Playbill for How I Learned What I Learned

How I Learned What I Learned by August Wilson. PlayMakers Repertory Company. April 27-May 15, 2022. Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art | | 919.962.7529

The Cedars of Chapel Hill: A Life Plan Community.

Table of Contents

Letter from Vivienne
Support PlayMakers
Who We Are
Title Page
Program Notes
About the Author
Actor Bios
Creative Team Bios
General Information
PlayMakers Staff
Friends of PlayMakers
Corporate and Foundation Partners
Announcing Our 22/23 Season

Desktop Computer Version of playbill available here


Letter from Viv. Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director
Dear PlayMaker,

I feel so lucky to be part of a University community that is charged with welcoming complicated discourse, interrogating our society and encouraging dynamic inclusion. I particularly love it when good theatre can play a role in that discourse. That is why it feels incredibly powerful to conclude our 21-22 season connecting with the legacy of August Wilson, one of the greatest poets and theater makers in American history.

Wilson’s history of tracking the African American experience through his Century Cycle has challenged the American Theatre to do better, and has transcended a siloed landscape of culturally specific artistic spaces to include the broader historically white institutions, and even the Great White Way.

With “How I Learned What I Learned” we get a more intimate look at the charming, self-respecting, complicated man who shifted the landscape. It is beautifully realized by director Tia James with a creative team of phenomenal storytellers, and embodied by actor Samuel Ray Gates who, since joining the company in 2017, has already crafted a number of memorable characters.

Thank you for being here and for supporting PlayMakers’ vision. I hope you’re also planning to join us for the incredible 2022-23 line-up that was just announced! It’s one I believe brings all the scope, depth, craft and high entertainment to which we are committed.



P.S. Don’t forget to join us this summer for another fantastic Summer Youth Conservatory production featuring area young people in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”!

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Support PlayMakers. A Letter from Amy Guskiewicz, Advisory Council Chair

It is my pleasure to serve another year as the chair of the PlayMakers Advisory Council and welcome you back to the Paul Green Theatre stage for our 2021-22 season.

Our five-show season was born out of the need to celebrate the healing power of human connection after a year that challenged us all. We believe that the theatre will have an important role to play in making sense of the complex world in which we find ourselves in. When I walk out of PlayMakers after a show, I always say how lucky we are to have a theater with such world-class performances right here in Chapel Hill. This season, I am grateful for the opportunity to experience PlayMakers’ signature variety of shows, live and in person once again!

In addition to an impressive lineup of powerful performances, PlayMakers continues its work serving the Triangle community and beyond. We are privileged to provide unique learning opportunities for K–12 classrooms and UNC students, creating new ways to engage with our local artists and advocates, and make the power and joy of theatre accessible to underserved communities.

Theatre is and always will be a place for community. And it is up to us—the community—to ensure that PlayMakers continues to thrive. Gifts from patrons like you will be critical to our success as we navigate reopening after more than a year away from producing live theatre with in-person audiences. If you enjoy and believe in the power of the theatre as I do, I invite you to become a Friend of PlayMakers. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to the annual fund, pledge a monthly donation as a Sustainer, or offer a campaign gift to strengthen and sustain PlayMakers’ vision for the future.

I truly believe that there has never been a more important time to support the arts. Join me in championing our local theatre—an organization that makes a difference in our community. As Joan Gillings often said, “You will sit a little taller in your theatre seat, knowing you made a difference, too.”

Thank you!


Amy Guskiewicz


PlayMakers Advisory Council

Amy Guskiewicz, Chair
Betsy Blackwell, Vice Chair
Duncan Lascelles, Vice Chair
Joanne Garrett
Deborah Gerhardt
Bobbi Hapgood
C. Hawkins
Janelle Hoskins
Betty Kenan, emeritus
Stuart Lascelles
Robert Long, emeritus
Graig Meyer
Julie Morris
Paula Noell
Florence Peacock
Diane Robertson
Wyndham Robertson
Carol Smithwick
Jackie Tanner
Jennifer Werner
Mike Wiley

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Who We Are

PlayMakers is…

“One of America’s Best Regional Theatres” (American Theatre Magazine), PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company, proudly in residence on the dynamic campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The professional company was founded in 1976, growing out of a storied 100 year tradition of playmaking at Carolina. Our mission is to produce relevant, courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives. We believe that theatre can have a transformational impact on individuals and entire communities, and we are committed to the work of becoming an anti-racist organization whose work is accessible to all.

At the very heart of the PlayMakers experience is one of the nation’s last remaining resident theatre companies, made up of accomplished performers, directors, designers, artisans, and technicians, and supported by exceptional graduate students in UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art. Our company works side by side with guest artists from all over the world and our alumni include Pulitzer Prize, Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy Award® winners.

Creating Tomorrow’s Classics, Today

Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch is continuing PlayMakers’ tradition of producing vibrantly reimagined classics, large-scale musical theatre, and significant contemporary work, but is also broadening the company’s reach to become a home for new play development and a true hub of social and civic discourse in the region. Her first five seasons have already given life to ten important new American plays.

A Hub of Engagement

PlayMakers seeks to provoke thought, stimulate discussion and push the boundaries of the theatrical form in everything we do. Whether through our intimate @Play series, our mainstage offerings or our virtual line-up, we look for opportunities for direct, dynamic engagement between audiences, artists and thinkers. The Vision Series, post-show discussions and a host of unique engagement opportunities – including the continuation of last season’s online PlayMakers Keeping You Company – enrich our audience’s experience of the live arts.

Theatre for the People

PlayMakers Mobile is an initiative that seeks to contribute positively to the civic and social life of our region by taking world-class theatre out of our building and into the community. We create a streamlined production of a play each year and take it to schools, transitional housing facilities, and long-term treatment facilities around the Greater Triangle area. And best of all, it’s all free of charge. We look forward to getting back on the road as soon as we can do so safely.

Passing the Torch

PlayMakers’ award-winning Summer Youth Conservatory is the only professionally supported training program of its kind in the region. The Theatre Quest program provides camps to area middle school students, while the Theatre Intensive and TheatreTech programs allow Triangle high schoolers to apprentice directly with professional directors, choreographers, musical directors, and technicians, culminating in a professional quality production on the PlayMakers mainstage for the whole community to enjoy.

Eliminating Barriers

With a commitment to eliminating barriers for attendance when we host live events, PlayMakers offers All Access performances for our patrons living with disabilities, we offer accessible $20 tickets for all performances, and tickets reduced to just $10 for UNC students and $12 for all other students. Our Spotlight on Service program also offers complimentary tickets to local service organizations. This season, we are proud to offer complimentary tickets to front-line workers in honor of their ongoing service to the community. For more information, please contact

Our Mission

As the premiere professional theatre company of North Carolina, PlayMakers Repertory Company strives to produce entertaining, relevant, and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities.

Our Vision


Our Values

Artistic excellence and artistry
Education and training
Community engagement
Access and equity
Financial health
Discovery and innovation
Collaboration and communication
Culture of support

Antiracism Accountability Statement

At the heart of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s mission is the belief that theater has the power to transform individuals and entire communities. There is no more aspirational or urgent a use of that power than working to dismantle the systems of oppression, white supremacy, and racism that pervade American life and consume the American Theatre. PlayMakers continues to assess and evaluate our own practices in order to embed equitable, antiracist policies into strategic planning, our mission, and our operations.

PlayMakers Repertory Company, and those of us who work here, commit to the following:

  • To work intentionally to create an antiracist culture in our company.
  • To continually educate ourselves on the ways in which we can combat racism locally and nationally as we move to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable sense of belonging for every one of our constituents.
  • To demonstrate our values through action in our policies, practices, and procedures.

