Playbill for Fat Ham

Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art | | 919.962.7529

Table of Contents

Letter from Vivienne

Support PlayMakers

About the Author

Program Notes

Who We Are

Title Page

Actor Bios

Creative Team Bios

General Information

PlayMakers Staff

Friends of PlayMakers

Corporate and Foundation Partners

Desktop Computer Version of playbill available here

Up Next

March 6 – 24, 2024

Murder on the Orient Express

adapted by Ken Ludwig

based on the novel by Agatha Christie

A luxurious train ride comes to a halt when a passenger is found dead. With a murderer on the loose, the passengers of the Orient Express must band together before the body count goes up. All aboard for this fast-pased ride inspired by Agatha Christie’s classic novel.

Learn more about the show here.

Letter from Viv. Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director

Happy New Year!

I’m still giddy with the holiday spirit because I finally get to share the best gift of all with my community: the North Carolina premiere of Fat Ham. I’ve been waiting to unwrap this gift since I first saw the show Off-Broadway in 2022, and it totally rocked my world! Not only was it a brilliant riff on Hamlet—a play I knew this company would be wrestling with in January of 2023—but it was also one of the funniest and simultaneously most profound new works the American Theatre had seen in a long time. Critics agreed, and Fat Ham went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and then to a multiple Tony-nominated Broadway run in the spring of 2023.

Not surprisingly, the play is now getting done around the country, but PlayMakers is proud to give James Ijames his home-state premiere. There is little question that North Carolina was on Ijames’ mind when he wrote it, although the play has a widely inclusive Southern voice. It is such a pleasure to welcome back director Jade King Carroll (last here for PlayMakers’ 2013 production of Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind) to helm what is an entirely North Carolina-based creative team and cast. They have been having a blast cooking up this exquisite meal of a play, and it is finally time to serve it up!

In an interview, Ijames’ said, “This is a play about families stuck in a few cycles that their youngest members discover they can break. In real time, we see family cycles dissolve to make room for something else to grow. This play is offering tenderness next to softness as a practice of living.”

Breaking traumatic cycles and offering tenderness to one another. What better gift is there to start this new year?



University Florist

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Welcome, welcome, welcome!

We are so happy to have you in this space with us. What a fantastic first half of the season we had; and there’s so much more to come in 2024.

This spring semester brings us both the classical and the new together, a blend of wonderfully fresh perspective on established pieces of art and adaptations of great stories retold for the stage and fertile for this moment. I personally cannot wait to see what our own UNC alum, Bekah Brunstetter (and writer for NBC’s ‘This Is Us’,) has conjured up in The Game from the seeds of the oldest Greek comedy, Lysistrata.

When we participate in this theatre, we are joining together in reseeding the past and growing from tradition rather than giving up on it entirely. PlayMakers’ roots run strong in the history of our great University and this state, as it strives to tell contemporary stories of community and foster the idea that expression through art allows us to mature, grow and reach for the stars.

I believe that there are some things only the arts can provide, and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity PlayMakers affords us to witness the arts doing what only the arts can do. We hope you will continue to join us on our journey and support all that we do, both on stage and around the community. Share us on social media, bring your friends, donate – we appreciate your support.


Jackie Tanner, Chair

PlayMakers Advisory Council

Jackie Tanner, Chair

Betsy Blackwell, Patrick Brennan, Deborah Gerhardt, Susan Gross, Amy Guskiewicz, C. Hawkins, Zach Howell, Lillian Jenks, Duncan Lascelles, Stuart Lascelles, Robert Long, emeritus, Graig Meyer, Julie Morris, Paula Noell, Jodi Patalano, Diane Robertson, Wyndham Robertson, Jennifer Werner, Mike Wiley

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About the Author

James Ijames is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, director, and educator. James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre, JACK, The Public Theater (NYC), Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Timeline Theater (Chicago, IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden.

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient and two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise, a 2020 and 2022 Steinberg Prize, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama recipient, and a 2023 Tony nominee for Best Play for Fat Ham.

James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective.

He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University. He resides in South Philadelphia.

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Program Notes

James Ijames accepted The Pulitzer Prize in 2022 from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger. - Photo credit Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

By TJ Young, Dramaturg

James Ijames (pronounced like “times” without the “t”) was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Fat Ham days before it opened Off-Broadway. In 2021, the Wilma Theatre filmed a version of the show on location in Virginia and streamed it for a month. When the show moved to Broadway in 2023, it garnered 5 Tony nominations, including Best Play.

This isn’t a Hamlet adaptation that follows the Shakespearean text beat-for-beat. You still have your ghost, calls for revenge, and the ever-looming question of whether more violence will occur. Only Ijames has decidedly made this a comedy. He has taken segments of the original text, reused and remixed them for comedic and emotional effects, and built a play that looks like Hamlet but has its own groove and style. All of this is set during a backyard Barbeque in North Carolina with a Black family and a Black queer protagonist at the center of it.

Photo of Heinley Gaspard by HuthPhoto
The Sleepover by Jonathan Lyndon Chase

It’s an homage to where James grew up in Bessemer City, North Carolina. In an interview with Southern Review of Books, James said “…in many ways, the rhythms of this group of people is like the rhythms of my family.”

