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2024 started off with Hayes being awarded Best Supporting Performer In A Play by the esteemed Broadway World for his performance in Jiggs Burgess' The Red Suitcase. Director Del Shores won for Best Director and Emerson Collins won for Best Performer In A Play. This play was produced in part by a grant from The Del Shores Foundation. Visit announcement HERE.

With A Whimper is now in post-production and will be released in summer 2024. Directed by Mariya Pyter and written by Devin Fearn. Filmed on location in Modjeska Canyon, Wrightwood, and Sylmar, CA. This marks Hayes' debut as a feature lead. 

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Carpool, a short written and directed by Steve Darby, produced by Mary Ann Pianka, was shot in the Angeles National Forest on Panavision Millenium XL2, 3perf, with Panavision Primo Compact Zoom, using Kodak 5219 500T. It is an official selection at:

Charlotte International Film Festival [2023]

Newark International Film Festival [2023]

Walthamstow International Film Festival [2023]

Studio City International Film Festival [2023]

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In August 2023, Hayes appeared in the world premier play of Jiggs Burgess' The Red Suitcase at The Broadwater Stage in Hollywood, directed by legendary stage and film director Del Shores.


The Best Play Winner for the Del Shores Foundation Writers Search, The Red Suitcase follows Pogue's life from his unusual birth to the death of his father.

The play explores the sometimes difficult relationships between fathers and sons and how the sins of generations can be passed along unintentionally.

Pogue is led on a journey that takes him from, "we are the sins of our ancestors" to "we are the hope of our ancestors." A play of hope, survival, and the discovery of self-worth.

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In September 2023, Hayes made his Off-Broadway debut in the musical workshop Runaway Home. With book/lyrics written by Darren Butler and music by Judy Rodman, this is another full circle moment for Hayes who was directed by Butler in his hometown community theatre at The Princess Theatre in Decatur, AL. This wonderful musical, directed by Emma Denson, also a Decatur alum, presented at Theatre Row, and also starred Melissa Gilbert, Abigail Breslin, Olivia Hardy, and Michael Park.

Shafted, starring Mat Hayes and Alexander Pimentel, directed by Del Shores & Emerson Collins, continues to attract the attention of festivals around the world. It has screened in over 40 festivals in 10 countries, and won upwards of a dozen of those. For his performance, Hayes has won 2 "Best Actor" awards. Shores and Collins have now won 3 festivals for "Best Director." For press or screening link, please email Hayes. 

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