Playbill for Hamlet

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Table of Contents

Letter from Vivienne

Support PlayMakers

Who We Are

Title Page

Program Notes

Actor Bios

Creative Team Bios

General Information

PlayMakers Staff

Friends of PlayMakers

Corporate and Foundation Partners

Desktop Computer Version of playbill available here

Linda's Bar and Grill.

Letter from Viv. Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director

What a piece of work… 

I am aware of the colossal gift and challenge inherent in directing a play many believe to be not only the greatest of Shakespeare’s works, but also one of world literature’s greatest expressions of human existence. I am humbled and honored to have shared the journey with this wonderful company— and now with you. 

PlayMakers last produced HAMLET in our 1992/1993 season and, in the thirty years since we last journeyed to Elsinore, much has changed in our world and in our perspectives, but I warrant little has changed in what constitutes the human condition.  And that complexity is what makes a masterful play so thrilling to wrestle with— the well inked notes constantly beckon to be “played” by new interpreters.  

Today we are relearning how to trust in a changed world. Much has us wondering how we are being played and how we must play the systems we live in to survive. This idea strongly resonated with me as we conceived of this production. Hamlet returns home to a changed state. Her (yes, her) beloved father is dead and her mother has married her uncle who claims the throne—something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Who can Hamlet trust? Whom must she play as she seeks justice? At what cost? 

I am so thankful for the trust and brilliance of an amazing creative team and talented cast and crew. This was an epic, thrilling endeavor. I am equally grateful to YOU, our audience, for choosing to entrust your time with PlayMakers. Whether you are seeing HAMLET for the first, third, or thirtieth time, sit forward and let the play work on you. After all…the play’s the thing… 



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University Florist

As the new chair of the PlayMakers Advisory Council, I am honored to welcome you to the Paul Green Theater to enjoy the delightful remainder of our season, beginning with “Hamlet.” I would like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing chair, Amy Guskiewicz, for all of her time, energy and wisdom in serving the Council for not just one, but many years.

The power of live theater first made an impression on me as a child in England, where I grew up enjoying frequent exposure to the West End in London. Theater brought a ‘mutliverse,’ as they say these days, of alternative imagination and emotion through which to encounter the world. So, I missed the theater when I landed in Chapel Hill almost 30 years ago, and it was a delight to discover PlayMakers within such easy reach and to have the opportunity it afforded to introduce my own children to this theater world.

I believe that an artist is an adventurer who seeks through creative bravery to more deeply understand human beings and their surroundings. In turn, the theater is a place where we audience members can share a cultural experience, entering into this depth together with the other intimate guests as though we are all in someone’s living room. We are on an adventure together through reimagined classics, world premieres, and often our own Southern stories, both old and new, learning to acknowledge the validity of the lived experience of others while at the same time realizing how many emotions are shared.

At times the theater prompts us to reassess profound aspects of our lives, and at other times simply to laugh, be entertained, and lighten our spiritual load. Either way, it is a treasure and a testament to the communities of both the town of Chapel Hill and University of North Carolina that Playmakers exists here among us. 

For decades PlayMakers theater has been adding vitality not only to our community, but to the Triangle and the State, coming to us ‘heart forward’ as our ‘fearless leader’ and beloved Artistic Director might say. For our community to remain heart healthy, for PlaMmakers to remain with us and to serve our community and beyond, we must remember that what sustains us must also be sustained. Art and life are reciprocal in that way. PlayMakers cannot exist without our support. 

There are a number of ways to sustain and support PlayMakers. Financial gifts of any amount are gratefully received but simply being an ambassador of the PlayMakers experience by inviting your friends and neighbors, sharing and liking us on social media and simply talking about your experiences here, these are also invaluable to us.

With much gratitude to you all for taking your time to be with us, we wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.


Jackie Tanner


PlayMakers Advisory Council

Jackie Tanner, Chair

Betsy Blackwell, Vice Chair

Duncan Lascelles, Vice Chair

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

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2. At the beginning of the play, Marcellus states “Something is __________ in the state of Denmark.”

3. Claudius says “__________ in great ones must not unwatched go.”

4. The love interest of Hamlet.

6. “To be or not to be” is a __________.

10. The __________ of Hamlet

12. The ghost tells Hamlet not to be ill-mannered to this character.

13. Rosencrantz and __________ escort Hamlet to England.


1. King Hamlet killed __________.

5. The Prince of Denmark.

7. __________ tells Hamlet of the duel that is to occur between her and Laertes.