We are grateful to Black, Indigenous and People of Color artists and administrators within our local community as well as the larger theatrical community across the country for the resources they’ve expended, both in time and emotional labor. Their work lays an important foundation for us by articulating some of the harmful practices that must change immediately as well as identifying pathways for the long-term evolution that must follow. In that light, this document is the beginning of a response to the demands for change made by the anti-racist organization #WeSeeYouWhiteAmericanTheater.

As a professional theatre company embedded in, and inextricably linked to the Department of Dramatic Art (DDA) at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, the path forward will be complex and singular. We will therefore be updating our action items and commitments continuously as our work evolves.

We at PlayMakers understand our responsibility not only to the artists, staff, and audiences with which we engage, but significantly, to the many students training here for a career in the theater.

For more information on our next steps, please read our full statement here.

These are not our first steps, and by no means our last. They are not perfect. And they are not enough. But they are steps forward. We invite you to come back to our website and our theater often and monitor our progress. We take our responsibility to this effort seriously and we welcome your involvement and assessment.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the Center for Dramatic Art is located on the unceded lands of one or more of Abiayala’s (the Americas’) original sovereign nations, the name(s) of which have not yet been affirmed. The unjust acquisition of these Indigenous lands came about through a history of racism, violence, dispossession, displacement, and erasure of cultures by settlers as part of the larger, land-centered project of settler colonialism.
As we look to the future, please join us in acknowledging and learning about the atrocities committed against these Nations and work with us towards inclusion, representation, and a better relationship with citizens of sovereign American Indian and Alaska Native nations.

Why is Land Acknowledgement important?

This statement is part of the continual interrogation of our own participation and complacency in colonial structures and a call for greater awareness, accountability, and intentionality in the work we do. As storytellers we are committed to learning and telling stories in ways that will have transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities.

We are excited by future partnerships with Native Americans and look forward to sharing this journey of knowledge and growth with you.

Learn more: UNC American Indian Center

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August Wilson’s
How I Learned What I Learned

Co-Conceived by Todd Kreidler

Directed by Tia James

Scenic Designer

Lawrence E. Moten III

Costume Designer

Ramaj Jamar

Lighting Designer

Abigail Hoke-Brady

Sound Designer

G. Clausen

Projection Designer

Alex Maness


Saleemah Sharpe

Assistant Director

Jamar Jones

Vocal Coach

Tia James


Jamar Jones
Saleemah Sharpe

Stage Manager

Charles K. Bayang*

Assistant Stage Manager

Elizabeth Ray*

APR 27-MAY 15, 2022

*Indicates members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

“How I Learned What I Learned” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

New York Premiere originally produced by Signature Theatre, New York City
James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director

The world premiere of “How I Learned What I Learned” was presented by Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2003, performed by August Wilson

PlayMakers is the Professional Theatre of the Department of Dramatic Art
Adam Versényi, Chair
Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director
Nichole Gantshar, Managing Director
Produced in association with The College of Arts & Sciences
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Il Palio Restaurant

Program Notes


By Saleemah Sharpe, Dramaturg

“We are what we are –
Are made by old things,
Come back. Clearly,
Brilliant as the sun.”

– August Wilson

Tony Award and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson is considered by many to be the Shakespeare of our time. His plays take Black America and put it onstage to, as Wilson describes, “affirm the values of Blacks and demonstrate their humanity.” Wilson is best known for a series of ten plays collectively titled “The Pittsburgh Cycle” or “The Century Cycle”, which chronicles the experience and traditions of the black community. Race relations, duty, man/fatherhood, family, honor, and the pursuit of one’s ideals are all consistent themes in the Century Cycle; “Gem Of The Ocean” (1900s), “Joe Turner’s Come & Gone” (1910’s), “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (1920s), “The Piano Lesson” (1930s), “Seven Guitars” (1940s), “Fences” (1950s), “Two Trains Running” (1960s), “Jitney” (1970s), “King Hedley II” (1980s) and “Radio Golf” (1990s). Wilson’s numerous other awards include the Laurence Olivier American Airlines Award, seven New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play, Whiting Writers’ Award, American Theatre Critics Association Award, Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Award, Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, Outer Critics Circle Award, Olivier Award for Best New Play, National Humanities Medal, MakeShift Award at the U.S. Confederation of Play Writers and 23 honorary degrees.

Photographer unknown

After experiencing the relentless bigotry of his classmates at Central Catholic High School, Wilson transferred to Connelly Vocational High School and then later to Gladstone High School. Wilson dropped out of Gladstone High School in the 10th grade after he was accused by his teacher of plagiarizing a term paper, but he did not drop out of life. Instead, he turned to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (which awarded its first-ever High School diploma to Wilson in 1989) for academic fulfillment and the main drag of the Hill District for a “beyond the classroom” curriculum, where experience (both first and third person) is the teacher. On that main drag, Wilson learned many lessons in life with each one begotten from those who “sanctioned my life and provided it with its meaning” (Wilson).

“How I Learned What I Learned” takes place in the “crucible in which many a work of art has been fired.” A crucible by definition is a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other stuff may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures. In this instance, the crucible represents how what he has learned, has led him to places he wanted to go. That he has sometimes gone unwillingly. Meaning, that for him to arrive at a place he wanted to be in life, Wilson had to take (or be spontaneously pushed to take) many a road less traveled in all its unknown but rewarding glory. “How I Learned What I Learned” is the black coming of age story that opens the door to the joys, struggles, triumphs, fails, and perseverance of the African lost in America. “When you’re African in America there’s adjustments and things that you have to make. Cause your natural impulse is different than the way things are done” (Wilson).

The Hill District — once considered a mecca of arts and culture — served as an ancestral connection to his roots, a way to discover who he was and what he was meant to do. Wilson believed that there was a disconnection in the black community and that “Black America” was lost; “If that connection to your grandparents is broken, then you are lost in the world. You don’t know who you are, you don’t know what your duty is. Without that tradition, without something in place that says ‘this is how you conduct yourself in the world,’ then we’re just wandering all over the place without any purpose, without any future, without any direction.” Wilson wanted to share the knowledge, wisdom, and the black way of life he learned on the main drag with current and future generations of the black community; “From the beginning, I decided not to write about historical events or the pathologies of the black community. Instead, I wanted to present the unique particulars of black American culture as the transformation of impulse and sensibility into codes of conduct and response, into cultural rituals that defined and celebrated ourselves as men and women of high purpose.”

Centre Avenue, Hill District Business, July 27th, 1942.

When Wilson began writing his plays, he relied on the “4 B’s” for inspiration: the Blues was the primary influence, followed by Jorge Luis Borges, the playwright Amiri Baraka and the painter Romare Bearden. Wilson was captivated by how Bearden presented black life in all its richness and wanted to create that same atmosphere and tone in his work. Most of the ideas for Wilson’s plays were inspired by either images, snippets of conversation, or lyrics from Blues songs. Almost all of Wilson’s characters use Blues as a form of self-expression at key moments during his plays. “The blues is the best literature black Americans have. It’s our cultural response to the world, an emotional reference point. Five million years from now if people have those records, they’ll be able to piece together a lot about us” (Wilson).

