Print this Page

About Us

Jill Womack, Executive Artistic Director

Dear Friends, Educators, and Parents,

I love children’s theater. It’s a magical place. Tucked in the audience, I am transported to places I’ve never seen before, meet people I’ve never heard of before, see things I’ve never even imagined…whisked over the rainbow, lost in the Hundred Acre Wood, flown to Never Land, thrown into a mad tea party, renewed in a secret garden, hidden in an attic room with a girl and her diary. Which of these places fails to ring deeply in your imagination?

Works of art are powerful tools. They teach us, reach our conscience and sense of humanity in a deep and lasting way, and inspire us to move forward. Onstage, these magical places and people come to life. And cloaked inside the music, humor, and adventure – we discover ourselves. We learn that there is no place like home or that we must grow up or that we’re free to be you and me, or we dare to hope that, despite everything, people really are good. That’s the powerful nature of art at work.

We learn. We are touched. We are connected by this shared experience, and a common bond is born between audience and actors. Together, we remember our finest qualities: hope, courage, creativity, honesty, tolerance, and on and on and on. All of this is possible from a simple trip to see a play.

At TRYPS, we create magic. We do it expressly to teach, reach, and inspire young audiences – not only about theater, but about life’s values. We tie classroom lessons to life lessons. We love it and hope you will too.

Jill Womack
Artistic Director




• PLAYS cost $12,000-$18,000 for each of our productions
• THEATER & CAMP SPACE – We pay $10,000 each year for classes, workshops, theater and camp space rental
• OFFICE SPACE – We pay $45,000+ annually for rent, utilities, copier rental, and telephone/web access fees
• SCHOLARSHIPS – We have never turned down a student due to financial challenges.
• INTERNSHIPS – Students have opportunities to shadow teach, to learn different positions in our technical theater, to help behind-the-scenes running the show in exchange for 50%-75% scholarships.

• It costs less than $5 per hour to have your child in our plays.

• We maintain a high adult to child ratio in rehearsals – professional directors, pianists, stage managers, coaches, choreographers, music directors.

• We don’t nickel and dime you once your child is in a play. Tuition includes everything except shoes and stage make-up and raffle donations.

• We hire professional costume designers, scenic designers, lighting designers so that parents aren’t over-worked as volunteers.

• We create a safe, positive atmosphere for children.

• We teach theater vocabulary, vocal and singing techniques, stage combat, and acting styles to all levels of young actors.

• Children have the opportunity to perform for hundreds of their peers during our weekday school performances.

• We create opportunity for children by creating two separate casts for maximum acting opportunity and a choice of rehearsal times.

• Children have the opportunity to work with some of the very best local actors and musicians – Harry Morrison/Vocal Instructor & Conductor at Stephens College, Tom Andes/Jazz Piano Artist & Music Teacher at CIS, Hallie Rieves/Dance Teacher & Choreographer, Audra Sergel/Piano & Voice Coach, Jennifer Cone-Black/Teacher & Director

• TRYPS helps professional theater companies cast children – Arrow Rock    Lyceum, MU Summer Repertory, local commercials for television, radio, and film projects

• We teach children about respect, responsibility, team work, confidence, and positive attitudes.


  •  The artistic director’s salary is $0
  •  We are able to hire the best directors, musicians, choreographers, and teachers available to work with the children.
  •  We maintain high artistic standards in our productions.
  •  We are able to hire the best designers and technical artists to create our productions.


  • Ticket sales to the plays
  • Tuition for classes, shows, Play Dates, Play Days, and week-long theater camps
  • Funding from the City of Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs
  • Funding from the Missouri Arts Council
  • Corporate & Individual Donations
  • Fundraising – raffles, auctions, & stars and rose
  • Events – TRYPSathlon Races and Princess Tea Parties
  • Program Advertising Sales
  • We apply for local and national funding

Permanent link to this article: