Sara Akers and Darrell Rodenbaugh stand in front of North Texas Performing Arts sign

‘From humble beginnings:’ How North Texas Performing Arts grew from the back of a strip mall

Plano Star Courier
Published March 2022

Along with three other people, Sara Egelston Akers cofounded North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) in the back of a strip mall between 15th Street and Custer Road in 1991. In 1992, she kicked off classes with a student body of 50…Read more

Sara outside old PCT on Custer

Plano Children’s Theatre founder Sara Egelston Akers announces retirement

Plano Magazine
Published February, 2022

NTPA announced that Plano Children’s Theatre founder Sara Egelston Akers will retire at the end of May. Plano Mayor John Muns describes her as a vital and creative contributor to Plano’s performing arts landscape…Read more

Headshot of DeAnna Stone, NTPA Academy Managing Director

Conversations with Deanna Stone

Voyage Dallas
Published February, 2022

Growing up in a small East Texas town, we did not share the same access to the arts as those in larger cities, but that did not diminish my passion for the arts. The life of the stage brought life lessons that are not found in a textbook…Read more

Kally Duncan headshot

Back on her home stage

Herald Banner, Hank Murphy
Published January, 2022

The acting bug bit Greenville’s Kally Duncan at an early age. She was just 5 when she landed her first theatrical role, a portrayal of Minnie Mouse in a production staged in Commerce. A love of acting and the performing arts later propelled her to performances in plays staged at Greenville High School. She sang in the school’s choirs and performed in UIL one-act play and musical solo competitions…Read more

Center Stage “The Show Must Go On”

Local Profile, Tyler Hicks
Published January, 2022

North Texas Performing Arts, a revered theatre company, puts children’s development center stage. One day roughly three years ago, Jude Scott came to his parents with a simple yet life-altering idea. “I want to act,” he told them. Through a quick online search of local theatre troupes, Jude, who was 9 at the time, had already identified the troupe he would join…Read more

“Scrooge! The Musical” preview

Published December 8, 2021

“Scrooge! The Musical” is on stage at December 9-13 at The Courtyard Theater in historic downtown Plano…Read more

picture of Caddo Lindsey from the article Shoutout DFW

Meet Caddo Lindsey | Theatre Director

Published October 5, 2021

When preparing for college I actually was preparing to go to school for physical therapy. Throughout my time looking at colleges I realized I personally would not be fulfilled. Creating art and theatre is a huge passion of mine, and letting go of that seemed to be…Read more

Two teen actors wearing masks hug on stage

Business Council for the Arts (BCA) honors North Texas Performing Arts in 2021 Obelisk Awards

Local Profile
Published October 10, 2021

The Business Council for the Arts (BCA) has announced that Plano’s own North Texas Performing Arts is a 2021 Obelisk Awards honoree in the Arts. NTPA is the largest youth-focused performing arts organization in the country, presenting classes, camps, and productions for ages five through 18, as well adult programming under the NTPA Repertory and Community Theatre…Read more

NTPA youth actors playing Annie and Sandy in a performance of Annie

North Texas Performing Arts Coming To Southlake and Grapevine

Southlake Style, David Dunn
Published July 26 2021

One of the largest nonprofit youth theater organizations in the country is debuting in Southlake and Grapevine this fall. Originally founded in Plano in 1991, the North Texas Performing Arts organization is dedicated to developing youth through arts education, family entertainment and community-centered theater productions. Operating four sites in Plano, Fairview, Frisco and Plano, the organization announced that it will be opening its fifth location in Southlake and Grapevine this fall…..Read more

The cast of The Laramie Project - Plano

A youthful cast takes on heavy drama in ‘The Laramie Project’

Dallas Voice, Rich Lopez
Published July 16 2021

When it comes to the queer theater continuum, The Laramie Project is high on the list. The play, by Moises Kaufman, depicts the strong reactions to the 1998 murder of Mathew Shepard in the titular city in Wyoming. Drawn from interviews conducted by the Tectonic Theater Project for the stage, the play is heavy and rife with emotions and language…..Read more