8. The death of her __________ drives Ophelia mad.

9. Hamlet would not be able to marry Ophelia because she is not of__________ birth.

11. Hamlet discovers __________’s skull in the churchyard.

12. Gertrude is unable to see the __________.

March 1-12, 2023

Nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Bear witness to an extraordinary, immersive performance by artist, dancer and storyteller Tristan André, who summons the spirit of James Baldwin in an excavation of a Black and queer life lived in a not always welcoming world.

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

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Il Palio Restaurant


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Vivienne Benesch

Co-Scenic Designer
Amber Meadows

Costume Designer
McKay Coble

Sound Designer
Michael Anthony Betts, II

Tracy Bersley

Associate Director
JaMeeka Holloway

Text & Vocal Coach
Deborah Hecht

Stage Manager
Sarah Smiley

Co-Scenic Designer
Lawrence E. Moten, III

Lighting Designer
Tyler Micoleau

Peter Vitale

Fight Director
Jeff A.R. Jones

Intimacy Consultant
Lormarev Jones

Adam Versényi

Assistant Stage Manager
Aspen Jackson

January 25 – February 12, 2023

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

A special thank you to Mike Morse of Morse Brass Instrument Repair and Todd Rodrigue of The Tuba Exchange for supplying instrument parts for this production.

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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By Adam Versényi, Dramaturg

“Hamlet” is perhaps the ultimate “classic” play in English dramatic literature.  Widely anthologized and taught worldwide, many of us regard “Hamlet”, at least to some extent, as our own.  Shaped by classroom discussion to independent reading to popular film adaptations, we approach a new production of the play carting with us a host of preconceptions as to interpretation regarding both meaning and performance.  Even those who have never read or seen “Hamlet” have some conception of its subject matter. Any production of the play is bound to frustrate the expectations of some in the audience.  Why then attempt to realize a play that is so much, as it were, in the air? 

Perhaps the best answer to these questions lies within Shakespeare’s text itself when Hamlet proclaims to the players ” .  .  .  the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.”  Hamlet is a human being brought up in a particular world, carefully prepared to adopt a clearly defined role in that world, who suddenly discovers that role stripped from. The world they thought they knew is now unrecognizable.  Hamlet’s Denmark is one of darkness, danger, and confusion.  Some undiagnosed disease threatens the health of the body politic and this dis-ease is reflected in a restless and even rebellious populace.   

Not only Hamlet, but everyone in Shakespeare’s Denmark faces an inchoate world where no one and no thing can be trusted.  The world of the play mirrors the inner turmoil its people are experiencing.  As has been well documented, the world of Hamlet was Shakespeare’s world as well.  Political propaganda emanating from Elizabeth I’s court depicted her as the supreme sovereign who, skillfully steering the ship of state. Yet beneath that “spin” there was bitter political infighting, and plots and counter-plots. Her reign began against the backdrop of recent warfare and was  marked by religious factionalism and murderous persecution. 

“Hamlet” begins with both personal and societal grief and loss, one quite like our own where, post-Covid, we are slowly and stutteringly learning to trust each other again as events from mass shootings to the January 6th insurrection to extra-judicial police killings of civilians to Russia’s war in Ukraine seem bent on frustrating our desire for trust.  Civil war grinds on in Syria and Yemen, Lebanon and Sri Lanka struggle to remain economically afloat.  Calls for racial equity and justice here in the U.S. are met by violent backlash. LGBTQ+ communities are demonized, migrants seeking asylum are used as political tools, and Christian Nationalism makes inroads throughout the land. 

“Hamlet” is a mirror that reflects all of these worlds: Denmark, Elizabethan England, our own.  The play has often been seen as a Shakespearian re-working of the tragedy of revenge, perhaps best defined by the plays of Thomas Kyde and Cyril Tourneur, in which a family member exacts bloody retribution for crimes committed, thereby avenging the family’s honor.  While the Ghost certainly demands that those responsible for his “most foul murder” suffer their just deserts, “Hamlet” as Shakespeare wrote it, and as this production attempts to realize it, is a play about much more than revenge.  The kind of Old Testament attitude that the Ghost exorts Hamlet to adopt–“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”–is much too simplistic to encompass the world that confronts Hamlet. 

