How do you mend a life unraveling at the seams?

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company
What: Mainstage production of “Intimate Apparel” by Lynn Nottage, directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges
When: January 25 to February 12, 2017; Opening Night & Press Opening January 28
Where: Paul Green Theatre, Center for Dramatic Art, 250 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Regular: $15-$57; Students: $10 with valid photo ID

(Chapel Hill, NC, January 11, 2017) PlayMakers Repertory Company is proud to present Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel,” as part of its Mainstage Season. Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle and the Outer Critics Circle awards, this quietly beautiful story explores the struggle of finding intimacy and purpose while chasing your dreams.

“Intimate Apparel” tells the story of Esther, a middle-aged African-American seamstress in 1900s New York, who sews intimates for high society and fallen women alike. Esther’s quest for independence, love and respect reveals to us a world where the cut of one’s clothes and the color of one’s skin determine what you can be and who you can marry.

With a small cast of colorful characters representing the tapestry of immigrants and outsiders who struggled to make a new life in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century– and set against a backdrop of visually stunning costumes– the play asks us to examine our definitions of intimacy and whether it’s possible to see beneath the finery to create real relationships.

“This is such a profoundly elegant and beautiful play, both visually and in how it portrays one woman’s determination to find love and connection despite facing challenges that would fell most of the rest of us,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “This is a universal story of love found, love lost and the tenacity of the human spirit. Audiences will go on a heart wrenching and heartfelt journey with these characters and have the best kind of live theatre experience — one that leaves its mark on you emotionally and intellectually.”

“When Vivienne asked me to return to PlayMakers to direct ’Intimate Apparel,’ I immediately said yes. The play captures a moment of history that was important to me to tell,” said Raelle Myrick-Hodges, who is returning for her fifth time as director at PlayMakers Repertory Company. “I wanted to celebrate Esther and her determination to make her dreams come true. It shouldn’t matter that she’s brown, or that she’s a woman, but unfortunately in 1905 it did. I want everyone coming to this play to ask themselves: what are we all doing to make sure it doesn’t matter?”

Returning to PlayMakers to play the role of Esther is the Triangle area’s own Rasool Jahan, recently on stage in “Disgraced” at PlayMakers and “Wit” at The Justice Theater Project. The cast also includes PlayMakers resident company member Kathryn Hunter-Williams as Mrs. Dickson (credits include “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Trouble in Mind” at PlayMakers), and members of the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-CH Allison Altman as Mrs. Van Buren (credits include “The Crucible” at PlayMakers and “In The Next Room” at Chautauqua Theater Company), Myles Bullock as George (credits include “Detroit ‘67” at PlayMakers and “Fool for Love” at The Attic Theatre), Benjamin Curns as Mr. Marks (stage credits include “Disgraced” at PlayMakers “Richard III” at American Shakespeare Center, and film credits include “Jew of Malta”), and Shanelle Nicole Leonard as Mayme (recently seen in PlayMakers’ “The Crucible”).

The Creative Team of “Intimate Apparel” includes: Raelle Myrick-Hodges (Director), Junghyun Georgia Lee (Scenic Designer), Xavier Pierce (Lighting Designer), Anna Warda Alex (Sound Designer), Jacqueline E. Lawton (Dramaturg), Blake Segal (Voice Coach), Charles K. Bayang (Stage Manager) and Hannah-Jean Farris (Assistant Stage Manager).

“Intimate Apparel” marks Costume Designer Bobbi Owen’s 50th production with PlayMakers.

This play is recommended for audiences 14 and older.

About PlayMakers:

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

Performance Schedule:

“Intimate Apparel” takes the stage at the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, plus 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. Previews: Jan. 25-27. Opening Night & Press Opening Night: Jan. 28.
For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices for “Intimate Apparel” start at $10 for students with ID and $15 for non-students.

Special Events:
January 18 , 6:30 p.m., Paul Green Theatre — “The Vision Series—Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with members of the creative team, moderated by Director of Education and Outreach Jenny Wales. The event is free and open to the public. Enjoy coffee and hors d’oeuvres, learn about the vision for the show, and get a sneak peek at the sets and costumes in progress. Reservations are appreciated, call the Box Office at 919.962.7529. Members of the media are invited to cover the Vision Series. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For assistance, call 919.962.6997.
January 25-27, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
January 28, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Night & Press Opening
January 31, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
January 31, 7:30 p.m. — Community Night at PlayMakers. General admission seating, with all tickets $15 ($10 for students with ID)
February 1 & 5, 2:00 p.m. — Free post-show discussions with members of the artistic staff
February 7, 7:30 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit

Production of “Intimate Apparel” is co-sponsored by Women’s Point of View (WPOV), a new arts leadership council.

PlayMakers Contacts:
For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, at dmpineda@email.unc.edu or 919.962.7114

For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, at rosalie@unc.edu or 919.962.6997

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