Plano magazine NEA Grant for NTPA Starcatchers

North Texas Performing Arts receives grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Plano Magazine, Renee Umsted
Published July 6 2021

North Texas Performing Arts had received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of the Starcatchers Summer Stage Series program. This is the first time the NTPA has received a grant form the NEA. NTPA is also one fo the three theaters in Dallas awarded in this round of grants….Read more

Plano Magazine NTPA 30th Anniversary Story

North Texas Performing Arts Commemorates Three Decades with Yearlong Celebration

Plano Magazine, Hunter Lacey
Published March 2021

This year NTPA is celebrating 30 years of nurturing young performers. Since opening its doors, the family of children’s theaters has welcomed more than two million individuals including students, patrons, members and sponsors. NTPA will celebrate all year with its 30th Anniversary Series consisting of eight shows that have been favorites. It started with a kick-off celebration Feb. 27 commemorating “The Wizard of Oz,” the first-ever production put on by the performing arts company in 1991….Read more

2020 Broadway World Regional Awards logo

Winners Announced For The 2020 BroadwayWorld Dallas Awards! Artisan Center Theatre, North Texas Performing Arts & More Take Home Wins!

BroadwayWorld Dallas
Published January 2021

Winners have been announced for the 2020 BroadwayWorld Dallas Awards – which were back bigger than ever, celebrating the best in local theatre of the past decade!

Theatre Company Of The Decade – North Texas Performing Arts…Read more

Scrooge the Musical 2019 performance

Father and Son Act Side-by-Side in NTPA’s 10th Annual ”Scrooge”

Plano Magazine, Hunter Lacey
Published December 2020

Since 2011, NTPA has put on its annual holiday production of “Scrooge the Musical.” And this year, despite the ongoing pandemic, the show will still go on – just with some adjustments for the health and safety of both performers and audience members. Darrell Rodenbaugh, longtime NTPA supporter and current CEO, will celebrate his 10th year acting the role of Scrooge this December…Read more

In The Heights Actors Pose in Masks with Safe Social Distance

NTPA Stages COVID-Adapted, Bilingual Production of In the Heights

Local Profile, Alexandra Cronin
Published September 2020

When the COVID pandemic hit, the members of North Texas Performing Arts knew that if they wanted to put on programs—like, say, In the Heights, by Lin-Manuel Miranda—they would have to change everything…Read more

In The News

No singing, no props: Youth theater camps switch into pandemic mode

The Dallas Morning News, Lisa Salinas
Published July 2020

Brenda Dorsey, who lives in North Dallas, has signed up her 8-year-old son, Caleb, for camp every summer since kindergarten. He typically attends the summer camp put on by his school, though it didn’t open this year because of the coronavirus pandemic…Read more

Christian Black, NTPA Dallas Program Director

Plano theater director discusses the importance of the arts

Plano Star Courier, Chloe Bennett
Published May 2020

Christian Black can usually be found directing shows at for North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) in Plano. As a program director, his job became a bit harder once COVID-19 reached the Dallas suburbsRead more

Two NTPA students watch instruction on an ipad participate in a virtual theatre class from home through Zoom.

When coronavirus shrank its revenue, this Plano-based arts group expanded its programming

Community Impact, Daniel Houston
Published May 2020

North Texas Performing Arts was not built for an unprecedented economic crisis like the one it finds itself navigating today. But instead of cutting back on its programming, the Plano-based nonprofit doubled down on it, Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh said…Read more

ethan in the news

Former NTPA Starcatcher Creates Spectrum Storytime

Plano Magazine, Hunter Lacey
Published May 2020

Ethan Thomas, who grew up in Plano and performed onstage with Plano Children’s Theater is now hosting an online series called “Spectrum Storytime” as a way to lift spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has named his program to honor the fact that he is on the autism spectrum…Read more

Virtual Rehearsal for Madagascar JR

When coronavirus shrank its revenue, this Plano-based arts group expanded its programming

Community Impact, Daniel Houston
Published May 2020

North Texas Performing Arts was not built for an unprecedented economic crisis like the one it finds itself navigating today. But instead of cutting back on its programming, the Plano-based nonprofit doubled down on it, Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh said…Read more

