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MFA Acting (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, as well as Ground Floor Studio Productions, which are small, intimate presentations of full-length plays that are selected specifically with the actor in mind. 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, 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

(Heads of Program)

About our Program

The Professional Actor Training Program (PATP) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is an intensive three-year Master of Fine Arts program offering advanced acting training to early-career professionals. Regularly included in The Hollywood Reporter and Backstage rankings and currently ranked 16th in the world, the program provides a bridge by which our graduates, with credibility and a significant circle of professional acquaintance, may enter the profession.

We accept 6-8 actors in each class. We accept a new class every other year. We will be accepting a new class in Fall 2025, and again in Fall 2027.

Our next auditions will be January and February of 2025 in New York City, Chicago, and Chapel Hill. See the “Apply” page on this site for information on applications and auditions and keep checking back for specific audition dates and locations.

The application process for 2025 opens in August 2024.

A man acting in a production.

Classes are taught by resident master teachers and distinguished guest faculty within a conservatory structure. We cultivate expansive, versatile and authentic artists with a focus on technical proficiency as well as uniqueness of self.

The Program’s affiliation with PlayMakers Repertory Company, an Equity/LORT theatre, provides an opportunity for training and work within a nationally-recognized professional company.

They will also perform with the program’s Ground Floor Series – studio productions chosen just for them.

In their third year, actors perform scenes in a high-quality, personally-crafted digital showcase that gets sent to agents, managers, casting directors and others; additionally, they partake in Industry Week – a week of workshops with industry professionals in New York City.

PlayMakers Repertory Company

Meet PlayMakers Repertory Company, a dynamic collaboration between renowned Broadway artists and local talent like none other. Discover the world-class theatre being created right here in the Triangle, from reimagined classics to groundbreaking world premieres, from comedies to thrillers, and so much more. Whether you are a lifelong theatregoer or someone just wanting to try something new, we’re saving a seat for you!

As the premiere professional theatre company of North Carolina, PlayMakers Repertory Company strives to produce entertaining, relevant, and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities.

PlayMakers is currently led by Producing Artistic Director, Vivienne Benesch. Vivienne was awarded the 2017 Fichandler Award for directing and is an Obie-Award-winning actor who served as Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company and Conservatory for ten years, and has regularly taught at Juilliard and NYU in addition to her thriving directing career. She recently directed Debra Messing in Birthday Candles on Broadway.

Learn about her vision for PlayMakers and its relationship to the PATP in her Letter from the Producing Artistic Director.

Recent guest directors at PlayMakers have included: Melissa Maxwell, Jade King Carroll, Lavina Jadhwani, Meredith McDonough, Tyne Rafaeli, Desdemona Chiang, Dominque Serrand, Lee Sunday Evans, Jesse Austrain, Saheem Ali, Nicole A. Watson, Preston Lane, Libby Appel, Lisa Rothe, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Kirsten Sanderson, Whitney White, Taibi Magar, Zack Fine, Jeffrey Meanza, Colette Robert, Zi Alikhan, Orlando Pabotoy, Andrew Borba, Shelly Butler, Pirronne Yousefzadeh, and Patrick Torres.

People standing in a circle while a man sings

Why choose UNC Chapel Hill for your professional training?

  • Train with master teachers
  • Be part of a professional LORT company with valuable stage experience
  • Work with professional guest directors, actors and industry professionals who join us for workshops and master classes
  • Perform in schools and other locations around the community with the PlayMakers’ Mobile unit
  • Perform in Ground Floor productions that are selected with you in mind
  • Film a Custom-crafted Digital Showcase in your third year
  • Industry Week: spend a week in NYC meeting and working with industry professionals
  • Program regularly included in The Hollywood Reporter and Backstage rankings and currently ranked 16th in the world
  • Be a part of a community that is committed to Access, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
  • Join us with full or partial competitive stipend and tuition remission
Actors and actresses practice in a studio

Regularly included in The Hollywood Reporter and Backstage rankings and currently ranked 16th in the world, the Program’s stature in the field is marked by the success we have had in placing our actors at the Chautauqua Theatre Company Conservatory and the Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training, two of the country’s most influential summer programs for early-career professionals.

Recent Graduates Include

• Myles Bullock: White Men Can’t Jump; S.W.A.T. and Runaways, Hulu

• Tristan Andre Parks: As You Like It, Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park; They Do Not Know Harlem, PlayMakers’ Rep

• Omolade Wey: The Three Musketeers, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

• Sergio Mauritz Ang: The Other Two, HBOMax

• April Mae Davis: For All Mankind season 4, Apple TV

• Rishan Dhamija: Blue Bloods, CBS

• Alex Givens: Soldier’s Play, National Broadway Tour

• Brandon Haynes: Law & Order; Power: Book 3; ABCD, Barrington Stage Company

• Shanelle Leonard: Confederates, Signature Theatre NYC; India in Shrill, Hulu; Little Shop of Horrors, The Village Theatre Seattle

• Christine Mirzayan: Kite Runner, Broadway; English, Berkeley Rep

• Emily Bosco: The Rat Trap The Mint Theatre NYC

• Josh Tower: Aaron Burr in Hamilton National Tour

• Nathaniel P. Claridad New Amsterdam, NBC; A Tuna Christmas, Portland Stage Company

• Allison Altman: Birthday Candles, RoundAbout Theatre Broadway

• Arielle Yodder: Birthday Candles, RoundAbout Theatre Broadway; Guest Star FBI: Most Wanted; Supporting Guest Star Law and Order: SVU; The Price of Thomas Scott, Mint Theatre Company;

• Benjamin Curns – Caliban in The Tempest, New Haven Arts; The Blacklist, NBC

• Tori Jewell: Chautauqua Theatre Company, Summer 2022

• Gregory DeCandia: Artistic Director of DreamWrights Center for Community Arts and Founder and Executive Director of Ignition Arts.

• Carey Cox: recurring role in Handmaids Tale, Season 5, Hulu; Stand-by for Laura The Glass Menagerie, Broadway; Laura The Glass Menagerie, Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis

• Jorge Donoso, At the Wedding, Lincoln Center