Located in the duPont Manual educational complex adjacent to the University of Louisville, YPAS is one of only two schools in Kentucky to provide high school students with majors in the performing arts. Founded in 1978, YPAS has received local, state, national, and international recognition in the arts. In addition, the Youth Performing Arts School has served as a model for similar schools throughout the nation. As a part of the Jefferson County Public School District, no tuition is required. Transportation is provided; however, students must audition to attend.
At the heart of YPAS (both literally and figuratively) is an 886-seat, formal proscenium-style theatre acoustically designed for the young artist. The theater contains newly renovated lighting and sound systems, a hydraulic orchestra pit, a mahogany band/orchestra shell, and a 25-line counterweight system.

In addition, the YPAS scene shop, costume shop, and production facilities favorably compare with those of many universities and professional theaters. The rehearsal and classroom spaces are excellent.

The YPAS facility includes a suite of acoustically treated music rooms with a suite of practice studios; four acting labs that provide spacious rehearsal and workshop rooms; five dance studios, including a room that is specifically designed for tapping; a computer lab for playwriting and directing classes; a fine-arts-dedicated library; and the Robert W. West Experimental Theater, which seats 100 to 150 patrons during our main production season.


YPAS students have the opportunity to major in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music (which includes Band, Orchestra, and Piano), Dance, Theatre, and Design and Production (Technical Theatre). At the end of their sophomore year, students can elect to minor in Musical Theatre in addition to pursuing their current major. Highly specialized and intense training in each performing arts major prepares students for rigorous college, university, or conservatory programs that are focused on the arts. Each year, YPAS hosts 65 to 100 college, university, or conservatory representatives, who audition YPAS seniors for placement in post-secondary performing arts programs. This day, called Career Day, offers our students the opportunity to talk with many colleges, universities, and conservatory representatives in order to apply to and audition for their programs and to receive special scholarships. The YPAS co-curricular performance program provides a comprehensive classroom learning experience coupled with hands-on performance opportunities. All students are provided the opportunity to participate in after-school performances and touring companies that perform throughout the region and travel internationally. In addition to special projects, guest artist classes, touring ensembles, and performance workshops, over 50 productions are showcased each season in the Main Stage and Experimental Theaters. To complement their arts education, students take academic classes at duPont Manual High School, a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence with a national academic rating of 122 in the Redbook top U.S. high schools ranking. YPAS and Manual are on an eight-block schedule that runs over two days. Blocks one through four meet the first day, a Red Day, and blocks five through eight meet the second day, a White Day. Each class block is 90 minutes, allowing for multiple instructional styles and methods. The eight-block schedule also allows for academic flexibility and the opportunity for students to enhance their arts education beyond their major.
The YPAS Faculty is a carefully selected team of professional artists/teachers who bring elements from the genres of professional entertainment and educational philosophy into the YPAS curriculum. Faculty members devote long after-school hours to the production process and, thereby, provide additional production training for YPAS students. The YPAS faculty stays abreast of current trends and performance techniques by continuing to work professionally and by bringing guest artists to supplement the YPAS curriculum.



For the past 30 years, YPAS graduates have earned millions of dollars in scholarships and grants. Past years’ graduating classes have earned an average of more than $2.5 million in renewable scholarships a year. Talent, potential, and training in the arts enable YPAS students to compete nationally for scholarship money, awards, and grants offered by the top performing arts colleges. Schedules are customized to students’ individual needs and abilities to prepare them for the rigor and curricula of the finest colleges and conservatories, regardless of students’ chosen field(s) of study.

College/Career Fair
One of the focal points of the scholarship process is our annual College/Career Fair, usually held in late October or early November. Admissions officers and departmental representatives from 60 to 100 colleges from across the country come to YPAS to audition seniors for placement and scholarships. The continuing goal of YPAS is to place graduating seniors in the next training level.
Visit the College and Career Day Page

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the national program of NAfME which focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy. There are more than 1,700 chapters across 50 states, involving more than 67,000 students in grades 6-12. Each year, these students contribute more than 750,000 service hours to their school and local communities, and raise nearly $1 million for causes they care about. NAfME awards more than $2,000 in scholarship each year to chapters that demonstrate exceptional service and leadership.

Sponsor: Michael Kagan

The National Honor Society for Dance Arts™ (NHSDA) is a program of the National Dance Education Organization, created to recognize outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement in students studying dance in public and private schools in K-12 education, dance studios, cultural/community centers, performing arts organizations, and post-secondary education. The YPAS chapter of NHSDA is particularly committed to community service. In addition to attending NHSDA meetings, members are also required to participate in at least two society sponsored community service activities per year in order to stay in good standing. Sign-ups for activities are available at the meetings.

Sponsor: Kimberly Mansilla

Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) parents have the unique opportunity to belong to our parents’ support organization, The Producers. The Producers meet monthly and provide significant financial and moral support for each of the YPAS departments to ensure that each student has the best chance for success. In addition, the Producers provide scholarships for outstanding seniors upon graduation and enrollment in a performing arts secondary institution. The parents at YPAS are unique in their active participation and involvement in the education of their children and assist in focusing the vision for the school’s future. Also, parents serve as part of the academic tutoring program for students; they provide assistance for students seeking supplemental classes in the arts and in academics. Producers Board of Directors

In addition to serving as a continuing resource to the other schools in the Jefferson County Public School District, YPAS is actively engaged in reaching out to residents of the Louisville Metro area. YPAS maintains nine separate touring companies ranging from vocal music, band, orchestra, drama, musical theatre, and dance that go “on the road” to perform at conventions, civic functions, schools, and corporate venues. YPAS students also are active in professional local and regional performance venues and on film, in industrial performances, on the radio, and in television commercials. YPAS students are provided multiple opportunities to perform at the school, but they also share their vast array of talents with the community.

Corporate Sponsorship/Professional Partnerships
Corporate scholarships are an important part of the YPAS program. Students have opportunities to explore corporate and professional situations through internships and part-time employment. Students’ performance and managerial skills in the arts have been enhanced through ties with Stage One; Louisville Children’s TheatreActors Theatre Louisville; The Louisville Theatrical AssociationLouisville Orchestra; The Louisville Ballet; the Musician’s Union; and several public relations, marketing, and advertising firms.