New season brings two regional premieres by UNC alumni, the return of the rotating repertory, and a holiday treat for the whole family

(Chapel Hill, NC, February 16, 2017) A playful, irreverent take on Jane Austen, a dizzy, dysfunctional family reunion, two topically charged premieres by UNC-Chapel Hill alumni, and the return of the popular rotating repertory will comprise the Mainstage lineup of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s 2017/2018 Season: A Season on the Edge.

The new season leaps into multiple perspectives on questions of morality, family, history’s edges, and the complexities of human connection. The new season is the second selected by Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director.

“I am eager to continue creating a path for theatre to make a transformational impact on our communities,” said Benesch. “With several regional premieres, including our first fully commissioned work, the 2017/18 season leaves me breathless with the promise of bringing new points of view and new voices that engage while they entertain. PlayMakers is all about providing a first-class theatre experience right here in the Triangle, and being a forum for extraordinary, courageous work that invites us to tackle big questions. Our new lineup, along with a host of exceptional artists from our resident company and around the nation, will do just that.”

PlayMakers will also present two groundbreaking, topical works in its 2017/18 PRC2 second stage season, and a holiday special event for the whole family.

Subscription packages are available for purchase now, and renewing subscribers can secure their current seats for the new season through May 1. Call (919) 962-7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org for information.

Mainstage productions for 2017/18:

“The Cake” by Bekah Brunstetter, Sept. 13 – Oct. 1, 2017
The season opens with a regional premiere and our first of three North Carolina stories this season. Della makes cakes, not judgment calls. But when the woman she helped raise comes back home to Winston-Salem to get married and her fiancé is actually another woman, Della is forced to examine some of her deeply-held beliefs for the first time in her life. “The Cake” was written by critically acclaimed UNC-Chapel Hill alum, Bekah Brunstetter, who currently writes for NBC’s “This is Us”.

“Sense and Sensibility” adapted by Kate Hamill, Oct. 19 – Nov. 6, 2017
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
Playwright Kate Hamill gives us a fresh, comic take on Jane Austen’s beloved novel. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, this eminently theatrical adaptation follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne—after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Hamill’s adaptation has been called “an unconditional delight” (The New York Times) and “full of galloping comic vitality” (The Wall Street Journal).

“Dot” by Colman Domingo, Nov. 21 – Dec. 10, 2017
In another regional premiere, Dotty and her three grown children gather for the holidays with more than exchanging presents on their minds. This compassionate and often hilarious look at dementia’s effects on a family grapples unflinchingly with aging parents and midlife crises in the heart of a West Philly neighborhood. “Dot” is “a magnificent play full of laughter and heartbreak” (Theater Mania).

The rotating repertory presents two shows in rotation that explore different aspects of a theme, encouraging discovery and conversation.

Molière’s “Tartuffe” adapted by David Ball, Feb. 3 – Mar. 11, 2018
In rotating repertory with “The Christians”
The man of the house has lost his mind. He has been blinded by the counterfeit zeal of a penniless scoundrel who fully intends to make off with his wife, his livelihood, and probably the kitchen sink. The New York Times calls David Ball’s new adaptation of this classic French satire of religious hypocrisy “glorious from the first scene”.

“The Christians” by Lucas Hnath, Feb. 3 – Mar. 11, 2018
In rotating repertory with Molière’s “Tartuffe”
Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was nothing more than a modest storefront. Now he presides over a megachurch of thousands, with a coffee shop in the lobby and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. But Pastor Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the very foundations of his church’s beliefs. This big-little play about faith in America is “truly gripping and wholly unexpected” (Chicago Tribune).

“Leaving Eden” by Mike Wiley with music & lyrics by Laurelyn Dossett, Apr. 4 – 22, 2018
World Premiere of a PlayMakers Repertory Company commission
Mike Wiley, UNC-Chapel Hill alum and acclaimed playwright of The Parchman Hour, returns to PlayMakers with singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett to explore, through words and music, the cyclical nature of humanity. This unearthing of yesterday yields a hymn for our future, with its glimpse into identity, immigration, and economic struggle—all told through the lens of a small town in North Carolina. Wiley’s plays have been called “sophisticated blends of narrative and wit” (American Theatre).

PRC2 second- stage productions for 2017/18:

“Count” by Lynden Harris (A co-production with Hidden Voices), Aug. 23 – 27, 2018
PlayMakers’ own resident company member Kathryn Hunter-Williams directs this searing portrayal of a single day on death row, where six men unpack their personal inheritances of violence, racism, mental illness, poverty, and unexpected love. Who is disposable, who counts, and what does justice mean when the scales are broken and the blindfold is our own?

TBA: Apr. 25 – 29, 2018

A PlayMakers special holiday event for the whole family:

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 13 – 17, 2017
Adapted by William Leach
An intimate evening with PlayMakers legend, Ray Dooley, as he shares the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s journey through Christmases past, present, and future to find redemption, charity, and love.

All performances will be presented in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Mainstage productions will be in the Paul Gree>2e; PRC2 shows and “A Christmas Carol” will be in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre.

For information on PlayMakers’ current season, visit www.playmakersrep.org or call (919) 962-7529.

About PlayMakers
PlayMakers is the professional theatre in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina’s premier resident theatre company for more than 40 years. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

PlayMakers contact: For more information, contact Diana Pineda, 919.962.7114 ordmpineda@email.unc.edu

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