Summer Musical Theatre Intensive 2019

We are proud to announce URINETOWN as our 2019 production.  

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverently humorous satire in which no musical style or social construct is safe from scrutiny. Boasting a cast with many diverse roles and an active ensemble, Urinetown is the perfect vehicle for our SMTI students to learn character creation and development, the historical facets of theatrical satire, and how to grow and hone their musical, movement and acting abilities.

Summer Musical Theatre Intensive students will:

  • Work with music and theater professionals to produce a fully-realized musical.
  • Develop their skills in singing, acting and movement through a rigorous acting intensive.
  • Work with other motivated students from around the Triangle who love performing.
  • Increase their understanding of the history of acting and theater, it’s various styles and manifestations and how they relate to this particular show.

Preparation begins in June:
Orientation is on Sunday, June 9th.
Periodic Acting and Theatre History Classes with Melissa Dombrowski
Private Voice Coaching

Intensive begins on July 7th:
Rehearsals: Sundays (2-7PM), Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (5:30 – 9:00 PM)
Private Lessons & Coaching: Scheduled individually with CHSMA’s Acting Faculty.
Performances:  August 9, 10 & 11th at the Wynn Theatre in Carrboro.

Tuition – $490
Limited financial assistance available.

From our students:
“When I auditioned for SMTI I had no idea what to expect from this program or the people involved- I’ve been at the studio for years but this side of it was all new to me.  I was nervous at first that the experience wouldn’t be as enjoyable as most of the theatre I do since I knew no one going in.  At the same time I worried the show wouldn’t challenge me the way I was hoping.  Both of these thoughts soon flew out of my mind.  Melissa was an amazing director whose passion for the material and the program was obvious and unfortunately rare among high school level directors.  After Godspell, I knew I had to continue with this program, and am so glad I decided to do so.”
– Kaitlin C.

Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, Urinetown is an hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself! Just what we need in 2019.

In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides that he’s had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverently humorous satire in which no musical style or social construct is safe from scrutiny. Boasting a cast with many diverse roles and an active ensemble, Urinetown is the perfect vehicle for our SMTI students to learn character creation and development, the historical facets of theatrical satire, and how to grow and hone their musical, movement and acting abilities.


Major Characters

  • Bobby Strong – The dashing young everyman who works for Miss Pennywise as the Assistant Custodian at the poorest, filthiest urinal in town; the eventual protagonist and romantic hero who starts a revolution, and falls in love with Hope Cladwell along the way.
  • Caldwell B. Cladwell – The evil president and owner of the Urine Good Company, a miserly moneygrubber who gleefully exploits the poor.
  • Hope Cladwell – Cladwell’s ravishingly beautiful daughter, torn between her love for her father and her new love for Bobby. Having just returned from the Most Expensive University in the World, she eventually joins Bobby as part of the Revolution.
  • Officer Lockstock – The principal narrator; a policeman in charge of finding guilty pee-ers.
  • Little Sally – A precocious, thoroughly irreverent and very intelligent street urchin; the co-narrator who always outsmarts Lockstock, and constantly questions the play’s logic.
  • Penelope Pennywise – The tough, jaded warden of the poorest, filthiest urinal in town. A shrewd, penny-scrounging cheapskate, Pennywise is a figure of authority and lives to maintain order at the public bathrooms, but harbors a surprising secret.
  • Officer Barrel – Lockstock’s partner. He harbors a surprising secret.
  • Mr. McQueen – Cladwell’s assistant. A sneaky man who will do anything to save himself.
  • Senator Fipp – A corrupt politician in Cladwell’s pocket. He also harbors a surprising, and slightly disturbing, secret.
  • Joseph “Old Man” Strong – Bobby’s rebellious father, whose refusal to pay the fee causes him to be sent to Urinetown.
  • Josephine “Ma” Strong – Bobby’s mother, a strong-willed old woman who is able to withstand the hard hand life has dealt her.

