Playbill for Emma

Table of Contents

Linda's Bar and Grill.

Letter from Viv. Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director
Hello Everyone!

Thank you for joining us for one of Jane Austen’s most beloved stories featuring one of her most delightful – if complicated – heroines. “Emma” has been an absolute joy to bring to the stage and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. 

One of my favorite things to do as an artist and producer is to take a fresh look at stories we’ve come to accept as “classic” and uncover the profound relevance they still contain to the world around us; how they continue to highlight the timeless, beautiful and humbling flaws of our human nature. Sometimes this can be a deeply moving experience, and sometimes it is ridiculously hilarious and irreverent. What I love about “Emma” and, in particular this production, is that it contains both. 

 The opportunity to bring Kate Hamill and director Meredith McDonough— two brilliant women and shinning lights of the American theatre— to PlayMakers to share their reimagining of this classic was impossible to pass up. Kate’s work has an agility and theatricality that is unendingly delicious – and in Meredith and her designers’ deft hands the results are electric. 

 As we head into the holidays, I want to thank all of you for joining us on our jaunt to Regency England. I’ll soon be diving deep into Denmark as we begin rehearsals for “Hamlet” and I look forward to seeing you all there too.  I continue to be inspired by our community’s generosity and passionate support of the arts. I wish you all the best now and into the New Year! 

Warmly, Vivienne

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

Give the Gift of Theatre

Want to give a gift that won’t collect dust after the holidays? There’s always room for more magic, more stories, and more coming together in our lives.

This holiday season, we have two ways to give:


A FlexPass gives the recipient the choice of what they want to see this season, when they want to see it, and who they want to see it with.  Plus, they receive all the benefits of being a PlayMakers subscriber!

Starting at $240

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates are the classic gift that never expires. Give any amount and have them join you for a show or two!

Learn more at

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

As chair of the PlayMakers Advisory Council, it is my great pleasure to welcome you back to the Paul Green Theatre for our 2022/23 season.

We are thrilled to offer a six-show Mainstage season that celebrates the best in contemporary and classic theatre, featuring Southern voices, female writers, and directors and a diversity of narratives from the tapestry of cultures that make up the American cultural landscape. 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, and we endeavor to do this by entertaining, challenging, and inspiring our audiences with the best tools of professional, locally produced performing arts. 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.

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 mapping out a bright future for the theatre ensuring its sustainability for many decades to come. 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!

Warmly, 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, and Mike Wiley

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

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

PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company, proudly in residence on the dynamic campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our mission is to producde 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 journey of becoming an anti-racist organization whose work is accessible to all. PlayMakers is devoted to nurturing and training future generations of artists and audiences inextricably linked to UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art.

Our Vision

Provoke Represent Create

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.

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

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

Il Palio Restaurant


By Kate Hamill

based on the novel by Jane Austen

Directed by Meredith McDonough

Scenic and Costume Designer

Lex Liang

Sound Designer

Palmer Hefferan


Mark Perry

Stage Manager

Sarah Smiley

Lighting Designer

Marika Kent


Emily Michaels King

Vocal Coach

Gwendolyn Schwinke

Assistant Stage Manager

Aspen Jackson

November 16-December 4, 2022

“Emma” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by TRW PLAYS 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.

“Emma” Originally commissioned and produced by Guthrie Theater, Joseph Haj, Director.

The video or audio recording of this performance by any means is strictly prohibited.

EMMA is sponsored by Women’s Point of View (WPOV) an initiative within PlayMakers to elevate female voices in the arts.

The Professional Theatre of the Department of Dramatic Art Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Chair Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director Produced in association with The College of Arts and Sciences The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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



Emma: Jane Austen’s Meddlesome Matchmaker With a Farcical, Modern Makeover

By Mark Perry, Dramaturg

With “Emma”, we find perhaps Jane Austen’s most purely comic creation. Most of her novels foreground young women in struggles of financial and matrimonial sorts, reflecting the actual lives of women in Regency times1. This is a much-analyzed Realist impulse of the author. Austen herself lived through some straitening circumstances, not unlike those we find in the lives of “Persuasion”’s Anne Elliot or “Mansfield Park”’s Fanny Price. Emma, however, is as far from an autobiographical portrait as we find among Jane Austen’s heroines.

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

Thus, Jane Austen begins her novel of a character that seems to plop down from the sky of pure privilege. Emma moves like a duchess among the pleasant community of Highbury, just sixteen miles from London, yet far removed from its bustle. Her father presents no threat; his greatest sins are his hypochondria and his excessive love for his daughters. Their estate, Hartfield, is not waiting to be snatched up by some undeserving male relation, and so the most imminent threat faced by Emma would seem to be … boredom. 

