Old Playmaker’s Theater (Smith Hall)

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Construction on Smith Hall was begun in 1850 and completed in 1852. Its first incarnation was as the university library and sometimes ballroom. It was renovated in 1925 and is now known as Old Playmaker’s Theater. 

Zora Neale Hurston spent the Fall of 1939 through March 1940 at NCCU (North Carolina College for Negroes) as a faculty member.  However, her interests soon wandered to Chapel Hill where she hoped to work on a play with Paul Green and was involved in a playwriting group that met at his house (down Raleigh Road in what is now the Greenwood neighborhood) and on campus.

Additional Resources:

Folder 4551, Hurston, Zora Neale, “Source Material” found in the Paul Green Papers, #3693, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

University of North Carolina Papers #40005, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Alcott, John V., The Campus at Chapel Hill: Two Hundred Years of Architecture, Chapel Hill, NC: The Chapel Hill Historical Society, 1986.

Battle, Kemp P., History of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC: Academic Affairs Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002.

Henderson, Archibald, The Campus of the First State University, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1949.