High School Actors Take the Stage

High school students worked with professional directors, choreographers and musicians this summer to produce a show  through PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Summer Youth Conservatory.

This year’s production was Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”  Joseph Haj, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director, said it was chosen because Sondheim’s work is “famously difficult to execute.”

Tom Quaintance, the director of the show and artistic director of Cape Fear Regional Theater, said the play is not only more difficult than those usually offered in high school theater but also darker, with more mature subject matter.  “It’s a unique opportunity for these kids to do a show that they probably wouldn’t be able to do in any other context,” he said.

PlayMakers’ Summer Youth Conservatory has two tracks offered to high school students from the surrounding area—Theatre Intensive and TheatreTech.  Students in the Theatre Intensive program participate in five weeks of rehearsal and act in the show, and Theatre tech students are trained in scenic, costume, and lighting design while working with the show. 

PlayMakers is based in the College of Arts and Sciences.

[Text and video by Beth Lawrence ’12]