How then does Austen keep her audience on Emma’s side? Firstly—while Emma is the picture of privilege, she is well-meaning and lacking the exclusionary bigotry of other of Austen’s highbrows, such as “Pride and Prejudice”’s Caroline Bingley or Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Secondly—the novel hooks the reader into Emma’s project: to remake a human being … or at least upgrade her marital prospects. As Andrew Garfield commented in “Variety”:

“Emma Woodhouse is a snob — often comically deluded, sometimes casually cruel in spite of her good intentions — but the ostensibly objective third-person narration of the novel (arguably Austen’s most sophisticated employment of her free indirect style) stays so carefully in her corner for most of the book that the reader only recognizes the full extent of her snobbery as the character does herself.” 2

2   Barker, Andrew, “ ‘Emma.’: Film Review”, Variety, Feb 3 2020.

Having recently helped usher two friends into connubial bliss, Emma feels a new and illustrious aura of power and purpose. Just then, a next opportunity manifests before her in the person of Harriet Smith—fresh-faced, docile, full of flattery and of a distinctly lower social order. Emma commits to channeling her influence to makeover her new friend’s prospects. She will wield her powers to buck this caste system of the English countryside and upraise poor Harriet to a station above what Fate has consigned her.   

Emma may be a snob, but her care for Harriet is substantive. Emma’s great flaw is not elitism—that is more an heirloom of her upbringing, but rather an exaggerated sense of her own power. When one lives ever in the tailwind of life and love, it is easy and natural to assume that one’s full sails are a merit and not a happy accident. Such is the delusion of affluence.  

This is a comic world, however—a realm where Love rules, and while Emma must be humbled, she will soon thereafter be uplifted. Love will find her out and reward her good intentions with a love close to home, and it will bestow the same on Harriet and on Jane Fairfax and on and on. All things will work out, and happiness will be found—as Aristotle said—in the “soul’s settling into its most appropriate spot.”  

“Every body has their level,” as Mr. Elton says. Such is the message of Classicism. Comedy is typically conservative in nature. As much fun as it is to subvert norms and spin conventions, the rightness of the current order of things will generally be affirmed by play’s end. All our grudges seem but quibbles before the transcendent orderliness of Love’s arrangements. 

Emma and Jane Austen’s Other Novels

In Austen’s novels, we find an admixture of Classical and Modern impulses. There are certain incontrovertible values she espouses: one is the injustice, specifically to women, of the inheritance law and practice of her time. This is perhaps the main wellspring of her social realism. Still, she was constrained in this regard. As Allison Sulloway states:

“[W]hen Austen began her mature work, champions of women’s rights were considered … insurrectionary … As a member of a clerical family, she was anxious to spare herself and her family any ugly notoriety, and so she adopted policies of thematic and rhetorical caution and hid behind anonymity of authorship. Even the possibilities of finding a publisher at all depended not only on what she said but how she said what she said.”3

Sulloway, Allison G., Jane Austen and the Province of Womanhood. (Philadelphia: U Penn Press, 1989)

In “Emma”, the characters are quite free of unwarranted estate entailment or related threats, and so Austen is able to dive into a milieu quite removed from the constraints of her time. This is the crystal pool from which fairy tales are drawn, ageless stories that ever hinge on hubris.

Here we find other values central to Austen’s work—for example, the lasting power of true love, and the companion belief that the essential condition underlying true love is an individual’s upright character. Arguably, all her heroines—for whatever their flaws—are models of integrity. The same also applies to the men they marry, though certainly not all they pursue or engage. Secondary characters often serve as foils, marrying sooner, marrying for convenience, marrying under shady materialistic motives. True love takes longer, and time is one of its proving tests. Will Fanny give in to Henry’s protestations when her heart still yearns for Edmund? Will Elinor sour and despair when Edward Ferrars doesn’t visit as he promised? Can Anne let herself hope again now that Wentworth is back, and how will she choose differently this time? 

Adaptations in Film and Theatre

Adapting Jane Austen to the stage or screen allows a fairly wide spectrum of approaches. Since 1995’s marvelous “Sense and Sensibility” starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, films and miniseries have found success anywhere between almost gritty realism and stylized comedy of manners. Adaptations of “Emma” would probably lean to the latter, such as we find in the 1996 film with Gwyneth Paltrow and the 2020 film with Anna Taylor-Joy. The basic story tracks well as a Hollywood screwball comedy. The cult classic film “Clueless” transposed “Emma” to the popping Petrie dish of materialist excess that was a Beverly Hills High School in the 1990s.  

Adapting a Jane Austen novel to the stage has a particular challenge. The inherent objectivity of the stage threatens the way Austen’s free indirect style gives us the characters not just as they are, but also as they believe they are. One approach is to lean on narration. In 2009, PlayMakers performed Jon Jory’s adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”, which featured an ensemble as ready to jump into third-person narration as into first-person character. That production was strikingly faithful to the novel, boasting 97% of its text to be the words of Jane Austen. 

Such is not the approach of Kate Hamill, whose “Sense and Sensibility” PlayMakers performed in 2017. With this adaptation of “Emma”, the playwright veers from a mannerly comedy into what one might describe as a Feminist farce. The character names and major plot points are the same, and the dialogue stays true, if not to Regency style, then at least to Received Pronunciation (RP). What she does from there—unleashing a certain and swift invasion of modern anachronism, flattening the characters to lighten the story’s load, rooting the central female character’s motivation in a quest for actualization—these are endeavoring to entertain, yes, but also to translate a Grandfather Clock world to a TikTok one.  