William Hazlitt wrote “It is we who are Hamlet.” This production builds upon the hundreds of women who have played Hamlet over the centuries demonstrating moral dilemmas shared by all regardless of gender and introducing potential new connections by means of women’s voices.  “Hamlet” is filled with references to acting, contains a play-within-a-play, and investigates the nature of playing.  Our production casts women as Horatio and Laertes as well, and all of these women must negotiate a world where they confront attempts by others to play them and must learn to instrumentalize their actions in order to play others themselves.  As a play “Hamlet” contains an unusually large number of soliloquies indicating that a great swath of the play takes place inside the mind of our title character..  Consequently, we have placed the play in a kind of “retrofuture”, encompassing both the past and what is to come, where the physical location of Denmark is akin to the interior of a musical instrument, and the intimate relations of family life mirror the tensions inherent in the state. 

In this context, Hamlet’s much commented upon indecisiveness is not a mark of weakness, but a willed attempt to forge a system of value by which to operate in a world that has itself gone mad.  Of all of Shakespeare’s plays “Hamlet” may strike us as the most modern.  Its multiplicity of possible meanings, its musical motifs, reflect “the time and pressure of the age,” and Hamlet’s noble negotiation of the swirling currents of this world while searching for value is, ultimately, a model for us all. 


William Shakespeare

origins are obscure but the little evidence that we have suggests that he was christened in Stratford-on-Avon, April 26, 1564. Tradition holds that Shakespeare was born on April 23rd. The eldest of six children, Shakespeare came from the merchant class. His father was a tradesman who was elected Bailiff, or Mayor, of Stratford in 1568, his mother from a small landowning family. His father’s position afforded the young Shakespeare the possibility of a formal education in the town school. By 1582, Shakespeare had married Ann Hathaway, and by 1585 fathered three children. Shakespeare’s family having fallen upon hard times, he was forced to seek employment outside of Stratford. 

While it is quite possible that Shakespeare saw medieval pageants and traveling players as a boy in Stratford, only in the years after he left his hometown did he immerse himself in the theater, becoming both an actor and a playwright. By 1592 he was established in London, and by 1594 had joined the prominent company the Chamberlain’s Men (which in 1603 changed its name to the King’s Men), linked in most people’s minds to the Globe Theatre built on the banks of the Thames in 1599. Shakespeare was a joint owner of the Globe and as such shared in its profits and losses. 

One of his great strengths as a writer came from his ability to gain both popular and critical praise. He wrote his plays considering every aspect of them through the eyes of an actor, a playwright, a businessman, a tradesman’s son, and possibly an ex-soldier, evaluating their success or failure utilizing all the facets of his professional life as well. By 1611 Shakespeare had become prosperous enough to retire to Stratford. He died in 1616 on the date of his birth, April 23. He was buried in the same Stratford church where he had been christened.

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Actor Bios

Cast List

Hamlet Tia James*
Claudius/Ghost — Sekou Laidlow*
Gertrude Kathryn Hunter-Williams*
Polonius/Gravedigger— Jeffrey Blair Cornell*
Ophelia Sanjana Taskar*
Laertes/Player Queen Rasool Jahan*
Horatio Hayley Cartee*
Rosencrantz Adam Valentine*
Guildenstern— Heinley Gaspard*
Bernardo/Priest Thomas Nash Tetterton
Marcellus — Saleemah Sharpe
Player King Jeffrey Meanza*
Osric/Lucianus Jamar Jones
Musician of the Court — Peter Vitale
Ensemble/Fight Captain/Assistant Fight Director Kira Cornell
Ensemble Kenny Ortiz
Ensemble Grace Wissink

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.

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Jeffrey Blair Cornell


PlayMakers: PlayMakers: This marks Jeff’s 28th season with PlayMakers. Recently: Frank in “Native Gardens,” Mr. Weston/Mr. Woodhouse in “Emma,” 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 and received his MFA from the PATP/UNC-Chapel Hill. Serves as Teaching Professor/Associate Chair in UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art.

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Hayley Cartee


PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Emma,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”. “Den of Thieves,” “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” “Gloria” (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.

Kira Cornell


PlayMakers: Debut. Kira is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill.  She is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, holding certifications in all 8 weapons.

University: She recently choreographed “Fight Girl Battle World” (UNCW Theatre Company), “Urinetown” (Kenan Theatre Company), and is looking forward to choreographing the “Complete Works of Shakespeare” this spring for the Kenan Theatre Company.  They most recently appeared as Connie in “Dance Nation” with the Kenan Theatre Company and has participated in readings with Theatre Raleigh as well. 

