Valley Youth Theatre Announces Mark Stoddard As New Associate Artistic Director

Stoddard's hiring is part of a planned strategic restructuring of the theatre by the staff and the Board of Directors to ensure the nonprofit's long-term viability.

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Valley Youth Theatre will welcome Mark Stoddard as the Associate Artistic Director of Valley Youth Theatre. Stoddard brings over 20 years in theatre education experience to VYT, most recently as the Theatre Director and Instructor at Xavier College Preparatory.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a talented artist and help him springboard the future of Valley Youth Theatre," said Valley Youth Theatre's Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper.

Stoddard's hiring is part of a planned strategic restructuring of the theatre by the staff and the Board of Directors to ensure the nonprofit's long-term viability. Stoddard will begin in August, 2023 and will ultimately transition to Valley Youth Theatre's Artistic Director when Cooper, VYT's Producing Artistic Director of over 27 years, retires from his position.

Cooper will transition to an advisory role, focusing on securing a permanent home for Valley Youth Theatre and fostering an endowment to make sure VYT continues to be the impactful organization it has been over the past 34 years.

Said Stoddard, "I love seeing young people develop their self-confidence, critical thinking skills, imagination, creativity, social empathy, and sense of belonging through theatre. I am excited to join the amazing Valley Youth Theatre team to create magical moments for young Arizona artists and audiences."

Stoddard received his Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Susquehanna University and received a master's degree in educational Theater in 2005 from New York University. As a Theater educator, Mark has taught and mentored thousands of students at various educational organizations including Xavier College Preparatory, Paradise Valley Community College, Glendale Community College, and Dream City Arts. He will begin at Valley Youth Theatre in August.

Established in 1989, Valley Youth Theatre's mission is to inspire young people to be the best they can be through a variety of performing arts opportunities. Along with their 6 annual mainstage performances, VYT offers eight-week Fall, Winter and Spring performing arts classes, as well as Spring Break and Summer Camps. VYT's ongoing community programs include Literacy and the Arts, Sponsor-a-Seat and The Nigel Ross Scholarship Fund as well as their annual fundraising event, VYTal Affair, in August.

For more information on Valley Youth Theatre, visit Click Here.


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