Photo of April Mae Davis, Emily Bosco, and Sarah Elizabeth Keyes in “Sense and Sensibility” by Jon Gardiner.

Noon – 7:30 p.m.

Join us at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art for a day of presentations, Q&A, holiday shopping, crafts and refreshments before a live performance of Kate Hamill’s “Emma” in collaboration with the Jane Austen Summer Program. 

Register at


Kate Hamill


Kate Hamill is a playwright and actor based in NYC. For the last three seasons, she has been included on the most produced playwright list in American Theatre Magazine. Her most recent work includes the virtual production of “Badass Galboss Power Hour” for Primary Stages; “Dracula” at Classic Stage Company; the New York premiere of “Little Women” by Primary Stages (commissioned and received its world premiere at The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis); and “Mansfield Park” which was commissioned by and debuted at Northlight Theater. This past season she debuted “Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson-#2B” at Kansas City Rep and “Emma” at The Guthrie.

Kate’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility” (in which she originated the role of Marianne Dashwood) had its world premiere off-Broadway, produced by Bedlam. “Sense & Sensibility” was named one of the “Top Ten Plays of 2014” by both Ben Brantley of the New York Times and by the Huffington Post, which called it “the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history.” It reopened in New York in January of 2016 at the Gym at Judson where it ran for almost 300 performances. “Sense & Sensibility” had its regional debut in spring 2015 at Dallas Theater Center. It has been produced at the Folger Theatre in Washington DC (four Helen Hayes awards), The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and theaters around the country. Her adaptation of “Vanity Fair” debuted at The Pearl Theater in 2017 with an extended run and was seen in a co-production between Shakespeare Theater in DC and American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Her adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” started at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in a production that moved to Primary Stages, in an extended production. “Pride and Prejudice” received an Off Broadway Alliance nomination for Best Unique Theatrical Experience. The play was also seen at WaterTower Theater in Addison, TX and Seattle Rep and has now been licensed nationwide.

She is currently working on an adaptation of “The Odyssey” which will be produced by ART, as well as several new original plays, including “The Piper” (2019 O’Neill NPC finalist; PlayPenn selection) and “The Prostitute Play” (developed at Cygnet Theater).

More information at

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

Actor Bios

Cast List

Mr. George Knightley Eric Bryant*
Mrs. Elton/Servant/Random Lady Hayley Cartee*
Harriet Smith Kimberly Chatterjee*
Mr. Weston/Mr. Woodhouse Jeffrey Blair Cornell*
Miss Bates/Servant/Random Lady Amber Nicole Guest*
Mrs. Anne Weston/Mrs. Bates Rasool Jahan*
Robert Martin/Frank Churchill Jamar Jones
Emma Woodhouse Jamie Ann Romero*
Jane Fairfax/Wedding Guest/Servant Sanjana Taskar*
Mr. Elton/Mrs. Bates Adam Valentine

Stage Managers Sarah Smiley* Aspen Jackson*

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

There will be a 15 minute intermission.

Eric Bryant

Mr. George Knightley

PlayMakers: Debut.

New York: “Angels in America” (Signature Theatre); “Cut Throat” (Abingdon Theatre); “The Pillow Book” (59E59); “Even Maybe Tammy” (The Flea); “Billy Witch” (APAC).

Regional: “Doubt,” “The Understudy,” “The Invisible Hand: (Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play); “Room Service” (all at Westport Country Playhouse); “Almost, Maine” (CT Critics’ Circle Award-Outstanding Ensemble, Theaterworks Hartford); “Bachelorette” (Studio Theatre, DC); “The Mousetrap” (Walnut St); Lewis Black’s “One Slight Hitch” (NY Stage and Film).

TV: “The Blacklist,” “Blue Bloods,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Following,” “Deception.”

Education/Other: BA UNC-CH, MFA Yale School of Drama.

Hayley Cartee

Mrs. Elton/Servant/Random Lady

PlayMakers: “The Skin of Our Teeth”. Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Den of Thieves,” “A Doll’s House Part II” (PlayMakers Ground Floor). A Durham native, Hayley almost made her PlayMakers debut when her mother went into labor in the Paul Green Theatre in the mid-90s.

New York: “All’s Well that Ends Well,” “The Tempest.”

University: “Titus Andronicus,” “Othello,” “Julius Caesar,” “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”

Education: NYU-Tisch School of the Arts; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Kimberly Chatterjee

Harriet Smith

PlayMakers: Debut.

Off-Broadway: “BadAss GalBoss Powerhour,” Kate Hamill’s “Pride and Prejudice” (Primary Stages); “Life Sucks” (Wheelhouse Theater Co); “Dance Nation” (Playwrights Horizons); “The Tempest” with Ron Cephas Jones (Classical Theatre of Harlem).

Regional: “Romeo and Juliet,” “Mr. Burns A Post-Electric Play,” Kate Hamill’s “Pride & Prejudice,” “As You Like It,” “Macbeth,” “Measure for Measure,” “The General from America,” “So Please You” (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); “Sense & Sensibility” (Hangar Theatre); “Dance Nation” (The Wilma); “Noises Off” (The Guthrie); “As You Like It” (Folger Theatre).

