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Youth Cast Presents 'Violet:' Exploring Inner Beauty And Race In The South

In the 1960s, when a young woman named Violet has an accident that leaves her with a disfiguring scar, she sets off on a journey from her home in North Carolina to seek the help of a healing preacher in Oklahoma.

Along the way, she meets two soldiers who help in her discovery of inner beauty, and guide in her understanding of racial divides in a new era for the American South.

This premise of celebrated North Carolina author Doris Betts' book, "The Ugliest Pilgrim," is the inspiration for the musical "Violet," the main production for this year's Summer Youth Conservatory at PlayMakers Repertory Company. The annual program brings together high school students from across the state for an intensive summer production in Chapel Hill.

Host Frank Stasio talks with the production's director, Matt Steffens, and actors AinsleySeiger and PresyceBaez about "Violet." The show runs through July 31 at the Paul Green Theatre in Chapel Hill. ​

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.