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The Secrets of the Playmakers Theater

by Charly Mann

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Comments:

Inheritor      11:07 PM Fri 11/12/2010

I was at the rededication of the building with former Playmakers when it was held in I believe the 1980's. Eugenia Rawls gave a moving performance and tribute to Prof Koch. Emily Selden, Sam Seldon's wife who suceeded Fred Koch in the theatre department was there, as were many others including the Fitzsimmons, Earl and Rhoda Wynn, Mark Sumner, and Paul Green's family. Eugenia Rawls husband also attended. He founded the Denver Center For The Arts.

A portrait of Fred Koch hung when one entered the theatre building. On another trip when I saw the portrait - the name tag had fallen off, and was laying on the floor. I picked it up, and went to the administration who assured me it would be fixed, and placed back on the portrait which it was. Today the portrait is in the office of the Chair of the Theatre Department when I last checked. I think it should be returned to the Playmaker Theatre. The Law School wanted the building back on one of my trips to Chapel Hill.

Most know that the new Theatre built was to be named after Prof Koch. Even Paul Green knew who they ended up naming the Theatre after. Paul said to me it really should be named after Koch, but Green was still alive and that is what they decided. An attempt and plan to build a new theatre named after Fred Koch had happen years earlier. It was never built.

I have always loved the columns of the Playmakers Theatre. It was great to read about them. If any one wants to know more about Prof Koch - do your self a favor, and read the plaque at the Forrest Theatre. His ashes are on that stage, as are many others who cared about the Playmakers and their legacy to the University, North Carolina, America, and the World.

Gail Cohen
Theatre Historian and Archivist
 

Margaret Malpass      8:56 PM Thu 8/26/2010

The paint color of the theater shown here is much more intense than its present appearance. I have been told that there is a project on campus to restore the older buildings to their original state. Is the current paint as it will remain or are there plans to change it. Which color is correct?
This information would be valuable to me. Thanks, anyone.
 

vwlinney      4:38 AM Mon 1/18/2010

A BFA in Acting friend pointed out that the tops of the Corinthian columns had, instead of acanthus leaves, corn and ham hocks, apropos of acting.
 

Bill Brady      3:10 PM Fri 5/15/2009

Too bad UNC did not continue using this style for other buildings.
 

Donald Thompson      1:31 PM Thu 5/14/2009

What a pleasant site to relive and learn new things about my favorite place on earth.
 

Donna Stanley      4:20 PM Wed 5/13/2009

I have enjoyed at least thirty great performances in this theater since coming to Chapel Hill in 1961.
 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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