The Poor

  • Hot Blades Harry – A dangerous and unpredictable rebel.
  • Little Becky Two-Shoes – A young, pregnant woman. Harry’s “Mate”.
  • Soupy Sue – An affectionate member of the gang.
  • Tiny Tom – A confused man-boy.
  • Robby the Stockfish – A poor rebel.
  • Billy Boy Bill – A poor rebel.

The Rich

  • Mrs. Millennium – Office worker who aspires to be Cladwell’s Head Secretary.
  • Dr. Billeaux – A scientist for Urine Good Company.

Q. How do I schedule an audition?
A. Click here to join our audition list and we will send you a link to the online audition packet.   Alternately, you can fill the form in person at the CHSMA reception desk.

Q. Do I have to audition
A. Yes.  All auditioning students will be considered equally based on the strength of this particular audition.  

Q. I have some conflicts during the rehearsal schedule.  Can I still participate?
A. Please list these out fully on your audition sheet.  We will only be able to accommodate a limited number of conflicts.  Your identifying conflicts will not remove you from consideration for a role; it just indicates the need for discussion.  

Q. Can you accommodate missing a week or so of the intensive (from July 7th on) due to previous commitments?
A. It is unlikely, but might depend on the role in which you’ve been cast.   We are doing our best to cast early and so assist with summer planning.  We also hold auditions after Playmakers Rep has completed casting their summer production in order to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Q. What is expected from the students?
A. SMTI is a professional training program for young actors, and we expect all actors to approach their work professionally.
  This means being on time and prepared for rehearsals, taking notes and improving their work, being focused in rehearsal, being respectful of their fellow cast members, teachers, artistic staff and crew, and meeting deadlines (e.g. being off book!).  

Q. May parents observe rehearsals?
A.  Spectators turn a rehearsal into a performance, and this is counter-productive to the rehearsal process.  Parents are invited to attend the June 9th Introductions/Table Reading. It’s a great time to personally meet the instructors and artistic staff, learn more about the concept and direction of the show, ask any questions, and see where our students begin their journey.  Up to two parents/caregivers per student are also invited to the final dress rehearsal on August 8th.  This is not a performance, and may be stopped if necessary. It is a good opportunity for our cast to practice with an audience reaction!

Q. Is there a payment plan available for tuition?
A.  We are able to split tuition into 3 payments (due April 1, May 1 and June 1).  We can also accept a lump sum.

From our students:
“My very good friend just texted me asking about the acting program. Of course I told him all about it (and gushed about the amazing director) and he was so excited that he’s going to enroll!  It was so fun for me to hear this because he told me that it was all caused by our Godspell performance and how great he thought it was. I love that something that a couple of high school students did can impress someone that much. Sorry for my rant, but I’m just so excited and I will 99% be enrolling in the acting class!”  – Alyssa K.


Group rehearsals for the production will be held four times per week between July 8 and August 8. Individual and small-group music and acting coaching will also scheduled when students are available between June 9 and June 22.

  • You MUST list any conflicts you have on the audition form.  Minimal conflicts will not necessarily disqualify you from being cast.
  • Not every cast member will be called to every rehearsal.  Full cast is called w/o exception from August 4th.
  • Rehearsal start on time.
  • Rehearsals may run long as we approach opening night, but our intention is to end on time.
  • Actors with significant vocal solos may need to be booked for additional vocal coaching at times outside of the general rehearsal schedule.


*this schedule is subject to change.

From our students:
“This acting program taught me so much this summer and introduced me to so many new friends. The hard work we put into our acting mixed with the experienced acting coaches gave our summer show a sense of professionalism which I loved. Lastly, Melissa is such a fun and spirited person who allowed us to really make the most of the experience and have so much fun all the way!! – Sania K.

MELISSA S. CRAIB DOMBROWSKI (Director, Choreographer) brings 25 years experience working in professional theatre from coast to coast. She was the first recipient of the Charles H. Hume Memorial Award, and has studied with the programs at CSUS and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She received her BA (Hons) Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Middlesex University (London, UK). Melissa’s work has been recognized in regional awards including Best Director, Best Adapted Script, and Best Choreographer. Her directing credits include Godspell, Romeo and Juliet, Oleanna, All in the Timing, and We. Her favorite past acting roles include Narrator from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Jenny from Threepenny Opera. Melissa is proud to serve as the Director of Operations for CHSMA.