Lindsey Lederer teaches a performing arts class online to NTPA students

Arts Online: North Texas Performing Arts

Published March 2020

North Texas Performing Arts announces a “virtual performing arts giga-centre” as it expands programming, offering more than 30 new classes online began on March 26. The wide variety of classes include topics such as Costume Design, Disney Heroine Appreciation, Intro to Comedy Writing, Shakespeare Bootcamp, and MORE! Classes are offered in one-hour sessions available starting at just $9.99 per session…Read More

Fox 4 News Highlights NTPA Academy

Fox4ward: Performing Arts Academy Looks to Expand

Fox 4 News, Dan Godwin
Published March 2020

A Plano-based school that helps kids pursue a career in acting, singing, and dancing, is adding students. The head of the NTPA Academy says the skills that students acquire will serve them well on stage, and in life. Dan Godwin has this Fox4ward…Watch Now

NTPA's Production of Scrooge Blog Article

‘God Bless Us, Every One!’ North Texas Performing Arts’ Scrooge the Musical Gives Back

Dallas Observer, Alex Gonzalez
Published December 2019

Tonight kicks off the ninth year of North Texas Performing Arts’ annual production of Scrooge the Musical. It might ring a bell. It’s Christmas time around 1843, and Ebenezer Scrooge (Darrell Rodenbaugh) has spent much of his life neglecting his loved ones and acquiring material possessions. He is granted one last chance for redemption on Christmas Day…. Read more

Mike Mazur as Bob Cratchit, Jonathan Rizzo as Tiny Tim, and others in Scrooge the Musical

Rethinking Tiny Tim

New York Times, Michael Paulson
Published November 2019

In Texas, Jonathan Rizzo, a 12-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy, last year played Tim in a musical adaptation (“Scrooge: The Musical”) at North Texas Performing Arts Repertory Theater. “It brought a dimension of honesty and truth to the show,” said the director, Mike Mazur… Read more

NTPA Birthday Party - boy and friends participate in theatre game

Best Party for Performers: North Texas Performing Arts

Published September 2019

Have a blast with your own professional director who will lead your guests through theater exercises, activities and games in one of their studios or in your own home. At the end of the party, your guests will perform for friends and family…. Read more

Frozen Tech Ella

#SomethingGood: 2-Year-Old Battling Cancer Gets Surprise Performance of Frozen Jr

by Laura Harris, NBCDFW
Published September 18, 2019

When you’re a kid, it’s fun to dress up as your favorite storybook or movie character. It’s a way to just be someone else for a while and live in a fantasy world. That’s just what a little, North Texas girl, who is battling cancer, got the chance to do. It was all thanks to some other children, who wanted to make her feel better…. Read more

New NTPA Dance Program Offers Two Weeks of Free Dance Classes

BroadwayWorld Dallas
Published September 16, 2019

North Texas Performing Arts introduces its new “NTPA – Dance” troupe launching September 16 with two free introductory weeks of dance classes at its Frisco and Dallas locations. NTPA – Dance will offer continuous dance instruction from preschool through high school and seeks to instill a love and appreciation for the arts in a creative and non-competitive environment… Read more

Jude Has Courageous Kid

Courageous Kid: Jude Hass

By Kristin Dickerson, NBCDFW
Published September 11, 2019

Jude Hass was born to perform on a countless number of platforms. He’s active in the North Texas Performing Arts program, where he’s learned a variety of instruments including drums and guitar… Read more

JungleBook NTPA

NTPA Academy Sets Record Enrollment For 2019-2020 School Year

Chapel Life Magazine
Published September 1, 2019

The Academy’s inaugural class consists of 35 students, and after just one year, NTPA plans to double the enrollment of full- and part-time students making it the largest private arts academy in North Texas…Read more

NTPA Seussical Photo

Magic is What Happens When Collaboration Meets Creativity in Frisco

By Yvonne Brown, Lifestyle Frisco
Published August 6, 2019

I can attest — the troupe’s staff and directors know how to develop and nurture talent in our youth like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The collaboration between Nack Development and NTPA-Frisco is sure to add another special layer to an already exciting time for the Rail District… Read more

