Our Mission

North Texas Performing Arts is dedicated to developing the character of youth through performing arts education and family entertainment.

North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment.  NTPA’s vision is to light the passion of the performing arts for our youth, and ensure all youth have the opportunity for the profound experience of taking the stage and having their voices heard.

NTPA’s roots go back to 1991 with the creation of the Plano Children’s Theatre founded by Sara Egelston Akers, and upon that foundation the North Texas Performing Arts was created in 2015. NTPA offers classes, camps, and productions in Collin, Dallas, and Tarrant Counties for young people ages 5-18, and adult programming through its NTPA Repertory Theatre.

cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Our educational philosophy is based on a leadership model we call the Ten Characters. We promote the life skills of Teamwork, Leadership, Responsibility, Respect, Self-Confidence, Integrity, Discipline, Gratitude, Positive Attitude, and, above all, to Love One Another to guide our youth on a path to be become better citizens within their communities and we employ the power of literature, music, dance and drama to introduce young people to life’s lessons and experiences within the safety of our walls, before they experience it in the real world.

NTPA is comprised of five youth theatre troupes in Dallas, Fairview, Frisco, Plano, and Southlake, and offers specialty troupes including NTPA Academy offering an innovative academic learning environment for grades 6-12, with an enhanced focus on the fine arts; NTPA Studios, film production program; NTPA Starcatchers, therapeutic arts troupe for individuals with disabilities; NTPA Deaf Theatre; and NTPA Repertory Theatre, its adult theatre company. Each of these theatre troupes has its own Board of Directors providing advise counsel and support.

Oversight and leadership of North Texas Performing Arts is provided by a diverse 24-member volunteer Governing Board of Directors made up of doctors, lawyers, educational and other professionals. NTPA’s 100+ Board Members across its family of theatres volunteer thousands of hours in support of the performing arts and youth arts education. Since 2015 the organization’s operations have been managed by Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh who serves NTPA full-time on a pro-bono basis.

North Texas Performing Arts is the largest youth-dedicated theatre troupe in the country. NTPA provides a safe space for those from all walks of life and with all levels of ability to experience the magic of the theater, both onstage as performers and engaged as audience members and volunteers.

Each year, NTPA “Develops the Characters” of over 11,000 young people in over 200 major productions and over 1,400 performances on over a dozen stages across North Texas each year.


North Texas Performing Arts is committed to providing a safe, secure and accepting environment in all of its programs and facilities, and works tirelessly to provide a “safe space” for its students inside its walls.  NTPA Directors undergo ongoing safety and security training.  Adult volunteers and adult actors working with children are required to undergo mandatory criminal background checks at least every two years, maintain a volunteer screening database, and are issued photo identification cards to enable them to work in NTPA facilities. The NTPA Director Code of Conduct outlines a strict expectation for interactions with minors. The NTPA Student Code of Conduct outlines strict guidelines against bullying, harassment and other abuse and a Three Strike disciplinary policy.  NTPA acts as a Mandatory Reporter to law enforcement when there is suspected abuse of a minor.

NTPA promotes reporting through its “See Something – Say Something” program.  Any student or patron who believes that he or she has observed or has experienced improper or inappropriate or prohibited behaviors or witnesses conduct in violation of NTPA policies can report these immediately to an instructor, Director, Managing Director or report via confidential phonemail at 469-498-2003, via email at BESAFE@ntpa.org or confidentially online at BESAFE.  A parent/guardian who has a complaint alleging prohibited conduct may also request a conference with a member of the NTPA Management Team or report via the BeSafe communication process.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

North Texas Performing Arts is committed to acknowledging diversity and promoting equity and inclusion in all programs. The NTPA Governing Board of Directors, Management Boards, and NTPA Staff strive to create performing art spaces that are positive, safe and inclusive regardless of one’s race, creed, gender, religion, orientation, communication differences or abilities. We encourage our families and patrons to exhibit our “Ten Characters” taught at NTPA including integrity, leadership, respect, and more importantly, to love one another.

Learn More About NTPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs


Willow Bend Center of the Arts (Headquarters & Main Operations)
NTPA – Plano
6121 W Park Blvd., Suite B216
Plano, TX 75093

NTPA – Frisco
6500 Preston Road, Suite 101
Frisco, TX 75034

NTPA – Fairview
302 Town Place
Fairview, TX 75069

NTPA – Dallas
12300 Inwood Rd. #112
Dallas, TX 75244

NTPA – Southlake
1101 N Carroll Ave.
Southlake, TX 76092

Learn More About NTPA Facilities


Historical Moments

  • 1991 – Plano Children’s Theatre founded by Sara Egelston Akers and three founding board members: Rebecca Egelston Caso, Dick Anthony, and Lanny Wren.

  • 1992 – Show rehearsals began in the spring with 50 students, growing to 175 by the end of summer.

  • 1994 – Rented rehearsal space at 15th and Custer, produced plays and musicals, classes and camps for children. Space was so tight parents had to wait outside and dance numbers were taught in the parking lot where cars would pull over and watch.

