Graduate Studies: Professional Actor Training Program:
Letter from Program Head
from Ray Dooley, Head of the Program
Welcome to our site, and thanks for your interest in our program. It is said that graduate study in any field should offer students a bridge to their intended profession. The Professional Actor Training Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has offered such a bridge to its students for thirty five years, and remains one of the most select and respected actor training programs in the country.
We offer our students a rigorous conservatory training program in small classes led by master teachers in excellent facilities, complemented by the opportunity for practical professional training as core members of PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional LORT theatre associated with the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC Chapel Hill. Each graduating MFA student leaves the Program with membership in Actors Equity Association and is seen by agents and casting professionals in a showcase presentation in New York. Summer opportunities include auditions for A Guthrie Experience (in summer 2012 rising third-year Brett Bolton represents the PATP there) and the highly selective Chautauqua Theater Company. Rising third-year PATP actors Kelsey Didion and Josh Tobin represent the PATP at Chautauqua for summer 2012.
For fall 2013 we will be auditioning for a select group of talented and ambitious early-career professionals who are committed to furthering their training and to making a substantial contribution as core members of the PlayMakers acting company. PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj, who provides PATP students with candid professional feedback and guidance throughout their time in the program, has been named by American Theatre magazine as one of the 25 theatre artists who will lead the American theatre in the next quarter century. Joe’s leadership and artistry is supplemented by outstanding guest directors and designers. Recent guest directors at PlayMakers include Dominique Serrand, Vivienne Benesch, Wendy C. Goldberg, Mike Donahue, Michael Michetti, Seret Scott, Davis McCallum, Liesl Tommy, Brendon Fox, Lisa Rothe, and Libby Appel.
A sample of PATP actors’ roles on the PlayMakers mainstage in the past two seasons would include Rosalind, Orlando, Celia, Oliver, and Touchstone in As You Like It; Harper in Angels in America; Nick and Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Lady Percy, Douglas, and Poins in Henry IV, Princess of France, Alice, Dauphin and Montjoy in Henry V, Mrs. Givings, Mrs. Daldry, and Leo in In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), and numerous roles in the world premiere of Mike Wiley’s (PATP 2004) The Parchman Hour.
Classes in the program are no less rigorous and are the foundation of the training. In addition to regular classes with our superb resident faculty, the Professional Actor Training Program invites leading artistic and industry professionals to join us for projects, workshops, and master classes. Recent projects and guest professionals have included:
- Two-week physical acting workshop with Dominique Serrand, prior to his directing The Imaginary Invalid for PlayMakers Repertory Company.
- Eve, a commissioned play for the PATP by New York playwright (and UNC alumna) Bekah Brunstetter, directed by New York based UNC alumnus David Chapman.
- 99 Ways to F@#k a Swan, by Kim Rosenstock (who was in residence with the PATP during rehearsals), directed by New York based director Mike Donahue, who also directed A Number and Henry IV/V for PlayMakers.
- Chekhov Intensive with Rebecca Guy and Vivienne Benesch.
- Week long Improv workshop with Lisa Jolley.
- Clown workshop with Christopher Bayes.
- Extended Clown workshop with Lucas Caleb Rooney.
- Two week improv workshop with Zach Ward, Artistic Director of DSI Comedy Theatre.
- Audition Workshop with New York Casting Director Stephanie Klapper.
- Two-day industry and showcase workshop with Mark Schlegel of Cornerstone Talent Agency and Janet Foster of Janet Foster Casting in New York.
- Workshops with Mary Harden and Michael Kirsten of Harden/Curtis Talent Agency in New York.
A word about the cost of graduate training: The Professional Actor Training Program is committed to limiting debt burden for its graduates. For 2012-2013 all PATP actors will receive financial aid equivalent to full tuition remission and a competitive stipend. Although it is our goal, we cannot guarantee tuition and stipend packages to all students in the future; but we remain committed to providing our MFA actors with extraordinary value in addition to exceptional professional training.
We invite you to audition in January and February of 2013 in New York, Chicago, or Chapel Hill. See "Applying to the Program" for information on applications and auditions.
Head, Professional Actor Training Program