NTPA Mary Poppin Photo

How To Introduce Your Kids To The Theater

By Lisa Salinas, DFW Child
Published June 7, 2019

Mollie-Claire believes that watching a play at such a young age and taking classes throughout her life has given her far more than stage or acting techniques—it’s built a foundation for lifelong skills… Read more

Lisa Darrell Rodenbaugh NTPA

Staging a Comeback

by Angela Lutz, Ichabod Magazine
Published Dec. 1, 2018

When Darrell Rodenbaugh started volunteering with North Texas Performing Arts 10 years ago, the then-20- year-old children’s theater organization was in serious financial trouble and appeared months away from closing…Read more

NTPA Academy students pose for a picture for the NTPA Academy blog post

Program Launches Giving Home School, Online Students Chance to Shine

By Allie Spillyards, NBCDFW
Published September 18, 2018

While homeschooling her kids for more than a decade, Deanna Stone searched for day programs to help them pursue performing arts. Aside from co-ops, the options were limited. That’s why she and other parents… Read more

Announcing the North Texas Performing Arts Academy

ByRebecca Silvestri, Local Profile
Published May 10, 2018

North Texas Performing Arts, headquartered at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts in Plano has just announced that they will be opening an academy, the North Texas Performing Arts Academy, this summer. The aim of the North Texas Performing Arts Academy (NTPA Academy) will be to offer a bridge to the post-secondary and professional…Read more

NTPA Honk Photo

Frisco Youth Theatre Develops Character On and Off the Stage

By Karen Fish, Lifestyle Frisco
Published April 10, 2018

We’ve all heard the stats regarding what a great city Frisco is for raising an athlete. Many may not realize what wonderful resources we also have in our community for raising young artists… Read more

NTPA Lion King Photo


By Lisa Rodenbaugh, Good Life Family
Published March 20, 2018

Many of us take for granted our children will have the opportunity to shine on the football field or take center stage in a band concert or a musical.  For families with a special needs child, this may be impossible to imagine. … Read more

Kindermusik Baby drum sharing playing sound

Music Arts Class Welcomes Kids as Young as Newborn

Chris Sadeghi, WFAA
Published February 27, 2018

Dozens of infants and toddlers pounding on drums and shakers may sound like a recipe for a migraine headache. But music therapist Gabby Banzon, MT-BC says every sound is helping mold a mind…. Read more

Kindermusik HongKong Crisel Young Toddler physical movement rhythm

Plano Children’s Theatre Launches Preschool Programs

By Rebecca Silvestri, Local Profile
Published January 4, 2018

Beginning this month, this early childhood creative program will feature classes for newborn to five year old students to grow and develop under qualified performing arts educators. The new series will include Early Childhood Development and Parent’s Time Off programs…. Read more

NTPA photo gallery wall featuring photos of students from past productions

Willow Bend Center of the Arts is Open

By Rebecca Silvestri, Local Profile
Published December 11, 2017

Located on the second floor of The Shops at Willow Bend, near to Dillards, the state-of-the-art facility includes two mainstage theaters, two black box theaters as well as two dance studios, rehearsal and practice studios, and set-build and costume space…. Read more

Kaitlyn Wright Scrooge Photo

Willow Bend Center of the Arts Finally Opens

By Kelsey Samuels, Plano Star Courier
Published December 9, 2017

Thursday and Friday night, hundreds celebrated the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, the new home of the North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) headquarters and the Plano Children’s Theatre (PCT)….. Read more

NTPA Construction Willow Bend Photo

Patrons Tour Future Plano Children’s Theater

By Kelsey Samuels, Plano Star Courier
Published August 12, 2017

A crowd of supporters sits in the future mainstage theater of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts. In its current state, there’s dust everywhere… Read more

North Texas Performing Arts Closer to Completing New Center

Local Profile
Published August 1, 2017

The project was made possible through a below-market lease grant from Starwood Retail Partners and the Shops at Willow Bend, and the support of the City of Plano. The Willow Bend Center of the Arts will feature a twenty-five thousand square foot complex…. Read more