Who We Are

Administrative Staff                       Artistic Staff                                  WCT Council

Dinah Lane, Founding Artistic Director

Since its inception in 1983, Dinah has taught countless classes and workshops and directed 35 musical productions for the company, including its inaugural Arsenal Center production of The Music Man. Before founding WCT, she toured as a professional actress, director, and teacher throughout the Northeast bringing classical and contemporary plays and theatre workshops to thousands of people of all ages through state Arts Council grants. She holds an MA in psychology and also works as a family therapist for the Town of Burlington.

Administrative Staff

Meghan Kenny

Meghan graduated magna cum laude with her BA in Theatre Studies and Dance from Wheaton College in Norton, MA where she was recognized for Excellence in Acting and awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Meghan also received a Certificate in Performance Studies and Movement from the Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia. As a freelance Director, Actress and coach, Meghan spent several years teaching communication and performance skills to young artists across America and then traveled to Istanbul, Turkey for five summers where she created and managed the performance portion of the Robert College Summer Program. Currently Meghan works as a Director, Actress and Coach in the Boston area. Past directing credits include: Project Flux (an original production that debuted at Wheaton College), Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty Jr., Into The Woods Jr, Romeo and Juliet. Her next production is Twelfth Night at Newton North High School in Newton, MA.

Megan Otteson

Megan Otteson is excited to be part of WCT again! She grew up performing at WCT from 1st-8th grade and then was an ASM intern from 2004-2008. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2012 with her BA in Theatre with concentrations in Musical Theatre, and Youth Drama Education. She worked as an ASM at Lyric Stage Company’s for their production of Rich Girl, and as the Stage Manager on Stoneham Youth Company’s Winter Festival 2013 production of Charlotte’s Web: The Musical. Also in 2013 she worked as the Stage Manager on two shows with Zero Point Theater Company and was on Crew for Hairspray and The Hobbit at Wheelock Family Theatre. For the 2012-13 season she was an Education/Theater for Kids intern at Portland Stage Company in Maine where she was on run crew for A Christmas Carol and Love/Sick, a world premiere written by John Cariani. She can’t wait to see what the upcoming years will bring and is excited to be the new Production Stage Manager of WCT!

Deidre Purcell

Deidre Purcell received her BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University, and her MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She recently completed her MA in Counseling Psychology at Lesley University. She currently works as a psychotherapist for Volunteers of America in Quincy Center. Since beginning in 2004 as the Stage Manager for Bye Bye Birdie, she has been the stage manager, production manager, and public relations specialist for WCT at various times, as well as teaching playwriting, directing summer programs, and adapting scripts. For the 2014-2015 season, she will be teaching Playwriting and adapting the script for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Kathi Tighe

Kathi has worked with WCT since 2006. In her non-WCT time, she is a self-employed studio potter at the Harvard Ceramics Program. Her ceramic work has been represented in galleries and private collections throughout the country. She also sings with the Spectrum Singers choral ensemble and dances with Muddy River Morris dancers. In any remaining spare time, she is an avid bead crochet artist. She and her husband Jerry live in Cambridge, while their son Joel studies at Vassar College.

Artistic Staff

Steven Bergman

Among Steven’s many credits include, as musical director: “[title of show]” (ACME – DASH Award),“Spring Awakening” (FUDGE – IRNE award), “The Add1ng Mach1ne” (Speakeasy – IRNE nom), “Annie,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” (Wheelock Family Theatre), “Das Barbecü” (New Repertory Theatre), “The Gig,” “When Pigs Fly,” “The Curse of the Bambino” (Lyric Stage Company), “Dames at Sea,” “A Funny Thing…Forum” (American Stage Festival), “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill,” “The Fantasticks,” “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” “Something’s Afoot,” “Pirates of Penzance” (Worcester Foothills Theatre), “The Orphan Queen” (Jewish Theatre of New England), “Personals,” “A…My Name is Alice,” “Tomfoolery” (Actors Playhouse) and at least 100 more. As a composer / lyricist, his shows include: “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” (to be premiered at WCT in 2015!), “Animal Farm,” “The Curse of the Bambino” (CD available through www.bambinomusical.com), “Four Kisses,” “Jack the Ripper: the Whitechapel Musical,” and “Comedy of Errors.” Steven is currently working on “The Trial of Madeline Gee,” a modern song-cycle based on the Medea story, and two new children’s shows. As a keyboardist, his touring credits include “Nunsense Jamboree” (with Georgia Engel, CD/DVD with Vicki Lawrence), “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Dreamgirls,” “Guys and Dolls,” and “Les Miserables.” His published plays include “History,” “At the Buzzer “and “Rosie, the Teddy Bear” (with Brooklyn Publishers), “Have a Seat, Please” and “Marvin and Julius” (with Heuer Publishing). Steven is also a public school Chorus and Drama teacher.