Heinley Gaspard


PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “How I Learned What I Learned,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

Regional: “House of the Negro Insane” (Contemporary American Theatre Festival 2022).

Selected New York:  “Macbeth” (Hudson Theatre Works), “A Midsummers Night’s Dream” (Villagers), “Edward II” (Teatro Latea), “Ariadne’s Revenge: A Killer App” (TADA!), “Glass” (JACK).

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

Off-Off Broadway: “Macbeth,” “Antigone” (124 Bank Street), “Split Second” (IATI).

Selected Film/TV: “Omniboat, 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.

Kathryn Hunter-Williams


PlayMakers: Company member for 21 seasons. Recent highlights include directing “Stick Fly,” “No Fear & Blues Long Gone,” “Count,” plus acting in “A 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.

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Rasool Jahan

Laertes/Players Queen

PlayMakers: 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).

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.

Tia James


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

Broadway: “The Merchant of Venice.”

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

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

Television: “Nurse Jackie,” “Treme.” 

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

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

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Jamar Jones


PlayMakers: Company member in their second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Emma,” 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. 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”.

Sekou Laidlow


PlayMakers: Debut.

Broadway: “Airline Highway,” “Boys in the Band.”

Select Regional: “Succession,” “Toni Stone,” “Skeleton Crew,” “A Doll’s House,” “Father Comes Home from the Wars,” “The Mountaintop,” “Civil War Christmas,” “Seven Guitars,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Stonewall Country & Runaway Home.”

TV: Bobby Purcell in FOX’s “The Resident,” Leon Payne in NBC’s “Ordinary Joe”; recurring guest star in ABC’s “Women of the Movement,” Harrison Carter in the BET+ episodic “Kingdom Business.” Other TV credits include: “The Breaks,” The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest,” “Carrie Diaries,” “SMASH,” “The Wire,” and “Law & Order.”

Film: “Black Adam,” “The Mend,” “Better Off Single,” “Alieu the Dreamer.”

Education: Juilliard School of Drama.

Jeffrey Meanza

Player King

See PlayMakers Leadership page.

Kenny Ortiz


PlayMakers: Debut.

TV: “Ordinary Joe,” “American Rust” with Jeff Daniels and directed by John Dahl, “Ozark” with Jason Bateman, “Both Sides of the Line” (Web Series), “NCPD” (Web Series), “Esperanza” (Web Series).

Education/Other: Kenny is an undergraduate student at UNC. Professional Scene Study, Sense Memory Work and Mask Work at Moonlight Stage Company by Estes Tarver. Kenny served in the USMC and was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Producer and Editor at Moonlight Arts & Entertainment.

Saleemah Sharpe


PlayMakers: Company member in second year of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program. “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”.  “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” “Gloria” (PlayMakers 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 Lear,” “Soon Again Not Yet,” “Sopita” (Royal Social Distance Company); “Sins of the Father” (Eden Theater Company); “Significant Other” (The Theatre Project); “The Block” (Lakai Dance Theatre); “Ubu Roi,” “Straight Outta Kansas,” “Antigone” (Montclair State University).

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

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

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

Sanjana Taskar


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

Regional: “White Pearl” (Studio Theatre); “Little Women” (Virginia Theatre Festival); “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).

Thomas Nash Tetterton


PlayMakers: Debut.

Regional: “Silent Sky,” “The Life of Galileo” (Burning Coal Theatre); “Richard III” (Sweet Tea Shakespeare); “A Christmas Carol,” “Love’s Labor’s Lost” (Annapolis Shakespeare Company); “Romeo & Juliet,” “Cymbeline” (Virginia Shakespeare Festival); “Inherit the Wind” (Compass Rose Theater); “MacBheatha” (Capital Fringe Festival).

Film: “Have A Nice Life” (2021).

Education: BFA in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory.

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Adam Valentine


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

Regional: “Small Mouth Sounds” (Cadence Theatre); “The Tempest,” “The Heir Apparent” (Richmond Shakespeare); “The Curious Incident…” (Virginia Rep); “Hand To God,” “LEVEL 4,” “Heathers: The Musical” (TheatreLAB); “Maple & Vine,” “Stupid Kid” (Firehouse Theatre).

Education/Awards: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.A. 2021 RTCC Ernie McClintock Best Ensemble Acting for “Small Mouth Sounds”.

Grace Wissink


PlayMakers: Debut. Grace is a senior undergraduate student at UNC Chapel Hill.

