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West Seneca Youth Theatre Director Kathy Kogut celebrates 10 years of theater bliss

It’s been ten years since Kathy Kogut was nominated to become the West Seneca Youth Theatre Director, a job that she wouldn’t trade for the world.

It’s been ten years since Kathy Kogut was nominated to become the West Seneca Youth Theatre Director, a job that she wouldn’t trade for the world.

“I have a motto at home from Cinderella and it says one shoe can change your life and that’s what youth theatre did for me,” she said.

Kogut has been a theater mom for as long as she can remember. Her children were always involved in West Seneca Youth Theatre growing up, so when a void needed to be filled for a new director, Kogut was summoned by other theater parents to take over the show.

“I like to joke and say they ambushed me, but I’m so happy they asked me to do this because youth theatre is my life now,” she said.

An architect by day and a costume making, choreographer, show tunes woman by night, Kogut dedicates most of her free time to enriching the lives of children and teens by giving them the gift of the arts. With tears in her eyes, Kogut recalls a time where a student made her feel so very appreciated for all of her hard work.

“She was with me since the beginning and she went on to be a physician’s assistant. She wrote me a card that said, ‘I can’t imagine life without you.’ I’ll never forget that knowing what I do matters to these kids,” she said.

But what makes West Seneca Youth Theatre so special? Is it the fact that it’s one of the only youth theaters locally that brings students together from all over WNY? Or is it the fact that Kogut and her daughter, Candice Kogut, give so much of their time and energy to put a smile on children’s faces.

Perhaps, it’s both.

“We’ve had students come from as far as Grand Island and Springville and I’m so proud to get invited to a lot of graduation parties and stay in touch with so many kids,” said Kogut. “Some kids cry at auditions, but when they can make it through an audition without crying I always jump up and hug the kids on stage.”

From a successful spaghetti dinner that helped raise funds for costumes, props, rights to plays, and more, to a recent fundraiser production and several musicals a year, there’s no denying that being a youth theatre director requires a lot of sweat and tears. But seeing students evolve and come out of their shell is all worth it in Kogut’s eyes.

“Putting the time into an activity they love and watching them blossom has become such an important part of my life now. I’ll never give it up,” she said.

If you would like to check out what West Seneca Youth Theatre is all about, be sure to visit them on Facebook!

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