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Darrell Rodenbaugh

Chief Executive Officer


Darrell joined the Plano Children’s Theatre Board of Directors in 2010 and served pro bono as its Executive Director through 2011, guiding it through financial difficulties. He was elected Board President for eight consecutive terms leading the organization to over 600% growth and to evolve into the North Texas Performing Arts.

Darrell served the dual role as Governing Board President and the chief operating executive overseeing all operations from 2015-2018. The Board of Directors appointed Darrell Chief Executive Officer in 2018.  During his over ten years working on behalf of NTPA, Darrell has served on a pro bono basis and entirely without compensation.

Darrell created the AMP Awards, ACE (Acting Company for Excellence), the North Texas Performing Arts organization and structure, the “Ten Characters,” and the NTPA Academy. Under his leadership, other new programs were successfully launched including NTPA – Fairview, NTPA – Frisco, NTPA – Dallas, NTPA – Starcatchers and NTPA – Repertory.

Darrell was critical to the creation of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, convincing Starwood Retail Partners to provide the space on favorable negotiated terms. He negotiated and secured bank financing, engaged the construction partner and designed much of the facility, serving full-time for almost two years on a full-time uncompensated basis as pro bono Project Executive. He recruited and worked alongside the incredible “Team of Steel” volunteers who generously contributed their time and talent to design and construct the mainstage theatres.

Darrell and Lisa Rodenbaugh and their children Chris and Lee contributed the largest private cash gift in NTPA’s history to help underwrite the Willow Bend effort, and continue as NTPA’s largest private donors.

Lisa has served in volunteer roles for a dozen years at NTPA and was the creator of the “Curtain Club”, the precursor to the current NTPA Membership Program and volunteer system. Lisa serves as Chairperson of the NTPA Repertory Theatre Management Board and is its Programming Chair. Chris and Lee were founding members of the ACE’s and together participated in over 70 NTPA productions. Chris attends Loyola at Chicago, and Lee attends Baylor University.

Darrell is a Plano-area investor and volunteer who spent twenty-five years in the high-tech industry in sales, sales management, and general manager roles with IBM, Oracle, Yahoo!, i2 Technologies, and prior to this role was SVP and General Manager for McAfee’s global $300M Mid-Market business division. He went on to create a security and life-safety services company which he sold in 2016, and he continues to invest and assist in other ventures. Darrell is a graduate and now Trustee at Washburn University and earned his MBA at the University of Houston.

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Sara Akers

Vice President of Community Outreach, Founder of Plano Children’s Theatre


Sara entered her first talent show in the first grade with a dance routine to “Let’s twist and shout!” She started choreographing dance numbers for elementary class productions in the fourth grade at Walnut Hill Elementary. She continued to volunteer at Walnut Hill Elementary throughout her high school years. It was through her teachers and watching live performances at Dallas Theatre Center that she decided what she was going to do with her life – have a theatre – a place to create.

Sara received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University with a major in Dance and a minor in Theatre. Sara continued her education at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Masters of Fine Arts in Children’s Theatre and Creative Drama. During her time at UTA, Sara received the Aurand Harris Playwriting Award and taught on the UTA faculty for two years. In 1981, Sara began teaching Creative Drama and Movement at The Lamplighter School in Dallas Texas, where she taught for 9 years. During this time, she also taught and directed at Dallas Theatre Center, Children’s Arts and Ideas Foundation, and the Junior Players Guild. Sara founded the Imagination Company underneath the umbrella of JPG.

In 1991, Sara founded Plano Children’s Theatre, and has watched the company grow from a small theatre in Plano to a family of theatres covering the North Dallas area. Sara now works as the organization’s Vice President of Development and is responsible for NTPA’s fundraising, grant writing, and member development activities.

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Lauren Boykin

Senior Marketing Director


Lauren joined NTPA in December 2016. Lauren grew up in Alma, Arkansas, where most of her evenings were spent doing homework and playing the back of the Alma Performing Arts Center, where her mom is the Executive Director. Lauren fell in love with theatre and first took the stage in high school. She continued participating in theatre both on stage and behind the scenes in college. Favorite roles include Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof and Mary (the tap dancing maid) in The Bald Soprano.

Lauren received her BA in Electronic Media Production from Harding University. Before coming to NTPA, Lauren worked as Marketing Director for the Alma School District, Alma Performing Arts Center, and ChristianWorks for Children. In 2014, Lauren was selected for the NSPRA “35 Under 35” list of top young marketing professionals in the nation.

Lauren is thrilled to be back in the theatre world and working full-time in the performing arts. She hopes that through her marketing more students can be exposed to and find joy in the performing arts at a young age, just like she did.

Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller

Business Manager


Jackie joined NTPA in June of 2019. She has 3 children that she loves to spend time with doing things like reading, playing games, riding bikes, and pretending to know how to skateboard. She has worked in the accounting and business field for over 15 years. She takes great joy in supporting the creative staff and patrons of NTPA. Jackie is so excited to be a part of such a talented and positive team.

Patricia Gregory headshot

Patricia Gregory

Director of Development


Patricia Gregory is excited to join North Texas Performing Arts after most recently serving as the Director of Development for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of North Texas. In addition to UNT, Patricia has served on the development staffs of the Collin College Foundation as well as numerous nonprofits in both North Louisiana and Dallas, and has a heart for connecting donors with organizations that provide cultural enrichment and unique artistic experiences, improve the lives of women and children, and provide support to the best and brightest young people in our community through the gift of scholarship.

Patricia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Patricia’s love for the theatre began in her early-teens when she enrolled at Caddo Parish Magnet High School, an arts and sciences magnet school in Shreveport, Louisiana. Patricia has spent summers in residency in New York City as well as studying Shakespeare at Oxford University in England. She spent time throughout college performing with a professional theater troupe, ​The Company Repertory Theatre​, and teaching high school students about William Shakespeare through ​The Company’s “Shakespeare in the Schools” program. She and her husband, Clay, have lived in Frisco for 14 years and have two daughters in Frisco ISD.

Seth Davidson

Seth Davidson

Assistant Business Manager


Bill Bennett, Production Design Assistant at North Texas Performing Arts

Bill Bennett

Production Design Assistant


Bill grew up in the Dallas-area where he developed an interest in all things art at a young age. In high school, he ran his schools broadcasting program and competed at a National level through the nation-wide organization, Business Professionals of America. Bill also was involved in theatre throughout all 4 years serving in various technical roles and developed a strong interest in set building amongst other skills.

Upon graduating high school, he pursued arts and technology as a career and went to Texas A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies and a minor in New Media Art in 2017. Throughout college, he further honed his design, animation, video production, and photography skills through classwork, organizational involvement, and personal work where he even had one of his photographs featured in an art exhibit consisting of graduate and undergraduate artwork from Texas A&M called Viz-a-GoGo in 2017.

Bill began pursuing design as a professional field after working through Texas A&M’s library system as a student worker creating designs for library events. He has freelance and contracted with various clients and has since joined the staff at NTPA. Bill is excited to bring his versatile background of illustration, branding, design and more to help develop and build the NTPA brand.

Headshot of NTPA Marketing Coordinator Donovan Lawson

Donovan Lawson

Marketing Coordinator


Donovan Marie Lawson graduated from Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences with a Directing Minor. She started performing at a young age at Miss Persis Studio, Theatre Arlington, and around the DFW metroplex. Her favorite stage credits include Rusty in Footloose recently earning her the Best Actress in a Musical at the 45th Annual Stony Awards, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, Rita La Porta in Lucky Stiff, and Dorothy in Oz! Discovering her love for the arts and children, she decided to combine the two and work in children’s theatres across North Texas.

Donovan’s favorite NTPA directing credits are Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr, Annie Jr, Alice in Wonderland, and Once on This Island, Jr. Donovan is thrilled to be a part of the NTPA family where she has the wonderful opportunity to share her knowledge as a theatre artist, director, designer, and arts advocate helping to enrich the lives of children!

Jacob Hemsath Headshot Artist of the Month

Jacob Hemsath

Marketing Assistant


Jacob has loved working with NTPA in many regards since 2018. He enjoys being both on the artistic and managerial side of things in order to truly appreciate this wonderful company.  Jacob grew up close by in Wylie, Texas and is a recent graduate from Ouachita Baptist University graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater. His emphasis in music along with studies in education has helped him prepare to not only perform as an artist but teach as well. Along with that, he has choreographed and directed published shows as well as an original show written by a fellow NTPA staff member Andrew Martin, Libby Villegas, and himself.
While studying musical theatre in college, Jacob was the marketing intern for the school of fine arts and created the basis for how they market themselves today. Aside from college, he’s worked as a freelance social media coordinator and creator for companies such as State Farm and Social Media Insite.
Since graduating he has performed in multiple professional productions in and out of the DFW area. Some recent favorites have been Newsies with Lyric Stage, which won the Column award for best equity musical in 2018, and Spring Awakening with Uptown Players. Jacob loves being involved in many aspects of the arts in order to truly learn how they can help us grow as people.