CHAPEL HILL – PlayMakers’ Summer Youth Conservatory will perform “Sweeney Todd” this Wednesday through Sunday at the Center for Dramatic Art at UNC.

The Summer Youth Conservatory consists of current high school students and recent high school graduates, giving them the chance to learn more from a professional aspect.

Student Emma Beck works on the play from the technical side and comments on her experience working with professionals in the Summer Youth Conservatory.

“Being there are so many people helping us, so many professional adults that we get so much one on one attention and we are able to learn so much more than we are in high school,” says Beck.

The program allows for high school students to gain experience working in a professional theatre environment and perform difficult shows like “Sweeney Todd.”

Director of the performance and artistic director of Cape Fear regional theatre in Fayetteville, Tom Quaintance, has worked with the SYC for four years and says he was astounded at the level of work the students were doing.

“I came up and I got to see You’re in Town and I saw that the program had grown to the point and the students were so talented, the training they had received, they absolutely can do Sweeney Todd, so we picked Sweeney Todd,” says Quaintance.

Quaintance says he had previously never expected to work with high school students on such a difficult performance, but after last years performance he thought they were ready.

“Really exciting play to be working on with students, it was something I never though I would want to do with students because it is one of the most challenging musicals ever, I’ve always loved it” Quaintance says.

The program began June 17, giving the students only one month to prepare for opening night.  Quaintance says the level of work and commitment that the students put into this performance is unlike most high schools.

Star of last year’s “Urinetown,” Adrian Thornburg, again plays a spotlight role in this years “Sweeney Todd.”  As an experienced member of SYC and star actor, Thornburg comments on his idea of this year’s performance.

“Well I’m playing Sweeney Todd and this has really been a very special experience, I really do think that this is easily the greatest show I’ve been apart of, both just on the merits of the show and on the merits of what we’ve put together,” says Thornburg.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.