Please join us in welcoming Riley Gray who has joined the NTPA staff to serve as Managing Director of the NTPA – Starcatchers Theatre Troupe. NTPA – Starcatchers is the preeminent special needs theatre and therapeutic drama program in North Texas.
Riley graduated Cum Laude from Ball State University in 2016, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychological Science and a minor in Theatre and then went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Drama Therapy from Kansas State University in 2018.
Riley will be completing her Registered Drama Therapy credential this Fall through the North American Drama Therapy Association and will be one of only thirteen Drama Therapists in all of Texas, and the only therapist specializing in working with people with disabilities in the Dallas area.
NTPA – Starcatchers is open to the public and creates a supportive environment for special needs youth to learn social skills and gain interactive experience through the use of the arts to make them more active and productive participants in the community. The program today features camps, musical and non-musical productions and other activities to create these learning and development opportunities. Upcoming Starcatchers programs include virtual musical productions ‘Summer Showtunes’ and ‘The De Vil You Don’t Know’, two virtual summer camps, and two virtual classes, Acting for Fun and Starcatchers Dungeons and Dragons.
Riley works with the Starcatchers Theatre Management Board of Directors to create targeted programming and impactful activities for the troupe currently numbering some fifty participants.
In her undergraduate training, Riley performed as an actor and had the privilege of working with Sutton Foster, Jonathan Groff, Jennifer Blackmer, and David Strickland. She also trained under notable drama therapists Sally Bailey, Paige Dickinson, and Tracena Marie. Riley has provided programming and engagement for children and adults with various disabilities for over ten years through adaptive recreation summer camps, residential services, therapy services, in-patient hospitals, and community theatre programs. Her past favorite credits with this population include three Barrier-Free Theatre productions (Super Ability, Achilles Under the Sea, and Monster M.D.) and If By Yes.
Riley uses a strengths-based, student-focused approach in her programming and she seeks to instill empathy, engagement, and empowerment in all Starcatchers programs. She is looking forward to directing Starcatchers shows and helping build the Therapeutic Theatre Program to even greater heights!