Photo credit: Emily Lordi

“Lessons learned in the crucible in which many a work of art has been fired;

1. There’s a way under, around, or through any door,
2. Something is not always better than nothing,
3. Cut losses early,
4. Don’t try to push your spirit out through a horn that you dont know how to play,
5. Seek to find the limitation of the instrument,
6. You can say the wrong thing, to the wrong person at the right time and get away with it. But you cannot say the wrong thing, to the wrong person at the wrong time,
7. You don’t know where nobody is at. You don’t know where nobody lives. You don’t know nothing,
8. Demand respect from everyone,
9. Take all your truths, all your empirical truths that you have learned in your life, and do not try to place them in a hierarchy and decide which one is more important than the other and 10. We are not Black by the accident of our births. Our births are moments of profound creativity engineered by our genetic muscle as it aspires toward perfection.”
– August Wilson, “How I Learned What I Learned”

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Larry's Coffee


August Wilson


AUGUST WILSON (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) authored “Gem of the Ocean”, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, “The Piano Lesson”, “Seven Guitars”, “Fences”, “Two Trains Running”, “Jitney”, “King Hedley II”, and “Radio Golf”. These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for “Fences “(1987); and for “The Piano Lesson” (1990); a Tony Award for “Fences”; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for “Jitney”; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, “Fences”, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”, “The Piano Lesson”, “Two Trains Running”, “Seven Guitars”, “Jitney”, and “Radio Golf”. Additionally, the cast recording of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of “The Piano Lesson”. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays “The Janitor”, “Recycle”, “The Coldest Day of the Year”, “Malcolm X”, “The Homecoming” and the musical satire “Black Bart and the Sacred Hills”.

Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwrighting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a
1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

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Residence Inn of Chapel Hill


Actor Bios

Cast List

August Wilson — Samuel Ray Gates*
Silhouette Actors:
Anthony August*
Heinley Gaspard
Kathryn Hunter-Williams*
Khalil LeSaldo*
AhDream Smith*
Omolade Wey*

*Indicates members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Samuel Ray Gates

August Wilson

PlayMakers: Company member in his fourth season. “Julius Caesar,” “Life of Galileo,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Leaving Eden,” “Dot.”

Regional: “Fairview” (Woolly Mammoth Theater Company); “All the Way” (Theatre Squared); “Between Riverside and Crazy” (American Conservatory Theater); “Alabama Story” (Pioneer Theatre Company); “Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing” (Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse); “The Muscles in our Toes” (Labyrinth Theater Company); “Clybourne Park” (Cincinnati Playhouse); “Trinity River Plays” (Dallas Theater Center, Goodman Theatre); “In the Red and Brown Water” (McCarter Theatre Center); “Electra” (Classical Theatre of Harlem).

Film/Television: Upcoming: “The Staircase.” “DopeSick, “Our Kind of People,” “The Good Fight,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “November Criminals,” “Wolves,” “Person of Interest,” “Veep,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Two Night Stand,” “The Blacklist,” “House of Cards,” “Queen City,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Unforgettable,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” “Kings,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Rescue Me.”

Education: MFA, American Conservatory Theatre.

Anthony August

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of our Teeth,” “Stick Fly,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “As You Like It,” “The Storyteller,” “Everybody,” “Ragtime,” “The Brothers Size” (PlayMakers Ground Floor); “Wilder & Wilder” (PlayMakers Mobile).

Regional: “The Hunchback of Seville” (Mildred’s Umbrella); “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (The Ensemble Theater); “Fade To Black Festival,” “This is Modern Art” (The Landing Theatre Company); “Macbeth” (Encore Theatre).

University: “When the Ancestors Call,” “Dutchman,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” “The Mountaintop” (Texas Southern University).

Education: Texas Southern University, B.A. in Theatre.


Heinley Gaspard

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member in their first year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of our Teeth.”

New York: “Split Second” (Theater 54 & IAITI), “Macbeth” (The Arthouse NY & Hudson Theatre works); “Weekend 1967” (The Tank); “More” (TADA); “Glass” (JACK); “The Bellagio Fountain Has Been Known to Make Me Cry” (HERE Arts); “Edward II” (Teatro LATEA); “Fences” (Hackensack Theatre).

TV/Film: “Wutang: An American Saga” (Hulu, 2021); “The Sinner” (USA, 2020); “Entanglement” (2019); “On the Floor” (2019); “Good Morning” (2019); “Omniboat” (2018, Sundance Film Festival); “Heaven’s Hell” (2017); “Steps” (2017); “Coney Island Queen” (2015, Cannes Film Festival); “Saturday Night Live” (“Drake’s Beef,” 2016); Usher’s “Chains” (2016), “Funny or Die” (2015). | Instagram | Twitter

Kathryn Hunter-Williams

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member for 21 seasons. Recent highlights include directing “Stick Fly,” “No Fear & Blues Long Gone,” “Count,” plus acting in “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Edges of Time,” “Julius Caesar,” “Everybody,” “Life of Galileo,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Leaving Eden,” “Tartuffe,” “Dot,” “Intimate Apparel,” “The Crucible,” “Trouble in Mind,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Imaginary Invalid,” “The Parchman Hour,” “Angels in America,” “Fences,” “Doubt,” among others.

New York/Regional: Living Stage, The Negro Ensemble Company, Manhattan Class Company, New Dramatists, Archipelago Theater.

Education/Other: BFA, UNC School of the Arts; MFA, UNC-Chapel Hill. Kathryn is on the faculty of the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill, Company Artistic Associate for PlayMakers Rep and Associate Director of HiddenVoices, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing life-changing stories into a public forum.

Khalil LeSaldo

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Stick Fly,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar,” “Dairyland,” “Gloria,” “Mud,” “References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

Off-Broadway: “Sing,” “Care Full,” “Game Night” (Theater Breaking Through Barriers).

Regional: “We Can Eat Love,” “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar” (Portland Stage); “Romeo and Juliet,” “Julius Caesar” (Tenessee Shakespeare Company); “A Manor of Speaking,” “Deep as Hell,” “Hell and Other Adventures,” “Deep as Hell 2: Wide as Hell” (2Sheets Theater Company); “Bug” (60 Grit Theatre); “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” (Mad Horse Theater Company); “Princess Kaguya” (Theater at Monmouth); “To Kill a Mockingbird” (The Theater Project); “Hellcab,” “After” (Profiles Theatre); “Wait Until Dark” (Jedlicka Performing Arts); “Switch Tryptych” (Big Picture Group).

Film/TV: “Defending Jacob” with Chris Evans, “Chicago PD.”

Education/Awards/Other: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Bowdoin College; Numerous Fringe festival awards: PortFringe Theater Festival; Alice Merrill Mitchel Prize (2011); The Telling Room Story Slam Champion, Devising and Physical Theater (Celebration Barn). | Facebook

AhDream Smith

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Stick Fly,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar,” “Wilder & Wilder” (PlayMakers Mobile); “References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

New York: “The Talking Cure” (Hudson Guild Theatre); “Sistas on Fire” (The Duke On 42nd Street); “The Trojan Women,” “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” “The Exception and the Rule” (Shapiro Theatre).

Television: “Silent Killer,” “The Honeymoon Killers,” “Death and The Maiden” (Investigation Discovery).

Awards: Arts Everywhere Student Innovation Grant, Samuel Selden Memorial Award, Smithwick Research Fund for Independent Performance, Order of the Golden Fleece.

Education/Other: Wesleyan University (B.A), William Esper, Stella Adler, Upright Citizens Brigade, Broadway Dance Center. | Instagram

Omolade Wey

Silhouette Actor

PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Stick Fly,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “As You Like It,” “The Storyteller,” “Julius Caesar,” “Everybody,” “Wilder & Wilder” (PlayMakers Mobile); “No Child,” “Stop Kiss,” “References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

University: “God & Country,” “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” “Insurrection: Holding History.”

