In early 1987, Jan Wodal, a music teacher in the Manchester elementary schools came to Donna Mercier who was running the variety shows at Buckley Elementary School and helping Jan with choreography for the school plays. Jan had an idea - to start their own summer children's theater program. Jan had the vision and Donna had the community connections and worked on the behind the scenes to get this going. The two of them brainstormed, talked to others, created a board, and on September 9, 1987, held their first meeting if C.A.S.T., Children's Associated Summer Theatre. From there, they incorporated, put together more board members, and decided that their first show in the summer of 1988 would be "The Sound of Music" at Buckley School. Rehearsals were held at the Burton Dance Studio for the next 10 years. In the earlier C.A.S.T. years, sets were built and painted and the pit rehearsed at Jan's house. Each Summer, C.A.S.T. began to grow a little more.
In 1997, C.A.S.T. moved into its current home at 113 Summit Street and went from a summer only organization to a year-round facility. The C.A.S.T. building has seen changes over the past years, including a separate office area and a black box theater. One significant change we are starting to implement is going forward as CAST children's theatre, rather than C.A.S.T. We continue to make improvements and maintain the day to day upkeep of our facility.
Today, CAST serves approximately two hundred students each year
Past CAST Shows
1988: The Sound of Music
|1997: The Sound of Music||2006: Seussical the Musical|
|1989: Annie Get Your Gun||1998: The Wizard of Oz||2007:Godspell|
|1990: My Fair Lady||1999: Cinderella||2008: Beauty and the Beast|
|1991: The Wizard of Oz||2000: Annie||2009: The Music Man|
|1992: The Pirates of Penzance||2001: Oliver||2010: The Wizard of Oz|
|1993: The Music Man||2002: Bye Bye Birdie||2011: Bye Bye Birdie|
|1994: Peter Pan||2003: Annie Get Your Gun||2012: Once on this Island|
|1995: Bye Bye Birdie||2004: The Wiz||2013: Annie|
|1996: Annie Get Your Gun||2005: Guys and Dolls||2014: Shrek: The Musical|