Bend Theatre for Young People's MISSION:  

To enrich the lives of Central Oregon youth by offering affordable
and accessible education in the art and craft of theatre.

BTYP strives to provide:  

    * Acting & performance opportunities for students regardless of experience.

    * Affordable classes for youth between the ages of 7 & 17.

    * Financial scholarships to families in need.

    * Internship opportunities for experienced and graduate students.

    * Theatre experiences to engage the imagination, stimulate the mind & touch the heart.

BTYP classes offer opportunity for an experience that builds confidence and promotes self-discipline while reinforcing responsibility & good communication skills.

BTYP was established in 1997 and hosts year round after school programs which combine theatre education with enjoyable and interactive performing arts. Popular with students of all ages, activities include speech, movement, pantomime, improvisation, theatre games and performances. Each program includes an eight-week after school class and we also offer an extensive Conservatory Session every summer.

A child’s first engagement with an art form can lead to lifelong fulfillment.


Friends & Corporate Sponsors
Our thanks to these fine businesses for helping BTYP pass on the tradition
of live theatre to the next generation of actors!

Cascade Theatrical Company
First Presbyterian Church
Strictly Organic Coffee Company
Sisters Community Church
Abby's Pizza
Amity Creek Elementary School
BeBop Biscotti
Bend Experimental Art Theatre
Fred Meyer
Little Caesars Pizza

Newport Avenue Market

Pappy's Pizza

Ray's Food Place

Round Table Pizza

Seven Peaks School
Wild Oats

Bend Theatre for Young People is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and an equal opportunity employer providing programs and services without regard to age, color, creed, ability, gender identity, height, membership in any labor organization, national origin, parental status, political identification, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or weight.

BTYP Board Meetings are open to the public and held the first Monday of each month, 6:00 pm. Please email for location information.


Gary M. Bowne - Instructor/BTYP Artistic Director

Gary began performing with the Magic Circle Theater (MCT) of Central Oregon Community College in 1972. A few years later he worked with Gene Reinbold in creating the Community Theatre of the Cascades (CTC), where he worked as an actor, stage manager, prop master, assistant director and finally, Artistic Director. He left the area in 1988 and completed a graduate-level directing course while earning a teaching credential at Western Oregon State University in 1990. He left the area in the fall of 1990 and performed and directed plays at the University of New Mexico while completing a Masters Degree in multi-cultural education. In 1992, while teaching a full compliment of classes in the humanities and directing plays for the Albuquerque Public Schools, Gary performed in various plays with the Riverside Repertory Theatre.

Following a nine-year absence from Bend, Bowne returned to the CTC stage where he has performed and directed various dramas. In the fall of 1996, during the production of A Doll's House, he met Wayne and Rachel Mitchell, who were forming the Bend Theatre for Young (BTYP) People. Gary helped the Mitchell's run the popular BTYP summer programs for three seasons and became the company's Artistic Director in 1999. He has since produced scores of plays for BTYP after-school programs as well as the annual summer conservatories. Local stage credits include A Doll’s House, Anatomy of a Murder, Enemy of the People at CTC, The Greeks for MCT and The Playboy of the Western World, where he directed the Cascade Players and produced Celtic Revelry, a celebration of Irish folk traditions.

Gary is currently working as instructor of theatre arts and teaching roots music for the award-winning Americana Project at Sisters High School. This season marks Gary's 10th year as BTYP Artistic Director. He has been producing live theater in Central Oregon for over 25 years.

Kellie Jones

Kellie was born and raised in beautiful Bend , Oregon . She returned to Bend in 2003 after spending time abroad and completing her degree in anthropology from Oregon State University . Like many kids, she grew up cultivating a love for music and playing piano; she translated her love of music into a love for dance when she first began ballroom dancing in the Netherlands in 1998. Throughout college she studied and taught partner dancing, focusing on ballroom, Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing. Her love of dance has taken her up-and-down the West Coast and throughout Europe .
Upon returning to Bend, she became involved with Working Wonders Children’s Museum and helped to open its doors in 2004. In 2007, she transitioned from the Children’s Museum world and took on a position with the Cascade Festival of Music.
She began working with BTYP in 2004. BTYP offers her the opportunity to combine her love of music, movement and theater while working to challenge herself and inspire the youth of Central Oregon . She has choreographed several shows for BTYP and directed the 2007 BTYP Summer Conservatory elementary play Cinder-Riley.  

Diane Turnbull Luckett - Instructor

Diane began her acting and teaching right here in Bend, Oregon while attending High School at Mountain View and taking classes at Central Oregon Community College. She went on to work as an actor in Portland, Seattle and New York City where she attended the National Shakespeare Conservatory on a scholarship.  Upon graduation from the Conservatory she worked as the Director of Admissions for the school and later went on to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre at State University of New York at Binghamton. Diane returned to Central Oregon in 2006 and Coordinates a behavioral and early intervention program for young children through the High Desert Education Service District and sings with Contemporary Gospel Choir of the Cascades. Diane is mom to two children who have enjoyed many BTYP productions as audience members, actors and costume and prop assistants.  She began working with BTYP in the summer of 2006 and hopes to continue her work with young actors for many years to come.

Michael Najjar – High School Program Director

Michael hails from Albuquerque where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of New Mexico. It was there that he met BTYP Artistic Director Gary Bowne where they collaborated on many projects including Betrayal, Look Back In Anger and Road, all produced by Riverside Repertory Theatre. Michael was the founding artistic director of Riverside Rep from 1992-1997. He attended York University in Toronto, Canada, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Directing in 1999. That same year, Gary invited him to teach and direct with The Bend Theatre for Young People. Michael has continually challenged older students with classic and contemporary dramas including Shakespeare, Strindberg, Chekov, and Eugene O’Niell.  For the 2004 summer season, Michael directed The Laramie Project, setting a new standard for excellence in contemporary drama on the BTYP high-school stage.  He teaches advanced classes in acting, stage combat and scene analysis. This season marks Michael's eighth with BTYP. In Los Angeles, Michael directed the world premiere of Voices on the Wind at the American Renegade Theatre. He is currently professor of Theater at Portland Community College where he has directed A Doll’s House, Winter’s Tale, Urinetown, and The Man Who Had All the Luck which he toured in the tri-county Portland area this spring.  He is currently working on a PhD. in Theatre & Critical Studies at UCLA.

PO Box 6732, Bend, OR 97708   •   Email BTYP