This person will begin work at the top of our 2017-18 season! We are looking for the right individual to join our team of energetic, creative, passionate human beings who believe in the power of education through the lens of the performing arts. Our organization is a long-standing, local 501(c)3 non-profit that promotes inclusion, imagination, play, process, and team work for children and youth ages 4-19.
To Families and Friends of Whidbey Children’s Theater,
It is with deep sadness that I inform you one week from today (on July 31st) I will step down as Artistic Director of this fine and beloved organization.
As you may know, the time has come for my family to make a move to Bellingham, WA to be closer together. This is a necessary move that brings promises of growth and wholeness, but also a challenging move: in saying goodbye to a beautiful community of actors, parents and guardians, artists, and big kids who want to see this theater succeed—that have supported me and taught me so many beautiful things about life, art, work, and love.
Thank you for trusting me to share in leading this ship, thank you for believing in my vision and process. Thank you for your understanding, your incredible creativity and your friendship.
Specific to the youth of WCT: You have helped me grow in ways I never thought possible, and taught me so much about myself. I see you shine everyday and I am a better person for it—you’re going to save us all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Specific to volunteers, contractors, staff, and board: I know without a doubt (because I am a theatre kid, too) the children we serve will remember this organization for the rest of their lives; it has been a profound honor to share in those memories with all of you, dedicated to the transformative power of the performing arts for youth in our community.
With Warmest Regards,
Kathryn Lynn Morgen
Kathryn Lynn Morgen first joined Whidbey Children's Theater in 2013 as a Set Designer for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, directed by her husband Michael Morgen—who served as WCT Marketing and Administrative Coordinator from 2013 - 2016. You can see Kathryn in her final Whidbey performance as Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins July 28 - August 6 at Whidbey Children's Theater.
A farewell gathering for Michael and Kathryn is scheduled for Sunday, August 6th after the Closing Performance of Mary Poppins.
Kathryn is also Directing the final production of the season, Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, as part of the Theatre Conservatory for Young Adults collaboration with Island Shakespeare Festival. Performance dates are August 17th - 20th @ 7:00pm with Matinees the 19th & 20th at 2:00 pm. Admission is free, Seating is limited.
A cast of youth and adult actors are performing one of Disney’s most popular movies of all time, Mary Poppins. The show is based on the books by P.L. Travers, the classic Walt Disney film, and Cameron Mackintosh's Broadway production that delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
This show is the final mainstage production of WCT’s 35th Anniversary Season, “Do You Believe in Magic?” and is a “Summer Classic,” featuring a cast of both youth and adult alumni, parents and other community artists.
Mary Poppins tells the story of the Banks family in England in 1910, who are having problems finding a nanny who will stay on with the two Bank’s children, Jane and Michael. Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep and persuades the parents to let her take on this project. Mary Poppins uses a combination of magic and common sense as she takes the children on many adventures that affect the children and their attitudes toward the world. She also helps their parents to understand one of her life lessons, “Anything can happen if you let it.”
The show is directed by Ty Molbak, also a WCT alumni; musical direction is provided by Andrea Frey Reineckert.
The show runs for two weekends: Friday and Saturday, July 28th and 29th, and Friday and Saturday, August 4th and 5th at 7:00 p.m. and there are Sunday matinees on July 30th (which is a Family Day Matinee when all tickets are $8), and August 6th at 2:00 p.m. at the Whidbey Children’s Theater, 723 Camano Ave, Langley.
Tickets are $16 regular admission and $8 for youth, 18 and under, and may be purchased below or at the WCT Box Office, one hour prior to show time. House opens 30 minutes prior to show time. Seating is general admission. Recommended for Ages five and over. No Late Seating
Whidbey Children's Theater is a registered 501c3 non-profit arts organization providing education through the performing arts for 35 years.
We know you are ready!
We're ready too!
We've hoped to have classes
all this year for you.
But we haven't felt confident
they'd be what we want
for keeping the quality
of our offerings top-notch.
But they're on their way now!
It's true, they'll be here!
Just a few more days
till our SUMMER SESSIONS are clear!
Look for more details
on our website next week.
And we promise that you
will find what you seek.
Raise the Curtain is an opportunity for businesses and individuals to sponsor the 2017-2018 Whidbey Childrens Theater Season. Attendees will enjoy beverages and appetizers, an original production featuring WCT actors, and participate in deciding our season by casting their votes for competing VOTE FOR THE SEASON productions.
Whidbey Children's Theater would like to thank Penny Webb for the magic she has brought to our WCT staff, and express our good wishes as she departs for other adventures! Penny joined us as a contractor in a…
Afraid of the dark and plagued by power failure, Henry Quealy is living in the shadow of terror. Returning one day from his job as a door-to-door salesman selling doors, Henry discovers a hitherto hidden portal in the wall of his home. The government declares Henry a shadow of his former self — literally — and he is taken away through the mystery door. Hinterland is a satirical comedy about the divided self and the paranoia of the insular state.