Education/Awards: Winner of the Director’s Company Next Wave Initiative Hattie McDaniel Acting Scholarship. BSFS in Culture & Politics from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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Creative Team Bios

Tia James

Director/Vocal Coach

PlayMakers: Company member for two seasons. Actor: “Julius Caesar,” “Native Son.” Vocal coaching includes “Stick Fly,” “Ragtime,” “How I Learned to Drive,” “Life of Galileo,” “Bewilderness,” “She Loves Me,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Sherwood,” “Jump,” “Your Healing is Killing Me.” Director: “As You Like It,” “Macbeth” (PlayMakers Mobile) and “Constellations” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

Broadway: “The Merchant of Venice.”

Off-Broadway / New York: “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Merchant of Venice” (Shakespeare in the Park).

Regional: “Richard III” (Allentown Shakespeare); “Loving and Loving” (Stella Adler Studios); “Much Ado About Nothing” (Two River Theatre); “Civilization [All You Can Eat]” (Woolly Mammoth Theater).

Television: “Nurse Jackie,” “Treme.”

Teaching / Coaching / Directing: UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU Graduate Acting, NYU Dance, Atlantic Acting School, Montclair University.

Education / Awards: MFA NYU Tisch Graduate Acting Program, BFA Virginia Commonwealth University; Teacher Training under Scott Miller and John Patrick. Recipient of the 2014 NYU Graduate Acting Diversity Mentorship Scholarship, 2003 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship winner for Best Actor; 2019 Michael Chekhov/Zelda Fichandler Scholarship.

Lawrence E. Moten III

Scenic Designer

PlayMakers: “Native Son.”

Broadway: “Chicken & Biscuits” (Circle In The Square); “What The Constitution Means to Me” (Broadway & Tour Associate).

Regional: “it’s not a trip, it’s a journey” (Round House); “We Declare You A Terrorist…” (Round House); “Gem of The Ocean” (Portland Center Stage); “Trouble In Mind” (The Old Globe); “The West End” (Cincinnati Playhouse); “The Sound Inside” (TheaterWorks Hartford); “Hype Man” (ART & Company One); “Gloria” (ACT); “STEW” (Page 73); “Hi, Are You Single?” (Woolly Mammoth); “Feeding Beatrice” (Rep St. Louis); “The White Chip” (59E59); “House of Joy” (CalShakes); “A Human Being, Of A Sort” (Williamstown); “The Royale” (Capital Rep); “Behind The Sheet” (Ensemble Studio Theatre).

Lecturer: Princeton University.

Education/Other: USA 829 & Wingspace Theatrical Design. BFA Ithaca College.

Ramaj Jamar

Costume Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

Abigail Hoke-Brady

Lighting Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

G. Clausen

Sound Designer

PlayMakers: “Native Son,” “Skeleton Crew.”

Regional: “Queen of the Night” (Victory Gardens Theatre); “PYG or The Misedumacation of Dorian Belle” (Studio Theatre); “And Then There Were None”, “A Christmas Carol”, “The Mystery of Irma Vep”, “Don Juan”, “Fences”, “Dirty Blonde”, “Member of the Wedding”, “The 39 Steps”, “Two Wolves and a Lamb” (Triad Stage); “The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats” (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte); “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (Cape Fear Regional Theatre); “How I Learned What I Learned”, “Too Heavy For Your Pocket”, “Intimate Apparel”, “Hooded or Being Black for Dummies”, “A Raisin in the Sun” (Pyramid Theatre Company); “Sonnets for an Old Century”, “How I Learned What I Learned” (Riverside Theatre).

Education: Visiting Faculty at UNC School of the Arts, MFA in Sound Design from UNC School of the Arts. BS in History/Minor in African American Studies from Iowa State University.

Music Production: “O Henry” by Demeanor. | Instagram

Alex Maness

Projection Designer

PlayMakers: “Ragtime,” “Native Son.”

Regional: “The Laramie Project,” “Dancing at Lughnasa” (Duke Theater Studies); “Donald,” “Jade City Chronicles,” “Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo,” “And the Ass Saw the Angel,” “The Emotions of Normal People,” “Hunchback” (Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern); “Wakey Wakey” (Manbites Dog Theater); “In An Interrogative Mood” (UNC – The Performance Collective).

Dance: “Echo,” “No.19 / Modulations,” “Show” and “Culture Mill” (collaborations with choreographer Justin Tornow), “They Are All” (American Dance Festival).

Visual Design “Cinnabar,” “And Then the Sun Swallowed Me” (collaborations with artist Heather Gordon).

Saleemah Sharpe


PlayMakers: “The Skin of Our Teeth.” Company member in their first year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program.

New York: “King Lear” (NY Classical).

University: As You Like It” (Stella Adler Studio of Acting); “King Lear,” “Soon Again Not Yet,” “Sopita” (Royal Social Distance Company); “Sins of the Father” (Eden Theater Company); “Significant Other” (The Theatre Project); “The Block” (Lakai Dance Theatre); “Ubu Roi,” “Straight Outta Kansas,” “Antigone” (Montclair State University).

Film: “The Girl With the Eyes” (Independent film), “Remission Accomplished” (Student film).

Television:“iCarly” (Nickelodeon), “The Electric Company” (PBS Kids).

Education: Montclair State University, B.A. Theatre Studies & a double-minor in Myth Studies & Business.

Instagram | Facebook

Jamar Jones

Assistant Director

PlayMakers: Company member in their first year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Stick Fly,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Brothers Size” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

Regional: “Fires in the Mirror,” “Passing Strange” (Firehouse Theatre); “Fences,” “Akeelah and the Bee” (Virginia Repertory Theatre); “Red Velvet” (Quill Theatre); “An Octoroon,” “Topdog/Underdog” (The Conciliation Lab); “Free Man of Color” (The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company); “Choir Boy” (Richmond Triangle Players/THETC) and “Equus” (Cadence Theatre Company).

University: “Pure Confidence,” “Blues for Mister Charlie,” “The Story” (University of Richmond).

Education/Awards: The College of William and Mary, B.A. Sociology and Theatre. 2019 Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award, Best Actor in a Leading Role – Play for “An Octoroon,” 2020 RTCC Award, Ernie McClintock Best Ensemble Acting for “Passing Strange.”

Charles K. Bayang

Stage Manager

PlayMakers: Company member for 11 seasons. Work at other regional theatres includes productions at Studio Arena Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Children’s Theatre. Charles holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and has been a member for Actors’ Equity since 1997.

Elizabeth Ray

Assistant Stage Manager

PlayMakers: Company member in her fifth full season. “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” “The Storyteller,” “Everybody,” “Dairyland,” “No Fear & Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone,” “How I Learned to Drive,” “Jump,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Temples of Lung and Air,” “‘A’ Train,” “Tartuffe,” “Dot,” “The Cake,” “Into the Woods,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Private Lives.”

New York: “Shows for Days” (Lincoln Center Theater); “In the Secret Sea” (Theatre Row); “Wallenberg,” “Requiem for Mr. B,” “Presto Change-O” (Frankel Green Production Company) and “Welcome to Shoofly” (Playwrights Horizons).