  • 1995 – In cooperation with Plano Parks and Recreation, began offering acting classes for youth with various disabilities.

  • 2006 – Began offering programs in McKinney with funding support from the City of McKinney which became McKinney Youth Theatre.

  • 2007 – Rehearsal space was renovated as a result of generous gifts from UPS, Weingarten Realty and other sponsors.

  • 2011 – Darrell Rodenbaugh appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as Executive Director on a pro bono basis to address management issues and financial challenges endangering the theatre’s survival.  After a year of service, goes on to serve 8 consecutive terms as President of the Board of Directors.

  • 2011 – Creation of the AMP Awards and ACE Program.  Funhouse Theatre & Film is launched.

  • 2011 – First Annual Christmas production of “Scrooge – The Musical.”

  • 2012 – Adopts mission to “Develop the Character of Youth through performing arts education and family entertainment” and Vision to make the performing arts accessible and desired by all.

  • 2013 – Began offering programs in Frisco which became Frisco Youth Theatre and then North Texas Performing Arts – Frisco.

  • 2015 – Board of Directors adopts the “Ten Characters” as a cornerstone of its values and teaching.

  • 2015 – Adopts the “North Texas Performing Arts” organizational name. Introduces the NTPA Governing Board and Management Board structure and the role of the Managing Director.
  • 2015 – Darrell Rodenbaugh appointed Operating Executive overseeing all theatre functions (appointed CEO in 2018).

  • 2016 – Began offering programs in Dallas which became North Texas Performing Arts – Dallas.

  • 2017 – Opened two new facilities to provide more space for educating students than ever before! Fairview Youth Theatre opened at Fairview Town Center, and Willow Bend Center of the Arts opened inside The Shops at Willow Bend.

  • 2017 – Creates the Starcatchers Theatre troupe to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to take the stage through shows and classes and forms the Starcatchers Theatre Management Board.

  • 2017 – Creates the NTPA Repertory Theatre to provide Broadway-quality performances in the ‘burbs and creates Repertory Theatre Management Board.

  • 2018 – Opened North Texas Performing Arts – Frisco, our first permanent location in the Frisco area!

  • 2018 – Introduced the NTPA Academy Conservatory and opened with 50 full-time students!

  • 2019 – Fundraising efforts reach goals to eliminate debt for development of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts.

  • 2019 – Opened North Texas Performing Arts – Dallas, our first permanent location in the Dallas area!

  • 2020 – Launched a Virtual “Giga-Center” in response to COVID-19 featuring hundreds of virtual classes, the world largest all-ages online talent contest, online rehearsals, virtual summer camps, and online Conservatory certifications!

  • 2021 – Launched NTPA Community Theatre with family-friendly productions featuring casts with both youth and adults and a curriculum of adult training classes.

  • 2021 – Began offering programs in Tarrant County, establishing the fifth NTPA youth theatre location, NTPA – Southlake.

  • 2022 – Launched the NTPA Studios, an educational and experiential film production program for students in grades 5-12.

  • 2022 – Began NTPA Deaf Theatre offering innovative programs for youth and adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Theatre Builds Character

At NTPA, we believe that theatre changes lives. We strive to teach all of our students not only how to act, sing or dance, but also how to be better human beings. Students who participate in our programs will be taught the Ten Characters of North Texas Performing Arts.

  1. Teamwork: Be a team player. Everyone has an important role to play, and every role, large and small is critical to the team’s success.
  2. Leadership: Be a role model for others on and off the stage.
  3. Responsibility: Be accountable for your actions, for delivering on your commitments, and be willing to admit it when things go badly.
  4. Respect: Show respect for others and their gifts. Respect for teachers, parents, and one another, and celebrate our differences.
  5. Self-Confidence: Believe in yourself and your abilities, and communicate like a winner. Know you have a gift to share.
  6. Integrity: Be honest, trustworthy and demonstrate strong moral principles.
  7. Discipline: Stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish, and show obedience to those trying to instruct and guide.
  8. Gratitude: Give thanks and appreciation through words, actions and thought for the many gifts we have been given.
  9. Positive Attitude: Be positive about a wonderful future, and pass along your bright outlook.
  10. Love One Another: Show kindness and patience, and be inclusive and accepting of others and build lasting relationships.

Community Involvement

Because all the world truly is a stage, it makes it that much more important that the world’s players influence the community around them. NTPA maintains a giant footprint in the community and a strong reputation for giving back.

These are just some of the ways we’re making a difference in our community.

