Press Release

PlayMakers’ award-winning Summer Youth Conservatory returns for 2012

PlayMakers Repertory Company announces the fifth Summer Youth Conservatory, reimagined for 2012. The new Conservatory will feature three programs tailored for high school and middle school students: Theatre Intensive, Theatre Quest and Theatre Tech.

Beginning June 18, a cast of 25 high school actors will have the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform in a professional theater space — PlayMakers’ Mainstage at UNC’s Paul Green Theatre – as part of this award-winning program. This year’s Conservatory production will be the Tony Award-winning musical satire “Urinetown: The Musical.” 

In 2009, the Summer Youth Conservatory was honored by the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) with the Constance Welsh Youth Theatre Award for excellence in performance, service of mission and community outreach.  NCTC recognized the Conservatory as having “become a model program for youth theater in North Carolina,” saying that the Conservatory has made professional theater training more accessible to the youth of the Triangle.

The Conservatory is a unique theater experience for young people: an educational and performance opportunity that includes working with professional directors, choreographers and musical directors at PlayMakers Repertory Company, the premiere resident professional theater of the Carolinas.

In addition to training young actors, the Conservatory offers TheatreTech – an in-depth program in Scenic, Costume, and Lighting design. This program includes ten days of technical curriculum followed by a month-long apprenticeship with PlayMakers’ professional staff.

New this summer, PlayMakers will offer a series of week-long classes for middle school students called Theatre Quest. This program will give students the opportunity to train with professional artists in a variety of subjects: The Fundamentals of Acting, Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Acting for the Camera, and Improv and Physical Theatre: the Art of Creating a Character. Students can participate in one week of training or all five. Teachers for Theatre Quest are Dee Dee Batteast, Katja Hill, David McClutchey and Estes Tarver.

“Urinetown” will be directed by longtime PlayMakers company member Julie Fishell, along with guest director Jeff Stanley. Ms. Fishell appeared in PlayMakers’ recent production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and has been part of the Summer Youth Conservatory teaching team since its inception in 2007. Mr. Stanley is a professional director based at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut and is a professor of theater at Fairfield University.

Theatre Intensive and “Urinetown” will be cast by audition only.

TheatreTech enrollment is based on application and subsequent interview and is limited to rising juniors and seniors and recent high school graduates.

For the 25 young actors cast, five weeks of intensive training and rehearsal begin on June 18, with classes held 10:00 am-12:00 pm and rehearsals for “Urinetown” 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Four public performances of “Urinetown” will take place July 19-22. Cast members will be expected to attend all rehearsals. Tuition is $1,500/actor, with scholarships available based on financial need.

TheatreTech students will begin classes on June 11. Apprenticeship appointments begin June 20 and run through July 22. Tuition is $750, with scholarships available based on financial need.

Theatre Quest students can enroll by contacting PlayMakers education manager Jennifer Wales at (919) 962-2491, Tuition is $300 per week.


Auditions for Theatre Intensive actors (rising 9th graders through recent high school graduates) will take place throughout the day on March 10 and the morning of March 11, at PlayMakers, located in the Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Callbacks are scheduled for the afternoon and evening of March 11. 

To apply for auditions or a TheatreTech interview, students must complete and submit a Summer Youth Conservatory Registration Form.

The form can be found at

The registration form must be submitted to PlayMakers no later than March 2.

Audition and Interview applicants will be contacted after receipt of their completed registration form to confirm the call time for their appointment.

PlayMakers is based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League has named the company “one of the best regional theaters in America.”

Web site:

PlayMakers press contact: For media questions about this exciting summertime program, contact Connie Mahan, (919) 962-5359,

Photos from previous Summer Youth Conservatory sessions are available upon request.