In 2012, WCT's tenancy of the Porter Building in Langley was ending and we needed a new home that would support a more sustainable future for us. We needed a venue that allowed us to produce plays and musicals but one that also afforded us opportunity to expand our mission into theater classes for the young people in the community who could no longer get it at schools. The venue had to have the added and key ingredient of low rent. Up the hill from the Porter Building, sat an unused and historic theater, belonging to the school district and in need of some TLC, but otherwise vacant.
We crafted a proposal that offered a win-win solution for WCT, the school district, and the community of kids and their families here on south Whidbey: WCT occupies the old LMS theater and adjoining classrooms to implement its beloved program, and offers in-kind theater education and performing arts experiences to the students in the school district in-lieu of rent. A five-year lease agreement was signed July 1, 2012.
Since then, WCT has offered field trips, classes, internships, work-based learning and teacher support activities to over 1600 students, with another 1050 projected this academic year.
WCT also maintains the facility in readiness for school district assemblies, providing a performance ready venue for up to 12 SWSD events per year. $10,000 in grants were won last year to improve the theater for sound and technology.