A Letter from our Executive Director, Cait Cassée
Proof is the first show, in WCT's new location, for which our high schoolers had to audition to participate. Each year we will continue this tradition with our second blackbox production of the year, casting not only our actors and understudies, but stage managers, assistant directors and crew members as a true theater company. Actor Headshots by Lucy Brown, Lucy B Photography.
We did it! Thank you to all of our supporters—our community, our patrons, our donors, our volunteers, our actors—who helped make Raise the Curtain a successful event. After final tally (adding ticket sales, and absentee donations) we have not only met, but surpassed our goal of $15,000 toward our 35th Anniversary Season!!
Sponsorship Shout-out: Matt's Import Haven, for helping us collaborate with the SWHS Drama Club on Almost, Maine
Directors, Musical Directors, Stage Managers, Costume Designers, Set Designers, Teachers, and more!!
Olena Hodges from Island Shakespeare Festival came to Whidbey Children's Theater to teach a week-long block on Shakespeare to our Langley Middle School 7th Graders!
Whidbey Children's Theater is thrilled and honored to announce Lucy Pearce as the director of Proof by David Auburn!
Here is our third and final "3 on the 5th for our 35th" Anniversary Announcement! Thank you to everyone for joining in our celebration—we are so excited to share this year with our friends, family, audiences, patrons, and collaborators. You make our world go round!
On Saturday, April 30, 2016 Whidbey Children’s Theater will host Raise the Curtain, a fundraiser announcing the productions of our 35th Anniversary Season… with a twist.
Patrons will enjoy an evening of food and drink, with performances by WCT actors. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to VOTE by donation on the first and last shows of the season!
Based on what community members are most excited to see on the Whidbey Children’s Theater stage, they can donate to one of two titles for the November 2016 and August 2017 slots of WCT’s 35th Anniversary Season.
Prospective shows will be announced on February 1st, at which time Online Voting will be available at www.wctmagic.org. Online Voting will close on Friday, April 29nd. The final round of voting will occur in person at WCT’s Raise the Curtain, the evening of Saturday, April 30.
The shows which have raised the most money will be selected and revealed along with the rest of WCT’s 35th Anniversary Season.
Stay tuned for further details and information on WCT's Raise the Curtain event!
We are thrilled to announce the return of Kylie McKenzie Soder as director of this year’s Classic Conservatory for Young Adults production, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Soder directed the CCYA 2015 production of Antigone by Sophocles to great acclaim.
Soder will use the Twelfth Night script developed by Island Shakespeare Festival for their January 6th (that's tonight!) Bard & Brew, a series of immersive staged readings at The Taproom at Bayview Corner. Find out more, here.
This news follows the November announcement of collaboration between WCT and Island Shakespeare Festival to relocate CCYA to WCT, satisfying many points of the organizations’ missions. You can read more about the collaboration here.
Of returning to direct for CCYA, Soder says, “One year ago, a friend and mentor told me about a directing opportunity for a youth theatre program on Whidbey Island. I was fresh out of school, had never been to Whidbey Island, and had never heard of ISF or CCYA. But I trusted my friend's judgement; when he told me that the festival was absolutely "magical", I had high expectations.
In directing Antigone for CCYA, I must say that the experience did not meet my expectations... it far surpassed them. Working with so many talented teens in the beautiful town of Langley taught me what the true meaning of Magical is. Thats what we make in the program: magic in its purest form.
Not even a week after closing Antigone, I found myself homesick for the Island that had so swiftly worked its way into my heart. So, when I was approached with the prospect of returning in the summer of 2016, I was overjoyed.
It is my great pleasure and honor to be rejoining CCYA as the director of Twelfth Night. And so, my friends, I hope you will join me, the CCYA, WCT and ISF for another summer of magic.”
CCYA is a four-week summer intensive program for young actors age 15 - 20. For more information, visit www.wctmagic.org/ccya
Seussical the Musical, the Summer 2016 show of WCT’s “A Season to Remember” will be the inaugural production of the newest Whidbey Children’s Theater program, Summer Classic.
Seussical will open Thursday, July 28 and run through Sunday, August 7th and is dedicated to the Theater’s Tech Director, Rod Stewart for his many years of generous devotion.
The annual Summer Classic program will run with a different production each summer as a revival of the family-oriented, mixed-age productions from WCT’s history. An exclusive number of “adult” registration slots are available to WCT Alum, parents, guardians, and community members.
The Summer Classic program was developed by Kathryn Lynn Morgen and Cait Cassée, with inspiration from WCT Alum Family Member, Melinda Mack.
This year’s Summer Classic production, Seussical the Musical, begins rehearsals after Memorial Day for three days a week. Registration for Seussical the Musical begins Wednesday, February 24th at 10:00 am and is available online, by phone, and in person at Whidbey Children’s Theater. Registration is open to grades 3 - 12 and an exclusive number of adult roles will also be available.
More details will be announced at the beginning of February.
It's here! We've entered 2016, our 35th Anniversary Year!
To celebrate, we have been planning THREE exciting announcements (one per day) starting on January 5th—that's tomorrow!
In other words, get ready for some great news. We'll post the announcements here on our blog, on Facebook, and send them out in our email newsletter. So you'll get the news no matter how you prefer to receive your exclusive Whidbey Children's Theater info!
