North Texas Performing Arts honored Project Willow Bend Major Donors with a reception and unveiling of room dedication plaques at Willow Bend Center of the Arts on Saturday, June 22. NTPA patrons and the public were invited to the unveiling and reception beginning at 6 PM with a short presentation at 6:30 PM.

Afterwards, patrons and public were invited to see NTPA Repertory’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beastfeaturing some of the best talented professional actors in DFW.

Along with purchases of Wall of Honor Stars, Student Gallery Photos, and chairs, NTPA patrons donated over $750,000 over the past three years to retire NTPA’s Willow Bend capital campaign debt. The Legacy Major Donors are: Facility Sponsorship: Starwood Retail Group and The Shops at Willow Bend, Rodenbaugh Theatre: Darrell, Lisa, Chris, and Lee Rodenbaugh, Brodie Copeland Theatre: Kim Copeland in memory of Sean and Brodie Copeland, Reception Room: Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, Starcatchers Black Box: – Starcatchers Theatre Troupe, Egelston Akers Black Box: Sara Egelston Akers, Dance Room: Rutledge and Susan Haggard, Green Room: H Foundation, Core Café: Ian and Shanti Shahani de Venegas, Rehearsal Room 1: Jamie and George Brown, Rehearsal Room 2: Rebecca and Michael Massiatte,  Managing Director’s Office: Molly and Clay Carter, Costume Room: Grandparents of Emery and Lynley Glickler, Practice Rooms: Fortis Talent, Elly Marsh, Women Making a Difference, and Tasi Hines. Tech Booth 1: David, Nancy, and Hannah Winkler, Tech Booth 2: Shelley and Ray Strickland, Founder/VP of Development Office: Rebecca and Chris Caso, and Joshua R. Akers Set Build: NTPA Governing Board of Directors. Other major donors include Advocare, Storage Assessments, Junior League of Collin County, The Plano Rotary Club, Serena Connelly, The Family Hope Center, Dennis and Patti Stolkey, Nampirg Foundation, June Wadley, and Shyam Venkat.

In 2016, The Shops of Willow Bend and Starwood Retail invited North Texas Performing Arts (dba of Plano Children’s Theatre) to move its corporate home and theatres to The Shops at Willow Bend which represents a $1,000,000 in kind gift over five years. The Governing Board President, Darrell Rodenbaugh, recruited a team of over 150 volunteers to fundraise, design, and build this new theatre home. The 25,000 square foot space includes a proscenium theatre, thrust theatre, and two black box theatres, a dance room, costume, scene shop, individual practice, and rehearsal rooms. Critical to the success of the project was Rockport General Contractors who renovated the HVAC, restrooms, and built the walls for the new spaces.

Project Willow Bend “Team of Steel” volunteers built the risers in the Rodenbaugh and Copeland theatres which involved cutting over three miles of steel, connecting steel beams with over 20,000 fasteners, and placing over 100 pounds of subflooring for the seating area. Other volunteers sewed costumes, hung lighting trusses, installed sound proofing, built retaining walls, and installed emergency lighting. The space is dedicated to Project Executive and now CEO Darrell Rodenbaugh, Founder and now VP of Development, Sara Egelston Akers, Team of Steel, and Project Willow Bend volunteers.

The Shops of Willow Bend and Starwood Retail Group’s gift allowed NTPA – Plano to double its programming and thereby offer thousands more youth (ages 3-18) to find their voice and hone their skills in our training institute. In addition, the new space allowed NTPA to open a home school academy “NTPA – Academy” where young people have a secure space to complete their online academics and develop their performing and technical skills in acting, voice, dance, film/video, and technical theatre. In the first year, NTPA – Academy had forty students in grades 5-12. Based on the success of the Academy in its first year, and with the hiring Dr. Lisa Hill as Head of School, NTPA – Academy expects to double its enrollment for the fall of 2019.

Begun in 1997, NTPA’s Starcatchers Therapeutic Arts program quadrupled with the availability of additional space to include dance, visual arts, acting, singing, and musical instruments. NTPA Repertory Theatre which features adult professional and amateur actors doubled its programming and quadrupled its patrons.

In addition, the City of Plano’s support of the arts and North Texas Performing Arts, allowed NTPA to offer over $350,000 in scholarships to youth to attend our programs in our last fiscal year (2018).

Josh Akers Set-Build Shop Dedication – with Elly Marsh, Michael Massiatte, Sara Akers, Steve McMurray, Darrell Rodenbaugh, Steve Flad, Fred Trafton and Jeff Blair.

Dedication Ceremony at Willow Bend Center of the Arts, North Texas Performing Arts

Dedication Ceremony – with Amy Medford – Marketing Director for The Shops at Willow Bend