Press Release

PlayMakers’ award-winning Summer Youth Conservatory returns for 2013

PlayMakers Repertory Company announces the Summer Youth Conservatory for 2013. The Conservatory will feature Theatre Intensive, Theatre Quest and Theatre Tech programs for high school and middle school students, and culminate in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical thriller “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Beginning June 17, a cast of high school actors will have the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform in a professional theater space — PlayMakers’ Kenan Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art – as part of this award-winning program.

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 production. This program includes technical classes followed by a month-long apprenticeship with PlayMakers’ professional staff.

PlayMakers will also 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: Principles of Acting, Shakespeare and Stage Combat, Acting for the Camera, Musical Theatre I: Solo Showcase, and Musical Theatre II: ShowStoppers. Students can participate in one week of training or all five. Teachers for Theatre Quest are John Dreher, Katja Hill, David McClutchey and Estes Tarver.

“Sweeney Todd” will be directed by Tom Quaintance, artistic director of Cape Fear Regional Theatre in Fayetteville, N.C. Quaintance has helmed previous Conservatory productions including “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Music Man” and “Oliver!” He also directed PlayMakers’ “The Little Prince” and co-directed “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” with PlayMakers producing artistic director Joseph Haj.


Theatre Intensive and “Sweeney Todd” 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 young actors cast, five weeks of intensive training and rehearsal begin on June 17, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Five public performances of “Sweeney Todd” will take place July 17-21. 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 12. Apprenticeship appointments run through July 24. 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 in the evening on March 1 and throughout the day on March 2 at PlayMakers, located in the Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Callbacks are scheduled for March 3.


To apply for Theatre Intensive 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 1.


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.