Playbill for They Do Not Know Harlem

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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

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Linda's Bar and Grill.

Letter from Viv. Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for joining us for the world premiere of Tristan André’s beautiful rumination on family, loss, and identity and a celebration of the complexities of “home”. A hallmark of my tenure here at PlayMakers has been setting the organizational priority of supporting new work for the stage. These opportunities are made even sweeter when we get to lift up artists who are part of the larger PlayMakers family, as Tristan is.

They Do Not Know Harlem began as a classroom project during Tristan’s final year in the Professional Actor Training Program. The project, a capstone solo performance, showed unmatched potential, and under the guidance of Tracy Bersley, head of movement, Kathryn Hunter-Williams, our esteemed company member, and, over the last few years, a number of remarkable Black artists active in the Triangle, the piece has developed into a thrilling window into the life of a young, queer, Black man growing up in America.

In a moment when discussions of race, gender, and sexuality can serve as flashpoints for controversy, what Tristan, Kathy, Associate Director Alejandro Rodriguez, and their collaborators have created is a deeply felt, human narrative that, through its specificity and unique blend of movement, music, and image becomes a living monument to grief and a celebration of hope and the ties that bind us together in the very truest sense of community.

Tristan’s own deep belief in engaging with community to build a work of art has been a beacon in this process. We are grateful to the North Carolina Arts Council’s Spark the Arts grant that has offered meaningful support in this endeavor. And, of course, I’m grateful to all of you for supporting PlayMakers and its commitment to celebrating new voices in the American Theatre.  

Lean forward and enjoy the show, 


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University Florist

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As the new chair of the PlayMakers Advisory Council, I am honored to welcome you to the Paul Green Theatre to enjoy the delightful remainder of our season. 

The power of live theatre first made an impression on me as a child in England, where I grew up enjoying frequent exposure to the West End in London. Theatre brought a ‘multiverse,’ as they say these days, of alternative imagination and emotion through which to encounter the world. So, I missed the theatre 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 theatre 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 theatre 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 theatre 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 theatre 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 PlayMakers 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.


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, emerita, 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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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 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. 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

They Do Not Know Harlem

By Tristan André

Directed by Kathryn Hunter-Williams

Scenic and Costume Designer
Jan Chambers

Lighting Designer
Kathy A. Perkins

Composer & Sound Designer
Derek A. Graham

Composer & Music Director
Alan Thompson

Protection & Video Designer
Joseph Amodei

Movement Consultant
Thomas F. Defrantz

Associate Director
Alejandro Rodriguez

Jacqueline E. Lawton

Vocal Coach
Tia James

Stage Manager
Aspen Blake Jackson

Assistant Stage Manager
Sarah Smiley

March 1 – 12, 2023

From Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Copyright © 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955 by James Baldwin

Used with permission from Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts

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

A special thank you to Martin by Harman and Brad Schiller for the lighting equipment.

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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An Interview with the Playwright

By Jacqueline E. Lawton, Dramaturg

As part of my work as dramaturg, I had the opportunity to speak with playwright and performer Tristan André about his beautiful new play, They Do Not Know Harlem. In this interview, Tristan shares a bit about his writing process and the inspiration for the play. He also speaks passionately about the role the local community played in the early stages of the play’s development. 

Jacqueline Lawton: First, why did you decide to get into theatre? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?  

Tristan André: What inspired me to get into theatre was my cousin Tamiko who happens to be an actor back home in Nashville. I remember going to see her plays with my family whilst she was a student at Tennessee State University and wanting to do what she does. I witnessed the passion, the talent, the beauty, and elegance of her work in hopes that I’d someday be able to do the same.  

JL: Next, tell me a little bit about your writing process. Do you have any writing rituals? Do you write in the same place or in different places? 

TA: My writing ritual is that I read a lot! I read material from writers who inspire me and deeply study their voices, intonations, style that informs how I enter my work from Toni Morrison, to Baldwin, to hooks, to Casey Gerald to Ntozake Shange, etc. I also like to pray before I write and commune with spirit to guide my hand and my heart that what I write may be of service and of spiritual value beyond myself and my imagination. Writing and reading in nature is of necessary value to me. Writing in quiet spaces. My room. Coffee shops, libraries, etc.  

JL: What inspired you to write They Do Not Know Harlem? Was James Baldwin always a central figure in the work?  

TA: Baldwin inspired They Do Not Know Harlem. During my sophomore year of college I read Giovanni’s Room and was moved by the radical politic of a Black queer man writing about queerness at a time when it was taboo to center the possibilities of queer love and loss. To center the humanity of queer folks moved me and Giovanni’s Room was the first queer novel I’d read and I said to myself that I have to create something that honored the legacy of Baldwin, his politic and above all, his gargantuan heart. It was not until my third year of graduate school at UNC, that our Movement Professor, Tracy Bersley, taught a curriculum on Solo Performance work and I knew I had to use the course as an opportunity to manifest my ideas on creating a world in which I could bring Jimmy’s voice to life.  

 JL: What was the most challenging part of writing They Do Not Know Harlem?  

TA: I have to say the most challenging part of creating this has been to simply re-imagine how Baldwin would speak through and to me. This is a man of intellectual prowess. He is a prophet. I have to honor that in a genuine way in the work without stunting my own voice or my own prowess. It’s a rewarding challenge nonetheless.  

JL: Part of your process has been sharing the work with NorthStar Church of the Arts and the Durham community. Can you tell me more about the community’s role in the piece? 