The characters have been given room to explore what it means to make choices for themselves, even if it means going against the expectations of those whose legacy you are supposed to uphold.

Ijames describes the characters as versions of their Shakespearean counterparts. Juicy is a “kind of Hamlet.” Tedra is a “kind of Gertrude.” All of the characters within this play have roots in Hamlet utilizing both the structure of the original text and our expectations of them to the play’s advantage. These characters move in containers that we, the audience, or their family and peers have placed them in. We have an expectation of a Hamlet-like character. The subversion of those expectations allows this play to experiment with alternative paths to the solutions these characters seek.

As the play begins to push against the “containers” the characters are expected to operate in, it also examines the aspects of masculinity and femininity valued within a community. Pap, our kind of King Hamlet, issues a call very early in the play for Juicy to commit murder, just as he had done. This will make Juicy, a person described as “gloriously and beautifully soft” in the script, “hard” like the other men in his family. Softness is associated with the feminine and, in this case, weakness. But what happens when that softness is embraced? Juicy isn’t the only one who is trying to answer that question.

While Hamlet examines the cycle of violence, Fat Ham interrogates what it takes to break those cycles. While disrupting generational patterns is complex, the play operates from a place of humor and abundance as the characters find their way forward. When asked why there was an inclination to comedy, Ijames said “Even when you’re going through great pain or tragedy, there’s still this possibility that something utterly hilarious could happen.” All of the wittiness and comebacks are “the thing that you do to heal, the thing you do to release the tension in your body that can kill you.”

These characters are brought to task, confronting brutal truths and pulling apart generations of pain and trauma. We expect these characters to meet a tragic end, but they are in no way tragic. Fat Ham is very intentional in its portrayal of pain and healing. Joy and laughter pulses through it all. We are shown acceptance, community, and deep, deep love. It isn’t clean or easy, good things rarely are. That doesn’t stop any of the love from being very, very real.

Dramaturgy Fellow Series

By Lexi Silva, Dramaturg Associate

James Ijames’ Fat Ham proves that family drama never goes out of style. Using the setting of a backyard barbeque, the playwright emphasizes that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is just that: a family drama. Or as many scholars of theatre and literature might contend, THE family drama. Fat Ham, however, reimagines a timeless tale of revenge, deceit, justice and moral conflict on its own terms. Ijames has created a new work that conjures and transforms characters from Hamlet with a meat smoker and a karaoke machine.

Originally produced in a digital format at Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later making its Off-Broadway debut at The Public Theater in 2022, Fat Ham is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that centers Black, queer voices in the American South–and more specifically, North Carolina. Fat Ham earned Ijames the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and since the play’s Broadway debut in March 2023, has been a popular pick for the 2024 season across the American regional theatre circuit and it isn’t hard to see why. Fat Ham is an exuberant exploration of Black queer joy that both explodes and embraces one of Shakespeare’s most wellknown works.

Helming this production are two extraordinary guest artists, Director Jade King Carroll and Production Dramaturg TJ Young who are exploring how Ijames examines femininity and masculinity, the playwright’s contemporary riff on Shakespearean conventions (like direct address, which I’m using right now), and the intersectional identities of the characters. Programming this play at PlayMakers is fitting considering the playwright’s Carolina origins. A North Carolina native, Ijames stages the play at a barbeque in a small town reminiscent of his hometown, Bessemer City. In the playwrights’ notes, Ijames writes that the play takes place in “A house in North Carolina. Could also be Virginia, or Maryland or Tennessee. It is not Mississippi, or Alabama or Florida. That’s a different thing all together,” going on to note that “The American south, to me, exists in a kind of liminal space between the past and the present with an aspirational relationship to the future that is contingent on your history living in the south.” (Fat Ham, “Settings”). Fat Ham is concerned with southern futures, and the play’s ties to a classical work parallel Ijames’ observations about the south and its relationship to time and history.

In the space between now and then and later, Fat Ham at PlayMakers is rooted in a greater mission to share Carolina stories. Ijames creates characters who call back to Shakespeare’s, but who most importantly affirm beautiful, strong, persistent, complicated and contemporary Black, queer characters. Within the vastness of what Ijames identifies as liminal space, a call to the present is unmistakable. Fat Ham proves that southern stories–Carolina stories–are in the making and worth celebrating (maybe even at a barbeque!)

