Magic

Announcing our 35th Anniversary Season!

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!!

Anniversary Announcement No. 3

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!

Anniversary Announcement No. 2

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

Anniversary Announcement No. 1

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.

It is both satisfying and exhilarating to bring back this slice of WCT’s past. For years, WCT brought families together on stage to share the experiences—the fun and camaraderie—of theater. We are really looking forward to raising our curtains for a reprise of that magic!
— Cait Cassée, Executive Director
It is especially exciting to introduce this program that is so directly inspired by our past at this time. The Summer Classic is still a part of our season, but with a sort of specialty added. Once a year, we get to invite alum, community members, and the adults in the lives of our actors to experience that magic of theater alongside our youth actors. It will be an invaluable experience for our year-round actors who are used to sharing the stage with their peers. Now they get to share the stage with mentors and in some cases, their parents and guardians!
— Kathryn Lynn Morgen, Program & Production Manager

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.

3 on the 5th for our 35th

WCT35.jpg

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!

Who's directing Frampton?

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.

Tribe

We talk a lot about how Whidbey Children’s Theater changes kids’ lives, how it gives them a home away from home, a place to feel like they belong. And, it does. My kid is living proof. Bullied out of middle school, Grace found her tribe here at WCT, and in the process found her passion. We are incredibly grateful.

The thing is, I found my tribe here, too.

When we moved to the Island five years ago, the kids had the built-in social scene of school to introduce them to new friends and activities. But, for me, I felt my newbie status acutely. This place is small, and insular, and for the first couple years I felt like the only friends I had were the ones I paid to spend time with me: my hair cutter, my massage therapist, my gardener, my handyman.  

The Little Mermaid Curtain Call
April 2014 | Photo: Peter Carey

So, when my daughter Grace found herself in the cast of The Little Mermaid a couple summers ago, I found myself standing in a lobby full of parents whom I didn’t know. And, like any group of grown ups who know each other, there was a camaraderie and familiarity that felt clubby and warm. I stood there feeling self-conscious, an outsider yet again, when an amazing thing happened. I was welcomed into the fold. Granted, it was in the form of a volunteer request, but still. I was seen, I was accepted, and after a couple stints as an usher, I was known.

What I found when I began volunteering were a bunch of parents with wacky kids like mine: kids that didn’t fit the assigned molds, that were bigger than life, or finding their voice and confidence on stage. These were my people! Parents who saw and celebrated these wild, wonderful children.  Parents who did their best, got discouraged, but kept showing up. Parents who welcomed each other and each other’s kids into their lives. A community. A tribe.  

Fast forward—through a few more shows and a lot more volunteering—and I have truly found my home away from home, helping WCT stay financially healthy as their Fund Development Coordinator. I get to combine my professional skills with my commitment to the theater. I get to help guarantee, that even after my daughter is launched into adulthood, WCT will still be around helping kids find their voice and their tribe. But, best of all, I get to spend even more time with these people I love, who have become not just friends, but family. 


Penny Webb is a full-time mom, a some-time musician, a part-time writer, a fair-weather gardener, and an all-the-time cheerleader for WCT. She enjoys romantic walks on the beach, back rubs by the fire, and piña coladas. In theory anyway, since her whole life revolves around her children, who she thinks are the coolest people on the planet.