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.
- Artistic excellence and artistry
- Education and training
- Community engagement
- Access and equity
Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director
Vivienne is in her fourth full season as a company member and Producing Artistic Director here at PlayMakers, where she has helmed productions of Life of Galileo, Leaving Eden, The May Queen, Three Sisters, Love Alone, RED and In The Next Room for PlayMakers. 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. She directed over fifteen productions at CTC including an acclaimed re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet featuring the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Theatre, Opera and Dance companies. She brought CTC’s production of Amadeus, performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic, to the Virginia Arts Festival featuring PlayMakers company member Ray Dooley. Vivienne has also directed for the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Trinity Repertory Company, and Red Bull Theatre, among others. In 2018, she directed the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s Birthday Candles for Detroit Public Theatre and will be directing it again on Broadway in the spring of 2020, 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.
Justin Haslett, Managing Director
Justin is in his fourth season at the helm of PlayMakers’ administrative organization. He has more than 15 years of not-for-profit theatre management experience. From 2007–2016, Justin served as Associate General Manager to Boston’s largest not-for-profit theatre, the Huntington Theatre Company, recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award. During his time at the Huntington, he oversaw production budgets, negotiated contracts with agencies and unions, managed Company Management, and worked with award-winning regional and national talent. Prior to his time at the Huntington, Justin served as Director of Development for Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA where he strengthened its foundation of engaged and generous community support. He also held multiple positions in development, marketing, and management/administration for the Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Justin holds an MFA in Theatre Management from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Theatre and Anthropology from Bowdoin College. He currently serves as the Chair of the Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission, serves on the Carrboro Arts Committee and as a board member of the Orange Country Arts Commission, and teaches classes in theatre management at UNC-Chapel Hill.