MEET THE CAST
Listed in alphabetical order.
YTN Administrative Assistant
The Ghost of A Christmas Present
Alyssa (she/her) has been with YTN since September 2021, but her experience with teaching and theatre goes way back. A fellow performer at heart, past roles include Amneris in Aida, Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde, Meg in Little Women, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. Off the stage Alyssa is a freelance baker who enjoys podcasts, British comedies, and snuggles with her corgi Clarice.
AMANDA LEE WILLAIMS
Former Education Director
In her 8 years as Education Director at YTN, Amanda directed shows, like Annie and Beauty and the Beast, created and taught classes for all ages and brought theatre to schools throughout the Puget Sound. Amanda is currently the Director of Family Programming at Dad's Garage Theatre as well as a company member. She is also a counselor with Positive Impact Health Centers. She lives in Decatur, GA with her family - Brad, Pat, Marlowe, Parker and Baxter.
Class of 2018 | YTN Stage Manager
Mrs. Bob Cratchit
Annika started taking classes at YTN when she was four years old, and in her 14 years there she was a part of almost 50 shows as an actor and student stage manager. Currently, she is in her senior year at Carnegie Mellon University where she is pursuing a BFA in Stage and Production Management.
YTN Facilities Manager
Brian Jackson has been with Youth Theatre Northwest for 20 years. He has done Set Design at YTN for numerous shows, including Shrek the Musical 2014/2020, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast at Langston Hughes, Charlotte’s Web, and The Sky Below. He’s also has worked with; Seattle Scenic Studios, The Group Theatre, On the Boards, The Bathhouse Theatre, Consolidated Work's "1448", Northwest Actors Studio, Theatre Schmeater, and Seattle Preparatory High School. He is grateful to be a part of the amazing YTN staff for all these years.
Class of 2013
Hum-Car the Hum Bug
YTN Program Director
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Open
Cory's last acting role was being typecast as Winnie the Pooh in House at Pooh Corner in 2009. It was...bleak. Ever since, Cory has enjoyed behind the scenes wizardry as a director, stage manager, and prop artisan. Cory enjoys making LEGO creations, painting, and dancing to musicals while traipsing about with a robe (bath, chiffon, or Jedi.)
Daniel is a playwright who spent nine years growing up at YTN (Godspell, Little Shop, Avenue Q, Chaos Theory improv) before studying physics and theatre at WWU. His play Good Heavens! won the Kennedy Center’s National Undergraduate Playwriting Award. He is half the theatrical duo Hanner & Repp. Website: danielrepp.com.
Current Teaching Artist
David is excited to join the YTN family. He has taught camps for YTN such as Annie and Train to Hogwarts. David has acted in shows such as Charlotte's Web, Romeo and Juliet, and To Kill a Mockingbird. When not
acting you can find David munching on french fries.
Class of 2007 | Sound Designer
Starting in 1998, Poppe had the pleasure of acting in 25+ YTN shows. Also tech and orchestra. Notably: The Music Man, The Nightingale, Pigs!, and Peter Pan. After graduating, they participated in further YTN shows as a sound designer (including War of the Worlds). They now live in Berlin, write and produce music, and dj.
Class of 2019
Gwen was a YTN student for 7 years and her favorite roles were Ursula (The Little Mermaid) and Powell (Men on Boats). She is currently studying Theatre at Western Washington University. When she isn't onstage, Gwen enjoys playing video games or lounging with her cat, Hercules.
Class of 2003
First YTN experience, seeing Drum Song (1992). First YTN show: Camp Terrorwood (1993) Favorite YTN memories: Summer Stocks (1996-2001). Last seen at YTN: choreographing Little Mermaid (2014). Now she’s a Mom, a barre3 instructor and she develops virtual trainings.
Class of 2002 | Former Development Director
Jessi's favorite performances as an actor at YTN were Little Red in Into the Woods and Jan in Grease. Jessi joined the YTN staff in 2012 as the Business Manager and became the Development Director in 2014. Her favorite moments as a staff member were presenting a giant check at the YTN Gala and securing the grant to bring two Kamishibai artists to YTN. Jessi is currently the Family Programs Manager at the JCC and in her free time she loves to paddle board, crossfit, bake bread, and see as much theatre as possible.
JOHN GORDON HILL
YTN Guardian Angel
Hum-Joh the Hum Bug
John Gordon Hill is a producer, director, cinematographer, composer, and educator. He has made shows for Fox, Discovery, PBS, CBS, A&E, Lifetime, Microsoft, Vulcan, Intel, Philips, Kenworth, Nintendo, and hundreds of commercials. He’s directed at Youth Theatre Northwest and founded the Mercer Island Center for the Arts. He’s married to Ellen and is grandfather to Felix, Toby, Jasper, George, and Eleanor. And his daughter is the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Former Executive Education Director
This year’s YTN projects include writing The Thing About Unicorns, A YTN Christmas Carol, and making Mimi’s lunches. Kate’s cozy mystery A Steamy Cup of Murder, (PNWA 2021 Literary contests finalist) will appear in an upcoming collection along with Martina Dalton. Visit www.kateswensonwriter.com for fiction or www.pinkllamadrama.com for plays.