Work at other regional theatres includes productions at North Carolina Theatre, Theatre Raleigh, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Elizabeth is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Vivienne Benesch

Producing Artistic Director

Vivienne is in her sixth full season as a company member and Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers, where she has helmed productions of “The Storyteller,” “Dairyland,” “Life of Galileo,” “Leaving Eden,” “The May Queen,” “Three Sisters,” “Love Alone,” “RED” and “In The Next Room.” In her six seasons with the theatre, she is particularly proud to have produced 10 world-premieres and launched PlayMakers Mobile, a touring production aimed at reaching underserved audiences around the Triangle. For 12 seasons, she served as Artistic Director of the renowned Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory, presiding over the company’s transformation into one of the best summer theatres and most competitive summer training programs in the country. Vivienne has also directed for the Folger Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination for best direction 2019), The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Trinity Repertory Company, NY Stage & Film, and Red Bull Theatre, among others. In 2018, she directed the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s “Birthday Candles” for Detroit Public Theatre and recently directed it again on Broadway in 2022, starring Debra Messing. As an actress, Vivienne has worked on and off-Broadway, in film and television, at many of the country’s most celebrated theatres, and received an Obie Award for her performance in Lee Blessing’s “Going to St. Ives.” Vivienne is a graduate of Brown University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. As an educator, she has directed for and served on the faculty of some of the nation’s foremost actor training programs, including The Juilliard School, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Professional Actor Training Program, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program, and at her alma mater, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. She is the 2017 recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation.

Nichole Gantshar

Managing Director

Nichole Gantshar is a former dramaturg turned arts administrator. Having spent the past two years in interim leadership with Louisville Ballet and Theatre Bay Area, she looks forward to becoming part of the Triangle community. She spent five years as Executive Director of Rochester City Ballet, where she tripled grant revenue, grew audiences by 30 percent, added free (philanthropy supported) sensory-friendly performances, and earned support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Shubert Foundation. Apart from her career in the arts, Nichole worked as a Legislative Aide in Congress and as a journalist.

Regional: Hangar Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Richmond Ballet, Syracuse Stage and Tulsa Ballet.

Volunteer: Rotary, treasurer, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), Chair of the National Student Education Fund, treasurer, Syracuse Chapter of Girls Inc.

Awards: Nominee, Outstanding Young Woman of America, LMDA Residency Grant. Faculty: Syracuse University, University at Stony Brook, University of Pittsburgh and the Wooster Center for the Arts.

Education: MFA, University at Stony Brook.

Michael Rolleri

Production Manager

Michael is in his 35th season with PlayMakers Repertory Company. He has been Technical Director, Project Manager, Exhibition Technician and Lighting Designer for industrial shows in the Southeast region, as well as lead carpenter for films, the U.S. Olympic Festival and scenic studios. He has also been a rigger in the Southeast region and has served on the executive board and as President of IATSE Local 417. Michael is a 30-year Gold Pin member of IATSE. An active member of the United States Institute For Theatre Technology (USITT), he is a three-time winner at USITT’s Tech Expo. He is a full Professor/Head of the Technical Production Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and was an instructor at High Point University and Tufts University.

Education: MFA in Design and Technical Production, UNC-Greensboro.

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General Information

How I Learned What I Learned

by August Wilson

Duration: 1 hour, 50 minutes
No intermission

Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art
CB# 3235, UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3235

Box Office: 919.962.7529

What Will Shows Look Like This Year?

The 21/22 season will feature five live, in-person performances featuring works that explore the resilience of family bonds in all their complicated forms, friendships that transcend language, time, and space, and one man’s connection to his community that helps him stand taller than he could alone.

Health and Safety

PlayMakers Repertory Company is committed to the safety and well-being of our patrons, artists and staff. We will be following state, industry and University safety guidelines in the 21/22 season.

All patrons are encouraged to wear masks while inside the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art.

We have increased sanitation measures throughout the building and put some new protocols in place to improve safety including:

  • Touch free electronic ticketing
  • Hand sanitizers throughout the Center for Dramatic Art
  • More frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces
  • HEPA filtration units
  • With the exception of onstage performances, artists, crew and staff will be required to wear masks

What If I Have to Miss My Performance Date?

For the safety of all our artists, patrons, and staff, if you feel unwell, please stay home. You may call our Box Office and ask to be reseated for another performance, or request a refund up to 48 hour before your ticketed performance.

If you know you will miss a performance date, we can exchange your ticket for you, based on availability. Please call our Box Office at least 48 hours before your scheduled performance, and please be aware that all exchanges are based on availability and a fee or additional cost may apply. Subscribers may exchange their tickets with no additional fee, but additional cost may apply with a change in performance or section.

Box Office Hours

Mon, Weds, Fri 12:00 noon-5:00p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each performance.

Use of Cell Phones and Other Electronics

Texting and using cell phones, laptops, smart watches, and other devices light- or sound-emitting devices are strictly prohibited during the performance. Please turn all electronic devices to silent, theatre mode, or off during the show.

Cameras or Recording Devices

Taking photographs or videotaping inside the theatre is strictly prohibited during performances. However, before the show, during intermission, and after the show, you are invited to take and share your photos of the stage and scenery.


There are several paid and free parking options available near PlayMakers. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before the show so that you have time to park and pay (Monday-Thursday evenings only) and find your seat. For more information and an interactive map of nearby parking options, please visit

Policy on Young Children

As a courtesy to our patrons, it is the policy of PlayMakers not to admit children under the age of 5. All of our shows have content ratings for each production (for example: Rated PG-13). If you are considering bringing your child, please refer to website or contact our Box Office for further information. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Headsets for Hearing Impaired Patrons

Our theatres are equipped with sound systems that amplify the sound from the stage. Patrons who wish to use the system may obtain headsets on a first-come, first-served basis from the coat check. Headsets must be returned immediately after the performance.

Late Seating and Leaving Your Seat During the Performance

To minimize disruptions to the actors and other patrons, late seating will be provided at the discretion of the house manager at an appropriate break in the action on stage. Patrons who need to be seated late must be escorted by house staff to seats at the rear entrance of the auditorium, which entails climbing a flight of stairs. Patrons can take their regular seat at intermission.

Jump to: Letter from Viv | Support PlayMakers | Who We Are | Title Page | Program Notes | About the Author | Actor Bios | Creative Team Bios | General Information | PlayMakers Staff | Friends of PlayMakers | Corporate and Foundation Partners | Announcing Our 22/23 Season

PlayMakers Staff


Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director
Nichole Gantshar, Managing Director


Tracy Bersley, Movement Coach/Choreographer
Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Company Artistic Associate
Chelsea James, Producing Assistant
Tia James, Vocal Coach
Gregory Kable, Dramaturg
Jacqueline E. Lawton, Dramaturg
Jeffrey Meanza, Associate Artistic Director
Mark Perry, Dramaturg
Gwendolyn Schwinke, Vocal Coach
Jeri Lynn Schulke, Engagement Associate
Adam Versényi, Dramaturg


Kate Jones, Business Operations Coordinator
Lisa Geeslin, Accountant
Maura Murphy, General Manager

Marketing & Audience Services

Hannah Hendren, Communications & Advancement Assistant
Alex James, Audience Services Associate
Diana Pineda, Director of Sales & Marketing
Thomas Porter, Box Office Manager
Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing
Jessie Gleason, Undergraduate Marketing Assistant

Work Study Students

Artistic: Josh Wahab
Box Office/ Front of House: Aisha Bynum, Charity Cohen, Eli Dietrich, Yaeelin Merino-Velasquez, Olivia Morse, Kaitlyn Rivera, Krystal Rivera, Alla Sirelkhatim, Naomi Smith, Lily Vance
Development: Mahika Kawale
Marketing: Belawal Ahmed

