Campus and Community Celebrate 100 Years of Playmaking at Forest Theatre

Post Date:10/02/2019 12:32 PM

Forest_Theatre on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus

Celebrating the past, present, and future of the historic amphitheatre

On Sunday, Oct. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Koch Memorial Forest Theatre, UNC-Chapel Hill campus and community arts partners will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Koch Memorial Forest Theatre with performances, food and conversation.

Forest Theatre is an iconic structure at UNC-Chapel Hill with a rich history to celebrate. The site first became active in 1916 with an outdoor performance of “Taming of the Shrew” to celebrate the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s death. A few years later Professor Frederick Koch developed the location into a permanent theater space.

This centennial celebration will feature performances that pay tribute to the legacy of the theater including work from PlayMakers Repertory Company, Paperhand Puppet Intervention and student performing art organizations such as Company Carolina and UNC Pauper Players.

Sergio Mauritz Ang and Tori Jewell, two members of the Professional Actor Training Program in Carolina’s dramatic art department, will perform a musical number, “Brush up Your Shakespeare” from Cole Porter’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy “Kiss Me, Kate.” PlayMakers company member David Adamson will perform a scene from William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” Both excerpts are a callback to the first outdoor drama that was performed in the space.

After the performances, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in conversation and an interactive dialogue surrounding the theatre’s future and the upcoming feasibility study to revitalize the theatre space. Enhancing the Koch Memorial Forest Theatre would provide additional opportunities, increased accessibility, and exposure to the arts for Carolina students, faculty and the greater

This is a free event but RSVPs at this link are encouraged.



Event Information

Koch Memorial Forest Theatre
100th Anniversary Celebration
Past, Present & Future

Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at 2 p.m.
Koch Memorial Forest Theatre, Battle Park
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Artist Roster

  • PlayMakers Repertory Company
  • Company Carolina
  • Department of Dramatic Art, UNC
  • Paperhand Puppet Intervention
  • Pauper Players


Guest Speakers to Include

  • Damon Waitt, Director, North Carolina Botanical Garden
  • Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director, PlayMakers Repertory Company
  • Susan Brown, Director, Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts and Culture
  • Evan Yassky, Executive Director of Facilities Planning & Design, University Architect


Free and open to the public; RSVPs encouraged:

Friendly tip: bring a blanket for comfortable seating

Parking is available on surface streets, the Cobb Parking Deck located on Paul Green Drive, and Park Place Lot on the corner of Park Place and Boundary. 



About Arts Everywhere

Arts Everywhere is a comprehensive initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to make the arts a fundamental part of University culture and daily campus life. Built on a model of programming through partnerships, the initiative collaborates with diverse departments, units, and organizations to embed creative expression, live arts experiences, and arts learning into students’ Carolina education. For more information, visit

About Community Arts and Culture

Community Arts & Culture is a division of the Town of Chapel Hill with a mission to inspire creativity and celebrate community for a better Chapel Hill. Community Arts & Culture offers a variety of arts experiences, signature town festivals and community partner events in alignment with the values of inclusion, experience and understanding. Experience the arts and see what’s happening at 

About North Carolina Botanical Gardens

The North Carolina Botanical Garden, part of the University of North Carolina, is a 1,100-acre assemblage of display gardens and natural areas. The Garden celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and is nationally known as a center for the study, display, interpretation and conservation of plants. Through its educational, recreational, therapeutic horticulture and research programs, it extends opportunities for connection with nature to people of all abilities and backgrounds. The Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free. Information at 

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:

PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 40 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100-year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”


Melissa Bartoletta
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Community Arts & Culture, Town of Chapel Hill | 919-968-2829

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