Letter from Program Heads

A Letter from the Heads of PATP

Welcome to our site and thank you for your interest in our program.

The Professional Actor Training Program is committed to the development of seriously playful and playfully serious actors in an environment in which each actor can discover, embrace and develop their own voice as an actor.  We develop professionally prepared, technically disciplined, and artistically passionate actors to work with creative freedom while maintaining a commitment to the intentions of the playwright and/or production. Lastly, 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.  Training in the classroom is shared with training that comes from working on PlayMakers’ productions with professional directors, designers and actors.  Thus, we are looking for actors who arrive ready to perform on 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, Inclusion, and Anti-racism.

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


All Best,

Julia and Tracy


After many years performing, directing and teaching in New York City, I am in my tenth year of training actors with UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program, as well as performing alongside them as a company member of PlayMakers Repertory Company.  As an actor myself, I strive to always be truthful, to dig deep, and to collaborate playfully yet diligently with specificity and clarity.  And 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.

Julia Gibson

Co-Head, Professional Actor Training Program




As a professional director/choreographer in New York City and regionally, I am overjoyed to join Julia in the vision of this truly unique program as we usher in new generations of artists. Focused on a free body and a wild imagination, I work to instill a love of learning and an embracing of the actor as creator. This coupled with the wellness of a holistic being, I aim to create a place of safety, trust, and consent, all in service of bold brave work.


Tracy Bersley

Co-Head, Professional Actor Training Program