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Fat Ham

By James Ijames

Directed by Jade King Carroll

Scenic Designer
Jan Chambers

Costume Designer
Sabrina Guillaume-Bradshaw

Lighting Designer
Benjamin Bosch

Sound Designer
Derek A. Graham

Tracy Bersley

Saleemah Sharpe

Vocal Coach
Gwendolyn Schwinke

TJ Young

Stage Manager
Sarah Smiley 

Assistant Stage Manager
Aspen Blake Jackson 

January 31 – February 18, 2024

“Fat Ham” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

New York Premiere Co • Production by The Public Theater Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director Patrick Willingham, Executive Director, and National Black Theatre Sade Lythcott, Chief Executive Officer Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director FAT HAM was commissioned by and received its World Premiere as a filmed production at The Wilma Theater, Philadelphia: Blanka Zizka, Yury Urnov, James Ijames, and Morgan Green, Co-Artistic Directors Leigh Goldenberg, Managing Director

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

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

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Actor Bios

Juicy: Heinley Gaspard
Pap/Rev: Samuel Ray Gates*
Rabby: Kathryn Hunter-Williams*
Tendra: Rasool Jahan*
Larry: Jamar Jones
Tio: Nate John Mark
Opal: Mengwe Wapimewah

Stage Managers: Sarah Smiley* Aspen Blake Jackson*

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

Place: A house in North Carolina

Fat Ham will be performed without an intermission

Heinley Gaspard


PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Blues for an Alabama Sky, How I Learned What I Learned, The Skin of Our Teeth. The Tempest (PlayMakers Mobile). The Mountaintop, Den of Thieves, A Doll’s House, Part 2, The Brother’s Size (PlayMakers/DDA Ground Floor). 

RegionalHouse of the Negro Insane (Contemporary American Theatre Festival 2022).

Off-Broadway: The Bellagio Fountain has been known to make me cry (HERE).

Off-Off BroadwayMacbeth, Antigone (124 Bank Street); Split Second (IATI).

Selected New YorkMacbeth (Hudson Theatre Works); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Villagers); Edward II (Teatro Latea); Ariadne’s Revenge: A Killer App (TADA!); Glass ( JACK).

Selected Film/TVOmniboat, a Fast Boat Fantasia (Sundance Film Festival); Coney Island Queen (Cannes Film Festival); Steps (Amazon). “Wutang: An American Saga” (Hulu); “For Life” (ABC); “The Sinner” (USA).

Education/Other: Mason Gross School of the Arts, The William Esper Studio, Upright Citizens Brigade (member). B.S. Biology/Molecular Cellular Physiology

Instagram: @DaGreatGaspy

X: @HeinleyGaspard


Samuel Ray Gates


PlayMakers: Company member in his fifth season. Clyde’sHow I Learned What I Learned, 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: November Criminals, Wolves, Two Night Stand, Queen City, The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Television: “Our Kind of People,” “The Good Fight,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Person of Interest,” “Veep,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “The Blacklist,” “House of Cards,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Unforgettable,” “Kings,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Rescue Me,” “The Staircase,” “DopeSick”.

Education: MFA, American Conservatory Theatre.

Kathryn Hunter-Williams


PlayMakers: Company member for 21 seasons. Recent highlights include directing They Do Not Know Harlem, Stick FlyNo Fear & Blues Long Gone, Count, plus acting in HamletA Wrinkle in Time, The Skin of Our Teeth, 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 chair of the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill and Associate Director of HiddenVoices, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing life-changing stories into a public forum.

Rasool Jahan


PlayMakers: Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, Laertes/Player Queen in Hamlet, Mrs. Weston in Emma, 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).

Film/TV: Hallmarks’ A Nashville Christmas Carol, “The Resident,” “House of Cards,” “Cold Mountain,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Jennifer Love Hewitt. She can also be seen on Hulu’s limited-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


PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. Much Ado About Nothing, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Hamlet, Emma, Blues for an Alabama Sky, A Wrinkle in Time, Stick Fly (u/s perf.), The Skin of Our Teeth. The Tempest (PlayMakers Mobile). Circle Back, Den of Thieves, The Brothers Size (PlayMakers/UNC Ground Floor). Assistant Director: How I Learned What I Learned. Ground Floor Series Producer: 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Regional: The Prom (Theatre Raleigh); 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 (Richmond Shakespeare); 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. 2022 RTCC Award, Best Lead Performance- Play for Fires in the Mirror, 2020 RTCC Award, Ernie McClintock Best Ensemble Acting for Passing Strange, 2019 Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award, Best Actor in a Leading Role – Play for An Octoroon.

Nate John Mark


PlayMakers: Company member in their first year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program with the Department of Dramatic Art. Much Ado About Nothing. Stupid F**king Bird (PlayMakers/DDA Ground Floor).

RegionalParty People (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Nollywood Dreams ( Open Book Theatre); Head Over Heels (Ringwald Theatre); Taming of the Shrew (Idaho Shakespeare Festival); Othello (The Acting Company/NY); 12th Night (Shakespeare in Detroit).

Instagram: @natejohnmark. Facebook: Nate John Mark

Mengwe Wapimewah


PlayMakers: Company member in their first year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program with the Department of Dramatic Art. Much Ado About NothingStupid F**king Bird (PlayMakers/DDA Ground Floor).

University: Recycling Theater (Stella Adler Studio of Acting); The Quiet Zone (Stella Adler Studio of Acting).

FilmNCWC (Pace University); Sisyphus (Pace University); Vices (JG Filmworks); Out of Luck (RK Productions).

Education: BFA Acting for Film, Television, Voiceovers, and Commercials at Pace School of Performing Arts.

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Creative Team Bios

Jade King Carroll


PlayMakers: Trouble in Mind.

