The Sehome High School Drama Department is a program built on the pillars of respect, commitment and community. Students perform a variety of styles of theater including modern, classical and musical productions. The program focuses heavily on acting as an artform and celebrates a tradition of storytellers. The program is permeated by a quirky, do-it-yourself attitude and welcomes all levels of experience.
At Sehome, our history is an essential part of who we are as a community. Check out our list of past productions dating all the way back to the 1960s. We always love to hear from our alumni so feel free to share your own photos or stories.
In 2019 Sehome Drama said farewell to the beloved Little Theater where over 60 years of performances had been brought to life. The bittersweet goodbye was still exciting though as Sehome High School opened a brand-new school building (thank you, citizens of Bellingham!) The architect team collaborated extensively with the performing arts staff, community members, and students in order to capture the spirit of Sehome and the Bellingham community. Although we loved our Little Theater, the Sehome Drama community is so excited to create new memories and traditions in the new theater and performing arts wing in the new school building.
The performing arts wing at Sehome includes an orchestra rehearsal room, a choir rehearsal room, eight student music practice rooms, a music library, student instrument lockers, a drama classroom, two backstage dressing rooms, a scene shop with a load-in garage door leading onto the stage, and the stage space itself. The auditorium was designed to invoke the beauty of the natural forest that surrounds Sehome. Audiences will note our proscenium arch, which features a natural wood finish, and the green, brown and gold accents.
The stage space features state-of-the-art technical elements, and includes a 3/4 fly system, orchestra pit, catwalk system, spotlight booths, and two control booth positions. The theater seats just under 400 audience members on two levels of seating. For rental information, please contact the Bellingham District Office.
MEET THE DIRECTOR.
Kandace McGowan has been working with youth for more than 10 years in traditional classrooms, summer camps, community centers, and after-school programs. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a B.S. in Psychology (with an emphasis in Child Development) from Santa Clara University. After college she spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with the homeless population in Seattle. Before coming to Sehome, she completed a Master in Teaching in Secondary Education from The Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. McGowan took on the role of Director at Sehome High School in 2014.
Orignally from San Jose, California, McGowan spent most of her childhood writing short stories and reading Harry Potter aloud (quite dramatically!) to anyone who would listen. She was first introduced to the magic of theater at Presentation High School with her first role of "Fangirl 3" in Singing in the Rain. She was hooked!
As a first-generation college student, she truly understands the transformative power of education, especially theater and literature. McGowan works to create authentic, engaging experiences for her students that connect to their everyday lives.
Laura McGowan has led the technical theater program at Sehome for the past six years with the goal of making technical theater accessible for all students. She teaches the Technical Theater class, manages events in the theater space, runs the stage crew, and works hard to keep everyone safe in a working theater.
Some might say Laura got her big break in theater as the dog in her kindergarten play of Cinderella, but she truly discovered theater working as the Sound Tech for Once On This Island at her high school when she was a sophomore. She fell in love with tech theater’s blend of technology and storytelling and has been hooked ever since.
Laura is a member of the United States Institute of Theater Technicians (USITT), Women In Tech, and the Educational Theater Association (ETA). She trained at Western Washington University, and attended The Broadway Teacher’s Workshop in NYC.
Laura urges you to “join the dark side” and check out Tech Theater at Sehome. She’ll probably tell you a Dad joke while you’re there.