CAST children's theatre | CAST History

CAST History

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