Department of Dramatic Art

Adam Versényi, Professor and Chair


Vivienne Benesch, Professor of the Practice
Tracy Bersley, Assistant Professor
Pamela Bond, Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor
Jan Chambers, Professor
McKay Coble, Professor
Jeffrey Blair Cornell, Associate Chair, Teaching Professor
Ray Dooley, Professor Emeritus
Samuel Ray Gates, Assistant Professor
Julia Gibson, Associate Professor
Jennifer Bayang, Teaching Assistant Professor
Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Teaching Associate Professor
Tia James, Assistant Professor
Gregory Kable, Teaching Professor
Jacqueline E. Lawton, Associate Professor
Adam Maxfield, Teaching Associate Professor
Triffin Morris, Professor of the Practice
David Navalinsky, Associate Professor
Bobbi Owen, Distinguished Professor Emerita
Mark Perry, Teaching Associate Professor
Rachel E. Pollock, Teaching Assistant Professor
Michael Rolleri, Professor
Gwendolyn Schwinke, Assistant Professor
Aubrey Snowden, Teaching Assistant Professor


Betty Futrell, Student Services Specialist
Lisa Geeslin, Accounting Technician
Jordan Clodfelter, KTC Technical Director
Karen Rolleri, Business Coordinator
Jamie Strickland, Business Officer


Michael Rolleri, Production Manager


Jennifer Bayang, Assistant Costume Director
Amy Evans, Wardrobe Supervisor
Marissa Lupkas, Costume Collection Coordinator
Triffin Morris, Costume Director
Rachel Pollock, Costume Craftsperson
Costume Production Graduate Students:
Matty Blatt, Jocelyn Chatman, Alex Hagman, Emma Hoylst, Lou Pires, Athene Wright, Sherry Wu


Benjamin Bosch, Head Electrician


Emma Anderson, Props Artisan
Andrea Bullock, Properties Master


Anthony Cacchione, Master Carpenter
Adam Maxfield, Technical Director
Laura Pates, Assistant Technical Director
Jessica Secrest, Scenic Artist
Technical Production Graduate Students:
Brock Burton, Gregory Condon, Paul Edghill, Patrick Hardison, Kevin Pendergast, Luke Robinson, Garrett Weeda
Spencer Ellis, Undergraduate Assistant-Scene Shop
Haley Connell, Undergraduate Assistant-Paint


Marisa Clemente, Sound Associate
Mac Cohen, Undergraduate Assistant


Charles K. Bayang, Stage Manager
Aspen Jackson, Production Assistant
Elizabeth Ray, Stage Manager

Work Study Students

Carpentry: Tygia Drewhowell, Jeffrey Jones, Danielle Mou, Lillyann Nekervis
Lighting: Jessica Atkins, Anthony Burch, Jahel Gomes, Sananda Jagannathan, Annabelle Jiang, Alex Mitropoulos
Props: Charlotte Allsbrook, Hannah Fatool, Lydia McRoy, Marissa Romano
Scenic Painting: Madison Austin, Madeleine Collins, Corinne Laverge, Faith Wang

PlayMakers’ Resident Acting Company

Jeffrey Blair Cornell
Samuel Ray Gates
Julia Gibson
Kathryn Hunter-Williams
Tia James
Gwendolyn Schwinke

Professional Actor Training Program:

Sergio Mauritz Ang, Anthony August, Hayley Cartee, Heinley Gaspard, Tori Jewell, Jamar Jones, Khalil LeSaldo, Saleemah Sharpe, AhDream Smith, Sanjana Taskar, Adam Valentine, Omolade Wey

For this Production of How I Learned What I Learned

Garrett Weeda, Production Technical Director
Laura Pates, Assistant Technical Director
Morgann Russell, Sound Engineer
Jennifer Bayang, Assistant to the Costume Designer
Lou Pires, Draper
Emma Holyst, First Hands

Jump to: Letter from Viv | Support PlayMakers | Who We Are | Title Page | Program Notes | About the Author | Actor Bios | Creative Team Bios | General Information | PlayMakers Staff | Friends of PlayMakers | Corporate and Foundation Partners | Announcing Our 22/23 Season

Friends of PlayMakers

During this period of re-emergence, we are producing a smaller, “capsule” season of only five powerful shows. While this allows us to remain focused on the safety and well-being of our patrons, artists, and staff, it has substantial financial implications.

As a nonprofit professional theatre, ticket sales traditionally cover only half of our annual operating costs. This year, we cannot count on ticket revenue as we have in the past. We must rely on the generosity of our community to help close the gap and keep our stages alive.

Ways to Give



Phone or Email


Send your check to:
PlayMakers Repertory Company Development Department
Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art
CB 3235
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3235

You can help support and sustain all our work, both on stage and off, by making a tax-deductible gift which enables us to:

  • Bring innovative, entertaining, and relevant theatre to the Triangle
  • Serve students across the state through our award-winning educational programs
  • Engage with our audiences through artist and community conversations
  • Remain flexible, safe, and better prepared for the future

Every gift, big or small, makes a huge difference!

PlayMakers is grateful to the members of the Friends of PlayMakers for their generous support. For more information about how to join this dynamic group of supporters, call the PlayMakers Development Office at 919.962.2481 or visit us at


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Supporter ($250–499)

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Bobbie Owens*
Lee and Barbara Pedersen
Robert Peet
Robert and Marilyn Pinschmidt
Gordon and Jo Ann Pitz
Stephen and Lyn Pizer
Robert Davis Porter and Joyce Anne Porter
Gary and Susie Pratt
The Honorable David Eugene Price and Lisa Kanwit Price
Rao Family Foundation
Andrea Reibel*
Sandra and Stephen Rich
Linda and Alan Rimer
Alan Linda Rimer
Victor L. Roggli and Linda Surratt Roggli
Bruce Marshall Romans
Beth Rosenberg
Michael Kerry Salemi
Stephanie Schmitt
Dr. Caryl Jane Schwartzbach and Alan Bolzan
Dr. Robert Sealock and Cecile Skrzynia
Barbara and Jonathan Sheline
Wayne Sherrill
Sarah Elizabeth Shively
Dr. Robert Sealock and Ms. Cecile Skrzynia
Dr. and Mrs. Sidney C. Smith
Kyle Hardee Smith and Jenn Kroohs Smith
Richard L. Smith and Amy Marie Grady
Meredith and Paul Snow
Connie Spooner
Carol Stamm,
In memory of Dr. John Stamm
Elizabeth L. Stanley*
Jeannie Pfister Stroupe ^
Dr. Robert Joseph Sullivan Jr. and Ms. Kim Stephenson Sullivan
Steven and Madeline Sunshine
T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable Giving
Tim and Judy Taft
Monica Taylor*
Margaret G. Teasley
Hugh and Judy Tilson^
Bruce Tomason
Barrie Trinkle
Dr. Glen Holl Elder Jr. and Mrs. Sandy Aldridge Turbeville
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Inc
John and Donna van Arnold
Adam Versenyi
Carol and Jim Vorhaus
Tovah M. Wax and Lucjan Mordzak
Mary Robin Wells and Gary Gambrell
Ernest T. Wilkes
R. Sanders and Jennifer Williams
Sarah Winkler
Jane Pettis Wiseman
Jerry Worsley
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP,
In Memory of Joan H. Gillings
Alan J. Young

Patron ($100–249)