University: “Nia,” “Dance Nation” (Kenan Theatre Company); “The Birthday Party” (LAB! Theatre); “Fun Home,” “Grounded,” “Angels in America” (Company Carolina).

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Creative Team Bios

Vivienne Benesch


See PlayMakers Leadership page.

Amber Meadows

Co-Scenic Designer

PlayMakers: Debut.

Regional: “Solace” World Premier (Emergent Theatre Company). 

University: ”Empty Plate at the Cafe du Grand Boeuf,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love an Murder” (CCSU); ”Pericles,” “Prince of Tyre,” “Antigone,” “The Little Shop of Horrors” (UConn).  Instagram: @ambermdwsdesign.

Lawrence E. Moten, III

Co-Scenic Designer

PlayMakers: “How I Learned What I Learned,” “Native Son”.

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

Regional: “Christmas in Connecticut” (Goodspeed Musicals); “This Little Light of Mine” (Santa Fe Opera); “Requiem” (INSeries Opera); “Patience” (2ST Uptown); “The Last Supper” (SOPAC); “Much Ado About Nothing” (Commonwealth Shakespeare); “The Brothers Size” (American Players); “it’s not a trip, it’s a journey,” “We Declare You A Terrorist…” (Round House); “Gem of The Ocean” (Portland Center Stage); “Trouble In Mind” (The Old Globe); “The West End” (Cincinnati Playhouse); “Hype Man” (ART & Company One); “Gloria” (ACT); “STEW (Page 73), Hi, Are You Single?” (Woolly Mammoth); “House of Joy” (CalShakes); “The Royale” (Capital Rep); “Behind The Sheet” (Ensemble Studio Theatre).

 Instagram: @motendesigns.

Lecturer: Princeton University & Queens College. Member: USA 829 & Wingspace Theatrical Design. 

McKay Coble

Costume Designer

PlayMakers: Company member for over 30 years. “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Everybody,” “Bewilderness,” “Sherwood,” “Leaving Eden,” “Dot,” “My Fair Lady,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “An Enemy of the People,” “The Tempest / Metamorphoses,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Red,” “Noises Off,” “The Parchman Hour,” “Big River,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” “Amadeus,” “The Little Prince,” “The Illusion,” “Cyrano,” “Not About Heroes,” “Playboy of the Western World,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Nutcracker,” and many others.

Broadway: Production Coordinator, Barbara Matera, Ltd.; “La Cage Aux Folles,” “Big River,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Merlin,” “Private Lives.”

Regional: Alley Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Virginia Stage Company.

Film: “The Cotton Club,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Ghostbusters,” “Silkwood,” “Places in the Heart.” Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829; NYC.

Tyler Micoleau

Lighting Designer

PlayMakers: “Shipwrecked!,” “Nicholas Nickleby.” 

Broadway: “Into The Woods,” “American Buffalo,” “Be More Chill,” “The Band’s Visit.” 

West End/International: “Be More Chill” (London, Japan). 

Recent Off-Broadway/New York: “Camp Siegfried” (2ST); “A Case For The Existence Of God” (Signature). 

Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, Pig Iron Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, among many others. 

Awards: Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical (The Band’s Visit), OBIE, Lucille Lortel, Henry Hewes, Knight of Illumination. 

Michael Betts II

Sound Designer

PlayMakers: “Stick Fly”.

Regional: “The Miraculous and the Mundane” (Howard Craft); “The Talk,” “Haunted” (Sonny Kelly); “My Mother Is Busy Getting Ready To Die” (Dr. LeRhonda S. Manigualt-Bryant).

Film: “death.everything.nothing” (Dr. LeRhonda S. Manigualt-Bryant).

Education/Other: Media Production, UNC-Chapel Hill; MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, Duke University. Professorship in Sound Design at UNC-Wilmington. 

Instagram: @kidSweater  Facebook: @mbetts2. 

Peter Vitale

Composer/Musician of the Court

PlayMakers: Debut.

Regional: Guthrie Theater, Public Theater Mobile Unit, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater. Twin Cities: Jungle Theater, Theater Latte Da, Park Square Theater, Ordway Theater, Frank Theater, Minnesota Jewish Theater, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra.

Film/Television: “Liberty Falls, 54321” (Theme song), Web series produced by The Moving Company.

Education: Duke University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, University of North Wales, UK.

Other: Resident Music Director and Composer for Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis where he has contributed to over fifty productions. Since 1993, Ten Thousand Things Theater has brought lively, professional theater to people with little access to the wealth of the arts and is recognized nationally for its work in expanding the reach of quality theater beyond the boundaries of traditional stages.

