CASSANDRA Masterson is right at home under the glare of stage lights.
The Albury woman said theatre had turned her life around when she was just 15 and homeless.
"I was looking at a life of addiction and it (HighWater) allowed me to break the cycle; it was critical," she said.
"It made me feel safe and gave me a safe place; it was my second home."
Somebody's Daughter Theatre and HighWater Theatre operated on Gateway Island in Wodonga from 2001 to 2016.
Their ground-breaking arts-led program for young people not in mainstream education fostered life-changing outcomes for hundreds of students.
Now a mother of two, Masterson has furthered her studies while performing and mentoring for HighWater.
On Thursday night Masterson is back in the spotlight in Wodonga in a new play, Unapologetically Myself, a work by Nobody's Fool Theatre, the Geelong progeny of Somebody's Daughter Theatre.
Co-director Maud Clark said the play focused on various dilemmas around identity.
"It features young people exploring their sense of who they are - their sexual identity, their cultural identity and the anxiety that often accompanies this search," she said.
"The scenario is a diverse group of young people. What binds them together is their search for connection - a place where they can belong without judgement."
IN OTHER NEWS:
A cast of 16 including 12 youth deliver a beautifully-scripted and highly-entertaining dramatic experience.
It has sharp humour, original music and songs and pathos - all delivered with loads of youthful energy.
Geelong-based cast member Luke Wallace relished the opportunity to work on this show.
"It's about being yourself and finding your real identity," he said.
Unapologetically Myself will be officially launched by Victoria's Gender and Equality Commissioner, Rowena Allen, on Thursday at 7pm at the Wodonga Senior Secondary College Performing Arts Centre.
Tickets are free and available at the door.
Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here