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Awards and Reviews

The Best Place to Star?

It's in a basement actually--the basement of the Durham Arts Council, where Jeffryn Stephens holds sway. Stephens and her husband, Ty, started Young People's Performing Company (YPPC) 20 years ago, and since then hundreds of children have risen to stardom in a Young People's production. Stephens finds a way for every child to shine--as an alien, birdseed salesman, courtier, or Fezziwig (don't ask). She's found a glorious combination: her productions are both ambitious and safe for her child actors. Imperious queens, dastardly villains and prancing puppy dogs know that their forgotten lines will be stage-whispered in from the wings. Every year, Young People's produces 30 plays for children from ages 5 to 18. Even the youngest has a script to learn, a character to embody and a fabulous moment to deliver that laugh line--with flair, of course, and impeccable timing.

---------Reprinted from the Independent, April 1, 1998