JESSE KAPSHA (Music Director) is a Durham-based pianist who performs regularly with North Carolina Theatre, Playmaker’s Repertory Company, other theatre companies in North Carolina, and as a regular sub for various Broadway national tours including Wicked, Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, Legally Blonde, An American in Paris, and Bring it On. Starting this fall, Jesse will be on tour with A Night With Janis Joplin.  He also performs and records across multiple genres, from classical new music with New Music Raleigh to modern classic country with Chapel Hill-based Blue Cactus.  He also serves as the pianist at the UNC Newman Catholic Student Center in Chapel Hill.

ZACHARY COOK (Technical Director, Actor Coach) recently graduated from UNC with a degree in Dramatic Arts, as well as a degree in Communications and Performance Studies. He brings 14 years of acting experience ranging from school and community theatre to equity productions with organizations including Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre, Company Carolina Acting Troupe and Pauper Player’s Acting Troupe.

With additional instruction from:

SHARON SZYMANSKI (Executive Director of CHSMA, Vocal Coach) taught voice at UNC-CH for seven years before opening her own studio in Chapel Hill in 2000. Formerly the Associate Director of the Delaware Music School, she received her vocal training at Miami University (OH), UNC-CH, and Meredith College. Her performing resume includes over 70 roles in theater, musical theater and opera, as well as solo appearances in recitals, concerts and oratorios. In 2004 she premiered Mark Glick’s “The Wife of Bath”, winner of the NATS national art song competition, at the group’s national conference. Her most recent venture was the filming of a new contemporary one-act opera. Ms. Szymanski is a former president of the Durham Music Teachers Association, former president of the Chapel Hill Music Teachers Association, and formerly served on the Executive Boards of both NCMTA and the NC National Association of Teachers of Singing.

JANE WILLIAMS (Acting and Vocal Coach, Rehearsal Pianist) is the current Choral and Music Theatre Director at Orange High School in Hillsborough where she has directed numerous musicals, plays and concerts during her 15 years there. She has a specialty in commedia dell’arte, mask and European clown theater from the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake California; a MFA in Theatre from Virginia Tech; and a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance & Bachelor of Musuc Education from Michigan State University. Jane has received training in Somatic Voicework by Jeanie Lovetri and Circlesinging & Vocal Improvisation from Bobby McFerrin.

HOPE HYNES-LOVE (Acting Coach) has been a theater educator in the Triangle for nineteen years. She is currently the Artistic Director at East Chapel Hill High School, and held the same position at C.E. Jordan High since 1996. She is a company member of Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and has appeared as an actress with Burning Coal Theatre, Ghost and Spice Productions, Shakespeare & Originals, and as Cathy in Deep Dish Theater’s 9/11 production of Cat’s Paw. Hope has directed Eye of God for Peace College and Boy Gets Girl for Deep Dish Theater, both of which were recognized by the News & Observer as two of the Top Ten Regional Productions of 2004.


16 Actors (M/F) aged 13-19. Motivated actors/singers who are team players and comfortable with choreographed movement. We support diversity in casting all roles.

Register online or stop by CHSMA’s reception desk to complete your audition form.  Auditions will be held on Friday 3/15 from 4:00-7:00 and Saturday, 3/16 from 1:00-4:00 at Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts (1829 East Franklin, #500, CH).

  • A one-minute cut of the song of your choice, memorized, which showcases your vocal range, type and style
  • A one-minute monologue, memorized, from a contemporary play
  • A completed audition form

Callbacks will be held Sunday, 3/17 from 2:00-5:00.

Students will be notified if they are called back no later than Saturday 3/16 by 8PM.
Callbacks will be held Sunday, 3/17 from 2:00-5:00. Please come prepared to move!