Directing credits: Seven Deadly Sins – Wrath (Miami New Drama – Drama League Award); New Age (Milwaukee Rep); Red Velvet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Detroit ’67 (McCarter Theatre coproduction with Hartford Stage); Intimate Apparel, The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Having Our Say (Hartford Stage co-production with Long Wharf Theatre); Autumn’s Harvest (Lincoln Center Institute); Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Syracuse Stage); Trouble in Mind (Two River Theater); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Whipping Man, Native Gardens, Skeleton Crew, Bad Dates, Perseverance, How I Learned What I Learned (Portland Stage); The Revolutionists, Sunset Baby (City Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun (Perseverance); Pride & Prejudice, The Tempest (Chautauqua Theater Company); Seven Guitars, The Persians (People’s Light and Theatre); Still Life (Ancram Opera House); King Hedley II (Portland Playhouse); A Raisin the Sun, Cardboard Piano (Juilliard); Laughing Wild, Redeemed, Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theatre Festival); New Golden Age (Primary Stages-Susan Smith Blackburn nominated); Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (Atlantic Theater – NYT Family Pick).

Jade is the Producing Artistic Director for Chautauqua Theater Company. She is the winner of the Paul Green Award from the Estate of August Wilson.

Jan Chambers

Scenic Designer

PlayMakers: Company member for 16 seasons and professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill. Productions include Much Ado About Nothing, They Do Not Know Harlem, Yoga Play, As You Like It, Skin of Our Teeth, Julius Caesar, Dairyland, How I Learned to Drive, Skeleton Crew, Leaving Eden, A Christmas Carol, The Cake, The May Queen, Sweeney Todd, 4000 Miles, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Making of a King: Henry IV & V, A Raisin in the Sun, Red, Metamorphoses, The Tempest, Angels in America and Nicholas Nickleby, among others.

Regional: Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac, Sunday in the Park with George, Pericles (Guthrie Theatre); Asylum (Only Child Aerial Theatre at Circus Now International Contemporary Circus Exposure); Pericles, Hamlet (Folger Theatre); Pericles, Henry V (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); North: A Love Letter, The Reckoning, It Had Wings, The Narrowing, Out of the Blue (Archipelago Theatre/ Cine).

Member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. | 

Sabrina Guillaume-Bradshaw

Costume Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

Off-Broadway/New York: Elements of Humanity: Garments of San Juan Hill (Lincoln Center); Mary Speaks (The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture); Mirrors (New York Theater Workshop); Black Exhibition (The Bushwick Starr); Drama League- DirectorFest (New Ohio Theater).

Education: Sabrina received her M.F.A. in Design and Technical Production from Brooklyn College.

Award: Opera America- Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize, 2021

Instagram: @BKCostumeChick

Benjamin Bosch

Lighting Designer

PlayMakers: The Amish Project, A Christmas Carol.

Regional: Seussical the Musical, James and the Giant Peach (Riverside Childrens Theater).

Education: A Graduate of Northwestern College with a BFA in Lighting.

Derek A. Graham

Sound Designer

PlayMakers: They Do Not Know HarlemBewilderness, Your Healing is Killing Me.

Regional: I Shall Not Be Moved/Your Negro Tour Guide (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Featured at 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe); What We Look Like, Kill Move Paradise, Skeleton Crew, Wakey, Wakey, An Octoroon (Dobama Theatre); The Passion of Teresa Rae King, A Raisin in the Sun (Triad Stage). Recent composer credits: In Every Generation (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); Toni Stone (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre/Alliance Theatre); Protocol (Portland Center Stage); The Chinese Lady (Artists Repertory Theatre).

Television/Live Stream: Front-of-House Mix Engineer for White House Event with VP Kamala Harris at AJ Fletcher Opera Theater, Jan. 30, 2023.

University: Detroit ’67 (Baldwin Wallace University Theatre).

Education: BA in Music at Elizabeth City State University. MFA in Sound Design at Ohio University.

Other: Co-Founder of Life by Design Media & Production, LLC. Sound department head at AJ Fletcher Opera Theater (Martin-Marietta Center for the Performing Arts).

Instagram: @DGrahamSound  Twitter: @DGrahamSound

Tracy Bersley


PlayMakers: Movement coach and resident choreographer in her eighth season.

Off-Broadway / New York: As director/choreographer— Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Lortel Theatre, Primary Stages, and many award-winning Off-Broadway companies, such as The Civilians and Red Bull Theatre.

Regional: As director/choreographer—Carolina Performing Arts, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Education / Other: Served as professor or guest artist at Yale School of Drama, Princeton University, New York University, Purchase College, Columbia University/Barnard College, and The Juilliard School. Tracy received her MFA in Directing from Syracuse University and is currently co-head of the Professional Actor Training Program in the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill, a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and a Drama League Fellow.

Saleemah Sharpe


PlayMakers: Company member in their third year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. Every Brilliant Thing, Much Ado About Nothing, Clyde’s, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Hamlet, Blues for an Alabama Sky, The Skin of Our Teeth. Dramaturg and Choreographer for How I Learned What I Learned. The Tempest (PlayMakers Mobile). The Mountaintop, Den of Thieves, A Doll’s House, Part 2, Gloria (PlayMakers/UNC Ground Floor).

