Press Release

Summer Youth Conservatory

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeri Lynn Schulke
919.929.2787 ext. 219

CARRBORO (January 9, 2009) – The ArtsCenter and PlayMakers Repertory Company will join together to offer their third collaborative Summer Youth Conservatory program for actors age 10-18. This year’s Conservatory will present William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.  Beginning June 22, 2009, 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.

Los Angeles based director Tom Quaintance will direct. Mr. Quaintance helmed last summer’s Conservatory production of THE MUSIC MAN, as well as the inaugural 2006 Conservatory show, OLIVER! He also directed 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.

Mr. Quaintance says “MIDSUMMER is the perfect show for the Summer Youth Conservatory – it has high drama, broad comedy, slapstick, music, love, loss and magic.  Our students will have a very full theatre experience and come away as fearless performers!” 

The 2009 production will feature original music by local artist Mark Lewis and choreography by Catawba College Theatre Arts professor, Missy Barnes. 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 recruiting young actors, this year the conservatory is expanding its programming to offer TheatreTech – an in-depth training program in Scenic, Costume, and Lighting design. This program offers ten days of technical theatre curriculum followed by a month of apprenticeship with PlayMakers professional staff.

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. 

This production will be cast by audition only. TheatreTech enrollment is based on students’ applications and subsequent interview and is limited to rising Juniors and Seniors and recent high school graduates.

For the 40 young actors cast, five weeks of intensive training and rehearsal begin on June 22, from 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  Rehearsals will culminate in four public performances July 23-26, 2009. 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.

TheatreTech students will begin classes on June 11. Apprenticeship appointments begin June 22 and run through July 26. Tuition is $550 with scholarships available based on financial need.


Auditions for all actors (10-18) will take place throughout the day on February 21 and 22, 2009, at PlayMakers, located in the Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.  Callbacks are scheduled from 3:30 pm on February 23, 2009. 

To sign up for auditions or a TheatreTech interview, students must complete and submit the Summer Youth Conservatory Registration Form. These forms can be downloaded from The ArtCenter’s website or are available at The ArtsCenter box office. The registration form must be submitted to the Youth Performing Arts Conservatory at The ArtsCenter located at 300G East Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510 no later than February 14, 2009.

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

For media questions about this exciting summertime collaboration, please contact:
Jeri Lynn Schulke at The ArtsCenter, 919.929.2787 ext.219 or, Lauren Sacks at 919.929.2787 ext.216, or Connie Mahan at PlayMakers Repertory Company. 919.428.1744 or

Photos from the 2008 Summer Youth Conservatory are available upon request.