Letter from Program Head

Welcome to our site, and thanks for your interest in our program. After many years performing, directing and teaching in New York City, I am in my seventh year of training actors with UNC’S Professional Actor Training Program (PATP), and performing alongside them as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Company.

The PATP is a small yet rigorous program committed to the development of seriously playful and playfully serious actors. We create an environment in which each actor is able to discover, embrace and develop their own voice as an actor. We develop professionally prepared, technically disciplined, and artistically passionate actors who work with artistic freedom while maintaining a commitment to the intentions of the playwright and/or production. And finally, we serve as a bridge to the profession and help provide a solid launch of each actor’s career.

The uniqueness of our training program is our intricate relationship with North Carolina’s premier professional regional theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company. Every graduate student actor is considered to be a member of PlayMakers’ acting company upon acceptance into the program. Training in the classroom is shared with the training that comes from working on productions with professional directors, designers, and actors. Thus, we are looking for actors who arrive ready to perform in PlayMakers’ 499-seat theatre, while also being curious, eager and open to honing their technique, sharpening their skills, broadening their range and digging deeper into the work in our training studios where they will study with a small dedicated faculty of Master Teachers who continue to work nationally in the field.

Theatre serves as a mirror to society, a pathway to empathy, an illumination of the human spirit, and thus should accurately reflect the communities in which we live and dream. The PATP, as well as PlayMakers and the entire Department of Dramatic Art, is dedicated to access, equity, diversity and inclusion.

As an actor myself, I strive to always be truthful, to dig deep, and to collaborate playfully yet diligently with specificity and clarity.  This is what I aim to inspire and instill in my students. I want them to graduate armed with the knowledge of how to work on their own, and with genuine confidence in their own artistic autonomy.

Please peruse our site, read Vivienne’s letter, take note of our audition dates, and feel free to contact me or the Department if you have any questions.


All Best,


Julia Gibson
Head, Professional Actor Training Program