New York: King Lear (NY Classical).

Regional: Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (Rhinoleap Production NC).

University: As You Like It (Stella Adler Studio of Acting); King LearSoon Again Not YetSopita (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: To The Moon (Atlantic Pictures, Short Film), The Girl With the Eyes (Independent film), Remission Accomplished (Student film).

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

Education/Awards/Other: Montclair State University
B.A. Theatre Studies & a double minor in Myth Studies & Business

Instagram: @Saleemah____

Facebook: @SaleemahSharpe

Gwendolyn Schwinke

Vocal Coach

PlayMakers:  Company member in her fifth season. Voice/Dialect Coach: Much Ado About Nothing, Clyde’s, Emma, Native Gardens, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Yoga Play, Dairyland, Native Son, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, The Skin of Our Teeth, A Wrinkle in Time. Actor: Much Ado About Nothing, The Skin of Our Teeth, As You Like It.  

International: Voice/Text/Dialect/Somatic Coach: Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Roman Daggers, The Winter’s Tale (Prague Shakespeare Company), Company season training (Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble). 

New York & Regional: As Voice & Text Coach: Seven seasons with Shakespeare & Company. Oxford Shakespeare Festival, Frank Theatre, Cheap Theatre, 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, Faculty Member at Shakespeare & Company and Prague Shakespeare Company, Designated Linklater Voice Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Guild-certified Feldenkrais Teacher. Voice & Speech Trainers Association Board of Directors.

Instagram: @gwendolynschwinke

TJ Young


PlayMakers: Debut.

Regional: No. 6 (Indiana Rep, Playwright), Young Playwrights Festival (City Theater, Dramaturg), APIS and Quest and the Girl with the Yellow Jacket (New Hazelett, Dramaturg), The Inseparables (Pittsburgh Public Theatre Commission, Playwright).

University: Pandemic Project (James Madison University, Dramaturg), Isle of Noises (James Madison University, Playwright). 

Education/Awards/Other: BFA, English – University of Texas at San Antonio, MFA, Dramatic Writing – Texas State University. TJ is currently an Associate Professor of Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon University, a Theater 4 the People Co-Op member, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 2 National Playwrighting Program Chair and Dramaturgy Coordinator for Region 2, and a Co-Representative for the Dramatist Guild – Pittsburgh Region. He was a  2023 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Finalist for his play Sperm Donor Wanted.

Sarah Smiley

Stage Manager

Sarah returns for the 2023/24 season, her 12th since 2005. She has worked with theatres, theme parks, and road houses in eight states and the U.K., including Tampa Playmakers, freeFall Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Busch Gardens Tampa, the Alliance Theatre Company, 7 Stages, Gulfshore Playhouse, Shadowland Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, Wales, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. Sarah enjoys her summer months in Charlottesville, VA, serving as Production Manager for the Virginia Theatre Festival, which celebrates its 50th season in 2024. 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 Blake Jackson

Assistant Stage Manager

PlayMakers: Much Ado About Nothing, Clyde’s, They Do Not Know Harlem, Native Gardens. The Drowsy Chaperone, 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.

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PlayMakers Leadership

Vivienne Benesch

Producing Artistic Director

Vivienne is in her eighth full season as a company member and Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers, where she has helmed productions of Hamlet, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Storyteller, Dairyland, Life of Galileo, Leaving Eden, The May Queen, Three Sisters, Love Alone, RED and In The Next Room. In her eight seasons with the theatre, she is particularly proud to have produced 12 world premieres and launched PlayMakers Mobile, a touring production aimed at reaching under-served 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 country’s best summer theatres and most competitive summer training programs. Vivienne directed both the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s Birthday Candles for Detroit Public Theatre and, in 2022, its Broadway production starring Debra Messing. She 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. 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.

Jeffrey Meanza

Associate Artistic Director

An actor, director and educator, Jeffrey Meanza has spent the better part of two decades working at two of the country’s most celebrated regional theatres, overseeing the artistic, educational and community engagement efforts of the organizations. As a member of PlayMakers’ resident acting company, he has appeared in Hamlet, Angels in America, Into the Woods, Lisa Kron’s Well, Amadeus, Assassins, and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, among others, and directed Misery, The Legend of Georgia McBride, The Cake, and Guys and Dolls.

From 2015 to 2021, he served as the Guthrie Theater’s associate artistic director, overseeing the theater’s education and community engagement initiatives, the literary team, casting, and the theater’s professional training programs, as well as helping to guide the work on the Guthrie’s three stages. During his tenure, Meanza managed the expansion of educational programming to serve over 35,000 students annually, including creating an artist residency program that put full-time teaching artists in high school classrooms throughout Minnesota. In addition, under his leadership, the Guthrie piloted a new Fellowship program that offers paid training opportunities for emerging leaders to experience work at one of the nation’s leading regional theaters. In 2021, Meanza returned to PlayMakers Repertory Company as Associate Artistic Director, overseeing the theater’s artistic, educational and engagement operations.

He holds an M.F.A in Acting from the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Michael Rolleri

Production Manager

Michael is in his 37th 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.

