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 Hill

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, Twelfth Night.

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, where she designs and runs Shakespeare programming touring to schools around MA. She teaches students of all ages at The Atrium School in Watertown, The Winsor School, Wheelock Family Theater, Stoneham Theatre, and more. She can be seen performing on KidStage at the Boston Children’s Museum, and she is also a member of Theatre Espresso.

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. 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.

Kathi Tighe

Kathi has worked with WCT since 2006. In her non-WCT time, she is a self-employed studio potter working 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.

Artistic Staff

Fran Betlyon

Fran Betlyon is a theatre educator, director and voice teacher from Cambridge, MA. She is thrilled to join the WCT team, as she started doing theatre at her local children’s program at the age of 4! Fran served as the Associate Director and lead vocal coach of The Adderley School for the Performing Arts in southern California for 5 years. Fran taught musical theatre and voice as well as adapting popular musicals for children including premier workshops for the stage of “Lemonade Mouth”, “Teen Beach Movie” and “Grease Meets Star Wars.” Fran assistant directed and vocal coached The Adderley School Choir for their performance on PBS with Andrea Bocelli this fall. Recent directing credits at local regional high schools and in Los Angeles include Pippin, Hello, Dolly!, Guys and Dolls, Les Miserables and Footloose. Fran is also directing the Winton Club Cabaret to benefit Winchester Hospital January 2016. Fran is a professional singer/songwriter and musical theatre actress performing in the Boston and LA scenes. You can find her original music at franbetlyon.bandcamp.com. Favorite musical theatre roles in Boston include Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Amy in Company, Carla in NINE, Woman 2 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change with Arlington Friends of the Drama (DASH award) and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Fran holds a BA from The Pennsylvania State University in Religion and Theatre, and has been studying singing and vocal performance for over 20 years.

Katie Brobst

Originally from Allentown, PA, Katie earned her B.A. in Musical Theatre from American University and has performed professionally in children’s theatre, regional theatre, tours, and on cruise ships. She earned her M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College and is currently the Theatre Teacher & Director at Canton High School. Locally, she has taught Dance and Drama in Cambridge, Boston, and Stoneham as well. Past directing and choreography credits include "Epic Proportions", "Hairspray", "Little Women", "Alice in Wonderland", “Legally Blonde”, “The Jungle Book”, “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”, and “Dog Sees God". She absolutely loves working with children of all ages and is so happy to be a part of the WCT family!

Tyler Catanella

unnamedTYLER CATANELLA is a proud graduate of the Theatre Education & Acting departments at Emerson College, and the Artistic Director of Paradise Lost: A Movement Collective. Tyler is a past recipient of the Emerging Choreographer’s Award from Green Street Studios, where his works "Nostalgia" and "Every Thursday Night" have been produced and performed. His work has also been shown at Jose Mateo’s Dance for World Community, Third Life Choreographer's Series, Grant Jacoby & Dancers, ArtBeat, NACHMO Boston, Calamity Dance Co. and Luminarium Dance Company’s annual 24-Hour ChoreoFest. Paradise Lost recently mounted their second solo repertory show Replay this past March at the Multicultural Arts Center. Tyler also takes part in composing and performing all of the company's original music in collaboration with musicians all over the country. The heart of Tyler's work lies in his training and practice in theatre education. He currently directs, choreographs and teaches several K-12 programs with Watertown Children's Theatre. Tyler additionally remains an active performer within the Boston theatre scene. Recent performance credits include: Dance Captain and Vocalist in "The Shakespearean Jazz Show" (ArtsEmerson/New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Jonathan in the world premiere of "Academy Fight Song" (Centastage), Duke Orsino in "SexyBack [Or What You Will]" (toUch Performance Art, A.R.T's Oberon) and a Guest Artist with Luminarium Dance.

Hali Cohen

Hali is a Florida native whose love of theatre predates her ability to walk. A once-prodigious childhood actress, she has known many a children's theatre production, growing up to direct with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, The Performance Project, and Actor's Performing Arts. Since her move up to the Boston area, she earned a degree and license in Middle and Secondary Education, and is now pursuing a M.Ed. in Community Arts at Lesley University. She teaches playbuilding through texts at the American Repertory Theater, where she has also co-facilitated nonprofit summer programming partnerships. Hali is super pumped to work with WCT!