Hallie Blitzman

Hallie is a Junior in High School and proud to say that she grew up with WCT being a part of her life. She began at age 5 as a Little (now called Junior Players), and has been doing WCT ever since! She began interning as the director’s apprentice in 9th grade and has also worked as a stagehand for several productions. She enjoys seeing the children grow and mature in the few months that she has to work with them. Working with WCT has been a great honor for her. She hopes to continue working with her peers and is very excited for the years to come.

Tyler Catanella

Bio coming soon!

Julie Dauber

Julie is excited to be a part of the WCT team. Originally from Maryland, she has spent most of her career in the Boston area as a performer, choreographer, and costume designer. She received her BA in Theatre and Dance at the University of Richmond where she was a recipient of the John D. Welsh Theatre Scholarship, won awards in acting and costuming, and traveled to London to study Theatre and Art History. She also studied Theatre Education at Emerson College. She has worked at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, Modlin Center for the Arts in Virginia, and local companies including Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Apollinaire Theatre Company, and South Shore School of Theatre. She is currently the resident Costume Designer at Eastern Nazarene College. Favorite past productions include Gypsy starring Lorna Luft (Dolores), West Side Story (Velma/Dance Captain), and Much Ado About Nothing (Hero).

Alexandra Dietrich

Alexandra Dietrich, originally from Freeport, Maine, is a mezzo-soprano who is being praised for singing with “passion and understanding”. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance, and attended the Longy School of Music for her Graduate Performance degree in Opera.Recent performances have included Xander in OperaHub’s critically acclaimed “Der Vampyr”, Tisbe in “La Cenerentola” and Jade Boucher in “Dead Man Walking”, both with Boston Opera Collaborative, and Carmen in “Carmen” with NEMPAC. As a soloist, she has sung with the Portland Symphony Pops, North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, Charlemagne Orchestra of Belgium, and the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, among others. As a teacher, she is thrilled to be on faculty at both the North End Music and Performing Arts Center, music directing their musical theatre classes, and at the St. John School as their choral director. She has been a member of the music ensemble at Church on the Hill in Boston since 2011, and is an active performer on the Opera on Tap Boston chapter’s roster. She continues to pursue an active teaching career by being a Metropolitan Opera Guild Teaching Artist with their Urban Voices program teaching elementary music at the Edward Everett Elementary School. www.alexandradietrich.com

Kaitlin Donovan

Kaitlin Donovan is a senior Music Education major at Plymouth State University and will be graduating in May of 2015. At PSU, she was a member of the PSU Chorale and Chamber Singers and was actively involved with the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), for which she served as the Student Chapter President, and the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME). Kaitlin was the recipient of the PSU Choral Fellowship with Dr. Dan Perkins from 2013-2014 and studied voice with Dr. Kathleen Arecchi.
Aside from her studies at Plymouth State, Kaitlin is very excited to be serving as the Assistant Music Director Intern with the Manchester Choral Society this year. She also sings with the New Hampshire Master Chorale and serves as the Stage Manager for the New Hampshire Music Festival’s Summer Season. Kaitlin is from Wakefield, Massachusetts and is currently completing her student teaching internship at Belmont High School with Sean Landers and at Wood End and Birch Meadow Elementary Schools in Reading with Melissa Steiger.