 Instagram: @TTTMusicGuy. 

Tracy Bersley


PlayMakers: Movement coach and resident choreographer in her sixth 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.

Eduction/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.

Jeff A.R. Jones

Fight Director

PlayMakers: “Native Gardens,” “Wrinkle in Time,” “Stick Fly,” “Skin of Our Teeth,” “Leaving Eden”.

Regional: “Beauty Queen of Lenane” (Virginia Stage); ”Romeo & Juliet,” ”Macbeth,” ”Don Quixote,” ”Dracula ” (Carolina Ballet); “Carmen,” ”Cold Mountain” (NCOpera); ”Otello,” ”Pagliacci,” ”Romeo et Juliette” (Virginia Opera); “West Side Story” (Illinois Opera); Nearly 200 credits including favorites “Macbeth,” “King Lear,” “Titus Andronicus,” “Pericles,” “Henry IV, Part 1,” “The Rover,” “She Kills Monsters,” “Marian: The True Tale of Robin Hood,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Ragtime,” “Spring Awakening,” “Wild Party,” “Mr. Burns,” “a great big woolly mammoth thawing from the ice,” “Vinegar Tom,” ”Cry Havoc,” “Hookman.”

Other: Certified Teacher, Fight Director, and Theatrical Firearms Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors Certified Intimacy Director with IDC. Owner/instructor: Collaborative Combat Movement Arts, with weekly classes. Head Facilitator: Triangle Intimacy Lab.  

Facebook: @jarjones  Facebook: @stagecombatacademync.

JaMeeka Holloway

Associate Director

PlayMakers: “Detroit ’67” (Assistant Director).

Regional: LaMAMA Experimental Theatre Club and Classic Stage in New York; Northern Stage; Shakespeare in Detroit; Oregon Shakespeare (Asst. Director, Merry Wives of Windsor) and the National Black Theatre Festival.

Local: Durham Performing Arts Center; Manbites Dog Theater; Bulldog Ensemble Theatre; Black Ops. 

Academia: The Department of Theatre at Dartmouth; Duke University’s Department of Theatre Studies; Tantrum Theatre at Ohio University; The Professional Actor Training program at UNC-Chapel Hill and was the 2021-22 ROE GREEN Visiting Director at Kent State University. 

Other: Alumnus of The Lark Play Development Center Apprenticeship program; Founder of Blk Girls Luv The Bard; she has been honored by the African American Heritage Commission and Governor Roy Cooper for her contributions to the arts and culture landscape of North Carolina and is a published contributor in the 2018 Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. 

Lormarev Jones

Intimacy Consultant

PlayMakers: “Stick Fly,” “Edges of Time”.

Regional: “My Geriatric Uterus” (Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Winner of the David C. Herriman Artists’ Pick of the Fringe Award).

Education/Other: Lormarev Jones is a Director, Choreographer, and Educator currently based in Raleigh. She received her MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College. Lormarev has served as a director and choreographer at many theatres and high schools in the Triangle, including North Carolina State, Meredith College, Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh Little Theatre and many others. She is also a deviser, playwright, and solo performer. Lormarev currently teaches at NCSU while continuing to freelance in all her areas of expertise.

Instagram: @ladyjonesbury  Facebook: @ladyjonesbury  

Deborah Hecht

Text & Vocal Coach

PlayMakers: Deborah received her M.F.A in Acting from the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Broadway: Over 95 productions, including “How I Learned to Drive,” “The Collaboration” and Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen.” Upcoming productions: “Sweeney Todd” with Josh Groban. Recent productions include: “Angels in America” (both original and recent Broadway productions), “The Ferryman.” The full list can be seen at

Off-Broadway: hundreds of productions at Playwrights Horizons, MCC, MTC, Signature, the Vineyard, Laura Pels, others.

Regional/International: Seattle Rep, Yale Rep, Long Wharf, Huntington, others. Royal National Theatre, RSC.

Film: “All the Money in the World,” “Under the Skin” and others.

TV: “Tokyo Vice,” “We Were the Lucky Ones” (upcoming), “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Law and Order” (Jeffrey Donovan), others.

Adam Versényi


PlayMakers: Resident Dramaturg, 1988–present.

Recently: “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “Native Son,” “Life of Galileo,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Tartuffe”. 7 Stages; NEA Playwrighting Fellows Program; Theatre Previews at Duke; Critics Panel, IV Hispanic Theatre Festival (Teatro Avante); Florida Studio Theatre; Yale Repertory Theatre; La MaMa E.T.C.; Festival Latino (New York Shakespeare Festival).