TV: “High Maintenance.”

Training: NYU New Studio on Broadway. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  Instagram: @kimberlychatter

Jeffrey Blair Cornell

Mr. Weston/Mr. Woodhouse

PlayMakers: PlayMakers: This marks Jeff’s 28th season with PlayMakers. Recently: Brutus in “Julius Caesar,” Father in “Ragtime,” Uncle Peck in “How I Learned to Drive,” Sipos in “She Loves Me,” and Darren (the Woodchuck) in “Bewilderness.” Some favorites: Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” Caliban in “The Tempest,” Colonel Brandon in “Sense and Sensibility,” Roy Cohn in “Angels in America” and Herr Schultz in “Cabaret.”

New York: “Two by Two,” “Down to Earth,” “Serious Business.”

Regional: Guthrie Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, among others.

Education/Other: Carbonell Award nominations for Best Actor – “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” and “Falsettoland” (Caldwell Theatre – FL). Studied at HB Studios in New York with Uta Hagen, Austin Pendleton, and Elizabeth Wilson.

Serves as Teaching Professor/Associate Chair in UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art.

Amber Nicole Guest

Miss Bates/Servant/Random Lady

PlayMakers: Debut.

New York: “Blithe Spirit” (The Gallery Players); “For Goodness Sake and Smile” (Musicals Tonight!); “The Pirates of Finance” (NYMF).

Regional: “City of Angels” (Theatre Raleigh); “The Most Happy Fella,” “1776,” “My Fair Lady,” “Oliver!,” “Showboat” (Lyric Stage); “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Ruta Lee” (Casa Mañana).

Education: Bachelor of Music, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. 

Instagram: @dearmissbarrett

Rasool Jahan

Mrs. Anne Weston/Mrs. Bates

PlayMakers: Shelly in “Dot,” Esther in “Intimate Apparel,” Jory in “Disgraced,” MiMi Real in “The Parchman Hour.” She was also the Assistant Director for “Count“ at PRC2.

Regional: Other favorite theatrical roles include Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (WriteAct Rep); Vivian Bearing, Ph.D in “Wit“ (Justice Theatre Project).

TV/Film: “Hallmarks,” “A Nashville Christmas Carol,” “The Resident,” “House of Cards,” “Cold Mountain,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” She can also be seen on Hulu’s soon-to-be-released mini-series, “Class of 09’” with Brian Tyree Henry and Kate Mara.

Education/Other: Rasool is a proud graduate of North Carolina’s oldest HBCU. Rasool lives in Durham, serves on the Social Justice Board, Hidden Voices and dedicates her performance to her father, Abdur-Raheem Rasool.

Jamar Jones

Robert Martin/Frank Churchill

PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Blues for an Alabama Sky,”  “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Stick Fly” (U/S performed), “The Skin of Our Teeth”. “Den of Thieves,” “The Brothers Size” (PlayMakers Ground Floor). Assistant Director: “How I Learned What I Learned”.

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

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.”

Jamie Ann Romero

Emma Woodhouse

PlayMakers: Debut.

Broadway First National Tour: “The Play That Goes Wrong”.

Off-Broadway: “Dracula” (Classic Stage Company); “Mary Page Marlowe” (Second Stage Theater).

Selected Regional: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (The Old Globe); “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Paper Mill Playhouse); World Premiere of “The Legend of Georgia McBride” and others (Denver Center Theatre Company); US Premiere of “Shakespeare in Love” and others (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals; Arvada Center.

International: Maxim Gorky Theatre Vladivostok, Russia.

TV: “The Punisher,” “New Amsterdam,” “House of Cards”.

Film: “Viper Club,” “Sunday 1287”.

Education: BA from UNoCo. 

Instagram: @annjamie

Santana Taskar

Jane Fairfax/Wedding Guest/Servant

PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of   UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Den of Thieves”, “Gloria” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

Regional: “Little Women” (Virginia Theatre Festival);“White Pearl” (Studio Theatre); “Three Women Walk Into Bar” (Charm City Theatre Festival).

Education/Other: B.F.A. Acting, B.A. Sociology; University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Assistant Faculty member for Theatrical Intimacy Education (TIE).

Adam Valentine

Mr. Elton/Mrs. Bates

PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Den of Thieves,” “Gloria” (PlayMakers Ground Floor).

Regional: Rodney in “Small Mouth Sounds” (Cadence Theatre); Chick in “Stupid Kid” (Firehouse Theatre); Stephano in “The Tempest” (Quill Theatre); “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” (Virginia Repertory Theatre); Timothy in “Hand To God” (TheatreLab/5th Wall); Crispin in “The Heir Apparent” (Quill Theatre); J.D in “Heathers: The Musical” (TheatreLab/Firehouse); and Roger in “Maple and Vine” (Firehouse).   

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

Creative Team Bios

Meredith McDonough


PlayMakers: Debut.

