How We Started...
United Youth Theatre was founded in 2016 by Drake Shrader and Clare Costello. After meeting in the winter of 2015, Drake and Clare quickly became friends through their mutual love and passion for children's performing arts. Together, they worked on numerous youth theatre productions and programs and went on to teach and run summer youth theatre programs for local community theatres. After noticing the lack of youth performing arts program options in our community and in our area schools, they formed United Youth Theatre - a non profit community theatre program exclusively for youth ages kindergarten to high school.
Drake Shrader is one of the founders and the Artistic Director of United Youth Theatre. Drake may only be twenty years old but he fell in love with acting and theatre at a very young age. Drake attended Clay High School and was a part of the Fine Arts Magnet program, graduating in 2014 with his diploma and magnet certification. Drake is now studying education at Ivy Tech. As the former stage manager, staff member and teacher at South Bend Civic Theatre, he assisted Clare Costello in running the summer camp program in 2016. Drake has an incredible passion for teaching and theatre and is excited to be working in his hometown community to provide fine arts programs to area youth. He hopes UYT truly impacts our community and the youth in it, as well as, helping them realize their full potential and that you can do anything you set your mind to!
Clare has had a passion for the fine arts ever since she hit the stage at six years old! Over the past three years she has been teaching theatre in the South Bend community by leading summer camp programs, writing shows for her students, teaching classes and molding her students into the best performers and people they can be since 2015. In addition to working with area youth, Clare has also been part of many productions as an actor, director, music director, assistant stage manager and more. Clare believes that every child deserves to express themselves and hopes UYT will be a creative outlet for them.