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Stephanie Hayes, Times Arts and Entertainment Editor

Stephanie Hayes

Stephanie Hayes is the arts and entertainment editor for the Tampa Bay Times, directing features coverage and the Times' staff of critics. Previously, she was performing arts critic, covering plays, musicals, classical music, dance, comedy and more. She also blogs about fashion for the Times' style blog, Deal Divas. She started writing for the Times in 2003, covering everything from suburban politics to zoning to snack foods to Britney Spears. She wrote the Times' feature obituary column, Epilogue, and went on to work as a general assignment reporter, entertainment reporter and higher education reporter. She grew up near Cleveland and graduated from St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida.

Phone: (727) 893-8716


Twitter: @StephHayes

Blog: Deal Divas

  1. How to dress for Tampa Bay Comic Con with little effort


    My first Tardis trip into the world of comic conventions was Orlando's MegaCon a few years back. It was a deep-end "nerd-u-cation."

    I wasn't too into con culture, but it seemed like something imperative to cross off a bucket list. As boldly celebrating comic books, video games and all things geek gained steam in the mainstream, more and more folks were donning costumes in sweaty convention center halls to take part. Why not me?...

    Have gun, will con: Stephanie Hayes went to a convention as Rose Tyler from Doctor Who.
  2. A dress addict cries, "Help, I need tops!"


    I fear I've become lazy.

    It's a rare morning when I don't reach for a dress, not because I'm doing super fancy things with my life. It's because I can't be bothered to choose two items when I can just reach for one. A dress involves really no thought whatsoever, other than shoes and accessories, which are always kind of a mish-mash afterthought for me ("Sure, purple looks great with green!" and I'm out the door). ...

    Work option 2: Sweet and swinging from LOFT.
  3. Idina Menzel and the songs of my youth


    Maybe some teenagers were out doing cool things, like … I don't know. What did cool kids do? Smoke in the beds of pickup trucks while some mouth-breathing driver did loops at 80 miles per hour?

    Who knows? I was too busy locked in my bedroom, listening to the original cast recording of Rent on repeat. Over. And over. And over. Jonathan Larson's musical had no doubt trickled into every high school theater troupe in the 1990s, and my own Countryside High in Clearwater was no exception. All the drama geeks loved it....

    Idina Menzel sings at Radio City Music Hall in 2014.
  4. You can do it: Learn stuff, don't buy stuff


    It's nice to get things sometimes (for instance, I'd really like a decent pancake griddle because my flapjack game is a laughing-hot mess). But in general, experiences are much more memorable, don't you think?

    I encountered that firsthand this year. Making stained glass art never crossed my mind, and actually, it seemed too daunting to ever really try. Still, my mother enjoyed it when she was in her 20s, and as her retirement loomed, she mentioned she'd like to get back into it....

  5. Amazon Prime Day: A sneak peek at some of tomorrow's deals


    We've heard much about Amazon Prime Day tomorrow, which promises to be bigger than Black Friday. (Amazon promises this, guys, so that's kind of like me promising I will be a bigger pop star than Ariana Grande, JUST BECAUSE I BELIEVE. Take it how you will.) Then we heard Wal-Mart is getting all up in Amazon's grill. ...

    Us, basically, at midnight.
  6. The review is in for Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman': Meh


    So, after all the hype, how is Go Set a Watchman to, you know, read? Times book editor Colette Bancroft is not too impressed.

    Read her take here. 


    Eden Sherman checks out the newly released book authored by Harper Lee, 'Go Set a Watchman', at the Books and Books store on July 14, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida. The book went on sale today and is Lee's first book since she released her classic, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' ,55 years ago. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  7. Recap: The Strain, Season 2, Episode 1: GROSS


    So, I watched The Strain on FX for the first time last night. The show about vampires created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is based on a novel trilogy of the same name. And The Strain, I quickly learned, is super gross.

    First I was like:

    And then I was all:...

    Ok, this photo is not gross, but none of the photos on FX's press site were gross. Trust us, the show is pretty gross. At least, this episode was.
  8. My Outfit Monday: Lots of dots


    It's Monday, and we're all going a little dotty.

