The Phillipsburg Area Summer Youth Theatre (formerly Phillipsburg Summer Youth Theatre) was founded in 1996 with three goals: to educate young people about the performing arts, to bring youth and adults together in a collaborative, creative environment, and to provide a fun place to accomplish this.
Founded by Father Len Rusay (then of St. Philip and St. James Church) and Kathy Hartman (then the vocal music director at Phillipsburg High School), PASYT has now been a summer staple of the community for more than twenty years. Its Mainstage productions give youth ages 14-24 the opportunity to perform in some of the great musicals of our time (past productions include 42nd Street, Fiddler on the Roof, and Bye Bye Birdie).
In 2000, it expanded its offerings to include the Performing Arts Camp, which allows children ages 6-14 to learn all about the process of putting on a musical, from the first audition to the final curtain call.
The group formally changed its name to Phillipsburg Area Summer Youth Theatre in 2012, to properly reflect how it had grown from a small local organization into a theatre program that draws participants (and audiences) from throughout Warren County and the Lehigh Valley area.
PSYT founders Father Len Rusay and Kathy Hartman at the first cast party, Bye Bye Birdie, 1996.