Anonymous (10)
Trudi Abel*
Dwight and Robin Allen
Mary Altpeter
Elizabeth Amend*
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.
Sherry and Mitchell Anscher
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Archie*
Matthew and Linda Arnold*
Dean W. Avary
Krista and Michael Babbitt
Pam and Don Bailey
Dan and Susan Barco
Cathy Barrett
Phil Barrineau
Beatrice C. Treat Trust
Anne Beaven and Margaret Louey
Neal and Jeanette Bench
Donna and Daniel Benjamin
Kitty Bergel
Robert A. and Christine S. Berndt
Susan Berry
Patricia Beyle*
Jim and Martha Bick
Justin and Dorothy Biddle
Mr. and Mrs. David Birnbaum
Peter Bleckner
Blue Ridge Psychological Services
Natalie and Gary Boorman
Tony Boothby*
Melissa Bostrom and Krisztian Horvath
Thomas W. and Vicki V. Boyer
Lauren Kennedy Brady and Charlie Brady
Carol Brainard and Nancy Hardin
Philip Breitfeld and Susan Kreissman
Rev. William Sims Brettmann
Eunice Brock and Sam Magill
Linda and David Brown
Charles and Renee Brown
Bates Buckner
Edward and Sheila Burgard
Drs. Charles Burnett and Catherine Forneris
Frances D. Burton
Thomas Butler
Dr. Leigh Fleming Callahan
Robert Cameron*
Glenn and Patricia Camp
Janet F. Campbell
Natalie Campbell
Donna Carroll and Gale Lackey
Virginia Carson*
Jean Carter
Michael Case and Lewis Dancy
Lorna Chafe
Dr. Margaret Champion
Beverly Long Chapin
Mimi Chapman*
Nancy N. Chemtob*
Corey and Christine Cicci
Gabriella Cila
Elizabeth Cisar*
Linda G. Clarkson*
Ellen Clevenger-Firley
Steve Cline*
Bill Cobb and Gail Perry
Cathy Cole
Robert F. Coleman III
in memory of Susan Hurst Rappaport
Donald and Eunice Collins
Jeffrey Collins and Rose Mills
Jenn Collins and Paul Runkle
Joseph and Elizabeth Cook
Rayna Cooney
Sharon Scholl Coop
Lee Cope
Janilyn and Vance Cope-Kasten
Mary Jo and Douglas Coppola
John and Belinda Corpening
Sarah Clare Corporandy*
Georgia Court*
Rick and Patty Courtright
Elizabeth Anne Cullington
Fred and Jane Dalldorf
Amy Elizabeth Dallen
Zachary Davis
Mrs. Robert Bigelow DeMaine
Todd Dickinson and Helen Kalevas
Teresa Dollar
Sheila and Joe Dorey*
Scott and Mia Doron
Joy and Chet Douglass*
Ginny and David Dropkin
John F. Duncan, Jr.
Anne Dusek*
Kathleen DuVal and Martin Smith*
Connie Eble
The Eckert Family
Bobette Eckland and Richard Kamens
Mark Ransom Eis
Barbara Elish
Jan Elliott
Jerry and Adelia Evans
Joshua London Evans
Dagmar and J.C. Fahr*
Dr. Richard Fair and M. Clare Fair
Robert Farmer
Shauna and Tom Farmer
Pamela Ferguson*
Laurice Ferris^
Nicole and Bruce Fine*
Karen Fink
Jon and Sue Fish
Gina Cordasco Flynn
Sara Franks*
Douglas and Judy Frey
Bennett Galef
Betty and Franklin Garland
Ed and Carol Gaunt
Nikki and Anthony Giachetti
William Glasgow
Gunter Glass
Debra and Eric Goldberg*
Alix Goldschmidt*
Eve Benesch Goldschmidt
Raymond and Susan Goodmon
Lucy and John Grant
Stephen Grant
Grant Thornton LLP, In Memory of Joan H. Gillings
Virginia Gray
John Graybeal and Laura Heise
Bill Green and Brett Bohnn
Drs. Lawrence H. Greenblatt and Cathleen Melton
Elizabeth Grey*
Lucy Grey and Wilson McIver
Jean Susan Gross
Joseph Groves
Kay Gruninger
Satyaki Guha
Erin and Evan Gwyn
Tim Hackett and James Konold
Carol and Nortin Hadler
Janet Hadler
Todd Haimes*
Garrett Hall and Zachary Howell
Bruce Hamilton and Jennifer Weiss*
Jean Handy*
Doranne Hans
Carol Ann Brainard and Nancy W. Hardin
Cheryl and Toby Harrell
Joanne Harrell
Edwin Harris
Lynden Harris*
Patti Seitz Hartel
Jim and Mary Hayes
Rachel Heller
Richard Hendel*
Eric Herget and Sherry Wilner
Klaus Hermanns
Ellen Herron
William Hicks and William Sadler
Ann Hillenbrand
Margaret R. Hinkle*
Jennifer Hodgson and Matthew Conley
Peter Hollis
Houston and Joyce Horn
Mary Howes,
In Memory of Jonathan B. Howes
John and Joyce Hren
Mr. David Hubby and Ms. Sarah F. Hubby
Mary Hulett*
Malcolm and Wanda Hunter
Leslie Hurtig*
Beth H. Isenhour*
Abby Jablin
Elizabeth W. Jackson
Emma Jakoi
Champa and David Jarmul
Perry Jenkins
Mr. John Jennings and Lisa Jennings
Jewish Community Foundation of Durham & Chapel Hill
Suzanne Fields Jones
Susan Joyner
Eve and Rudy Juliano
Dan and Linda Kaferle
Cindy Kahler
H. Richard and Sally A. Kahler
Dr. Richard Miles Kamens and Ms. Bobette S. Eckland
Amy Kane*
Lynne Kane
Howard and Joan Kastel
Laura Kayser*
Paul and Edith Keene
Marie-Beatrice and Robert Keller
Arlon Kemple and Karen Long
Barbara Keyworth
Brian and Moyra Kileff
Dr. Harriet King
Robert and Mary King,
In memory of Charles H. Kahn
Andrew Stewart and Peggy Kinney ^
Ann and Bill Kirkland
Rabecca Klemp
Joyce Kline
Ted and Marilyn Koenig
Stephen and Bunny Koff
Elizabeth Koonce
Helen Kotsher
Lloyd Kramer and Gwynne Pomeroy
Dave and Doris Krepp
Ted and Debbie LaMay
Benjamin Landman and Jen Feldman,
in honor of Ms. Betty-Ann Landman
Gerry and Ray Larson
Robert Lauterborn,
in memory of Sylvia Lauterborn
Carol and Alexander Lawrence
Mary and Jon Leadbetter
Priscilla and Russell Leavitt
Judith and Norbert Lechner
Philip and Nancy Leinbach
David and Carolyn Leith
John and Ruth Leopold
Arnold and Annette Levine
Joy Lewis and Frederick Annand
Betty and John Leydon
Judith C.P. Lilley
Jacqueline Little
Ginger and Derek Long
Carol Lucas
John Ludlow and Kathy Davies
Virginia Ludwig
Mrs. Earl C. Lynch
Sara Mack
Corey Madden
Dr. and Mrs. Donald Madison
Dr. Samuel Hays Magill and Eunice M. Brock
John Manley
Raleigh and Betsy Mann^
Lee and Elaine Marcus
Chris and Caroline Martens
Jeff Mason
Shelley J. Masters
Leigh Matthews
Michael Mayer
Dr. and Mrs. Robert N. McCall
Meredith McClurg
Ann and Webb McCracken
Ed and Connie McCraw
J.S. McKnight
Patrick Joseph Mclane^
Lee McLean
John and Bonnie Medinger
Ewa Meehan
Larry and Jerri Meisner
Cathleen Melton and Larry Greenblatt
Joan and Ron Mendelsohn
Brian Meredith
Julia Merricks and Susan Hauser*
Tracie Merrill-Wilson
Molly S. Metzler*
The Honorable Graig Meyer
Ryan Millager
Herbert Miller
Erik and Natalia Milz
Mark and Alice Mine
Sophie Jessica Mitchell
Dana Mochel
Jill Moore *
Aela Morgan*
Eric Muller and Leslie Branden-Muller
Margaret Mullinix
Kate Murphy
Seth Murray and Jamie Newman
Margaret Murray
Judy Murray
Lee and Ava Nackman
Michael Naglich*
Diane Nelson, Ph.D.*
Michele and Klaus Nettesheim
Barbara Nettesheim
Betty Nies
Linda W. Norris
James and Nancy Nutt
Drs. Susan and Raphael Orenstein
Marilyn and Peter Ornstein
Barry and Lois Ostrow
Heather Kelly Owen and Russ Owen
Norman Owen,
in memory of Roberta Yule Owen^
Michael Patrick
Josie Patton
Michael Paul
Ron and Julie Paxton
Robert and Kay Pearlstein
Robert Peet
Nancy Pekar
Arnold Pender
Joanna V. Percher
Imara Perera*
Carol and Al Perlman
Mr. Stephen Perrin and Ms. Cecelia M. Sandford
Rebecca Perritt
Thomas Phillips
Meredith Piatt
Pickett M. Gutherie Revocable Trust
Jim P. Polga*
Susie Post-Rust and Adam MacKenzie Rust
Ted and Peggy Pratt
Jane Preyer*
Todd and Nicky Purves*
Jeffrey Qualls
Margaret Quinlan
Stephen Allan Rich & Sandra Danneman Rich
Geraldine and Gary Richards
Margaret Louise Robe
Louise A. Robinson
James and Janet Robles
Philip and Jo Rodgers *
Patricia Roos
Joel Rosch and Carol Vatz
Philip Rosoff and Dona Shikaraishi
Judith L. Ruderman
Jennifer Rudinger
Laura and Reid Russell
Patti and Dan Ryan
Sylvia and Norman G. Samet,
In memory of Charles H. Kahn
Celia Sandford and Stephen Perrin
Dale and Robert Sandler
Elizabeth Saunders*
Carol Elizabeth Sawyer
Allie and Ian Scales^
Carol Schachner^
Karen Ann Sindelar and Douglas Brian Schiff
Ernest and Mary Schoenfeld
Tanya L. Schreiber
Janice and Richard Schulke
Dr. Caryl Jane Schwartzbach and Alan Bolzan
Gwendolyn Schwinke
Maren Searle and John Skelley
Rick and Georgie Searles
Patricia Shane
Barbara Sharf
William N. Sharpe Jr.
Alison Sheehy*
Barbara and Jonathan Sheline
Stephanie Shipman and Walter Travers*
Connie Shuping,
in memory of Ed and Dot Kennedy
Nikki Silver*
Bland Simpson*
David Singley Jr.
Ron and Mary Sinzdak
Sim Sitkin and Vivian Olkin
Barry Slobin and Carol Land
Mike and Kim Slomianyj
Linda Smith
Drs. Richard L. Smith and Amy Grady
Rosalyn Smith
Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Solomon ^
Ilene Speizer*
Marcia Spray, In honor of Laura Carson Spray
Kimberly and David Spurr
Sally and Jeremy Stander
Mary Elizabeth Hall and Robert A. Stanger Jr.
Allen Steckler
Susanne Steinmetz*
Anne Stephens*
Marian Stephenson
Cathy and Sefton Stevens
Andy Stewart and Peggy Kinney^
Dorcas Stolper
Leslie and Paul Strohm
Mr. Edward Strong*
Jeannie Pfister Stroupe^
Ed and Lynne Sullivan
Terrence and Marguerite Sullivan
Steven and Madeline Sunshine
Jeff Surles
Nanette and David Talaski
Beverly Taylor
David C. Taylor
Stephen Tell and Rosemary Hoban
The Boyer Living Trust
Charles Thomas and Suzanne Maupin
Janet Thomas
Robert and Shirley Thompson
David and Kelley Tobin*
Beatrice Treat
Nancy Trovillion*
Nancy Tunnessen
Nancy Tusa and Andy Brawn
David Burr and Rustine Unger
Lindsay Usher
Mary Van Bourgondien*
Ted Van Griethuysen
Barney and Vivian Varner
Dr. Barbara Carol Vatz and Joel Burt Rosch
Jill Vexler*
Dr. Victor and Linda Roggli
Robin Visser
Deborah and Jonathan Wahl
Ina Wallace
Mary Louise Waller
Angela Walter*
Helen Warner
David and Marsha Warren
Tovah Wax and Lucjan Mordzak
George Weinhouse
The Honorable Jennifer Weiss and Bruce Alan Hamilton
Dr. Lynn Wesson
Shirley H. White, in honor of Steven H. White
Loretta Wile
Mike Wiley
Jane Williams
Dr. Nancy E Williamson
Richard D. Wilson
Joy Wood
Nancy Worley
Jerry M. Worsley
Janice and Richard Woychik
David and Dee Yoder
Marla Yost
YourCause, LLC Trustee for Red Hat Matching Gifts
Justin Yung^
Rosilene Ziegler and John Steege

