Ryan Yapp: Mentee Feature

Welcome to Off The Lane’s new Mentee Feature blog, where we sit down with graduates of our Mentorship Program to talk about where they are now, what they’ve been working on, and what they got out of the program. We were absolutely delighted to sit down and catch up with Ryan Yapp, who was in one of our first batches of Mentees back in the days of MP2. See what Ryan has been up to below!

Mentor: Sarah Lasko
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major/Minor: BFA in Theatre Studies, 2020
Interests: Playwriting, directing, acting, producing

“Don’t prescribe yourself any path to get to New York…. Everyone’s journey is different. It’s all about doing what you can do…. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re falling behind.” — Ryan Yapp

Ryan’s St. Jude Fundraiser

Earlier this year, Ryan organized and ran his own fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Apart from being inspired by his parents who work in healthcare, Ryan wanted to make something good come out of his long-awaited haircut. Listen to him explain the idea and what he learned from it below!

He raised $3,000 and donated all of his hair to Locks of Love — so a huge success to say the least. Check out his launch video and his bald head reveal below!

Keeping Busy in a Pandemic

A 2020 graduate, Ryan was flung into an unstable job industry and the complete absence of live theatre. During the pandemic, Ryan said he has begun to explore and learn more about his other interests, such as creative writing, video editing, social media creation, and all things digital. “I want to pursue my passions in a way that keeps me fulfilled creatively,” he said.

Earlier this May, Ryan was fortunate to step onstage and be part of live theatre again through his university’s New Work Festival, a project that seeks to uplift local playwrights, dramaturgs, directors and more. Scroll through Instagram post below to see Ryan at work!

How does Ryan Spend his Free Time?

Ryan’s had more time to read for fun, something he hasn’t gotten to do much since middle school. We’ve all got our guilty pleasure and the shows we keep watching even though we’ve seen them a million times. Ryan shared one of his:

Why the Mentorship Program?

After receiving an email from his advisor about applying to the Mentorship Program, Ryan did a little more digging and decided he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Listen to him explain why he joined and what he got out of the program:


Be on the lookout for more Mentee Features! And applications for MP6 are now OPEN!