Our Story

Amber Ryan has always known she belongs in the theater. As a young girl, her mom took her to her first play, and from the moment the curtains opened, she was enthralled. The experience evoked such strong emotions that she knew then her life would always be connected to the stage. 

When her daughter was 5, Amber found herself in the world of youth theater—teaching her daughter and her friends and later, starting youth programs for various Phoenix theaters. 

Actors PLAYground is Amber’s encore performance—her personal vision for youth theater brought to life. It’s a place where adult directors recognize and fulfill the needs of each individual performer. It’s a judgment-free zone where young people are encouraged to bring their whole selves to every production, to take creative risks, and to explore new concepts and emotions.

Young people grow in their craft, but more importantly, as people. Their confidence expands. They make connections. They understand the human experience and develop greater empathy. They explore complex conversations and emotions. They transform. 

At Actors PLAYground, the theater is personal because we know its power. Magic happens here every day because of the environment we’ve created and our approach to the craft: We focus on personal growth just as much as developing talent. And it’s that balance that makes Actors PLAYground special.