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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. 

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 seven seasons have already given life to twelve 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. We also offer a  host of unique engagement opportunities designed to 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 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. 

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 and high 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, PlayMakers offers All Access performances for our patrons living with disabilities. We also offer accessible $20 tickets for all performances and ticket prices are reduced to just $10 for UNC students. 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 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 journey of becoming an anti-racist organization whose work is accessible to all. Inextricably linked to UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art, PlayMakers is devoted to nurturing and training future generations of artists and audiences.

Our Vision




Antiracism Accountability Statement

At the heart of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s mission is the belief that theatre 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.

Land Acknowledgment

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, may. webuild upon the memories and goodwill of all who walked and labored here before us with truth, integrity, and honor. Learn more: UNC American Indian Center

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General Info

PlayMakers Repertory Company is the professional theatre in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Our 23/24 season features six mainstage productions on the Paul Green Theatre stage. From timeless classics to world premieres, from laugh-out-loud comedies to hair-raising thrillers, we are your home for the best American theatre has to offer.

SEP 6–24, 2023: Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage, directed by Melissa Maxwell

OCT 11–31, 2023: Stephen King’s Misery adapted William Goldman, directed by Jeffrey Meanza

NOV 15–DEC 3, 2023Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, directed by Lavina Jadhwani

JAN 31–FEB 18, 2024: Fat Ham by James Ijames, directed by Jade King Carroll

MAR 6–24, 2024: Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express adapted by Ken Ludwig, directed by Tracy Bersley

APR 10–28, 2024: The Game by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Vivienne Benesch

We also have two special events this season:

DEC 16–17, 2023: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adapted by William Leachman, directed by Michael Perlman 

JAN 10–16, 2024: Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, directed by Tom Quaintence 


If you know you will miss a performance date, we can exchange your ticket for you, based on availability. Please exchange your tickets online or 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.


We stream every production we are able to stream in accordance with each show’s licensing agreements. Check the show pages for streaming access dates when they are available.

Streaming access is included in the purchase of your ticket or you may purchase a streaming-only ticket.


No. Based on patron feedback, we have changed our seating map to increase the availability of our most affordable tickets for every performance, so that patrons can have as much flexibility as possible in selecting their performances. As we take audience safety very seriously, we will not have General Admission performances this season.


For quickest response, please email, or call 919.962.7529 Tuesday-Friday between 12-5 p.m.


The Box Office is planned to be open Tuesday-Friday, from 12-5 p.m.


Don’t miss out on news and events. Follow us on all socials to stay connected with our Fat Ham mascot Hammy and see what he is doing next!

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Keith dasilva, private wealth financial advisor and 2023 forbes best-in-state wealth advisors are proud to support playmakers repertory company
The Knott Private Wealth Management Group at Wells Fargo Advisors

PlayMakers’ 2023/24 Season is Made Possible in Part by Grants from

Foundation Support

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

Residence Inn Chapel Hill, Larry’s Coffee

Corporate Council

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, Knott Private Wealth Management Group at Wells Fargo Advisors


Linda’s Bar and Grill, Glasshalfull, Infinium Spirits

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 and Choreographer are members of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

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PlayMakers Staff


Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director


Jeff Aguiar, Director of Engagement
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 Lexi Silva, Dramaturgy Fellow
Sarah Tackett, Administrative Operations Associate
Adam Versényi, Dramaturg


Matara Hitchcock, Company Manager
Kate Jones, General Manager
Lisa Geeslin, Accountant
Maura Murphy, Director of Operations
Erica Bass, Alexis R. Steele-Kubuanu, Dani Elliott, Ella Hawn,
Sage Howard, Sarajane Carty, Nathaniel Kareis, Work Studies


Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton, Director of Development
Kyle Kostenko, Assistant Director of Annual Giving
Lenore Fields, Gala Coordinator

Marketing & Audience Services

Michelle Jewell, Marketing Assistant
Hannah LaMarlowe, Marketing Specialist
Thomas Porter, Box Office Manager
Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing
Lauren Van Hemert, Marketing Consultant
Kori Yelverton, Audience Services Associate
Jenna Zottoli, Audience Services Associate
Lucy Albanil-Rangel, Michelle Seucan, Marketing Work Studies

Ava Lytle, Cora Willis, Student House Managers
Ayriana Agard, Swetha Anand, Albert Carlson, Phoenix Chapital, Lynlee Collins, Kali Dao, Tygia Drewhowell, Evan Jeppson, Gali Jones-Valdez, Lindsey Kanipe, Micah Kennel, Alex Lankford, Alicia Norman, Leah Page, Morgan Perry, Asher Pierce, Sophie Taylor, Maggie Thornton, Izzy Twiss, Ava Wells, Ava West, August Williams, Nicholas Williams, Box Office and Front of House Work Studies

Department of Dramatic Art

Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Chair and Associate Professor