Class of 2009 | YTN Development Director
Katie is excited to be back on the YTN (virtual) stage for another festive fundraiser! When she's not trying to raise those funds, Katie enjoys hosting trivia nights, donning ball gowns, and blasting Christmas music in the office far earlier than is seasonally appropriate. Thank you so much for supporting YTN!
Class of 2009 | Current Teaching Artist & YTN Marketing Associate
Hum-Kim the Hum Bug
To say that YTN shaped Kim’s life is an understatement. Her time at YTN led to her getting her BFA in Performance and a PostGrad degree in Classical Acting. She loves it so much that she continues to work there as a director and teaching artist!
Former Executive Director
Manny Cawaling is an actor but most notably, the former Executive Director for Youth Theatre Northwest. After 10 years of raising money and the profile of YTN, he misses the daily work of ensuring children "find their light." YTN is a special treasure on Mercer Island and within King County. So, he's donating $500 at this fundraiser. Care to match him?
Class of 2010
Niece by Marriage
In the days of YTN, Mari was best known for her mom roles in productions such as Pigs the Rock Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, and Fiddler on The Roof. Nowadays, you can find her facilitating employee experiences at her company, freelancing in photography, and trying to stop her dog Reggie from barking at everything through the window.
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Megan started YTN classes in kindergarten and did plays at YTN from 3rd grade until she graduated high school. Favorite roles included: Toad in Wind in the Willows and Shere Khan in Jungle Books. Megan is now an actor and writer based in Brooklyn. She was nominated for a Drama Desk for her portrayal of David Lee Roth in 2019. For more info check out: www.meganhill.net
YTN Program Associate
Mike, the Boy
Mike Lion first graced the stage as the Dancing Telephone in the 6th grade school play. He didn't have any lines, but people said he stole the show. Mike is currently directing YTN’s Radio Drama, Hitchcock and Superman. He will also be busy with Dacha Theatre for various online performances (dachatheatre.com).
YTN Executive Artistic Director
Mimi joined YTN in 1999, became the Artistic Director in 2003, and got the word "Executive" in front of it in 2018. She made her vertical climb at YTN from being literally the "last man standing" after every major crisis. Mimi thanks everyone who came to play. For more info check out: mimikatano.com.
PHILIP G. SMITH
Spouse/YTN Marketing Copywriter
Hum-Phi the Hum Bug
Philip has filled various support roles at YTN since 1999: pre-show announcer; MC; fight choreographer; pit musician; carpenter; errand boy; garbage man; welder; and copywriter. Curiously, this is the exact amount of time that his wife, Mimi, has been at YTN. He is delighted to be part of this production with his extended YTN family.
Class of 2012
Hum-Sa the Hum Bug
In her 11 years at YTN, Sarah remembers being SHY in Once Upon A Mattress and dancing in Pippin and Animal Farm. Sarah went on to write animation and is currently a Story Editor at DreamWorks. When she’s not busy writing she’s watching a movie or playing cards with her new hubby. She also has a cat named Baby Moses.
YTN Managing Director
Musical Guest/New Mom
Stephanie Bull first graced the stage in second grade as Santa Anna in the play Texas Revolution. She was the only actor who memorized her lines. Currently in CovidWorld, Stephanie enjoys crocheting all the things while sporting yoga pants, messy buns, and subsisting on coffee, coffee, coffee. For the holidays, she she will be spending time with husband, Ben, and newborn, Scarlett.
Class of 2018
Sophie spent 10 years of her childhood at YTN. Special shoutout to Frog and Toad (2012?) and The 25th Annual… (2018). Most recently Sophie has helped launch Erica Schmidt's new adaptation of HAMLET through Seattle Repertory Theatre's Plays in Process Initiative. Sophie recently adopted a cat (welcome Benny!) and now spends most of her time reading and snuggling with him! www.sophiekelly-hedrick.com
Class of 2020
Alumni | Stage Manager | Choreographer
Sydney has a BFA in Performance Production from Cornish College of the Arts where they graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Stage Management concentration. Recently, Sydney moved to Philadelphia with their cat, snake, and wonderful partner.
Class of 2013
Younger Scrooge/Young Scrooge/Older Young Scrooge
Some of Tina's best memories from her childhood involve YTN. She particularly enjoyed being a part of Urinetown and the student-directed cabaret. Tina is currently living in Bellevue, working as a commercial interior designer. In her free time she can be found horseback riding, and playing with her dog, Azuki.