Anne Dresbach

Anne Dresbach is a Lighting Designer and Master Electrician. She designs for a broad spectrum including dance, musicals, opera, plays, receptions and corporate events. Though originally from California, she moved to Boston to attend Emerson College where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Design and Technology. Companies she has designed for include Navarasa Dance Theater, Ipswich Moving Company, Kino Dance, New England Conservatory, Boston Children’s Chorus, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, From The Top, and Chelsea High School. Dance Festivals include Dancing in the Streets 2014 and 2013, ArtBeat 2014 2013 and 2012, and Somerville Dance Festival 2012. She has also worked as Lighting Assistant for North Shore Music Theatre and Boston Ballet. Companies where she has done Master Electrician work includes Actors Shakespeare Project and The Huntington Theater Company.

Shayna Farmelant

Shayna has been an active member of Watertown Children’s Theatre since starting out as a lost girl in Peter Pan (2006) when she was in fourth grade. Since then she has been in many shows including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2007), The Wiz (2010), Singin’ In the Rain (2011). Recently she performed as Cinderella in WCT’s first teen production, Into the Woods (2014), and continues to take weekly voice lessons through the theatre. Starting as a part of the “Techie” crew for Alice in Wonderland (2010) she moved into the Assistant Stage Manager position for The Prince and the Pauper (2011). Now a senior at Watertown High School four years later, she is still the running ASM for main stage musicals she cannot take part in and loving it!

David Fischer

David first began training Capoeira Angola under Mestre Deraldo Ferreira in 1997 while attending Brown University. After graduation, he returned home to Northern California. Unable to resist the call of Capoeira, he moved back to Boston in 2000 to continue training with Mestre Deraldo. In 2003, he was graduated as an Advanced Student, and in 2007 he was graduated as a Treinel (literally, Teaching Assistant, a teaching rank). In 2007, he began to teach classes at MIT’s Alumni and Wang Fitness Center as part of the school’s fitness curriculum. David has been a dedicated disciple to Mestre Deraldo, traveling to universities and events to assist the master in demonstrating and teaching of the beautiful art of Capoeira Angola. He has visited Brazil on two separate occasions to study the art in its native land. In addition, David has studied Qi Gong since 1999, and in 2008 and 2011 traveled to China to study Pi Gua Zhang, Body Hardening, Crazy Demon Staff, and Tiger Hooks with Master Zhou Ji Xuan.

Claire Gabel

Claire has been an enthusiastic member of the Watertown Children’s Theatre community since 4th grade when she performed in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (2009). Her continuous involvement with WCT has encompassed numerous main stage musicals, Black Box and Summer Stage productions. Favorites include Singin’ in the Rain (2011), and playing Alice (small) in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2010). A recent favorite is Pirates of Penzance in which she played a daughter and loved becoming close with her cast sisters. When not on stage, Claire enjoys assisting “behind the scenes” as Assistant Stage Manager Intern, part of the stage crew for productions with younger actors, and interning with Page to Stage, Jr. Players, and vacation camp programs. Claire is excited to expand her horizons and give back to WCT as an ASM, helping to inspire and encourage a new group of young actors.

Susan Handler

Susan Handler joined the WCT Team in 2014. Her costuming credits include the NYC Off-Broadway Mirror Repertory Theatre with Oscar Winner Geraldine Page, Off-Broadway Equity Library Theatre productions with Eartha Kitt, operatic productions with international Verdi expert Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi, the powerful environmental show Unrinetown at UMass Lowell, Die Fledermaus for the New England Conservatory of Music, dance costumes for the Boston Ballet, historical documentation of Ruth Saint Denis’ designs for the Library of Congress funded by a Doris Duke Grant, Roger Williams University’s grant funded original choreography production of Bewilderness, and most recently As You Like It at The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. As a feminist clothing expert she has presented the interactive lecture “The Evolution of the Western Female Silhouette: AKA The Corset Talk” at universities and colleges in the states of New York, Florida, Arizona, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In 2014 and 2015 she received Massachusetts Cultural Council funding for literacy and sewing programs for Lynn mothers and children attending REAL – The Reading Educational Assistance Learning Program.

