Built into a hillside on the eastern edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, Forest Theatre beckons visitors to appreciate both nature and art as they sit on its stone steps surrounded by woods. The amphitheater is contiguous with Battle Park, and both natural areas are managed by the university's N.C. Botanical Garden.
The grandfather of outdoor drama in North Carolina, the amphitheater has a character and story all its own. Professor Fredrick Henry Koch developed the theater with the Carolina Playmakers—a camps-based theater group that he founded—starting with the group’s first outdoor play at the site in 1918. Forest Theatre was rebuilt with Works Progress Administration funds in 1940 and has been a favorite site for theatrical and musical performances at UNC-Chapel Hill. Today, the UNC-based Playmakers Repertory Company carries on the name and traditions of the earlier theater group. In the summer, Forest Theatre hosts a variety of shows and students often meet there for special events.
(Paperhand Puppet Intervention/Courtesy Lee Capps)