  • Giving full-ride scholarships to talented and less privileged children
  • Providing complimentary tickets to charitable organizations, teacher groups, and school fundraising events
  • Offering free programming at local community centers
  • Participating in more than 20 local events and festivals annually, promoting the creative arts


  • NTPA Academy receives 12 nominations in Schmidt and Jones High School Musical Theatre Awards for their production of The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Named “Favorite Local Theatre in DFW” by BroadwayWorld
  • Named “Top Arts Educator in DFW” by Kids Out and About
  • Named “Best Performing Arts Theatre and Classes” by Plano Magazine
  • NTPA Deaf Theatre and Program Director Daymond Sands receive “Arts Educator Award” from Art Centre of Plano
  • NTPA participates in Texas Thespian Festival for first time and all 24 NTPA participants qualify for nationals at the International Thespian Festival.
  • NTPA’s Junior Theatre Festival troupe receives “Outstanding Production Award” and was chosen to showcase two production numbers including the first performance of a brand new JR title.
  • NTPA Academy receives 6 nominations in Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards in first year of qualification
  • NTPA Starcatchers Performer Karen Lamb receives “Art Spark Texas Director’s Commendation Award”
  • Awarded “Significant Contributor to the Arts” at 2022 Frisco Chamber Annual Awards Gala
  • Received perfect scores in Showcase Performance at Junior Theatre Festival and received an “Excellence in Ensemble” award.
  • “All Star Actor Awards” given to students Amanda Reid and Jaeda Lindstrom and “Individual Performance Award” for Amanda Reid at JTF.
  • Named “Best Youth Theatre in Plano” by Plano Magazine
  • Named “Top Arts Educator in DFW” by Kids Out and About
  • NTPA Starcatchers Troupe named “Outstanding Arts Organization” by ArtCentre of Plano
  • Obelisk Award for “2021 Arts Education Organization of the Year” from Business Council for the Arts.
  • “2021 Excellence in Ensemble Award” from Music Theatre International for Seussical JR performance at Junior Theatre Festival (JTF).
  • “2021 All Star Actor” awards to NTPA Actors Amanda Reid and Garrett Stone for their performances in Seussical JR at JTF.
  • “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Founder and Vice President of Community Outreach, Sara Akers, by ArtCentre of Plano.
  • “40 Under 40 Top Young Professionals in Marketing” awarded to Lauren Boykin, Senior Marketing Director, by the Public Relations Society of America Dallas Chapter.
  • Named “Top Arts Educator in DFW” by Kids Out and About
  • North Texas Performing Arts named “Theatre Company of the Decade” in 2020 Broadway World Dallas Regional Awards. NTPA selected for seven other awards including Best Ensemble, Costume Design of the Decade, Dancer of the Decade, Director of a Musical of the Decade, Director of a Play of the Decade, Favorite Social Media, and Original Script of the Decade.
  • “2020 Excellence in Ensemble Award” from Music Theatre International for Once on This Island performance at Junior Theatre Festival (“JTF”) in Sacramento, California.
  • “2020 All Star Actor” awards to NTPA Actress Amanda Reid and Actor Aiden Forbes for their performances in Once on This Island at JTF.
  • “2020 Chita Rivera Column Award” to Repertory actor, Tevin Cates for his performance in Repertory’s West Side Story.
  • NTPA Repertory Theatre receives five (5) Column Award Nominations (DFW-area equivalent to the Tony Awards).
  • “2019 Chita Rivera Column Award” to Repertory actor, Jonathan Hardin for his performance in Repertory’s Rocky Horror
  • NTPA Repertory Theatre receieves ten (10) Column Award Nominations (DFW-area equivalent to the Tony Awards).
  • NTPA named “2019 Non-Profit of the Year” by the Plano ArtCentre at annual “For the Love of Art” Celebration.
  • NTPA Repertory Theatred named “2019 Best Adult Theatre” by Plano Magazine.
  • NTPA named “2019 Best Place for a Theatre Party” by DFW Child Magazine.
  • Named “2018 Best Youth Organization” by Junior League of Collin County Advisory Committee.
  • 2018 Special Award of Recognition to Darrell Rodenbaugh from Plano ArtCentre for his many gifts of time, treasure, and talent to NTPA
  • Awarded “2018 Youth Organization of the Year” by Junior League of Collin County
  • “2016 Athena Award” to Sara Akers from Plano Chamber of Commerce
  • “2016 Arts Leadership Award” to Darrell Rodenbaugh from Business Council of the Arts
  • “2015 Best Playwright in DFW” to Jeff Swearingen by Dallas Observer
  • “2015 Volunteer of the Year” to Board Member Elly Marsh – From For the Love of Art
  • “2015 Top Twenty-Five Women in McKinney” to Sara Akers by McKinney Magazine
  • “2015 Top Ten Women in Collin County” by Neiman Marcus Willow Bend – Honoree Lisa Rodenbaugh
  • “2015 Small Business Volunteer of the Year” to Champion Fire and Security for their gifts of resources and service to NTPA from Junior League Advisory Board
  • “2014 Leadership Award” by the Art Centre of Plano “For the Love of the Arts” for Board President Darrell Rodenbaugh’s Gifts of Service to NTPA


North Texas Performing Arts is dedicated to transparency and accountability. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, NTPA is externally audited. Financial documents from recent years are available for download including Form 990s and full audited financial statements.

Other Documents