On stage Nov 16 – Dec 4, 2022

If you’re looking for a fabulous comedy full of matchmaking, regency gowns, and Lizzo, look no further. Kate Hamill’s “Emma” is a playful adaptation that gives the Jane Austen classic a brilliant new life.

“I jumped at the opportunity to bring Kate Hamill’s fresh take on ‘Emma’ to North Carolina. It has all the hallmarks PlayMakers is known for: a great story and characters, gorgeous costumes and scenery, amazingly talented resident and guest artists led by the marvelous director Meredith McDonough, and a way of looking at ‘classic’ stories from a different lens that I believe lets us see all that is possible not just what is. It’s a perfect production for the whole family to dance into the holidays!” 

Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director

The regional premiere of “Emma” at PlayMakers will feature a few new faces. Emma Woodhouse will be performed by Jamie Ann Romero (“The Play That Goes Wrong” National Tour). What’s a smart, energetic 19th century woman like Emma Woodhouse to do when she’s bored? Why, matchmake, of course. Emma prides herself on being a matchmaker with an impeccable track record. But her best-laid plans are turned upside down by unpredictable displays of affection, unexpected rivals, and the sudden realization that true love may have been under her nose all along.  

Emma Woodhouse takes the zany Harriet Smith under her wing and advises her to reject a perfectly good marriage proposal in favor of another eligible bachelor. Although Emma prides herself on her matchmaking ability, her skills fall short when Harriet Smith takes her advice too far, played by Kimberly Chatterjee (Pride & Prejudice, Primary Stages NYC).

UNC Chapel Hill Alum, Eric Bryant (“Angels in America” Signature Theatre, NYC) will make his debut on the Paul Green stage as the charming Mr. George Knightley who disapproves of Emma’s meddling. The friendship between Emma and George becomes complicated when she includes him in her matchmaking plot.

North Carolina native, Amber Nicole Guest (“City of Angels” Theatre Raleigh) will perform as Miss Bates, who never met a silence she couldn’t fill. The production also features Hayley Cartee (“The Skin of Our Teeth”), Jeffrey Blair Cornell (“Native Gardens,” “Sense and Sensibility”), Rasool Jahan (“Dot,” “Intimate Apparel”), Jamar Jones (“Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “Stick Fly”), Sanjana Taskar (“A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”), and Adam Valentine (“As You Like It,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”). 

Directing the regional premiere of “Emma” is Meredith McDonough (Director; “Peter and the Starcatcher at Actors Theatre of Louisville).

“As a woman director in an industry that’s catching up with the winds of social change, I was thrilled to work with Vivienne and the PlayMakers Company to celebrate a story by and about strong women”

Meredith McDonough, Director

The Creative Team of “Emma” includes Lex Liang (Scenic & Costume Designer; ”Romeo &Juliet” Off-Broadway at The Acting Company), Palmer Hefferan (Sound Designer; “Tartuffe,” “The Christians”), Marika Kent (Lighting Designer; “Catch as Catch Can” at Playwrights Horizons), Emily Michaels King (Choreographer; “Hair” at 7th House Theatre), Gwendolyn Schwinke (Vocal Coach, “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” ”Native Son”) Mark Perry (Dramaturg; “The Crucible,” “Metamorphoses”) and Sarah Smiley (Stage Manager; “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”).    

Join us for Kate Hamill’s “Emma” based on the novel by Jane Austen. On stage November 16 – December 4, 2022.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:  

  • November 15-16 — Preview performances 
  • November 18 — Opening Performance & Press Opening 
  • November 22 — Featuring sign language interpretation and audio description 
  • November 27 — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit; Post-show discussion  
  • November 29 — Socially distanced seating