Press Release

Young thespians to perform ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

News Release

CHAPEL HILL – A cast of 40 young actors, ages 10 to 18, will perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” July 23-26 in the Center for Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For the third year, PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater in residence at UNC, joins with The ArtsCenter in Carrboro to present a stage production as the culmination of their Summer Youth Conservatory program. The conservatory provides five weeks of theater training beginning June 22.
Shows will be at 7 p.m. on July 23-25 and 2 p.m. on July 26 in the Paul Green Theatre inside the center, located on Country Club Road. Tickets — $15 for adults, $13 for PlayMakers subscribers and Friends of The ArtsCenter, and $10 for children under 18 — may be purchased by phone at (919) 962-PLAY (7529), online at or at the Paul Green Theatre Box Office. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and two hours before each performance.

In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” four young lovers enter an enchanted forest. They wander into a world of mischievous fairies, and neither the humans nor the magical beings they encounter will ever be the same.

The conservatory, a rare theater experience for young people, is an educational and performance opportunity that includes working with a professional director, actors, choreographer and musical director at PlayMakers. Lights, sound design, set and costumes are provided by PlayMakers.

The 2009 production will feature original music by local artist Mark Lewis and choreography by Catawba College Theatre Arts professor Missy Barnes.

This year the conservatory has expanded to offer TheatreTech — an in-depth training program in stage management and scenic, costume and lighting design. The program offers seven days of technical theater curriculum followed by a month of apprenticeship with PlayMakers professional staff.

“PlayMakers is thrilled to continue our partnership with The ArtsCenter in providing this artistic opportunity to our region’s young people,” said Joseph Haj, PlayMakers producing artistic director. “With the exploration of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, PlayMakers furthers its commitment to families in the region.”

Jon Wilner, executive director of The ArtsCenter, added that his organization is also pleased to continue the successful collaboration with PlayMakers.

“Together our two organizations make a unique combination able to serve the youth of our community in a distinctive way,” Wilner said.

Los Angeles-based director Tom Quaintance will direct “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  He directed previous conservatory productions of “Oliver!” and “The Music Man,”and also directed PlayMakers’ hit holiday show, “The Little Prince,” in 2007 and 2008.

 Quaintance will return to PlayMakers in the fall to co-direct Charles Dickens’ “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” with Haj. He has worked on Broadway productions of “The Who’s Tommy” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” with Matthew Broderick.

“‘Midsummer’ is the perfect show for the Summer Youth Conservatory,” Quaintance said. “This play has all the ingredients for the perfect summertime entertainment – broad comedy, high drama, love, heartbreak, music and magic. Our students will have a very full theater experience and come away as fearless performers!” 
Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premier resident professional theater company. The Drama League has named PlayMakers “one of the best regional theaters in America.” For information about PlayMakers’ 2009-10 season, which begins in September, visit
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, which is also home to the Youth Performing Arts Conservatory.

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

PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744,
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093,
The ArtsCenter contact: Jeri Lynn Schulke, (919) 929-2787, ext. 219,