About Us

Once upon a time (in 2007, to be exact), under the shade of a tree in historic Shepherdstown, there began some performing arts classes for youth.  Eventually, the teacher and students made their way to Princess Street, where a group of actors had created a home.  They continued their work, and they grew and grew, adding more classes, workshops, activities, and performances both dramatic and musical.  They shared their gifts with hundreds of people over the years, until one day it was decided that they should take over the little space on a corner of Princess Street. 


And so they did. 


Now they are known as the Black Box Youth Playhouse.

The End (not really).

Laura Richards Bakin,

Managing Artistic Director

The founder of the Black Box Youth Playhouse, Laura offers  more 35 years of experience in the performing arts as an actor, director, teacher, producer, and manager.  On stage she has performed and directed with a variety of theater companies from Florida to New York.  She spent many years teaching both children and adults around the D.C. area.  She was an administrator at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. for eight years, and the artistic and managing director of the Rhapsodic Theater Company in Virginia before settling in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with her family.  She has written over 20 plays and musicals, directed over 100 shows, and has conducted countless workshops, seminars, and private classes.  Laura is also a published author of both juvenile and adult fiction.