Jade Arnold, Visiting Lecturer Milly Barranger, Professor Emerita
Vivienne Benesch, Professor of the Practice
Tracy Bersley, Associate Professor
Pamela Bond, 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 Dale Girard, Visiting Professor of the Practice
David Hammond, Professor Emeritus
Letitia James, Assistant Professor
Gregory Kable, Teaching Professor
Jacqueline E. Lawton, Associate Professor
Matthew Mallard, Teaching Assistant 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
Lexi Silva, Dramaturgy Fellow
Aubrey Snowden, Teaching Assistant Professor
Craig Turner, Professor Emeritus
Adam Versényi, Professor
Tao Wang, Assistant Professor


Lucas Branch, KTC Technical Director
Victoria Danielik, Program Assistant
Lisa Geeslin, Accounting Technician
Taylor McDaniel, Student Services Manager
Karen Rolleri, Business Coordinator
Jamie Strickland, University Manager


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, Jillian Gregory, Emma Hoylst, Jessica Land, Zachery Morrison, Sally Rath Madeline Gibson, Arcadia Hilton, Undergraduate Assistants
Katherine Craig, Costume Department Assistant
Natasha Harm, Wardrobe Assistant
Georgia Wood, Costume Stock Assistant
Clara “Hock” Hockenberry, Costume Clerical Assistant
Amanda Tenzlinger, Costar Vintage Archivist


Benjamin Bosch, Electrics Supervisor
Nick Rodgers, Production Swing for Lighting & Sound

Xiuping Xiong, Lighting Assistant
Alex Mitropoulos, Work Study


Lauren Reinhartsen, Properties Supervisor
Emma Madison, Props Artisan
Rebecca Xhajanka, Props Artisan

Marissa Romano, Props Undergraduate Assistant
Lydia McRoy, Cami Crocker, Evan Wilker, Work Studies

Stage Management

Aspen Blake Jackson, Stage Manager
Sarah Smiley, Stage Manager
Zoë Lord, Production Assistant


David Bost, Sound Supervisor
Andrew Fleming, Sound Undergraduate Assistant

Nubia Orellana, Jace Rea, Work Studies


Brandon “Bruce” Hearrell, Production Carpenter
Piper Johnson, Production Carpenter
Corrinne LaVergne, Scenic Artist
Laura Pates, Technical Director
Diane Zimmerman, Scenic Charge Artist

Technical Production Graduate Students:
Rachel Van Namen, Joel Ernst, Benjamin Fink, Roark

Kaitlin Mcguire, Kee Meh, Chyna Wiles, Veta “Koa” Torres,
Scenic Painting Work Studies

Beatrice Sangangbayan, Connor Gould, Heather Robinson,
Jake Docherty, Yessenia Estrada-Zerhoudi, Carpentry Work

PlayMakers’ Resident Acting Company

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

Professional Actor Training Program:

Reez Bailey, Hayley Cartee, Matthew Donahue, Elizabeth Dye, Heinley Gaspard, Jadah Johnson, Jamar Jones, Nate John Mark, Saleemah Sharpe, Sanjana Taskar, Adam Valentine, Megwe Wapimewah

For this Production of “Fat Ham”

Lucas Becker, Scenic Design Assistant
Jeff A.R. Jones, Fight and Violence Choreographer
Lormarev Jones, Intimacy Coordinator
Lexi Silva, Dramaturgy Fellow and Associate Dramaturg
Laura Pates, Production Technical Director
Rachel Van Namen, Assistant Technical Director
Roark, Shop Lead

Matthew Mallard, Assistant to the Costume Designer
Sally Rath, Assistant Crafts Artisan
Matty Blatt, Emma Holyst, Drapers
Zach Morrison, First Hand
Jocelyn Chatman, Production Costume Shop Manager
Jillian Gregory, Jessica Land, Stitchers

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PlayMakers Repertory Company is a nonprofit theatre. We rely on the generosity of our community to continue delivering the Broadway-quality theatre you love. If you believe in the transformative power of theatre as much as we do, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help theatre thrive.

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:
Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton
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 Director of Development Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton at 919.962.4846 or visit us at


Friends of PlayMakers

Director’s Circle ($10,000+)

Susan Arrington
Betsy Blackwell and John Watson Jr. *
Munroe and Becky Cobey
David G. Frey ~
Joanne and Peter Garrett
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
The Farley Fisher Gift Fund
Deborah Gerhardt
Joan Gillings ~
The Charles Goren and Hazen Family
Foundation, Trustees Tom and Lisa Hazen
The Estate of Linda K. Griffin
Susan and Dustin Gross*
Amy and Kevin Guskiewicz*
Garrett Hall and Zachary Howell*
T. Chandler and Monie Hardwick
Brian Hargrove and David Hyde Pierce
Mrs. Frank H. Kenan ~
Thomas S. Kenan III *
Paula Noell and Palmer Page*
Wyndham Robertson *
Coleman and Carol Ross
Schwab Charitable
Shubert Foundation
Ken Smith
T. Rowe Price Charitable
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Alan H. Weinhouse

Angel ($5,000–9,999)