    When I put on my new Betsey Johnson dots dress this morning, acquired on my day off last week, I didn't realize half the newsroom would also be wearing polka dots. From left, it's Sherri Day, Robbyn Mitchell and Soi Vuong, champions among champions here at the Times. In fact, I was in a meeting with Robbyn this morning when I paused mid-sentence and said, "Are we dressed the same?" "Yes," she replied. After taking this picture, I came across two more people in the office wearing dots. The choice says so much about our mental states today, I think. We crave whimsy for the work day drudge. ...

    LOTS OF DOTS! Photo by Suzanne Palmer, whose eyes probably crossed upon this onslaught.
  9. Left Shark leads the pack of awkward costumes in history


    Maybe it was the beer and cheese dip, but when Left Shark started dancing tremendously off-beat at Super Bowl XLIX, I was transfixed like a monkey watching a twirling banana.

    There was something so upsetting and excellent about the scene, so bad it was good. The bro in the plushie shark suit dancing with Katy Perry had an almost furrowed brow, a look of concern anyone would have for such a big performance. The other guy (coming soon to VH1's Where Are They Now?: Right Shark) was clearly outdancing his foe. The beach ball next to him also had eyeballs, and it was a Hunter S. Thompson-style mind warp. I clapped and clapped!...

    “Left Shark” performs with singer Katy Perry during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in February.
  10. Summer survival kit: Curling wands, tanner and loose clothing


    Today, someone brought takeout fried chicken into the office, and when the smell washed over my desk I snapped to attention like a dog trained to detect drugs in carry-on bags. Sniff-sniff. There was no mistaking it, and I had to have it. This prompted a walk to a nearby establishment called Krispy Krunchy Chicken, where I shame-ate a two-piecer and a biscuit and sent my boyfriend up to ask if they had gravy (no gravy). Then I walked back to the office in the sweltering July heat, and now I just feel really bad about myself, OK? Here's a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli in 2000-degree lava that best illustrates how I feel. ...

    How do I feel this July? I feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway. I feel like I want to write HELP into the sand and hope someone will notice.
  11. New seats to be released for Taylor Swift's Tampa tour stop


    Good news for Swifties who missed out on the choicest concert spots.

    New seats will be available for Taylor Swift's fall 1989 Tour stop in Tampa, the Tampa Sports Authority announced Tuesday. The TSA is SUPER SERIOUS about promoting this show at its Raymond James Stadium, as evidenced by the current homepage, and because there's a lot on the line. Read more about the TSA's risky turn as concert promoter here....

    Taylor Swift brings The 1989 World Tour to 3Arena on June 29, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
  12. Consider your weekend planned with our new feature


    Can you imagine my incredible fortune? The tasty knowledge sauce in which I marinate daily?

    Right behind me sits the movie critic. Catty-corner, the performing arts critic. A few desks away, the food critic. On and on it goes, a panacea of experts who report privileged inside information, who try out good, bad and otherwise esoteric things so others don't have to first. Our arts and entertainment critics basically wrote the book on Having A Really Superior Time....

  13. Bubble wrap doesn't pop anymore, so there is no point to life.


    The Sealed Air Corp. has just introduced a specially made bubble wrap called iBubble Wrap sold in flat plastic sheets, that doesn't pop, we repeat, DOESN'T POP, according to this Wall Street Journal report.


    These women need their popping bubble wrap, and they need it NOW.
  14. Donna Karan steps down from her own brand


    Everyone bust out your 90s graphic block lettering DKNY shirts!

    Donna Karan has stepped down as the chief designer at her company, Donna Karan International, Women's Wear Daily reports. She's going to focus on her charitable organization, Urban Zen, which is all about healthcare, education and preserving cultures. Urban Zen collections feature "seasonless basics in a neutral color palette and corresponding jewelry, accessories and home decor handmade by artisans employed by Urban Zen," WWD writes....

    Donna Karan in her studio upstairs from Urban Zen in New York, Feb. 21, 2014.
  15. My Outfit Monday: The Most Special Diva Wedding Edition Ever


    It's going to be hard to top this My Outfit Monday.

    Deal Diva Katie got married on Friday (which, in an appropriate newshound universe for Katie just so happened to also be a super historic day for marriage). Several of us Deal Divas had the pleasure of attending and watching Katie take vows with her handsome hubby (!) and our friend, T.J.. And while the focus was mostly on the bride and groom and their love, we couldn't help but focus a little on the clothes....

    Bride, Katie, groom, TJ, and would-be adopted child, me.