Appalachian Young People's Theatre

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About the Appalachian Young People's Theatre

The Appalachian Young People's Theatre (AYPT) is a dynamic component of the Department of Theatre and Dance. Founded in 1972, AYPT works in partnership with communities and public schools of Northwestern North Carolina to bring high-quality, affordable, live theatre experiences to young audiences who otherwise see little or no theatre.

The Appalachian Young People's Theatre has a two-pronged mission:

  • To produce a variety of quality plays with educational value, including fairy tales, folk tales, musicals and plays with contemporary themes for K-8 audiences
  • To provide practical experience in producing and performing for young audiences for students seeking degrees in Theatre and/or Education

AYPT productionEach spring, The Appalachian Young People's Theatre company, consisting of dedicated undergraduate theatre students, tours to schools, libraries and museums and performs for approximately 7,500 young people each season. AYPT has also performed at the North Carolina Theatre Conference and the Southeastern Theatre Conference Invitational Children's Theatre Festival. In 1996, the Constance Welsh Award for Excellence in Theatre for Youth, was presented to AYPT by the North Carolina Theatre Conference.


AYPT Productions

Simple sets, props, costumes and music are used to bring the Appalachian Young People's Theatre productions to life. The students participating in AYPT coordinate their talents and energy, under the supervision of the faculty director, to build and rehearse the shows for the first half of the Spring semester. The troupe then loads the show in a van and trailer to tour Northwestern North Carolina for seven weeks every March and April, plus three-days in residence at Appalachian's I.G. Greer Studio Theatre. The Appalachian Young People's Theatre productions are adaptable to a variety of performances spaces including gymnasiums, auditoriums and multi-purpose rooms. Teacher/student study guides are provided with all public school performances.

Production History Since 1988

  • 1988 Just So Stories
  • 1989 Androcles and the Lion + Two Pails of Water
  • 1990 Fool of the World + Mountain Tales 
  • 1991 13 Bells of Boglewood
  • 1992 Nightingale + The Ransom of Red Chief
  • 1993 Rumpelstiltskin + The Big Top
  • 1994 Jack and the Wonder Beans + Daniel Fox and Friends
  • 1995 Reasons to Be Cheerful + Remus Tales  
  • 1996 The Princess and the Pea + In the Beginning
  • 1997 Huckleberry Finn + Puss in Boots
  • 1998 Wilma's Revenge + Cinderella
  • 1999 Step on a Crack + The Tolstoy Story Play
  • 2000 Appalachian Echoes Tarheel Tales + How Things Happen in Threes
  • 2001 The Fisherman And His Wife + Gold Fever
  • 2002 The Arkansaw Bear + The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 
  • 2003 Stuart Little + Wiley and the Hairy Man 
  • 2004 The Emperor's New Clothes
  • 2005 Fool of the World
  • 2006 The Secret Garden + The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi
  • 2007 Rapunzel + This Is Not A Pipe Dream
  • 2008 Cows Don't Fly And Other Known Facts
  • 2009 The Lake at the End of the World
  • 2010 Nightingale
  • 2011 Drum Song of Africa: Choriato's Journey
  • 2012 Beans Talk
  • 2013 Luna
  • 2017 The Mischief Makers
  • 2018 The Hero Twins
  • 2019 The Ugly Duckling
  • 2021  With Two Wings
  • 2022  Appalachian Echoes
  • 2023 The Hundred Dresses
  • 2024 Winnie The Pooh

What Our Critics Say

  • AYPT production"Dear AYPT, your show was better than perfect. It's double perfect. I laughed so hard on all the funny parts that I almost cried. I'm always going to remember the show as long as I live."
    2nd grader, Fleetwood Elementary
  • "Dear AYPT, I loved your play. I liked the part when Ellie froze the voice. I think that it was the best play in the world. I will see you next year."
    2nd grader, Fleetwood Elementary
  • "Dear Wilma, I think you are smart and cool. I wish I was like you. You're my favorite character in the show. I hope when I get older I will get to do plays like you do. In the show Tracy was your friend and I think that you should give her some advice because she had some weird plans."
    4th grader, Whittenburg Elementary
  • "The children and I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It depicted a problem most all of us are familiar with! Please come back!"
    Lynn Brooks, Grade 2 teacher, Millers Creek Primary

For More Information


Gordon Hensley, AYPT Director
Department of Theatre & Dance
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608
Phone: (828) 262-7521
Email: or