Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre is a Madison, WI community theater company that produces plays and performances written and directed by women. Men and women are welcome to participate in this all-volunteer organization. Our goal is to produce work that enhances women’s artistic, social, and personal well-being and to entertain and educate participants and audiences in all aspects of theater, including its literature.
Who is Kathie Rasmussen?
Kathie Rasmussen [Katherine Mary Rasmussen], 1949-2007, was a poet and playwright active in social justice issues.
Born July 10, 1949, the daughter of Gerald and Maureen (Connelly) Rasmussen in Denver, CO, her family moved often throughout her childhood. She graduated from Daugherty High School in Albany, Georgia in 1967. Living in both the north and south during turbulent periods of American history spurred her appreciation for many different cultures and walks of life.
She moved to Madison to attend the University and decided to make it her lifelong home. Kathie worked for the State of Wisconsin for more than 35 years and became an avid fan of UW Women’s basketball.
A keen wit with a sharp analytic mind, Kathie’s passion was writing. She was equally adept at plays, poetry, short stories, newspaper articles, and radio scripts. She wrote for Isthmus, The Madison Insurgent, Feminist Voices, and WORT-FM, among others. A voracious reader and researcher, she especially loved history, novels by women authors, and documentary movies.
Throughout her life she willingly gave of her time to many varied causes and interests including Women’s Transport, WORT-FM Community Radio, Mercury Players Theatre, and Broom Street Theater. A supporter of reproductive choice, she once joined an anti-choice organization to gather intelligence.
Her play, Dancing with My Other, was produced by Broom Street Theater in 2008. Kathie worked onstage and behind the scenes for Mercury Players, Broom Street Theater, Positive Aging Theater, The Fabulous Crone Show, and others. At Broom Street, she played a lead in Heather Renken’s play, Oh God There’s Baptists at the Door, and also appeared in John Sable’s Sarah’s Spirits, and Brian Wild’s A Very Bitchy Christmas.
Former Artistic Director of Mercury Players, Marcy Weiland, wrote, “At Mercury, she was in a very memorable Blitz, and was also stage manager for Chesapeake and prop designer for Stonewall Jackson’s House, among other things. Her last performance was a dramatic piece, ‘The Tablecloth,’ which she wrote for The Fabulous Crone Show. It was staggeringly powerful. The writing was so good that many in the audiences thought (mistakenly) that it was autobiographical. She was a natural dramaturg, and her intelligence gave her a quiet authority and earned her a great deal of respect.”
She died at age 57 on June 9, 2007 in her home. Survivors include her mother Maureen Rasmussen; three brothers, William, Stephen, and David; six sisters, Ann Miles, Paula Rasmussen, Margaret Rasmussen, Mary Patricia (Jeff) Jacobsen, Theresa Rasmussen, and Eileen Combs; and eight nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Gerald in 1976 and one sister, Mary Josephine.
Board of Directors
Jan Levine Thal (Artistic Director)
Nichole Young Clarke (President)
Andrew MIller-Rhoads (Vice President)
Mary Ambrosavage (Secretary)
Cathy Rasmussen (Treasurer)
Emma Staudenmaier (Technical Director)
Wrong For The Part