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Empty Stage

YPPC Staff

Jessica Horstman Sabitini

Artistic Director

Jessica's journey in the world of theater began at YPPC, where she dedicated 12 years of her life, from age 6 and continuing until she turned 18. Her academic journey led her to achieve a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a minor in Business Administration from ECU. Over the course of more than 20 years, she has accumulated experience as an actor, director, and producer, with performances on both local stages and the bustling theater scene of New York City, spanning theater, film, and television.

In addition to her remarkable work in the performing arts, Jessica's leadership and teaching abilities shine through. She has dedicated five years to teaching children's theater, inspiring the next generation of artists. Moreover, for over a decade, she has excelled as a life coach and a sought-after public speaker.

What truly sets Jessica apart is her unwavering belief in the transformative power of theater, as she passionately strives to evoke catharsis, triggering emotional transformations within audiences through the act of witnessing powerful performances.

"Watching Jessica work with children is like watching magic. She is the best sort of teacher...the kind who teaches without teaching. In her class, the kids learn so much, on so many levels, without even realizing they're being taught! Jessica creates a fun, respectful, supportive container where ALL personalities feel safe to express and engage and through this, she accesses the actor within each child. I continue to be amazed by the cohesive community she creates amongst the kids with seemingly little effort! As a mother, I am so grateful that she is sharing her gifts for theater with our children!"

~ Courtney Rosser-Mirabal, 2023

Jeffryn Stephens

Co-Founder & Director Emerita

As the heart and driving force behind YPPC since its inception in 1982, Jeffryn assumed various pivotal roles within the company. She serves as its artistic director, a dedicated teacher, a proficient manager, and a talented writer. With over 40 years of unwavering commitment, Jeffryn has directed an impressive portfolio of more than 500 shows at YPPC. Beyond her directorial prowess, she imparts her expertise through teaching in YPPC classes, camps, and workshops, while also adeptly managing schedules and overseeing the company's administration.

In addition to her invaluable contributions to YPPC, Jeffryn's impact has extended to other prominent organizations, including the Durham Recreation Department, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Durham County Schools, the Carrboro Art School Theater, the Duke School for Children, and Durham Academy. Jeffryn's academic journey reflects her dedication, holding a Bachelor's degree in Dramatic Arts with a strong emphasis on directing and acting, complemented by a Minor in Music, with a focus on voice, from St. Mary's College at Notre Dame.

Throughout her illustrious career, Jeffryn has introduced countless young talents to the enchanting world of theater, infusing them with the magic of drama and comedy. Her unwavering passion continues to inspire new generations of students at YPPC on a daily basis.

Elizabeth Jordan

Musical Director

Beth Jordan is a songwriter, actor, pianist and teacher, and has taught in private and public schools in Seattle, Texas, North Carolina, and New York City. She also performed in the National Tour of The Buddy Holly Story, which was especially meaningful having grown up in Lubbock, Texas. She has music directed many shows, and teaches private voice and piano. Beth is an avid reader, chef and knitter. She enjoys walking, hiking, gardening and hot yoga. In her spare time, she's usually working on her new-old house near downtown Burlington, or conversing with her Siamese cat, Zuzu.

Rich Kless

Technical & Lighting Director

Rich's journey in the performing arts began at age 10, evolving into a multifaceted career that saw him sharing stages with Perry Como and Garth Brooks. He now serves as the Theater Operations Supervisor at Duke University, managing its major campus venues.

Across 100+ shows, he's taken on pivotal roles like John Adams in "1776" and Bill Sykes in "Oliver." In 1996, he toured Europe, managing Leonard Bernstein's "On the Town," while Susie danced alongside.

The couple also co-founded "2 Peas in a Pod Productions" in Wilmington, NC, blending classic fairy tales and contemporary kids' works. Yet, their greatest collaboration remains raising their twin sons, Tyler and Colin.

No matter age, experience, role, race, religion, nationality, orientation, identity, affiliation, status, ability, place on the spectrum, ALL students are equals at YPPC

Young People's Performance Company

New Class for 2023!

Creative Movement with 

Rebecca Drake-Pelli

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(919) 972-6818

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