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

Sisters in the Arts

Being a theater administrator is like being a parent of multiple sets of quintuplets. Up at all hours with unexpected challenges, celebrating benchmarks with glitter and cake, being really thrifty, drying tears, and giving - and receiving - many, many hugs. You form close, family-like bonds with the people you work with, and we are thrilled to announce an exciting collaboration with our dear friends at Island Shakespeare Festival.

Andrew Grenier leads Second Sunday students in a workshop

Andrew Grenier leads Second Sunday students in a workshop

For decades WCT has brought theater to the young people in this community through vital teen programs like The 3rd Street Players and, more recently, Second Sunday, our expanded training program for high schoolers. We’ve worked hard to revitalize our program to challenge and inspire the young adults who want to take their theater skills to the next level. This past summer, the executive boards of ISF and WCT came together to bring Classic Conservatory for Young Adults (CCYA) to WCT.

Moving CCYA from ISF to WCT achieves some very significant and wonderful things:

WCT Alum and ISF Marketing Director Olena Hodges teaches a CCYA scansion workshop.

WCT Alum and ISF Marketing Director Olena Hodges teaches a CCYA scansion workshop.

* We’re listening! WCT and ISF Board & Staff care deeply about our participants and our donors. We are committed to what’s best for our community. Young adults need quality theater programs like CCYA, and the limited resources of both non-profit theater companies want to make the best, most appropriate and relevant use of donor contributions. 

* Theater programming for youth is WCT’s mission. It is our singular focus and what we fundraise for.

ISF Artistic Director Rose Woods teaches stage combat to WCT cast of Puss in Boots, June 2014

ISF Artistic Director Rose Woods teaches stage combat to WCT cast of Puss in Boots, June 2014

* The roots of CCYA are firmly footed in WCT’s long history of youth theater programming, including the participation of CCYA founder Eric Mulholland (who worked for WCT in AD/ED capacities), and many ISF company members like Olena Hodges, Ahna Dunn-Wilder, Zora Lungren, Matt Bell and more... We even share a Tech Director!

* We have hosted CCYA auditions each year, and  rehearsals for their inaugural show, The Importance of Being Earnest were held at WCT. It’s familiar territory!The continuation of the CCYA program is important to both companies, and to our community of young adults. It is an effective, dynamic program and CCYA fans can rest assured that WCT does not intend to modify it. 

This is a true collaboration. WCT & ISF are thrilled to be working together to continue bringing outstanding theater to all ages, to honor our donors and implement our missions for the health of our community!