Susan Davies

SusanDaviesSusan Davies, soprano, is thrilled to join the WCT community as a private vocal instructor. A regular performer in the Boston and Metrowest area, Susan has strong classical, choral, and musical theater backgrounds. After graduating summa cum laude from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, she moved to Vienna, Austria, where she studied voice and taught at an English-speaking music school. In addition to maintaining a private voice studio, Susan teaches early childhood music classes and currently serves as Junior Choir Director at West Concord Union Church. Most recently, Susan performed the role of Lady Ella with MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players' production of Patience. In October 2015, she gave a series of three solo recitals, featuring music by American composers in a variety of genres. At Ithaca College, Susan sang with the Women's Chorale and Chorus for four years under the direction of Janet Galván. Major works include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Haydn's Creation. Her most recent voice teachers include Sara Bielanski, Jennifer Davison, and Dawn Pierce. Previously, she studied piano for five years with Marilyn Roth, Piano Chair of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. In her free time, Susan enjoys writing historical fiction, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Molly Gilbert

Molly Gilbert is a Theatre Artist, Teaching Artist, and Community Activist. Molly received her BA in Theatre Arts from the University of San Diego and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she both taught and performed. She moved to Boston in 2013, and received a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College of Boston. She is a Core Artist with Open Theatre Project, and teaches with Somerville Public Schools, Umbrella Community Arts Center, and Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Molly also recently received a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts and is thrilled to be working on her project entitled, “Humanity Not Statistics: Leadership Through Theatre.”

Allison Honea

allisonhoneaAllison Honea is a choreographer, director, performer, and teaching artist originally from Georgia. She has been studying dance and theatre since the age of three and was a company member of the Northeast Atlanta Ballet. She holds a Master of Arts from Emerson College, where she focused on the use of theatre and dance for social change, and a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Education from Columbus State University. Allison has taught students of all ages, most recently at Stoneham Theatre, Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, Onstage Dance Company, and Cambridge Public Schools.

Rebecca Marsh

profile 1Becky is excited to be back at Watertown Children's Theatre again! Last season she designed the lights for Annie Jr. and mentored CYC lighting students. Other recent designs include Living Together (The Winnipesaukee Playhouse), Blinders (Flat Earth Theatre), and Goodnight Desdemona (Wellesley Repertory Theatre). Becky is a freelance lighting designer and technician based out of Boston. Her work has been seen throughout New England and occasionally further afield. She has designed for Wellesley Repertory Theatre, Wellesley College Theater, Watertown Children's Theatre, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, LSU Opera, Flat Earth Theatre, Suffolk University, UMass Lowell, Concord Academy, Brookwood School, Riverside Theatre Works, The Tara Little Dance School, Terpsicore Dance, and New Edge Entertainment. www.beckymarshdesign.com

Allie Meek

HeadshotAllie Meek has been an independent actor, director, theatre educator and teaching artist for the past 6 years, first in her native Rhode Island and now in Boston. Allie taught the "Shakespeare Slam!" class this summer at Watertown Children's Theatre and is happy to be back teaching a couple of classes along with the "Theatre for Social Change" intensive this Fall. She is currently the Music Theatre Program Director for the North End Music and Performing Arts Center. Allie is a 2012 graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she earned her Bachelor's degree in English and Theatre. This past May, Allie received her Master's Degree from Emerson College in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. Her studies ranged from Shakespeare education, theatre for social change, theatre education outreach, curriculum design and program design.Allie completed her practicum at the Boston Arts Academy in the Theatre Arts Department in the Fall of 2015. She has taught theatre at the Advent School, Barrington Arts Alive!, Barrington Enrichment Summer Theatre, the Wilbury Theatre Group and All Children's Theatre in Rhode Island. As an actor and director, Allie has worked at various theatres throughout RI and Boston such as the Hub Theatre Company of Boston, the Wilbury Theatre Group, Barker Playhouse, Epic Theatre Company, Mixed Magic Theatre, and the Contemporary Theater Company. She was accepted as 1 of 11 international students to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Schools' Masters in Acting Program, though her path led her to pursue graduate studies at Emerson instead!