Meredith McDonough was the associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville for seven seasons where her favorite directing includes both parts of “Angels in America,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” and “The Last Five Years.” In the Humana Festival, she directed the premieres of “Marginal Loss,” “Dot,” “brownsville song (b-side for trey)” and “Airness,” amongst others. Before ATL, she was the Director of New Works at TheatreWorks in CA where she directed the world premieres of “Triangle,” “Upright Grand” and “Auctioning the Ainsleys.” Other San Francisco credits include the premieres of “Miss Bennett – Christmas at Pemberly and Kitty and Georgianna” at Marin Theatre Company, and “The Lily’s Revenge” with Taylor Mac at the Magic Theatre.

Selected Regional: The premiere of Kate Hamill’s “Emma” and “Noises Off” (Guthrie); “Fair Use” (Steppenwolf); “Eurydice” (Williamstown); and the D.C. premiere of the musical “Summer of ’42” and the US premiere of “NSFW” (Roadhouse).

Education: Northwestern; MFA, UCSD. 

Lex Liang

Scenic Designer and Costume Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

Off-Broadway: 60+ productions including The Acting Company’s “Romeo & Juliet,” now playing.

Selected Regional: Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Alliance Theatre, The Asolo, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Geva Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and many others.

Other: Founder and owner of LDC Design Associates, an experiential event design and production company in NYC. Recent projects include “Ubuntu Pathways: Fight For Good,” “Operation Smile’s 35th Anniversary Gala,” “The Tony Awards Gala” and “BCBG’s 30 Year Retrospective, NYFW 2019.”


Marika Kent

Lighting Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

Recent/Upcoming: “Catch as Catch Can” (Playwrights Horizons); “Choir Boy,” “Gem of the Ocean,” “School Girls…” (Portland Center Stage); “Measure for Measure” (Shakespeare and Company); “Seagull” (Elevator Repair Service); “Reconstruction” (The TEAM); “Sweeney Todd” (The Hangar); “Generation Rise,” “Generation NYZ” (Ping Chong + Co, The New Victory); “Fly Away” (created by Derek Fordjour + Nick Lehane); “No Child,” “Memphis,” “Peter and the Starcatcher” (Cape Fear Regional Theater), “Roan @ The Gates” (Luna Stage).


Palmer Hefferan

Sound Designer

PlayMakers: “Tartuffe,” “The Christians”.

Broadway: “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Grand Horizons,” “The Lifespan of a Fact” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Off-Broadway/New York: Select credits include “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (Audible Theater); “Merry Wives,” “shadow/land,” “Shipwreck,” “Wild Goose Dreams” (The Public); “Fefu and Her Friends” (TFANA); “Becky Nurse of Salem,” “Marys Seacole” (Lincoln Center Theater); “Nollywood Dreams,” “BLKS,” “School Girls” (MCC Theater); “The New Englanders,” “Sugar in Our Wounds,” (Manhattan Theatre Club); “what the end will be,” “Something Clean,” “Bobbie Clearly” (Roundabout Theatre); “Fabulation,” “Death of the Last Black Man…” (Signature Theatre).

Regional: Palmer has worked at theaters across the country including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Alliance Theatre, Guthrie Theater, and Alley Theatre.

Education/Awards/Other: 2022 Tony nomination for Best Sound Design of a Play, 2018 and 2020 Drama Desk nomination for Best Sound Design, 2019 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design, and 2018 and 2020 Henry Hewes Award for Best Sound Design.

Facebook: @palmer-hefferan

Emily Michaels King


PlayMakers: Debut.

Regional: “Emma” (Guthrie Theater); “Start Select,” “We Are Crafty”(Walker Art Center); “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Moving Company); “Jonah and the Whale” (Guthrie Dowling Studio); “Hair” (7th House Theater); “The Hollow”(Trademark Theater).

Creation: “Magic Girl,” “Digital,” “In Person,” “Electric” (Solo Performances), “The Show,” “Animus,” “Lewis/Clark” (E/D), many shows with Live Action Set including “The 7 Shot Symphony.”

Education: University of Minnesota; The Ailey School.

Website: Instagram: @emilymichaelsking

Gwendolyn Schwinke

Vocal Coach

PlayMakers: Company member in her fourth season. Actor: “The Skin of Our Teeth”, “As You Like It”. Vocal Coach: “Yoga Play,” “Dairyland,” “Native Son,” “Julius Caesar,” “As You Like It.”

Voice/Text/Dialect Coach: Favorites include ”Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” “Cymbeline,” “Intimate Apparel,” “Merchant of Venice,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Ugly Lies the Bone,” “Comedy of Errors,” “Hamlet” (Shakespeare & Company); “Merry Wives…,” “Hamlet,” “The King and I” (Oxford Shakespeare Festival); “Boeing-Boeing,” “Lost in Yonkers” (Atlantic Stage).

Actor: Carlyle Brown & Company, Oxford Shakespeare Festival, Frank Theatre, Red Eye Collaboration, Minnesota Shakespeare Project, Atlantic Stage, Old Creamery Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Playwright: Plays developed and/or produced by Seattle Repertory Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, Red Eye Collaboration, Judith Shakespeare Company, Jungle Theatre.

Teaching: David G. Frey Fellow/Assistant Professor of Voice & Speech at UNC-Chapel Hill, Company Member at Shakespeare & Company, Designated Linklater Voice Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Guild-certified Feldenkrais Teacher.