Patrick Brennan and Lillian Jenks*
Linda and Cliff Butler*
Jan and Stephen Capps
Thomas and Holly Carr
Keith DaSilva of the Knott Private Wealth
Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors*
The Educational Foundation of America
Mr. and Mrs. Matt Hapgood
Sumeetha and Tanner Hock
Kim Kwok
Prentice Foundation
John Powell*
Raymond James Charitable Endowment
Rivers Agency, LLC*
David and Jenny Routh
Jackie Tanner*
Jennifer Werner-Cannizzaro and Thomas
Ford and Allison Worthy
Jim and Bonnie Yankaskas

Investor ($2,500–4,999)

Richard and Deirdre Arnold ^
Andrew and Katherine Asaro ^
Vivienne Benesch
Charities Aid Foundation of America
Evan and Erin Gwyn
Susan E. Hartley
Carol Hazard and Winston Liao
Stacy and Chris Hovey
Susan J. Kelly
Knack Technologies
Duncan and Stuart Lascelles
Nick and Amy Penwarden
Suzanne and Charles Plambeck
Samyr Qureshi
Dr. and Mrs. Edward Smithwick
Roger and Marlene Werner
Louise and Derek Winstanly
Katie Woodbury

Page to Stage ($1,500–2,499)

David and Judy Adamson
Steve Benezra ^
Dr. Stephen Shaw Birdsall
Ed and Eleanor Burke ^
Cindy and Thomas Cook
Dr. Steven Dalton and Mrs. Kymberly
John and Diane Formy-Duval
The Rich and Tracy Harris Fund of Triangle
Community Foundation
Carol Hazard and Winston Liao
David J. Howell
Hugon Karwowski and Joanna Karwowska ^
Dr. Moyra Kileff and Mr. Brian Kileff
Dr. Catherine Kuhn and Glenn Tortorici
Paul and Linda Naylor
Bettina Patterson
RR Donnelley
Carole L. Shelby
Dr. William L. Stewart
The Rev. Wendy R. and W. Riley Waugh
Michael Weil and Peggy Link-Weil
Jenny and Julian Wiles

Partner ($1,000–1,499)

Anonymous (4)
Michael and Marie Andreasen
Jeremy Arkin and Marian Fragola
Dane Barnes
Anna and Amir Barzin
Dr. Stanley Warren Black, III
Peggy Britt
Liz Carroll Interiors
Joan Clendenin
Bill Cobb and Gail Perry
Dr. Carrie Donley and W.P. Gale ^
Cauveh Erami
Dr. and Mrs. John P. Evans
Rachelle Feldman and Paul Raczynski
Julia and William Grumbles
Jim and Debra Lampley
Lauren G. Leve and Jonathan Fleener
Jack Knight and Margaret Brown
Katie Kosma
Shirley and Tom Kunkel
Douglas MacLean and Susan Wolf
Elaine Mangrum and Michael Freedberg
Marconi Hoban Tell Fund
John and Alice May
Holly and Ross McKinney
David E. Price
Jean and Joseph Ritok
David B. Sontag
Karen Sisson and Andrew Levine
Scott Taylor
Triangle Community Foundation
Dr. Jesse L. White
Paul and Sally Wright
David and Heather Yeowell

Backer ($500–999)

Anonymous (3)
Elisabeth Allore, in memory of John Allore
Pete and Hannah Andrews
Dr. Thomas C. Apostle and Sharon E. Lawrence-Apostle
Deborah Barrett and Charles Kurzman
Adam C. Beck ^
John W. Becton and Nancy B. Tannenbaum
Shula and Stephen Bernard
Patricia Beyle
Ann and John Campbell
Philip and Linda Carl
Sam and Michelle Crittenden
Anne and Alexander Dusek
Bob and Connie Eby
Randi Emerman
Thorsten A. Fjellstedt
Mrs. Linda Whitham Folda and Dr. Jaroslav
Thayer Folda, III
Alison Friedman
James P. Gogan ^
Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Greenwood
Elizabeth Grey
Janet and D. Scott Guthmiller
Toby and Cheryl Harrell
C. Hawkins ^
Mr. and Mrs. David L. Henson
Don and Kay Hobart
Michael Maness and Lois Knauff
Anand and Sandhya Lagoo
K.A. and Carol Lawrence
Nelda and Douglas Lay
Dr. and Mrs. Morton D. Malkin
Ed and Connie McCraw
Amy McEntee
Laurie E. McNeil and Patrick W. Wallace
Jeanne and Herbert Miller
Dr. James C. and Dr. Susan D. Moeser
Betsy and Jefferson Newton
Linda W. Norris
Pat and Mary Norris Oglesby
Lois P. Oliver
David and Mary Ollila
Sarah Owens
Ariana Pancaldo and Michael Salemi
Louis and Jodi Patalano
Mark and Eugenea Pollock
Jodi and Glenn Preminger
Elizabeth Raft
Vikram and Susan Rao
Lucy and Sidney Smith
Dr. William W. Smith and Brenda W. Kirby
Tim and Judy Taft

T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable Giving
U. S. Charitable Gift Trust
Wegmans Chapel Hill

^ Sustainers Club Member
* PlayMakers Special Event Supporter
~ Deceased

This list is current as of January 1, 2024. If your name is listed incorrectly or not at all, please contact the PlayMakers Development Office at 919.962.4846. We will ensure you are recognized for your
thoughtful support

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