From the Director, David Mayer
All photos by Lucy Brown
A long path has wound itself to the next crossroads. The high school kids of WCT and I began a journey in late September, not all with the same goals, but all ready to have fun and experience something new.
For me, it was the first time directing a play in full, and I relished the opportunity to work with kids old enough to learn and apply specific technique to their innate and WCT-nourished capacity for play. I wanted to be a part of the bridging from children's to adult theatre, helping to develop talent and skill, while encouraging finding joys that I had dug up in my time working the craft. Yes, any play comes stocked with that "away at camp" feeling, and the opportunity to create lasting friendships, and the chance to live through many sets of eyes boldly in front of the world and then go back into hiding when we are done; and, of course, the rush of the applause. But there are also joys to be found in unraveling the mysteries laid out by the writer; in finding abilities we didn't realize could be taught; in knowing that you are creating something and someone new and almost real... real enough to pull each viewer in for their own emotional experience; and in happening upon those transcendent moments that, like the perfect chord or color at just the right time, seem to break down the walls between technical requirements and the realm of magic. All this and more lie in wait for those willing to put in immense work. I hoped to give all of these gifts to my charges.
For the actors, well, I can't speak for them. I know we had those who had never acted in anything other than children's shows; and one who had never acted a lick at all. Coming in, some may have suspected we'd just be putting on a show, and they knew that process. But the length of time we had to prepare gave us the opportunity to really workshop the craft, and to slowly build characters and stories bit-by-bit. And when traveling the more well-known road of blocking and scene work, they were brought more deeply into the process than most productions of any kind get a chance to. Suggestions explained and options often given, so that the actors could think and apply, solve problems, and act with confidence. My mantra was to create a safe place actors to be strong and the characters to be vulnerable. And we agreed together to fail big. All of us would make mistakes and learn just how hard it could be at times to prepare to the level that allowed us not to think so much when the curtain rose. We would slowly but surely meld goals: To tell one coherent story, engage the audience, and be there for each other, true to each second.
And you know what? I feel that we did it. I doubt anyone got all the same rewards that they expected going in. But we got new, exciting rewards—the kind that spark lasting memories and stoke fires for the future. I couldn't be more proud or grateful, and I think the actors really feel they gained something beyond a show under the belt.
And so, the path hits not an end but a crossroads. What will I do next with all I've taken in? Rest, process, reflect. And after some more acting, I know I'll direct again. What will each actor choose to do with what they learned and felt? I have a sneaking suspicion we'll see many of them acting again soon, searching for their own joys for which they got a taste in The Mousetrap.
David Mayer is an actor/writer/director who trained at Freehold Theatre in Seattle and has been walking the boards of South Whidbey for more than a decade.
We are so thrilled to announce that our Executive Director, Cait Cassée has agreed to make her solo-directing debut with our March show, Inside Frampton and the Outside World.
Here's what she has to say!
After a stint on stage as a flying monkey, tapping out “Put On a Happy Face”, a smidge of “Swan Lake”, and some piano recitals, I had my first straight-up acting gig for the San Anselmo Parks & Rec production of Guys and Dolls when I was 11 or so. I was cast as - and worked earnestly to portray - both a Hat Box Dancer (think Can-Can girl) and General Matilda B. Cartwright, the head of the Salvation Army. It may be that the casting directors sensed my innate ambivalence, but I prefer to think that they simply recognized my range.
It was quite a range, and falling personally somewhere in the middle of it, as I did, I had to work hard to not bat my eyelashes seductively at my Salvation Army troops nor look uncomfortable in my short shorts and straw hat during “Bushel and a Peck”. Being rather tom-boyish at the time, both were a stretch for me.
Like me, Whidbey Children’s Theater falls somewhere in-between. Neither Parks & Rec nor Broadway, WCT has a beloved after-school theater program as well as a responsibility to bridge the theater education gap.
Five years ago my daughter, Miranda, needed a lifeline. Already in love with all things WCT, she signed up to be in the first Pacific Northwest performance of the award winning Inside Frampton and the Outside World and her world changed. Frampton, written by Susannah Rose Woods, is a heart-warming, endearing story full of characters we can all relate to. It’s about finding out who you are, learning to trust yourself, and look beyond image and appearance to find the true friends around you. It was a magnificent, life changing experience for my daughter then, and it is with so much joy and anticipation that I take it on this season as my first solo-directing gig for Whidbey Children’s Theater.
There is no question that both this play, and its author - WCT’s original Frampton director in 2011, Rose Woods - have played an enormous role in my life and my family. As has this theater. I am excited beyond words to get to work with the amazing talents of Rod Stewart (Tech Director), Kathryn Morgen (Set Designer), Melanie Lowey (Musical Director), Jody Harrison (Costume Designer), the incredible cast already assembling, and my own Miranda, back this time as Stage Manager, my right hand.
Inside Frampton and the Outside World is NOW REGISTERING youth actors Grades 6 - 8. Rehearsals begin in January and performances run March 11 - 20, 2016. For information or to register online, CLICK HERE.