Looking Forward in Responsible Optimism

Hi, I’m Vivienne Benesch, reaching out to you at home as all of us continue to navigate through these difficult times. As Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers—and as a director, actor, and educator—I am proud to be a part not only of one of the great flagship regional theatres in the country, but also of the professional theatre in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, the People’s University.

I want to share with you that as we all learn what is safe and possible moving forward, PlayMakers will be making real-time adjustments to our programming in close consultation with the University. And meanwhile, the commitment to our mission—to create transformational impact in our community through theatre that expands our minds and fosters wonder in our hearts—is stronger than ever.

As we look forward with responsible optimism to the time we can gather inside our theatres again (yes, we WILL be back!), you may find the next year at PlayMakers looks a little different from what you’re used to. But we’re busy developing creative ways to structure our upcoming season: All Too Human: The Art of Comedy.

A few things I can share with you already. First, the launch of PlayMakers (Keeping You) Company, our platform for streaming content. Now you can stay connected with us through this imaginative series of artist conversations, master classes, and yes, in the near future, performances!

In fact, PlayMakers hopes to step into the world of streamed theatrical events with the world premiere of Jacqueline Lawton’s Edges of Time, the filming of which would officially kick off our 20/21 season. We’re so pleased that audiences won’t have to miss out on this fascinating one woman show starring beloved Company member Kathryn Hunter-Williams.

Also online, you’ll find access to our extensive Summer Youth Conservatory classes. We’re expanding our virtual offerings to include grades 4 through 12. Our teachers are ready to adapt to the times and PlayMakers is committed to keeping kids engaged and creative.

Beyond that, we’re preparing to bring you a season filled with the most powerful balms we know: laughter and great storytelling.

Theatre makers are among the most resilient and resourceful people. Every time we encounter a challenge—in the rehearsal room or on a global scale—we wrestle with it to emerge stronger than we were before. I am eager to discover how we (and theatre makers all around the world) evolve in the wake of this crisis. It’s not going to be easy and PlayMakers needs your help to get there. There is no greater way to show your support right now—if you are able—than by making a tax-deductible donation.

As a non-profit theatre company, contributed income makes up a significant portion of our budget, but, more importantly, your confidence is invaluable to us. We promise to make good on it.

Because we are PlayMakers, and so are you.