History and Mission 

Youth Performing Arts began in 1999 with Susan Novak (founder) and a group of 16 friends interested in acting.  That summer, they brought Youth Performing Arts' first production, Godspell, to the stage.  The following Christmas, YPA grew to include 25 youth who produced a collaborative play called The Reason for the Season, which showcased a compilation of popular Christmas songs and personal holiday memories from the cast.  Since then, over hundreds of youth have participated in productions, big and small, to thousands of audience members. Today, YPA produces at least two shows each year.  A volunteer staff, made up of parents, former YPA youth and community members, provides leadership to the 50+ youth who attend rehearsals every Sunday evening.  


With roots in Chrisitanity, Youth Performing Arts is a place where youth can feel accepted no matter what their beliefs, background, or theater experience.  This trend of inclusivity continues in our casting practices.  For at least one show in the season, all youth that audition for the show will be cast.  Though this can lead to 50+ youth on one small stage, it also lends to mentorship, learning, and community.  For more than 15 years, volunteer staff members have worked together to fufill our mission and purpose:


Mission Statement

YPA is a Christian based organization dedicated to developing and nurturing the spiritual, social and creative gifts of youth through the arts.



1. To provide a Christian environment in which to mentor and support youth.

2. To provide a Christian environment for youth fellowship.

3. To provide an opportunity for youth to develop musical, theatrical and visual arts skills.

4. To provide a benefit to the community via Christian witness and cultural enrichment.

5. To provide outreach to the community through family theatre

Susan Swanson Novak


Vanessa Novak


Shalee Palmquist


Maurya Laqua

Musical Director

Chad Ruter

Technical Director

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Volunteer Artistic Staff

Board of Directors:  Roxanne Johnson (president), Lynn Ruter (Treasurer), Kristi Johnson, Karen Coffman,  Jonna Karan, & Jen Witzmann

Youth Performing Arts is sponsored in part by The Hallberg Family Foundation
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