Casey Hayes-Deats is a West Virginia native who spent more than a decade in New York City before making Washington, DC, her home. She is drawn to theater for its capacity to widen our individual and collective understanding of our selves, our communities, and our world. After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in Anthropology, Casey went on to study acting at the Stella Adler Studio and earn a master’s degree in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York. Her master’s thesis resulted in an action research project that developed a methodology for collaboratively creating and performing theater with seniors with dementia using elements of TimeSlips storytelling, moment work devising (used by Tectonic Theater Project), and Theatre of the Oppressed models.
She co-founded The Cake Shop Theater to create professional opportunities for early-career artists, which led her to produce and perform in the New York Premiere of Martin Crimp’s translation of Pains of Youth. She has led professional development workshops for theater educators in Rwanda, collaborated with men incarcerated at Rikers Island, and facilitated workshops in Arlington public schools for Signature Theatre. As an administrator, she has served as the assistant to the executive director of The Chocolate Factory Theater in Queens, NY, the manager of youth education programs at BAX| Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the general manager of the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. Casey is currently pursuing an MBA at George Washington University to develop her organizational leadership skills. She is also a mom to one human and one canine.