Directing: “The Nutcracker” (PlayMakers); “The Agony of Ecstasy,” “El Día Que Me Quieras,” “The Black American Dream,” “Hughie; The Indians Were Angry; Bitter Blood; The Lesson; No Exit.

Publications: Ramón Griffero: Your Desires in Fragments and Other Plays.; The Theater of Sabina Berman: The Agony of Ecstasy and Other Plays; El Teatro en América Latina; Theatre in Latin America: Religion, Politics, and Culture from Cortes to the 1980s.

Other: Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Colombia, South America. Member, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

Faculty: UNC-Chapel Hill; Deep Springs College; Escuela de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia; Escuela Nacional de Arte Dramático, Bogotá, Colombia.

Education: DFA, Yale School of Drama.

Sarah Smiley

Stage Manager

After a seven-year hiatus in her home state of Florida, Sarah returns to PlayMakers as resident stage manager, having held that position from 2005 – 2015. In the interim, Sarah has been the resident stage manager at freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL.

She has worked with theatres, theme parks, and road houses in eight states and the U.K., including Tampa Playmakers, 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.

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.

Maura Murphy

General Manager

Maura is here for her seventh full season, returning after a 23-year hiatus. In that time, she honed her administrative skills at Duke, NCSU and of course, Carolina. She was production stage manager for PlayMakers from 1993-1996 and general manager from 1996-1999. Education: EdD and MS in Higher Education Administration, NCSU; BA in Drama, Muhlenberg College.

Jeffrey Meanza

Associate Artistic Director

An actor, director and educator, Jeffrey Meanza has spent the last 15 years 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 “Angels in America, “Into the Woods,” Lisa Kron’s “Well,” “Amadeus,” “Assasins,” and “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” among others. Since 2015, 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 the creation of an artist residency program that put full-time teaching artists in high school classrooms throughout the state of 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, charged with overseeing the artistic, educational and engagement operations of the theater.

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 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.

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Residence Inn of Chapel Hill

General Information

PlayMakers Repertory Company

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.

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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

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

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PlayMakers Staff


Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director


Tracy Bersley, Movement Coach/Choreographer
Kathryn Brown, Education & Engagement Coordinator
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
Nathaniel Kareis, Artistic Assistant


Kate Jones, Associate General Manager
Lisa Geeslin, Accountant
Maura Murphy, General Manager
Nigel Morgan, Undergraduate Assistant


Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton, Director of Development
Kyle Kostenko, Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Marketing & Audience Services

Hannah LaMarlowe, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Thomas Porter, Box Office Manager
Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing
Lauren Van Hemert, Marking Consultant
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
Alicia Norman
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
David Hammond, Professor Emeritus
Letitia 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
Tao Wang, Assistant 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
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 “Hamlet”

Kate Jones, Assistant Director
Jacob Sikorski, Associate Scenic Designer
Brock Burton, Production Technical Director
Joel Ernst, Shop Lead
Zachary Morrison, Assistant to the Costume Designer
Athene Wright, Jocelyn Chatman, Drapers
Sally Rath, Lou Pires, First Hands
Emma Holyst, Stitcher
Matty Blatt, Crafts Assistant
Angela Fraser, Wigs
Rebecca Bossen, Candace Hescock, School Residency Teaching Artists

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


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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:
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 PlayMakers Development Office at 919.962.2481 or visit us at


Friends of PlayMakers

Director’s Circle ($10,000+)