Asako Nagashima

IMG_1177Asako has a Masters Degree in Music, Major in Piano Performance from New England Conservatory of Music and a Bachelors Degree in Music, Musicology and Piano Performance from Osaka University of The Arts. She studied with Randy Hodgkinson, 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 of ABC (Asahi Broadcasting Corporation)at Osaka Symphony Hall, which was broadcast, and The Osaka New Artist Concert at Piloti Hall. She performed as a special guest in summer 2015 & 2016 at Royal Horse in Osaka, and has performed Jazz, Classical and collaborated with a Gospel Choir Group and in a duo with another artist in Japan. Asako created the fashion show music for Japan festival Boston in 2016. Asako has been an accompanist for choruses at Hosmer, Lowell, and Cunniff Elementary Schools in Watertown and musicals for Watertown Children's theater and for many vocalists and strings players. She is an active Private Piano teacher for many years. WCT Musical Director for Seussical, Annie Jr., The Music Man Jr., Reigning Cats and Dogs, Grease School Version, The Pirates of Penzance, How to Eat like a Child, Dr. Doolittle, Disney's Aladdin Jr., The Hobbit, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Oliver, Damn Yankees, 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, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Junior Players Music Director for Hats Off!, Moving Center Stage, The Music Man, Pirates of Penzance, Annie Warbucks, and Fiddler on the Roof.

Evan Northrup

Evan is a magic creator and performer originally from Salem, MA. Beginning his performance career as a street performer, he traveled through Europe learning his skills and, upon his return, brought his unique style indoors. He has studied under masters in Las Vegas, and is constantly searching for new sources of magical inspiration. From designing illusions for theatrical productions to performing for companies and organizations around the country, Evan always puts his modern spin on some classics of magic.

Megan Otteson

Megan, or MO as most WCT folk know her, is excited to be teaching the A for Atrium Day drama workshop this year. She's taught this workshop for the past two years and is excited to teach it again. MO is currently a grad student at Lesley University pursuing her M.Ed in Elementary Education and Specialist Teacher of Reading. When she isn't attending classes for grad school she works as an Instructional Assistant at the Watertown Public School Early Steps Preschool and as a Graduate Assistant at the Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative. In her spare time she can typically be found doing homework for grad school, taking a well deserved nap, or playing video games. MO is happy to be working for WCT again for this workshop at Atrium and is happy to remain a part of the WCT family.

Catherine Papayannopoulos

FullSizeRender-25Catherine is thrilled to be part of the WCT team as an Assistant Stage Manager. A current junior at Watertown High School, Catherine has participated at WCT both on and off stage since second grade. She has interned for Main Stage productions, Black Box productions, Page To Stage, Junior Players, and several Summer Programs. Outside of WCT, Catherine loves traveling and has had the opportunity to visit several countries in Europe as well as Canada and Costa Rica, and she hopes to expand that list very soon!

Ethan Selby

Originally from Peterborough, NH, Ethan earned his B.A. in Film & Theatre from Keene State College and has performed professionally in children’s theatre and regional theatre for over ten years. He has completed improv classes at Improv Boston & Improv Asylum as well as comedy sketch writing classes at IA. Locally, he has taught Theatre and Improv in Afterschool Programs in Somerville and Cambridge. He has performed with the IB Family Show, as well as other various sketch and improv shows at IB and IA. Currently he is on the major league team of ComedySportz Boston. He absolutely loves working with children of all ages and is so happy to be a part of the WCT family!

Kai Tshikosi

Kai is a Boston-based Teaching Artist, Actor, and Fight Choreographer who grew up in Somerville and Maryland. He earned his BA from Emerson College in Acting and Stage Combat, and is a certified Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. He is incredibly excited to ring in the new year with slaps and organized mayhem!

Karen Vaughan

kvaughan-headshot-outdoor-landscapeKaren is a Theatre Educator who spent half the first half of her childhood in Georgia and the second half on the South Shore. She has taught and directed students of all ages through companies in Hong Kong, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Theatre Education at Columbus State University. She is looking forward to her first season teaching with Watertown Children’s Theater!

WCT Council

Chair Jeannette Belcher-Schepis
Secretary Areti Fotis
Founding Artistic Director Dinah Lane

Madolyn Allison
Lisa Gabel
Stephanie Hackett
Louise Harrison Lepera
Leigh McCarthy
Michelle Munroe
Nic Pepe
Alison Roberts
Karen Young
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