YOUNGSTOWN, OH (June 9, 2020) – The Youngstown Playhouse has welcomed a new staff member.

As of May 31, Kayla Boye was hired by the 97-year-old community theater as Development Director, a part-time position created by the non-profit arts organization to facilitate dedicated attention to grant writing and fundraising.

As Development Director, Ms. Boye will provide the Playhouse with fundraising strategies and resources, with an emphasis in grant development, for the short- and long-term institutional advancement and sustainability of the organization. The work commences in the shadow of the pandemic crisis but will also look toward annual upkeep and the theater’s impending 100th anniversary in 2024.

Kayla Boye most recently served as a Consultant for Artistic Fundraising Group, which provides fundraising strategies and resources for small- to mid-level nonprofits in Chicago’s vibrant cultural landscape. In the past two years, she has raised over half a million dollars for her clients by generating growth in all areas of contributed revenue. Her portfolio includes work for Arts of Life, BrightSide Theatre, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Chicago Mosaic School, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and Snow City Arts.

She has cultivated her specialization in arts administration from her tenures at Writers Theatre, where she has served in finance and marketing, and Goodman Theatre, where she served in development. She has acquired local fundraising experience from her time at the Youngstown State University Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Akron Children’s Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing & Editing from Youngstown State University and is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers, she has performed at The Youngstown Playhouse and on regional stages including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Fireside Theatre, Capital City Theatre, and Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works).

Equally comfortable on stage, Ms. Boye’s performing credits include Chicago-area productions of Guys and Dolls, The Wizard of Oz, South Pacific, Anything Goes, Gypsy and Mame. On the Youngstown Playhouse main stage, she is best remembered as Roxie Hart in 2010’s Chicago and the titular nanny in 2015’s Mary Poppins. She is also the creator of a solo performance piece focusing on the early life of Elizabeth Taylor, entitled Call Me Elizabeth.

Kayla Boye shares, “I am so thrilled for the opportunity to return to The Youngstown Playhouse during this extraordinary time for the performing arts. As my first artistic home, the Playhouse has played a formative role in my career, and I hope I can meaningfully contribute to this period of strategic institutional advancement in collaboration with James McClellan, YPH staff, and the YPH board under the leadership of Dr. John Cox. Together, we will ensure that this beloved cultural organization emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before, so it may continue serving the Mahoning Valley with quality performing arts through and beyond the upcoming 100th Anniversary Season.”

The Youngstown Playhouse has cancelled the remaining few months of its 2019-2020 season, which was halted when the State of Ohio entered lockdown in March of this year. Based on the progress made in controlling the ongoing coronavirus, the Playhouse hopes to begin a new season with a main stage musical production of The Color Purple, for which it acquired the rights at the end of 2019. Members of the highly successful Dreamgirls production team, led by director Trevail Maurice, will be mounting the show for the Playhouse.