A big-little play about faith and following

Who:​ PlayMakers Repertory CompanyWhat​: Mainstage production of “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath, directed by Preston Lane
When: ​February 1 to March 10; Opening Performance & Press Opening Saturday, February 10, 2:00 p.m.
Where: ​Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: ​Start at $15; Students tickets start at $10

(Chapel Hill, NC, January 23, 2018) ​PlayMakers Repertory Company​ proudly presents “The Christians” by 2017 Tony-nominated playwright, Lucas Hnath. The production, which is directed by Triad Stage founder Preston Lane, runs from February 1 to March 10, 2018 in rotating repertory with the Molière classic “Tartuffe” (adapted by David Ball). “The Christians” takes its audience into the world of Pastor Paul, the charismatic leader of a thriving megachurch, who preaches a sermon with the power to shake the foundations of both the church, and his own life. In this award-winning drama, playwrightHnath takes a critical, but compassionate look at the topic of faith and following today, and how ​who​ we follow shapes​ what ​we believe. Each performance will be backed by a live choir, from throughout the Triangle area.

“As a Christian artist, myself, I want to be asking questions that help a society behave differently, in a way that we can be kind and understanding of each other,” says Lane, who is making his PlayMakers directorial debut. “Faith for me isn’t a rigid set of beliefs, so I was drawn to this play because Hnath presents us with 5 absolutely faithful people with 5 different, valid, and equally compelling positions. My job is to honor the conversations of these characters, and to let them ask questions of the audience that I hope people will take home with them, and talk about the next day, the next week.”

“I was excited to bring back the rotating repertory this season, and have audiences explore two very different viewpoints on faithand following, both flash points for our country right now,” said PlayMakers Producing Artistic Director, Vivienne Benesch. “‘The Christians’ is a powerful foil to Moli​è​re’s classic farce about religious zeal. There’s no ‘hero’ in this play, no guidestar of what’s right or wrong, but instead a meaningful conversation not just between the characters, but hopefully with the audience.”

“The Christians” features ​Joey Collins​ as Pastor (Broadway’s “The Glass Menagerie” and “Suddenly Last Summer” at BerkeleyRep) and ​Nemuna Cessay​ as Pastor’s Wife, (“Great Expectations” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and “The Unfortunates” atJoe’s Pub at The Public) in their PlayMakers debuts. Both will double in central roles in ​Molière​’s “Tartuffe”. “The Christians” also features PlayMakers company members ​Alex Givens​ as Associate Pastor (“Sense and Sensibility,” ), ​Jeffrey Blair Cornell ​as Elder (“Count,” “My Fair Lady”), and ​Christine Mirzayan​ as Congregant (“The Cake,” “The Crucible”).

The Creative Team of “The Christians” includes: ​Preston Lane​ (Director), ​Alexis Distler ​(Scenic Designer), ​Robin Vest​ (Costume Designer),​ Oliver Wason ​(Lighting Designer), ​Palmer Hefferan​ (Sound Designer), ​Jacqueline Lawton​ (Dramaturg), ​Charles K. Bayang​ (Stage Manager) and​ Jennifer Caster ​(Assistant Stage Manager).

“The Christians” is recommended for audiences 14 and older.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit ​www.playmakersrep.org​. Individual ticket prices for “TheChristians” start at $15

About PlayMakers Repertory Company​:
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.”

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