Skip to main content

Theater at UNC

Frederick Henry Koch (1877-1944) and Paul Green (1894-1981)

Chase also supported the expansion of the arts at Chapel Hill. After H. L. Mencken observed that the South lacked a theater that could present a decent play, English department chair Edwin Greenlaw recruited Frederick H. Koch in 1918 to teach playwriting. To stage the plays written in Koch's classes, the university remodeled Smith Hall and named it the Playmakers Theatre in 1925. Koch's pupils included Paul Green and Thomas Wolfe. Green won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1927, and Wolfe became a leading American novelist.