Education/Affiliations: MFA in Playwriting, University of Texas at Austin; James A. Michener Fellow. TCG Young Leaders of Color, National New Play Network (NNPN), Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena, Center Stage’s Playwrights’ Collective and the Dramatist Guild of America.

Mark Perry


PlayMakers: Company member for 15 seasons. “Yoga Play,” “Everybody,” “How I Learned to Drive,” “Jump, The Cake, De Profundis, The Crucible, Trouble in Mind, Metamorphoses,” “Surviving Twin,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “An Iliad,” “Noises Off,” “The Parchman Hour,” “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment,” “The Little Prince.”

Mark teaches play analysis and playwriting in the Department of Dramatic Art. His plays The Will of Bernard Boynton and A New Dress for Mona have been produced in our Kenan Theatre, and both have been published by Drama Circle. Mark’s monologue Addendum was performed by Ray Dooley and included in PlayMakers’ 2020 Stuck Monologues. His newest play, Masters Falls, is a two-part epic that was workshopped and presented by UNC Process Series in March 2021.

Education/Other: MFA, Playwright’s Workshop, University of Iowa. Former recipient of NC Arts Council Literature Fellowship for Playwriting.

Sarah Smiley

Stage Manager

After a seven year hiatus in her home state of Florida, Sarah is excited to return to PlayMakers as resident stage manager, having held that position from 2005 – 2015.

In the interim, Sarah has been the resident stage manager and properties supervisor at freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL. She has worked with theatres, theme parks, and road houses in seven states and the U.K., including Tampa Playmakers, Tampa Players, Busch Gardens Tampa, the Alliance Theatre Company, 7stages, Gulfshore Playhouse, Shadowland Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, Wales, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has been active in USITT and the Stage Managers’ Association.

She received her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

Aspen Jackson

Assistant Stage Manager

PlayMakers: “Native Gardens.” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Summer Youth Conservatory).

Aspen graduated in May of 2019 with a BA in Vocal Performance and Dramatic Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill. During her undergraduate career, she was stage manager for shows such as “Cendrillon,” “Dido and Aeneas” and “The Pillowman.” After graduating, Aspen completed an internship with the Walt Disney World Company and she worked as a production assistant for PlayMakers Repertory Company during their 19/20 and 21/22 seasons.

Aspen is thrilled to be returning to PlayMakers Repertory Company this season for her debut as Resident Stage Manager.

PlayMakers Leadership

Vivienne Benesch

Producing Artistic Director

Vivienne is in her seventh 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 ten 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 just finished directing its Broadway production, 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.

Michael Rolleri

Production Manager

Michael is in his 36th 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 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.

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

Residence Inn of Chapel Hill

General Information

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 22/23 season will feature six 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 22/23 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

Box Office Hours

Tuesday-Friday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and 90 minutes before each performance.

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.

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

Corporate and Foundation Partners

PlayMakers’ 2022/23 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

PlayMakers Repertory Company is a program of the Department of Dramatic Art, The College of Arts and Sciences, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, recognizes PlayMakers as a professional theatre organization and provides grant assistance to this organization from funds appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. PlayMakers is a beneficiary of the Elizabeth Price Kenan Endowment and the Lillian Hughes Prince Endowment.

PlayMakers Repertory Company is a Member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre.

This Theatre operates under an agreement between the League Of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

The scenic, costume, lighting and sound designers in LORT Theatres are represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE.

The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

Theatre Communications Group

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


Tracy Bersley, Movement Coach/Choreographer
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
Adam Versényi, Dramaturg


Alex James, Company Manager
Kate Jones, Business Operations Coordinator
Lisa Geeslin, Accountant
Maura Murphy, General Manager
Erica Bass, Practicum 193 Students
Jazzy Parker, Practicum 193 Students
Alison Richard, Practicum 193 Students
Nigel Morgan, Undergraduate Assistant


Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton, Director of Development

Marketing & Audience Services

Hannah LaMarlowe, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Diana Pineda, Director of Sales & Marketing
Thomas Porter, Box Office Manager
Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing
Kori Yelverton, Audience Services Associate
Jenna Zottoli, Audience Services Associate
Connor Sule, Marketing Undergraduate Assistant
Lucy Albani-Rangel, Marketing Undergraduate Assistant
Box Office and Front of House Undergraduate Assistants:
Albert Carlson Eli Dietrich
Taiga Drewhowell Tina Lin
Ava Lytle Olivia Morse
Krystal Rivera Faith Robisch
Naomi Smith Katherine Stevens
Lily Vance Cora Willis
Kevin Zhang

Department of Dramatic Art

Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Chair and Associate Professor


Milly Barranger, Professor Emerita
Vivienne Benesch, Professor of the Practice
Tracy Bersley, Associate Professor
Pamela Bond, Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor
Jan Chambers, Professor
McKay Coble, Professor
Jeffrey Blair Cornell, Associate Chair, Teaching Professor
Samuel Ray Gates, Assistant Professor
Julia Gibson, Associate Professor
Tia James, Assistant Professor
Gregory Kable, Teaching Professor
Jacqueline E. Lawton, Associate Professor
Adam Maxfield, Teaching Professor
Triffin Morris, Professor of the Practice
David Navalinsky, Professor
Bobbi Owen, Distinguished Professor Emerita
Laura Pates, Teaching Assistant Professor Kathy Perkins, 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
Craig Turner, Professor Emeritus
Adam Versényi, Professor