Nancy Ishihara

Nancy Ishihara has been designing and building costumes for the past 11 years. She has designed for 5-year-olds and 60-year-olds and many ages in between. Her favorite shows include Cabaret at Riverside Theatre Works, Alice in Wonderland, Singin’ in the Rain and Macbeth at WCT, Ragtime at Chelsea High School and the Mikado at the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players.

Christian Krenek

Bio coming soon!

Cassandra Lovering

Cassandra Lovering is a Boston based dramaturg, director, stage manager and educator and is thrilled to be teaching and directing at WCT. She’s passionate about theatre for young audiences and loved directing Macbeth and Pirates of Penzance for WCT earlier this year. She also works as a professional director and dramaturg in Boston and recently directed MetroWestOpera’s Hansel and Gretel in May! She attained her B.A. in Theatre Performance with a minor in Vocal Performance from Susquehanna University which was shortly followed by an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova. She’s overwhelmed by how the WCT students, staff and parents have enfolded her into their community. Here’s to an exciting next season!

Carter Miller

Carter is most pleased to be returning for another season with Watertown Children’s Theatre as a Lighting and Sound Designer and Teaching Artist. Carter works through-out Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire as a designer, technician, and teacher, and recently accepted a full time position as Lighting and Sound Supervisor at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA.

Asako Nagashima

Asako has a Bachelors degree in Music from Osaka University of Arts with majors in piano performance and musicology and a Masters Degree in Music from New England Conservatory of Music in piano performance. She studied with Randall Hodgkingson, Svetla v Protich, Jyungi Tatsuno, Yasuko Yamada, and Toshiko Kobayashi. Asako has performed for the 20th Century Composers Piano Festival at William Hall as well as the 35th Anniversary Festival at Osaka Symphony Hall, which was broadcasted. At Piloti Hall, she performed in the Osaka New Artists Concert. Asako has been accompanist for choruses and string ensembles at the Hosmer, Lowell and Cunniff elementary schools in Watertown; for musicals at the Watertown Childrens Theatre and for many local vocalists and string players. She is an active private piano teacher for many years.
WCT Musical Director: Singin’ in the Rain, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Wiz, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Pinocchio, Cats, The King and I, , Oliver!, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Dr. Dolittle, The Hobbit, Disney’s Aladdin Jr., How to Eat Like a Child, The Pirates of Penzance, Grease: School Version,Littles’ Musical Director/Instrumentalist: The Music Man, Annie Warbucks, Fiddler on the Roof.

Catherine Papayannopoulos

(pictured as Body of the Caterpillar, “E,” in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Fall 2010) Since her first role in third grade as a Dish in Beauty and the Beast, Catherine has been delighted to be a part of the WCT community. Her other performances include Alice in Wonderland, Singin’ in the Rain, Cinderella, and the Summer Stage productions of Fantastic Mr. Fox and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Catherine is thrilled to add a new role to her involvement at WCT, as a Junior Players intern. She thoroughly enjoyed her first experience working with WCT’s youngest actors in Oliver! and looks forward to many more productions in the future. Catherine is a student at the Watertown Middle School, and her interests outside of WCT include tennis, track & field, and softball.

Stephen Petrilli

Stephen has designed several shows in New York for The Pearl Theatre Company, National Asian American Theatre Company and The Melting Pot Theatre Company. In the dance world he has designed for Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Noche Flamenca, Anikai Dance Theater and Ailey II. Musical performances Stephen has designed include work for Bang on a Can, Mos Def at BAM and the New York Guitar Festival. Regional theatre credits include Penguin Rep, State Theatre Company in Austin, and The Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Stephen also spent five years touring as the Lighting/Sound Supervisor for Pilobolus. He has an eleven year old son, Liam. stephen-petrilli-lighting.com

Samantha Prindiville

Bio coming soon!

