Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch builds theater’s new leadership team

PlayMakers Repertory Company is pleased to announce the addition of two key staff members to its leadership team. Joining recently appointed Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch will be Managing Director Justin Haslett and Associate Artistic Director Jerry Ruiz.

Haslett will helm PlayMakers’ administrative organization beginning this month. Since 2007, he has served as Associate General Manager of the Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA, and before that as Director of Development for Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA. He also held multiple positions in development, marketing and management/administration for the Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Haslett holds an MFA in Theatre Management from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Theatre and Anthropology from Bowdoin College.

Ruiz has extensive credits as a director for New York, regional and university theaters, and most recently served as Executive Director of San Antonio, TX’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. For several seasons, he also curated and produced the Crossing Borders Festival, a showcase for new Latino plays at Two River Theater in Redbank, NJ. Ruiz holds an MFA in Theater from the University of California, San Diego and a BA from Harvard University. He takes up his position with PlayMakers Aug. 1.

Haslett and Ruiz will work closely with Benesch as the theater company embarks on its next phase of growth as the leading professional resident theater in the Carolinas. Their talents and experience will contribute significantly to PlayMakers’ ability to see its programming play an ever more meaningful role within UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, locally, regionally and in the national discourse around culture and community.

“We are thrilled to have Justin and Jerry join us at this time of transformation at PlayMakers. They are both savvy, brave theater makers and have so much to bring to the table,” said Benesch, who began her tenure at PlayMakers Jan. 1. “With their addition to the team, PlayMakers stands poised to become a leader in the cultural conversations of the 21st century, committed to excellence, relevance, outreach and inclusion.”

For more information about PlayMakers, visit http://www.playmakersrep.org.
About PlayMakers
Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Carolinas’ premier resident professional theater company. New York’s Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

PlayMakers contact: For press information, interviews and photos of Haslett and Ruiz, contact Connie Mahan, (919) 962-5359, cmahan@email.unc.edu.