Lisa Geeslin, Accounting Technician
Taylor McDaniel, Student Services Manager
Karen Rolleri, Business Coordinator
Jamie Strickland, Business Officer


Michael Rolleri, Production Manager


Amy Evans, Costume Shop Manager
Marissa Lupkas, Wardrobe Supervisor
Matthew Mallard, Assistant Costume Director
Triffin Morris, Costume Director
Rachel Pollock, Costume Craftsperson
Costume Production Graduate Students:
Matty Blatt, Jocelyn Chatman, Emma Hoylst, Zachery Morrison, Lou Pires, Sally Rath, Athene Wright


Benjamin Bosch, Electrics Supervisor


Emma Anderson, Props Artisan
Lauren Reinhartsen, Properties Supervisor
Lydia McRoy, Undergraduate Assistant


Anthony Cacchione, Production Carpenter
Adam Maxfield, Technical Director
Laura Pates, Assistant Technical Director
Jessica Secrest, Scenic Artist
Technical Production Graduate Students:
Brock Burton, Joel Ernst, Luke Robinson, Rachel Van Namen, Garrett Weeda
Will Peele, Undergraduate Assistant-Scene Shop
Danielle Mou, Carpenter Work Study
Alex Rhinehalt, Carpenter Work Study
Faith Wang, Paint Work Study
Cori Lavergne, Paint Work Study
Holly Turner, Paint Undergraduate Assistant


David Bost, Sound Supervisor

Stage Management

Aspen Jackson, Stage Manager
Sarah Smiley, Stage Manager
Zoe Lord, Production Assistant

PlayMakers’ Resident Acting Company

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

Professional Actor Training Program:

Hayley Cartee, Heinley Gaspard, Jamar Jones, Saleemah Sharpe, Sanjana Taskar, Adam Valentine

For this Production of “Emma”

Luke Robinson, Production Technical Director
Rachel Van Namen, Shop Lead
Sally Rath, Assistant to the Costume Designer
Emma Holyst, Draper
Matty Blatt, Draper
Athene Wright, Draper
Zachary Morrison, First Hand
Jocelyn Chatman, First Hand
Lou Pires, Crafts Assistant

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

Craven Allen Gallery

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.

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!

Ways to Give



Phone or Email

Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton, Director of Development


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

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


Director’s Circle ($10,000+)

Betsy Blackwell and John Watson Jr.
Thomas and Holly Carr
G. Munroe Cobey
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Joan H. Gillings ~
The Charles Goren and Hazen Family Foundation, Trustees Tom and Lisa Hazen
Brian Hargrove and David Hyde Pierce
Mrs. Frank H. Kenan
Coleman and Carol Ross
Schwab Charitable
Shubert Foundation
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Alan H. Weinhouse

Angel ($5,000–9,999)

American Endowment Foundation
Andrew and Katherine Asaro ^ +
T. Chandler and Monie Hardwick
Munroe and Becky Cobey
Robert and Mary Ann Eubanks
Gordon J. Ferguson
Drucie French and Steve Cumbie
Joanne and Peter Garrett
Chan and Monie Hardwick
Kim Kwok
Mr. and Mrs. William O. McCoy
Paul and Linda Naylor
Bobbi Owen
Amy and Nick Penwarden
The Prentice Foundation
Paul McNeill Sconyers
The Educational Foundation of America
Theatre Projects
Jim and Bonnie Yankaskas

Investor ($2,500–4,999)

Richard and Deirdre Arnold ^
Andrew and Katherine Asaro ^ +
Vivienne Benesch
Stephen S. Birdsall
Ed and Eleanor Burke

Jennifer Cannizzaro
Cindy and Thomas Cook
Cindy K. Cook
Joanne and Peter Garrett
Susan E. Hartley
Dr. Lyle V. Jones
Susan J. Kelly
Robert and Kathryn Kyle
Mark & Bette Morris Family Foundation
Sandy and Ned McClurg ^
Mark and Julie Morris
Amy Penwarden
Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund
Jean and Joseph Ritok
Dr. and Mrs. Edward Smithwick
Triangle Community Foundation
David and Heather Yeowel

Page to Stage ($1,500–2,499)

David and Judy Adamson
Ayco Charitable Foundation
Steve Benezra ^
Edmund S. Burke
Capital Group Company Charitable Foundation Matching Gifts
Jeffrey Blair Cornell and Maria Savage
Julie R. Daniels
Imre and Aniko Gaal
Dustin and Susan Gillings Gross
Susan G. Gross
Kevin and Amy Guskiewicz
David Howell
IBM Corporation Matching Gifts
Jacobs Preyer Family Foundation
Hannelore and Konrad Jarausch
Joanna Karwowska and Hugon Karwowski ^
Howard and Sandra Kaufman
Kathryn and Robert Kyle
Lauren Rivers
Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust, Inc.
Panter Foundation
Rich and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer
Perry Branin Silver
Dr. and Mrs. William Stewart
The Rev. Wendy R. and Mr. W. Riley Waugh
Roger and Marlene Werner
YourCause, LLC Trustee for IBM Matching Gifts

