Summer Youth Conservatory

Theatre Quest

Summer Theatre Camp for Middle School Students

Theatre Quest is an exciting program for rising 6th-9th graders that offers week-long camps for aspiring actors to study a variety of theatre disciplines and train with professional theatre artists.

Classes are MON-FRI, 10:00a-5:00p. Early drop-off is available at 9:00am for an additional $25 / week ($45 for 2-week “Make a Play” camp). Free of charge to UNC employees.

All camps end the week on Friday with a performance sharing for friends and family.

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Dig deep into the exploration of acting techniques necessary for powerful scenes and monologues—how to play an action, identify objectives, overcome obstacles and focus energy, and more!
Instructor: David McClutchey

Develop comedic skills and discover why humor is such an essential ingredient in theatre and in life. Focus will be on monologues, scenes, physical comedy and improvisation.
Instructor: David McClutchey

Students will begin to build a foundation in principles of both unarmed, and armed stage combat. Learning to communicate with their scene partner, in an effective and safe manner in order to represent scenes of conflict between characters. Falling, rolling and throwing punches has never been this fun! Join us and dive into a creative world where anything is possible.
Instructor: Ryan Gentry

Explore both contemporary and classic musical theatre selections, focusing on acting and singing solo and duet songs.
Instructor: John Dreher

The Foundations of Character Driven Conflict
Some of the most memorable scenes in theatre are driven by confrontation. Verbal, and physical violence can be some of the hardest work an actor does. In this class we will mix the worlds of stage combat technique, and acting. Students will work to build relatable characters in scenes of conflict. Learning to control their physicality and breath in order to master the images they present to an audience, and culminating in a partner scene that will strive to represent character struggles in a realistic light.
Instructor: Ryan Gentry

Explore both contemporary and classic musical theatre selections to learn the ins and outs of group musical numbers and how to stop the show!
Instructor: John Dreher

Hone your musical theatre auditioning skills and master the art of getting the part!
Instructor: John Dreher

John Dreher was born and raised in Colorado. He’s studied music and singing for over 20 years and loves telling stories through song. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with his MFA in 2013, he moved to NYC where he has appeared in The Slap on NBC, and Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. He has appeared in musicals both off-Broadway and regionally including, Cabaret, Big River, The Last Five Years, Jesus Christ Superstar, Parade, Urinetown, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This is his 6th year teaching and learning in Theatre Quest/SYC and could not be more proud to be involved in such a vibrant arts community!

Ryan Gentry is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, where he studied Performance, and Stage Combat. He has received training, and recognition, in all eight weapons with the Society of American Fight Directors, as well as firearms certifications. He teaches at Orange High School, and can also be found at various theatres around the area, choreographing fights, and constructing sets. Most recently, he did the fight choreography for Morte Arthur, and Robin Hood at Studio 1. Ryan is extremely pleased to be working with PlayMakers this summer, and can’t wait to start classes!

David McClutchey is a professional actor, director, and choreographer with over 100 acting credits to his name, he has had the pleasure of working with some of the best talent in the triangle including: PlayMakers Repertory Theatre Company, Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Raleigh Little Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Temple Theatre, Deep Dish Theatre, Hot Summer Nights/Theatre Raleigh, and many more. Mr. McClutchey received his certification as an Advanced Actor/Combatant from the Society of American Fight Directors in the early 1990’s and since then has choreographed fights locally, nationally and internationally as well. Mr. McClutchey is currently the Director of Theatre for St. David’s School in Raleigh NC.

To register for classes, fill out the Theatre Quest Registration Form (available soon) and return to PlayMakers at or register online (available late February).

2019 Summer Youth Conservatory production

Audition Registration and TheatreTech Applications being accepted for

Music, Book & Story by
Music, Lyrics & Story by

Featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steven Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. Inspired by a real event, set in many familiar locations in North Carolina and propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies, and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.


Our Theatre Intensive and Theatre Tech programs are for high school students who are ready to take it to the next level. PlayMakers offers a six-week practicum for high school students—both on stage and behind the scenes—combining top-notch teaching with unparalleled practical experience. Students work with professional directors, choreographers, musical directors, and theatre technicians at PlayMakers Repertory Company, which culminates in a professional-quality production for the entire Triangle to enjoy.

“The Conservatory is the biggest learning experience in acting and singing that I’ve ever encountered. I learned so much about scene work, text work, and character work.”Nora, Conservatory Student


June 17–July 28

Rehearsals: Mon–Fri, 10am–5pm
Tech: Add evenings and weekends.
Performances: July 18–22; 25–28
Must register below to audition
Auditions: Feb 9–10; callbacks Feb 23

Rising 9th-graders to recent high school graduates participate in six weeks of intensive training and rehearsals towards performances in a professionally-realized production on the PlayMakers’ main stage theatre.

This program is a huge commitment. Students must attend all six weeks and cannot miss tech rehearsal or performance for any reason.


June 17–July 31

Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm
Tech/Performances: July 12–28
Strike: July 29–31
Admittance based on interview
Application deadline: May 14

High school students train for six weeks alongside PlayMakers professional staff and visiting designers to learn about all aspects of technical theatre, apprentice in the field of their choice as they produce a professionally-realized production on the PlayMakers’ main stage theatre.

This program is a huge commitment. Students must attend all six weeks and cannot miss tech rehearsal or performance for any reason.

To apply for an interview or audition, students must complete and submit a Theatre Intensive Audition Form or Theatre Tech Registration Form . If you have any questions please contact Jeri Lynn Schulke, See above for deadlines

*Thanks to the generosity of donors, PlayMakers is committed to ensuring that anyone accepted into the Theatre Intensive and Theatre Tech programs will be able to participate regardless of financial need.