Karen Cooke has been the director of TYS since 2006. As a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as well as their Educational Theatre program, Karen brings her aptitude with performance art to TYS. Some recent productions she has directed include Pippin, Pitch Perfect and Grease, as well as original, co-created tributes to Glee and a Cirque piece, Technicolor Dream. Karen also wrote and directed a Beatles musical, Come Together for TYS. Managing other programs and events include the Talent Show each fall, band events, such as 455 Live and workshop offerings. Maintaining the county grant, registering new youths, coordinating fundraising and volunteers, advertising and promoting activities and finding new resources and equipment for the community house are a few other tasks at hand. It has been important for Karen to give the kids of Topanga a voice. She encourages participants to create projects or ideas and to take leadership in areas of interest. Outside of her work with TYS, Karen works in the Los Angeles schools, teaching arts in educational plays with elementary and middle school classes and directing them in staged readings. A certified schoolteacher as well as in yoga, Karen hails from Michigan, New York and Amsterdam, where she was a member and artistic director of a few theater companies along the way.