A Changing of the Guard

A Letter from our Executive Director, Cait Cassée

Miranda Cassée as a Fairy in Martha Murphy's backyard

8 years ago my daughter was a fairy in Martha Murphy's backyard. This week she will go on stage as Claire in a WCTeen Black Box production of Proof, by David Auburn, a powerful and intense adult drama. She's played many roles and learned many parts through these years, made many friends and developed many skills. Perhaps the most important one, though, has been the discovery of self that she made here; she can take risks, she can be challenged, she can be her strong, creative, unique self. She takes that with her into the world now. And, she is not alone.

Miranda opened a door into the WCT world that quickly absorbed her, her brothers and me. As a parent, I fell in love with what this program means for the kids and families who participate in it and I wanted to be a part of securing its' future. Now, 8 years later, I reflect on my time with WCT and feel both sadness at stepping out of my current role as Executive Director and a sense of excited anticipation knowing that it is in good hands.

Miranda Cassée as Claire in Proof, May 2016 - Photo by Lucy Brown

Miranda Cassée as Claire in Proof, May 2016 - Photo by Lucy Brown

After years of volunteer production support and membership on the Board of Directors, I was asked 3 1/2 years ago to take on a new role as Executive Director. My specific task during the interim period was to help WCT make the transition from the Porter Building in Langley to its new digs at the Middle School theater. As the position became permanent, I also focused on adapting the program to better meet our mission and reach more youth - specifically students who no longer had access to theater arts in schools. In this way - and by developing our organizational structure - we hoped our efforts would also help lay the foundation for a more sustainable future for this program that has mattered to so many hundreds of families in this community.

In these past 4 years, I feel like I have "Mom-ed" WCT: I have sat up with it during its angsty moments and dramas, and celebrated its many successes. I have nurtured it and sweated over it, fought for it, brainstormed for it, and found amazing people to help support it.

I love this program and these families more than I can put into words. Those of you who know me know how deeply I care about this home-away-from-home and how hard it is for me to resign. For so many reasons, however, the timing is right for this change; and for me personally, it has become imperative.

And I find myself in the happy situation of being able to leave while this program is in the very capable hands of an amazing staff and truly dedicated Board of Directors.

In Ann Johnson, this community has a terrifically organized and passionate Managing Director. Her ability to see into the future and connect dots that mere mortals can't, makes her superbly ready for this important job. Her love of working with children and families in this community, and her experience working with the SWSD, contribute to her suitability for this position.

Cait & Ann

Cait & Ann

Kathryn Lynn Morgen is a natural Artistic Director; her belief in performing arts and youth and this community, coupled with her personal arts experiences and passion for the job gives me every confidence that she will continue to support and develop this dynamic and impactful program, carrying out the mission of WCT as it moves into its 35th season.

Cait & Kathryn

Cait & Kathryn

My role with WCT will change, but as I continue to care passionately about the organization and the kids involved in it - most of whom I have watched grow up in this theater and feel like family to me now - I will continue to provide consultation and guidance, volunteer and production support.

Thank you all for the support you have given over the years. It has been magic - WCT style - every step of the way and I have truly enjoyed working with each and every one of the talented and generous board, staff and volunteers. And, to the kids who I have had the true joy of getting to work with - many, many hugs. I'll see you at the theater - still.

With much love and magic -