^ Sustainers Club Member
+ Women’s Point of View (WPOV) Supporter
* PlayMakers Special Event Supporter
~ Deceased

This list is current as of January 18, 2022. If your name is listed incorrectly or not at all, please contact PlayMakers Development Office at 919.962.2481. We will ensure you are recognized for your thoughtful support.

Jump to: Letter from Viv | Support PlayMakers | Who We Are | Title Page | Program Notes | About the Author | Actor Bios | Creative Team Bios | General Information | PlayMakers Staff | Friends of PlayMakers | Corporate and Foundation Partners | Announcing Our 22/23 Season

Corporate and Foundation Partners

PlayMakers’ 2021/22 Season is Made Possible in Part by Grants from

National Endowment for the Arts
North Carolina Arts Council

The Shubert Foundation
Arts Midwest
Orange County Arts Commission

Foundation Support

National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, The Shubert Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Truist Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America

Additional Funding for Guest Artists is Provided by

Robert Boyer and Margaret Boyer Fund, Louise Lamont Fund, Emeriti Professors Charles and Shirley Weiss Fund

Producing Council

Mebane Lumber, Residence Inn Chapel Hill, Spoonflower, Larry’s Coffee, The Siena Hotel/Il Palio Restaurant

Corporate Council

De Maison Selections, Aloft


Cambria Suites

Jump to: Letter from Viv | Support PlayMakers | Who We Are | Title Page | Program Notes | About the Author | Actor Bios | Creative Team Bios | General Information | PlayMakers Staff | Friends of PlayMakers | Corporate and Foundation Partners | Announcing Our 22/23 Season

Announcing Our 22/23 Season

Announcing PlayMakers’ 22/23 Season

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The season features six productions on the Paul Green Theatre stage, which will be transformed into the heart of the Harlem Renaissance, a usurper King’s court in Denmark, a neighborhood backyard battleground, a queen’s playground in Florida, a meddlesome English matchmaker’s drawing room, and, finally, familiar ground in the South for a young man’s journey of creative self-discovery.

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Jump to: Letter from Viv | Support PlayMakers | Who We Are | Title Page | Program Notes | About the Author | Actor Bios | Creative Team Bios | General Information | PlayMakers Staff | Friends of PlayMakers | Corporate and Foundation Partners | Announcing Our 22/23 Season