Press Release

2008 Summer Youth Conservatory

CARRBORO (February 13, 2008) – The ArtsCenter and PlayMakers Repertory Company will join together to offer their second collaborative Summer Youth Conservatory program for actors age 9-18.  This year’s Conservatory will present the musical THE MUSIC MAN by Meredith Willson.  Beginning June 23, a cast of 40 young actors will have the exciting opportunity to rehearse and perform in a professional theatre space – PlayMakers’ Mainstage at UNC’s Paul Green Theatre.

This is a rare theatre experience for young people; an educational and performance opportunity that includes working with a professional director, choreographer and musical director at PlayMakers Repertory Company, the premiere resident professional theatre of the Carolinas.

In addition to rehearsing and performing THE MUSIC MAN, participants will receive training from professional actors and PlayMakers company members. With lights, sound design, set and costumes provided by PlayMakers, the Summer Youth Conservatory production will provide a rich theatre experience for cast and audience alike.

This second collaboration between PlayMakers and The ArtsCenter follows last summer’s hugely successful Conservatory production of OLIVER!

The ArtsCenter is home to the very successful Youth Performing Arts Conservatory, an in-depth acting program for 120 students. In addition to actor participants, the Summer Youth Conservatory is seeking high school age musicians for the performance orchestra and students interested in backstage technician positions – including those interested in stage management, set construction and lighting design. 

Jon Wilner, Executive Director of The ArtsCenter, says, “I am thrilled with our successful collaboration with PlayMakers Rep. It’s great that a community-based organization and a campus-based organization can work together like this.  Together we’re a unique combination able to serve the youth of our community in a distinctive way. I’m anticipating the continued success of this year’s Summer Youth Conservatory and a continued and expanded partnership with my friend Joe Haj.”

“PlayMakers is very pleased to continue our partnership with The ArtsCenter to provide this opportunity for our region’s young people,” says Joseph Haj, PlayMakers Producing Artistic Director. “PlayMakers is committed to community outreach through unique collaborations such as this. The ArtsCenter and PlayMakers staff will once again make the Summer Youth Conservatory a terrific place for both organizations to shine.”

This production will be cast by audition only and is open to both Conservatory and non-Conservatory students.

PlayMakers and The ArtsCenter particularly encourage young actors with passion and skill (non-Equity), who are age 14-18, to audition for the lead characters Professor Harold Hill and Marian Paroo, as well as other leading roles. 

Los Angles based director Tom Quaintance will direct.  Mr. Quaintance helmed last summer’s Conservatory production OLIVER! and returned to the Triangle to direct PlayMakers’ hit holiday show THE LITTLE PRINCE. He has worked on the Broadway productions of The Who’s TOMMY and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING with Matthew Broderick, among many other credits.

For the 40 young actors selected for THE MUSIC MAN cast, five weeks of intensive training and rehearsal begin on June 23, from 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  Rehearsals will culminate in four public performances July 24-27. Cast members will be expected to attend all rehearsals (with July 4th off only). Tuition is $1,100/actor, with scholarships available, based on financial need.


Auditions for all actors (9-18) will take place throughout the day on March 15 and 16, 2008, at PlayMakers located in the Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, or at The ArtsCenter, located in Carrboro, depending on the audition day and time assigned.  All actors must register, as directed below, and will then be contacted in advance to reserve an audition time on March 15 or 16. Callbacks are scheduled from 3:30 pm on March 17, 2008. 

All youth actors wishing to audition must be available for both the audition day and the callback day, as needed.

To sign up for auditions, actors must complete and submit the Summer Youth Conservatory Audition Registration Form. This form can be downloaded from The ArtCenter’s website or will be available at The ArtsCenter beginning on February 18. This form must be returned to The ArtsCenter’s Box Office located at 300G East Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510 no later than March 7, 2008. A maximum of 120 actors can be seen during these auditions. Once that number of registrants is reached registration will be closed.

For auditions, actors will sing 16 bars of an upbeat, Broadway-style song of their choice (actors will need to bring sheet music of their selection for the accompanist), read scenes from THE MUSIC MAN (available on The ArtsCenter’s website) and dance.
Audition applicants will be contacted after receipt of their completed registration form to confirm the call time for their audition.

For media questions about this exciting summertime collaboration, please contact:
Jeri Lynn Schulke at The ArtsCenter, 919.929.2787 ext.219 or, or Connie Mahan at PlayMakers Repertory Company. 919.428.1744 or