Press Release

PlayMakers’ award-winning Summer Youth Conservatory returns for 2015

PlayMakers Repertory Company announces the Summer Youth Conservatory for 2015. 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 the classic, Tony Award-winning musical “Guys and Dolls.”
Beginning June 15, a cast of high school actors will have the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform in a professional theater space — PlayMakers’ Paul Green Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art – as part of this award-winning program. 
The Summer Youth Conservatory has been 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 premier 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, Musical Theatre I: Solo Showcase, Musical Theatre II: ShowStoppers, Musical Theatre III: PopStars!, Acting for the Camera, and Improv and Clowning. Students can participate in one week of training or all six. Teachers for Theatre Quest are John Dreher, Zachary Michael Fine, David McClutchey, John Patrick and Caroline Strange.
Jeffrey Meanza, PlayMakers’ Associate Artistic Director, will direct the production of “Guys and Dolls.” He has appeared in numerous PlayMakers productions including this season’s “Into the Woods.” Meanza has worked with the Summer Youth Conservatory since its creation in 2007, and is excited to helm one of the great American musicals for the program. He holds a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina’s Professional Actor Training Program.
Matthew Steffens will return to choreograph,  having worked on last summer’s blockbuster production of “Hairspray.” Steffens is currently associate choreographer for the upcoming Broadway production of “Doctor Zhivago.” He appeared on Broadway in “Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown” and “Promises, Promises.” Most recently he served as associate choreographer and resident director for the immersive Off-Broadway hit “Queen of the Night.” His television and film credits include “Across the Universe,” “Clear Blue Tuesday,” “Black Box” and “Smash.” Later this year, he can be seen in movie theaters in “The Last Five Years,” for which he also served as assistant choreographer.
Theatre Intensive and “Guys and Dolls” will be cast by audition only. 
TheatreTech enrollment is based on application and subsequent interview and is open to high school students.
For the young actors cast, five weeks of intensive training and rehearsal begin on June 15, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Seven public performances of “Guys and Dolls” will take place July 15-19 and 24-25. 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 10. Apprenticeship appointments run through July 29. 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 6 and throughout the day on March 7 at PlayMakers, located in the Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Callbacks are scheduled for March 8.  
To apply for Theatre Intensive auditions or a TheatreTech interview, students must complete and submit a Summer Youth Conservatory Registration Form. 
To request a registration form, please contact Jennifer Wales at (919)962-2491, 
The registration form must be submitted to PlayMakers no later than March 3.
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.