Capron, graduated college and moved to New York, Bill was elated that she, too, joined the Troupe (BHT ’04) and heartily applauded from the audience. She and her husband, Matt Levine (BHT ’01), carry on his proud legacy and love of Gilbert & Sullivan.

— Capron Levine

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