Rebecca Rapoport-Cole

Canadian Mezzo Soprano, Rebecca Rapoport-Cole, is a performer, educator and arts administrator living in Boston, MA. A few of Rebecca’s operatic highlights include, Mercédès (Carmen), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Annio (La Clemenza di Tito), Bradamante (Alcina), and Sesto (Giulio Cesare). Recent performances include Songs of the Gilded Age with New England Light Opera and The New England Gilbert and Sullivan Society, a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Paul Madore Chorale (Alto soloist) as well several concerts with the North End Music and Performing Arts Center, including, Bella Notte- Italian Opera Favorites, and a Shakespeare Celebration. Recently, Rebecca has been named a 2014 semi-finalist for the Chicago Oratorio award, a 2014 semi-finalist for the American Prize in voice and was awarded Honorable Mention in the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition. In addition to her academic training, Rebecca has been a participant in several young artist programs including, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, The Banff Center for the Arts, Songfest Malibu, Toronto Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, and the Bay Area Summer Operatic Theatre Institute. Rebecca’s European training includes Centro Studi Lirica in Italy and The American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. Rebecca’s teaching highlights includes serving as Music Director for StageCraft Theatre Victoria, as well as teaching voice and piano for ABC Academy of music and the Snider School of Music, both in Toronto, Canada. Currently, she is on faculty at the North End Music and Performing Arts Center and Watertown Children’s Theater as a voice and piano instructor. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (Bachelor of Arts, specialty in music), The Longy Opera Center (Master of Opera- Bard College) and the Victoria Conservatory of Music- Opera Studio program. She is also the co-founder and artistic director of the NEMPAC opera project, currently entering its third season. www.rebeccarapoportcole.com

Sophie Rich

Sophie Rich is a drama educator, director, actress, and Boston native. Sophie graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University, where she concentrated on theatre for young audiences and directing and was awarded the Winifred Ward Award for creative drama. Sophie is the Education Director of Boston Theater Company, and she also teaches at Wheelock Family Theater, Stoneham Theatre, and The Freelance Players. Favorite directing credits include The Secret Garden, a community production with the youth of Somerville, A Year With Frog and Toad as part of Northwestern’s Imagine U Family Series and The Snow Queen, a collaboration between Northwestern and Haven Middle School. She can be seen performing on KidStage at the Boston Children’s Museum, and she is also a member of Theatre Espresso.

Abigail Tapper

Abigail Tapper graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in Theatre in May of 2013. She is currently obtaining her Master’s of Public Health at Northeastern University. Selected productions: 4.8: Psychosis (Muhlenberg College), Woyzeck (Muhlenberg College), Amadeus (Belmont High School). She can often be found doing freelance makeup, locked in a Northeastern chemistry lab, and looking for puppies at the Fresh Pond dog park.

Victoria Townsend

Victoria Townsend is a Boston-based performer, director and teaching artist. She holds a BA in Theatre and English Literature from Saint Michael’s College and has performed and directed throughout New England and the East Coast. She is the Artistic and Management Associate and Academy Assistant Director for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and has served as a teaching artist for many of their educational residencies, including at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Recent directing work includes productions with New England Conservatory’s UnderGraduate Opera Student (UGOS) program as well as Flat Earth Theatre in Boston, MA. In addition, Victoria teaches with Live Arts Education, a company serving to bring arts exposure to after-school programs in the greater Boston area for grades K-12. She is also a performer with SillySally’s entertainment company throughout the year.

Peter Waldron

Peter Waldron has designed scenery for over 150 productions for theaters across the country, including over 25 operas and musicals at the Boston Conservatory. He currently is designing at several Boston area theaters and is thrilled to be working with the wonderful people at WCT.

Alan White

Alan White is addicted to acting. He was inspired by his childhood love of SciFi and Fantasy to embark on his epic quest as an actor. He has performed with dozens of Boston area theaters over the past 14 years. Some of his favorite roles include The Hobbit (Wheelock Family Theatre). Two Gentlemen of Verona ( Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.), Ragtime (Fiddlehead Theatre), Twelfth Night (Arts After Hours). Alan’s TV credits include commercials for Merrimack Valley Credit Union the RI Lottery And Staples. Alan is a highly sought after industrial video actor, Master Storyteller, and Swashbuckler.

Jack Wickwire

Bio coming soon!

WCT Council

Jeannette Belcher-Schepis
Marcia Haines

Meg Macri


Madolyn Allison
Lisa Gabel
Louise Harrison Lepera
Michelle Munroe
Nic Pepe
Alison Roberts
Karen Young

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