Press Release

Local youth to perform ‘The Music Man’ July 24-27

News Release


For immediate use: Monday, June 23, 2008


Local youth to perform ‘The Music Man’ July 24-27


CHAPEL HILL – A cast of 40 young thespians, ages 9 through 18, will perform Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” July 24-27 in the Center for Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


For the second year, PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theatre company in residence at the University, joins with The ArtsCenter of Carrboro for a Summer Youth Conservatory – five weeks of theatre training beginning Monday, June 23.


The conservatory will culminate with its production of “The Music Man,” the quintessential American musical, at 7 p.m. on July 24-26 and 2 p.m. on July 27. Shows will be in the Paul Green Theatre located in the Center, on Country Club Road.


Tickets – $15 for adults and $8 for children under 18 – may be purchased by phone at (919) 962-PLAY, online at or at the Paul Green Theatre Box Office, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and two hours before each performance.


Featuring rousing musical numbers and a town full of unforgettable characters, “The Music Man” is the story of fast-talking salesman Harold Hill. He takes a small town by storm, but no one is more surprised than the double-dealing Professor Hill when he ends up reinvigorating a community and finding a home.


The conservatory, a rare theatre experience for young people, is an educational and performance opportunity that includes working with a professional director, choreographer and musical director.


Besides rehearsing and performing “The Music Man,” participants receive training from professional actors and PlayMakers company members. With lights, sound design, set and costumes provided by PlayMakers, the conservatory production provides a rich theatre experience for cast, crew and audience alike.


“I am thrilled with our successful collaboration with PlayMakers Rep,” said Jon Wilner, executive director of The ArtsCenter. “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.”


Haj, PlayMakers producing artistic director, said the company is pleased to partner with The ArtsCenter to provide an opportunity for area young people. “PlayMakers is committed to community outreach through unique collaborations such as this,” he said. “The ArtsCenter and PlayMakers staff will once again make the Summer Youth Conservatory a terrific place for both organizations to shine.”


Los Angeles-based director Tom Quaintance, who will direct “The Music Man,” also directed last summer’s successful conservatory production, “Oliver!” He returned last winter to direct PlayMakers’ hit holiday show “The Little Prince.” He has worked on Broadway productions of “The Who’s Tommy” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” with Matthew Broderick, among other credits.


“Having worked on musicals on Broadway, in regional theatres, tours and high schools, I find the highest form of the American musical to be the high school musical,” Quaintance said. “There is something about the transformational power of musicals that is at its most pure and powerful in the honest, open, uncynical hands of teenagers.


“Last summer I found the true ideal – the Summer Youth Conservatory. Combining young performers with PlayMakers’ fantastic professional team is an incredible experience.”


Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premier resident professional theatre company. The Drama League has named PlayMakers “one of the best regional theatres in America,” and the North Carolina Theatre Conference gave PlayMakers its Professional Theatre of the Year Award.


The ArtsCenter seeks to  nourish the arts, creativity and community through education, performance and exhibition. Plays, concerts, classes, art exhibits and more take place at the facility.


Coverage note: Reporters and photographers wishing to cover conservatory sessions and rehearsals should contact PlayMakers’ Connie Mahan at (919) 428-1744 or


UNC College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr (919) 962-4093,

The ArtsCenter contacts: Lauren Sacks, (919) 929-2787, ext.216, or Jeri Lynn Schulke, (919) 929-2787, ext. 219,