Office Staff

Office Staff 2018-12-17T12:24:35+00:00

Darrell Rodenbaugh
Chief Executive Officer

Darrell joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and served pro bono as its Executive Director through 2011, guiding NTPA – Plano through financial difficulties. He was elected Board President for eight consecutive terms leading NTPA – Plano to grow 400% and evolve into the North Texas Performing Arts.

Darrell served the dual role as the chief executive overseeing all operations during 2015-2018. He initiated the creation of a leadership succession plan with the Board of Directors. Darrell took on the CEO role on a pro bono basis reporting to the Governing Board of Directors starting October 1, 2018.

Darrell created the AMP Awards, ACE (Acting Company for Excellence), the North Texas Performing Arts 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, working with Starwood Retail Partners to provide the space and negotiated terms. He secured financing, engaged the construction partner and designed much of the facility, serving full-time for almost two years on a pro bono basis as Project Executive. He recruited and worked alongside the incredible “Team of Steel” volunteers who generously contributed their time and talent to design and construction.

Darrell and Lisa Rodenbaugh and their children Chris and Lee donated the largest cash gift in NTPA’s history to help underwrite the Willow Bend effort.

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 on 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 is a Junior at Loyola at Chicago, and Lee is a Freshman at 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 “Champion Life Safety Solutions”, a security and life-safety services company which he sold in 2016. Darrell is a graduate and now Trustee at Washburn University and earned his MBA at the University of Houston.

Sara Akers
Founder and Executive Director

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 (now North Texas Performing Arts), 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 organizations Executive Director with a focus on fundraising, grant writing, and member development.

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.

Christie Davis
Business Manager

Jenny Duva
Accounting Administrator

Abby Grimes
Production Services Manager

Abby joined NTPA in May 2017 and currently serves as the Production Services Manager. She jump-started her career in the entertainment industry as a performer through the Disney College Program and maintained a seasonal status with the company over the course of five years. During the 2016 holiday season, Abby was a featured actor for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando and starred in the Candlelight Processional Cast Choir at Walt Disney World.

Also possessing a profound passion for nonprofits, Abby has extensive experience with organizations who aim to enhance the special needs community and founded the first Special Olympics College chapter in her home state of Mississippi. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University, Abby worked as a Volunteer Services Coordinator at Give Kids The World, a nonprofit resort that provides cost-free vacations to Central Florida theme parks for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Outside of work, Abby volunteers as a Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish North Texas and enjoys supporting her husband performing in NTPA Repertory productions. NTPA equates to be a perfect union of Abby’s enthusiasm for children, nonprofits, and performing arts, and she strives to fulfill the mission of North Texas Performing Arts each day.

Abbie Hill
VISTA Volunteer Coordinator

Abbie is an AmeriCorps VISTA member spending a year of service with NTPA. AmeriCorps envisions a future where America’s impoverished communities have a strong network of organizations to provide them, not only with essentials but supplemental programs to help them escape the cycle of poverty. Abbie’s passion for the arts and dedication to improving the lives of children in poverty is what has led her to NTPA. She believes that a tight budget should not act as a barrier to a child participating in the magic of theatre.

Abbie hopes that while she is serving at NTPA she can help focus volunteer engagement into connecting with the low-income community. Through providing free workshops, scholarships, and hosting events for struggling families, she hopes to make the arts more accessible to all.

Bill Bennett
Production Design Assistant