Partner ($1,000–1,499)

Anonymous (4)
Penny and Howard Aldrich
Laurence Arthur Cobb
Erwin Cohen
Dede Corvinus
Julie R. Daniels
Jo Anne and Shelley Earp
Constance and Robert Eby
Dr. and Mrs. John P. Evans
John and Diane Formy-Duval
Aniko Gaal
W. Patrick Gale
Dana R. Greenwood
Robert S. Greenwood
Joseph and Deirdre Haj
Clay and Jane Harrell
Carol Hazard and Winston Liao
Vikram Rao and Susan Henning
Ann E. Holloman
Lynn Knauff
Jack Knight and Margaret Brown ^
Gary and Carolyn Koch
Dr. Catherine Kuhn and Glenn Tortorici
Shirley and Tom Kunkel
Douglas and Nelda Lay
Anand and Sandhya Lagoo
Scott Levitan and Patrick Francisco
Winston Liao
Mort and Cheryl Malkin
David and Harriet Martin
Connie and Vernon Matzen
Holly and Ross McKinney
James and Susan Moeser
Paul and Sherrie Norton
Bettina Patterson
Lee and Barbara Pedersen
Isaac and Sabrina Presnell-Rockoff
Alec Rhodes
Rif Riddick
Rufus M. Riddick
Carole Lynne Shelby
David Sontag *
Glenn J. Tortorici
Sarah West and Thomas Dominick
Jesse L. White, Jr.

Backer ($500–999)

Anonymous (3)
Anonymous friends of Ben Kahn,
In memory of Charles Kahn
Akin Akinli
Virginia M. Aldige
Howard and Penny Aldrich
Pete and Hannah Andrews
Evelyn Barrow
John W. Becton and Nancy B. Tannenbaum
Shula and Steve Bernard
Dr. Stanley Warren Black, III
Stanley W. Black
Julia A. Borbely-Brown
Jackson Davis Breaks II and Carolyn Snyder Breaks
Drs. Maurice and Mary Hughes Brookhart
Jennifer and Robert Buckmire
Keith Burridge and Patricia Saling
Ann and John Campbell
Philip and Linda Carl
Clara Cazzulino
Laurence A. Cobb
Adrienne and John Cox*
Brooks de Wetter-Smith and Mary Lou Leiser Smith
David A. Doll
Alexander M. Donaldson and Georgia Cobb Donaldson
Dr. Carrie Donley
W. Patrick Gale and Dr. Carrie Lynn Donley
Bob and Connie Eby
Eli Lilly & Company Foundation Matching Gifts Program
Thorsten Fjellstedt
Mr. Stephen Mark Cumbie and Dr. Druscilla French
Shayne C. Gad
Bill Cobb and Gail Perry
W. Patrick Gale ^
Nichole Gantshar
Mike and Bonnie Gilliom
Ugo Goetzl
James P. Gogan
Priscilla Alden Guild
Carolyn and Jim Harris
C. Hawkins ^
Drs. M. Vikram Rao and Susan June Henning
Ann Holloman
Betty Block James
Julie and Robert Keely*
Brenda W. Kirby
Michael Maness and Lois Knauff
Laura Koshel and Rafael de Jesus
Leonard & Ruth Kreisman
Randy and Cathy Lambe
Douglas M. Lay and Nelda Kilcrease Lay
Douglas Maclean and Susan Wolf
Elaine Mangrum
Janet McCarthy*
Ed and Connie McCraw
Cecilia D. Moore^
Mary Nunn Morrow
Jill Muti
Nelda K. Lay Revocable Trust
Stephen Nelson
Linda Williams Norris
George D. Norton
Paul and Cheryl Norton
Liz and Dave Nuechterlein
Lois Oliver
Jo Ann and Gordon Pitz
Mark and Eugenea Pollock
Robert and Joyce Anne Porter
Jodi and Glenn Preminger
David and Lisa Price
Elizabeth Raft
Rao Family Foundation
Dr. Terry Rhodes
Victor and Linda Roggli
Jan F. and Anne P. Sassaman
Stephanie Ann Schmitt and Kevin Zachary Kinlaw
Martha Scotford*
Kyle and Jenn Smith
Jackie Tanner*
The Marconi Hoban Tell Fund of
Triangle Community Foundation
Glen H. and Sandy T. Elder
Ernest T. Wilkes
Alan Young

^ 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

University Florist


January 25 – February 12, 2023

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. A vivid reimagining of one of the world’s best psychological thrillers tells the tale of a courtly world turned upside down. The king is mysteriously killed. A brother has stolen his crown and bride. Young Hamlet, usurped heir, is thrust into a morass of intrigue, treachery, madness and revenge.

Announcing Our 22/23 Season

PlayMakers’ 22/23 Season

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.

Subscribe Today!

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