Director of Education
Dedicated to youth development and arts education, Kati has guided Village Theatre’s youth education program for 15 years, reaching over 54,000 young people, families, and teachers throughout the region annually. A northwest native, Kati grew up in Bellevue and quickly found a passion for the arts. She directed her first production at 12 years old at Highland Jr. High in Bellevue. At Interlake High School, she played her favorite roles as Nellie in South Pacific and the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, and soon thereafter attended Western Washington University. There she studied theatre through the Actors Intensive program, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, with an emphasis in theatre and education. From there, Kati then enjoyed a 10 year career in communications and marketing, before her next move was made clear as she witnessed the positive impact of theatre education on her two young children. In 1996, Kati founded SKY Theatre in Snohomish County. Two years later she joined Village Theatre and has had the distinct honor of working with thousands of young people teaching KIDSTAGE classes, Pied Piper workshops in schools, and directing such musicals as Peter Pan, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Suzie Cameron Bixler
Issaquah KIDSTAGE Programs Manager
Suzie Bixler enthusiastically joined Village Theatre in 2003, days after leaving high tech corporate life to follow her lifetime passion of working in a theatre. Ms. Bixler has directed The Little Mermaid Jr., Seussical Jr., 13, High School Musical, The Secret Garden, Les Misérables, and the 2005 Last Exit for KIDSTAGE. In her twelve-year tenure as the KIDSTAGE Programs Manager she has produced over fifty shows for KIDSTAGE including several original musicals. Ms. Bixler has a B.A. in theatre arts from Western Washington University with concentrations in both directing and acting. She has performed at Intiman, Seattle Children's Theatre, Renton Civic, and the late Pioneer Square Theatre. Her directing credits include Crimes of the Heart, Steel Magnolias, A Shayna Maidel, Royal Gambit, The Death of Bessie Smith, and The Firebugs. Ms. Bixler also was in the 1985 Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of Bye, Bye, Birdie.
Pied Piper Manager
Erica Weir is in her tenth year as an instructor with KIDSTAGE. She has also worked as an Administrative Assistant, Production Assistant, Props Master, and Production Coordinator for KIDSTAGE productions, is a former preschool teacher, and mother of three kids ages six, 11, and 15. She is excited to have the opportunity to use her background in music and the arts and her education and experience in early childhood to act as a positive role model in children's lives while teaching kids about theatre arts.
Janet Cole Hamilton
Education and Outreach Manager
Janet Cole Hamilton rejoined educational theatre after a nine year sidetrack in corporate America. Armed with a BA in theatre arts from Western Washington University and a Washington State initial teaching certificate in drama through the University of Washington, Janet enjoys the challenges of each new project within the vast Village Theatre Youth Education program. Janet has worked as a theatre artist throughout the Puget Sound region with Arts West, Civic Light Opera, Renton Civic, Driftwood Players, and many others. Directing credits include Romeo and Juliet, Penguin's South Pole Christmas, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Sylvia, The Foreigner, The Woman in Black, and A Midsummer Night's Dream for KIDSTAGE. Personal motto: duck for luck.
Everett Youth Education Coordinator
Angela Linder is entering her sixth season with Village Theatre. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, and enjoys bringing her "grammar guru" skills to the Youth Education department. She has a background working in the preschool environment, as well as in an office environment, and loves the unique blend of creativity, energy, laughter and collaboration that surround her in the Youth Education office.
KIDSTAGE Production Manager - Everett
Aaron loves how he gets the opportunity to collaborate with so many passionate young artists and watch firsthand their growth as performers and as people. He was a KIDSTAGE kid and stage manager before joining the Village Theatre family, working at theatres including KIDSTAGE Everett, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Mount Baker Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Kennedy Center, and his alma mater of Western Washington University. He gives his deepest thanks to his family, friends, and mentors for their constant love and support as he valiantly attempts to put his theatre degree to good use. His personal motto: “I can MacGyver that!”
Kayla Walker is an actress, dialect coach, and theater educator. She is a proud graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, holding a BFA in Theater and Original Works. Recently, you may have seen her work in Julius Caesar with Seattle Shakespeare Company. As a coach and actress, she has worked with A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), Washington Ensemble Theatre (WET), Theater Schmeater, Taproot Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, and Village Theatre. This fall, you can see her work as an actress in I Am Of Ireland with Book-It Repertory Theatre, or her dialect coaching on Mary Poppins with Village. She is thrilled to be back for a second year to teach at KIDSTAGE. Most of all, she looks forward to directing the premiere KIDSTAGE Shakespeare of As You Like It, running in rep with Like You Like It the musical, opening in January.
KIDSTAGE Registrar and Coordinator, Issaquah
Ruthann Tacher is very happy to be part of the KIDSTAGE team. Ruthann received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts from Colorado State University and also has a teaching credential. She has worked in both the non-profit world as well as in Education, and is thrilled to be able to work for Village Theatre! In her spare time she loves supporting the Seahawks!