Our Mission

North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) 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.

North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) was founded in 1991 as the Plano Children’s Theatre and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Its founder, Sara Akers, is a treasured member of the team and today oversees NTPA’s community outreach and diversity-expansion efforts. 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

NTPA is comprised of five youth theatre troupes in Dallas, Fairview, Frisco, Plano, and Southlake; NTPA Starcatchers, therapeutic arts troupe for individuals with disabilities; NTPA Academy offering an innovative academic learning environment for grades 6-12, with an enhanced focus on the fine arts; 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. The organization is managed by Chief Executive Officer Darrell Rodenbaugh who serves NTPA full-time on a pro-bono basis.

The guiding principle of NTPA’s educational philosophy is found in the 10 Characters of NTPA: Teamwork, Leadership, Responsibility, Respect, Confidence, Integrity, Discipline, Gratitude, Positive Attitude, and, above all, to Love One Another. NTPA employs the performing arts and the power of literature, music, dance, drama, film and TV to guide young people on a path to be better citizens within their communities and the world at large.

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 150 major productions and over 1,000 performances on over a dozen stages across North Texas.

North Texas Performing Arts is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in our programs. The NTPA Governing Board of Directors, Management Boards and NTPA Staff encourage all NTPA families and Patrons to boldly stand with us against racism in our country and to continue to exhibit the “10 Characters” taught at NTPA including Integrity, Leadership, Respect, and most important, to Love One Another. We stand with Black artists, educators, students and families and all People of Color in the fight to eliminate racial and social injustice. We invite all NTPA families and Patrons to take a stand against racism across North Texas and our nation.


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

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

Fairview Youth Theatre
302 Town Place
Fairview, TX 75069

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

Learn More About NTPA Facilities


Historical Moments

  • 1991 – NTPA founded originally as Plano Children’s Theatre by Sara 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, and offered 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 cognitive disabilities.

  • 2005 – Began offering programs in McKinney with funding support from the City of McKinney which became McKinney Youth Theatre, Fairview Youth Theatre, and then North Texas Performing Arts – Fairview.

  • 2007 – Bursting at the seams, rehearsal space was renovated as a result of generous gifts from UPS, Weingarten Realty and other sponsors.

  • 2011 – Darrell Rodenbaugh appointed Acting Executive Director by Board of Directors to address financial challenges.  To keep theatre doors open, created AMP Awards Ceremony, ACE Program, NTPA Growth Plan, and other innovations.  Darrell appointed Board President after a year of service and went on to serve 8 consecutive terms.

  • 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.

  • 2012 – Began offering programs in Frisco which became Frisco Youth Theatre and then North Texas Performing Arts – Frisco. We began with the same production that started it all, The Wizard of Oz.

  • 2014 – Adopts the “Ten Characters” as a cornerstone of its values and teaching.

  • 2015 – Darrell Rodenbaugh appointed Operating Executive, evolves to Chief Executive Officer in 2018, serving on a pro-bono basis.

  • 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.

  • 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 cognitive 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 – Introduces the NTPA – Academy and opens 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 over 50 virtual classes, the world largest all-ages online talent contest, online rehearsals, virtual summer camps, and new online NTPA – Academy 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 Southlake, establishing the fifth NTPA youth theatre location, NTPA – Southlake.

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 10 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. 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


  • 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.
  • “40 Under 40 Top Young Professionals in Marketing” awarded to Lauren Boykin, Senior Marketing Director, by the Public Relations Society of America Dallas Chapter.
  • 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
  • “2013 Best Theatre” in DFW by the Dallas Observer for our Fun House Theatre and Film
  • “2012 Best Community Organization” by the Junior League of Collin County
  • “2012 Best Community Partner” by the Plano Chamber of Commerce


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.

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