Theatre for Young America


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Theatre for Young America
City Stage in Union Station
30 W. Pershing
Kansas City, MO 64108


(816) 460-2083


Sheryl Bryant, Education Director


Valerie Mackey, Artistic Director 
(816) 460-2083


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Theatre for Young America (TYA) is a 501C3 non-profit children’s theatre fostering the educational and emotional growth of young people through arts-based experiences.


TYA performs live professional theatre and offers drama classes for young people in two venues: the H&R Block City Stage Theatre at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Wonderscope Children's Museum in Shawnee, Kansas. TYA participates in the Kansas Arts Commission Touring Program, providing live theatre across the state.


TYA began in 1974 at the Waldo Astoria Dinner Playhouse. In 1977, the troupe became an independent organization and moved to Overland Park, Kansas, where it performed for 17 years in a converted cinema theatre. During this time the organization grew from 4 productions to 7 or 8 per season, added drama classes, summer workshops and summer productions, and outreach workshops in schools. TYA operated in the Mission Center Mall from 1994 to 2003.


Since 1974, TYA has mounted over 200 productions, including dozens of new and commissioned plays, plus many of the most acclaimed plays for young audiences by established playwrights. TYA has developed dozens of new plays and musical plays based on classic children's literature, historical figures and current social issues, such as child sexual abuse, child care, and conflict resolution. TYA contracts with Actors' Equity Association, the national guild for professional actors, and is an active participant in the American Alliance of Theatre and Education, International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ/USA), the Arts Partners program of Young Audiences, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, and the Arts Council of Johnson County. At TYA a full-time Director of Education coordinates a wide range of educational components, including after school enrichment classes in drama, summer drama workshops, outreach lesson plans taught in area schools and youth centers, discussions with the cast after every performance, and study guides to augment every production.