About Us

On February 16th, 2011 a small community theater closed down, leaving dozens of children with no place to perform the play they had been rehearsing for months. Their director, never one to accept defeat, secured a rehearsal space and performance space for the displaced cast, and that’s how Young Actors Playhouse was born.

Our mission is to provide our students with the opportunity to perform on stage, and give them as much material as they can handle. The cornerstone of our organization are the original musicals written by President and Artistic Director, Don Goodner.

Unlike must other more popular musicals, our plays have roles for EVERYONE. Kids don’t get cast as trees or bushes. Every student in our plays has lines and a character to play. We believe that students can become better performers when given the chance to play a part, rather than just a random villager in the background. In the event that there aren’t enough roles in the play, we write new characters. If a student has a strong singing voice, but there aren’t enough songs in the play, we’ll write a new song for them.

Over the years, we have developed programs for our summer camps, in-school drama programs,  home-school drama programs, and on-camera programs for film and television. Our dedicated team of experienced instructors work with the students to improv their performance skills in singing, acting, and dancing.


President/Artistic Director- Don Goodner

Don has been writing stories and poetry since he was 6 years old. He began taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old during which time he began studying musical theory. When he was 13, he starred in his first play, and was hooked on theater ever since. Don is the playwright/composer of:
Back to the Beanstalk
Jack and Jill and the Crown of Wonder
The Big Bad Wolf
Goldilocks and the Curse of the Porridge
The Snow Princess
Writer’s Block
Hansel and Gretel
Twelve Dancing Princesses
A Christmas Carol
The Song of the Winter
as well as dozens of episodes of our in-house web series production of “Break a Leg.”

When he isn’t writing and directing, Don takes acting classes in Atlanta. He has studied with Catapult, Pinch n Ouch, and the Alliance.

Director/Instructor- Madison Hext

Madison Allen (Madison Montgomery) is a singer, actress, songwriter, musician, director, dancer, and voice and theatre teacher. She attended the Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy in Manhattan, where she studied under several of the most influential names on Broadway. Madison has over ten years of experience in voice teaching and coaching, for both children and adults, and over 20 years of experience in performance.
Having recently relocated to her home- town in Marietta, Madison is excited to join YAP!