The Starcatchers program is designed specifically for children and adults with special needs. In this program, students are given opportunities to shine through drama, music, dance, and visual art. These opportunities range from large theatre productions to intimate art classes and further the development of social, communication, motor, and cognitive skills.
Not only can a student’s involvement in the arts strongly impact these areas of his or her life, but it can also have an impact on the community. What makes the Starcatchers program unique is not just the work with children and adults with special needs, but its relational approach to the work. Each student is paired with a trained intern, who assists their development through rehearsals and shadows them during performances. In addition to fostering personal confidence and creativity, the Starcatchers work to foster collective compassion and empathy. There are no disabilities in making art.
to illuminate abilities through the performing arts
to promote access and inclusivity within the performing arts
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New Student Discount
Get 30% off your first class, camp, or production!
Just use the code NEW2NTPA at checkout..
Each student may only receive a 30% discount for one production, class or camp. This discount is only available for a student’s first production, class or camp and can not be retroactively applied. This discount can not be combined with any other promotion or discount.
In November 2017, the North Texas Performing Arts Headquarters and its Plano theatres moved to the newly developed Willow Bend Center of the Arts. Part of this new facility includes a black box theatre specifically designed to meet the needs of Starcatchers students. This new space increases the value of the Starcatchers program by increasing the amount of programming we can provide.
The Starcatchers Theatre will include:
- Cool LED Lights
- Built-in Backstage Benches
- Additional Blue Lights Backstage
- Adaptive Seating
- Wheelchair Ramp
- Additional Mics for Soft Voices
- Sound System
In order to support this effort by NTPA, we are raising funds by selling stars on the Starcatchers Wall of Honor. If you would like to support the new Starcatchers facility at Willow Bend, please consider purchasing a star! The stars will be displayed in the Starcatchers Black Box Theatre and will be a permanent installation honoring our early supporters.
Starcatchers students are children and adults with a variety of developmental, intellectual, emotional, or mental disabilities or disorders. However, art allows us to look beyond those labels. In this program, students get to create and grow as individuals, with their peers, and in a safe, non-threatening environment. The experience of creating and performing art in this setting allows for Starcatchers students to feel accepted and to be seen in a positive perspective.
Performance Partners are teens and adults with a passion for special needs and a love for the arts. Unlike the standard NTPA intern program, this program provides a unique opportunity to learn the skills and develop the characteristics needed to work with individuals with special needs. Each Partner is paired with a student for the duration of the production. Learning and performing scripts, music, and choreography fosters theatre skills and confidence, but assisting a student through that same process fosters additional compassion, empathy, and patience. The experience of creating and performing art in this setting allows for Performance Partners to develop their interpersonal and leadership skills.
Interested in applying to be an intern? Download the Starcatchers Performance Partnership Application.