Susan Arrington
Betsy Blackwell and John Watson Jr.
Thomas and Holly Carr
Munroe and Becky Cobey
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Joanne and Peter Garrett
Joan H. Gillings ~
The Charles Goren and Hazen Family Foundation, Trustees Tom and Lisa Hazen
Kevin and Amy Guskiewicz
T. Chandler and Monie Hardwick
Brian Hargrove and David Hyde Pierce
Mrs. Frank H. Kenan
Thomas S. Kenan III
John David Ratliff
Wyndham Robertson
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 ^ +
Robert and Mary Ann Eubanks
Gordon J. Ferguson
Drucie French and Steve Cumbie
Mr. and Mrs. Matt Hapgood
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
John D. Watson Jr. and Lelia E Blackwell
Mr. and Mrs. H. Edward Wright III
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
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
Dr. Catherine M. Kuhn and Glenn J. Tortorici
Robert and Kathryn Kyle
Jennifer Stuart
Mark & Bette Morris Family Foundation
Sandy and Ned McClurg ^
Mark and Julie Morris
Amy Penwarden
Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund
Jean and Joseph Ritok
Carol Blackman Smithwick
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 ^
Dr. Stephen Shaw Birdsall
Edmund S. Burke
Capital Group Company Charitable Foundation Matching Gifts
Jeffrey Blair Cornell and Maria Savage
Julie R. Daniels
Dr. Carrie L. Donley and W. Patrick Gale
John and Diane Formy-Duval
Imre and Aniko Gaal
Dustin and Susan Gillings Gross
Susan G. Gross
Carol Hazard and Winston Liao
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
Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding   Trust, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Morris
Panter Foundation
Dr. Abigail T. Panter and Dr. George Huba
Rich and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer
Lauren Rivers
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
Joan Clendenin
Laurence Arthur Cobb
Erwin Cohen
Dede Corvinus
Mr. and Mrs. M. Brian Daniels
Julie R. Daniels
Jo Anne and Shelley Earp
Constance and Robert Eby
Dr. and Mrs. John P. Evans
Dana R. Greenwood
Robert S. Greenwood
Joseph and Deirdre Haj
Clay and Jane Harrell
Ann E. Holloman
Dr. Moyra Kileff and Mr. Brian Kileff
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
Mort and Cheryl Malkin
David and Harriet Martin
Connie and Vernon Matzen
Mr. and Mrs. Ned S McClurg
Holly and Ross McKinney
Dr. Laurie E. McNeil and Patrick W. Wallace
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 *
Sarah West and Thomas Dominick
Jesse L. White, Jr.
Julian D. Wiles Jr.
Paul and Sally Wright
Sidney P. Wright

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
Dr. Thomas C. Apostle and Sharon E. Laurence-Apostle
Evelyn Barrow
John W. Becton and Nancy B. Tannenbaum
Shula and Steve Bernard
Dr. Stanley Warren Black, III
Stanley W. Black
Professor and Mrs. Kenneth S. Broun
Julia A. Borbely-Brown
Jackson Davis Breaks II and Carolyn Snyder Breaks
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
Leiser Smith
David A. Doll
Alexander M. Donaldson and Georgia Cobb Donaldson
Dr. Carrie Donley
Drs. H. Shelton and Jo Anne L. Earp
Bob and Connie Eby
Glen H. and Sandy T. Elder
Eli Lilly & Company Foundation Matching Gifts Program
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher S. Exton
Drs. Richard E. and Donna R. Falvo
Thorsten Fjellstedt
Mr. Stephen Mark Cumbie and Dr. Druscilla French
Dr. Jaroslav Thayer Folda III
Shayne C. Gad
Bill Cobb and Gail Perry
W. Patrick Gale ^
Nichole Gantshar
Mike and Bonnie Gilliom
Ugo Goetzl
James P. Gogan
Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Greenwood
Priscilla Alden Guild
Carolyn and Jim Harris
C. Hawkins ^
Mr. and Mrs. David L. Henson
Ann Holloman
Betty Block James
Julie and Robert Keely*
Moise Khayrallah
Lynn Koss Knauff
Laura Koshel and Rafael de Jesus
Leonard & Ruth Kreisman
Drs. Anand S. and Sandy Lagoo
Randy and Cathy Lambe
Douglas M. Lay and Nelda Kilcrease Lay
Douglas Maclean and Susan Wolf
Dr. and Mrs. Morton D. Malkin
Elaine Mangrum
Janet McCarthy*
Ed and Connie McCraw
Jeanne B. Miller
Dr. James C. Moeser
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
Drs. M. Vikram Rao and Susan June Henning
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
Dr. William W. Smith and Brenda W. Kirby
Dr. and Mrs. Timothy N. Taft
Jackie Tanner*
The Marconi Hoban Tell Fund of
Triangle Community Foundation
George Weinhouse
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 1, 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


February 18 – 26, 2023

Need more Shakespeare in your life?                                                        Join us on the road for more, featuring our PlayMakers company members.

Hamlet Crossword Answers:
Across: 2. Rotten  3. Madness  4. Ophelia  6. Soliloquy  10. Tragedy  12. Gertrude  13. Guildenstern
Down: 1. Fortinbras  5. Hamlet  7. Osric  8. Father  9. Noble  11. Yorick  12. Ghost

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.

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