TA: It makes absolute sense to have this work be shared with the community at NorthStar. It first began as a collaboration with Mars who is the creator of Young, Gifted & Broke – a pop-up art gallery and creative consultancy. She partnered with NorthStar during the Spring of 2019, and I’ve had this desire to present a half-hour workshop of the piece and all that we had been working on in Tracy’s class with her. It was a leap of faith to see how the work would land with the greater Triangle community and the response was fulfilling for us both. That has now led to my collaboration with PlayMakers, who has received the Spark the Arts grant from the North Carolina Arts Council that allows us to continue to develop the work where we have witnessed eyes on the work that leads us to the March premiere. It’s a way of ensuring that we as artists don’t work in a beleaguered bubble. It’s our way of ensuring that our art, our story, our music, song and dance is in constant conversation with the community. They Do Not Know Harlem is a story that belongs to so many people and to have them act as a witness in the development process is vital. Deeply grateful to Germane James, NaTasha Thompson (Our Community Engagement Liaison), and King who so lovingly blessed our NorthStar partnership as “bearing witness whilst in process”.  

JL: What do you hope audiences walk away thinking about after experiencing the performance? 

TA: I hope that Black, indigenous, and communities of color hearts are a little more healed. I hope that those who stand in solidarity with Black Liberation heed the call and connect more to not only the political but the spiritual growth of all humanity.  

JL: As a recent alum, what advice do you have for students and emerging theatre artists?

TA: I encourage young and emerging artists all over to silence the noise, honor your heart, honor the inherent wisdom and indigenous knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation. Your creativity, your art and what you have to contribute to the world is inherently rich, elegant, and sovereign. Even when you lose sight of this, use these words as a compass to bring you back home. I love you.

JL: What’s next for you as an artist? Where can we follow you work?

TA: Greater is next. I hope They Do Not Know Harlem tours. I hope that this work is embraced by theatres all over the world. That this work touches and reaches as many people as Spirit would allow. I hope this work is a balm for Black people all over the world. I am going to write more. Dance more. Tell as many stories that Spirit aligns in my path. Greater is next.


James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924 in New York City’s Harlem and was raised under very trying circumstances. As is the case with many writers, Baldwin’s upbringing is reflected in his writings, especially in Go Tell It on the Mountain

Baldwin’s stepfather, an evangelical preacher, struggled to support a large family and demanded the most rigorous religious behavior from his nine children. As a youth Baldwin read constantly and even tried writing. He was an excellent student who sought escape from his environment through literature, movies and theater. During the summer of his 14th birthday he underwent a dramatic religious conversion, partly in response to his nascent sexuality and partly as a further buffer against the ever-present temptations of drugs and crime. He served as a junior minister for three years at the Fireside Pentecostal Assembly, but gradually lost his desire to preach as he began to question Christian tenets.

Shortly after he graduated from high school in 1942, Baldwin was compelled to find work in order to help support his brothers and sisters; mental instability had incapacitated his stepfather. Baldwin took a job in the defense industry in Belle Meade, N.J., and there, not for the first time, he was confronted with racism, discrimination and the debilitating regulations of segregation. The experiences in New Jersey were closely followed by his stepfather’s death, after which Baldwin determined to make writing his sole profession.

Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village and began to write a novel, supporting himself by performing a variety of odd jobs. In 1944 he met author Richard Wright, who helped him to land the 1945 Eugene F. Saxton fellowship. Despite the financial freedom the fellowship provided, Baldwin was unable to complete his novel that year. He found the social tenor of the United States increasingly stifling even though such prestigious periodicals as the Nation, New Leader and Commentary began to accept his essays and short stories for publication. In 1948 he moved to Paris, using funds from a Rosenwald Foundation fellowship to pay his passage. Most critics feel that this journey abroad was fundamental to Baldwin’s development as an author. 

“Once I found myself on the other side of the ocean,” Baldwin told the New York Times, “I could see where I came from very clearly, and I could see that I carried myself, which is my home, with me. You can never escape that. I am the grandson of a slave, and I am a writer. I must deal with both.” 

Through some difficult financial and emotional periods, Baldwin undertook a process of self-realization that included both an acceptance of his heritage and an admittance of his bisexuality.

Baldwin’s move led to a burst of creativity that included Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, and other works. He also wrote a series of essays probing the psychic history of the United States along with his inner self. Many critics view Baldwin’s essays as his most significant contribution to American literature. They include Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, The Fire Next Time, No Name in the Street, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen.

In addition to his books and essays, Baldwin wrote plays that were produced on Broadway. Both The Amen Corner, a treatment of storefront pentecostal religion, and Blues for Mister Charlie, a drama based on the racially motivated murder of Emmett Till in 1955, had successful Broadway runs and numerous revivals. 

Baldwin’s oratorical prowess—honed in the pulpit as a youth—brought him into great demand as a speaker during the civil rights era. Baldwin embraced his role as racial spokesman reluctantly and grew increasingly disillusioned as he felt his celebrity being exploited as entertainment. Baldwin did not feel that his speeches and essays were producing social change. The assassinations of three of his associates, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, shattered his remaining hopes for racial reconciliation across the U.S. 

At the time of his death from cancer late in 1987, Baldwin was still working on two projects—a play, The Welcome Table, and a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Although he lived primarily in France, he never relinquished his United States citizenship and preferred to think of himself as a “commuter” rather than as an expatriate. 

The publication of his collected essays, The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948–1985, and his subsequent death sparked reassessments of his career and legacy. “Mr. Baldwin has become a kind of prophet, a man who has been able to give a public issue all its deeper moral, historical and personal significance,” remarked Robert F. Sayre in Contemporary American Novelists. “Certainly one mark of his achievement… is that whatever deeper comprehension of the race issue Americans now possess has been in some way shaped by him. And this is to have shaped their comprehension of themselves as well.” 

A novelist and essayist of considerable renown, James Baldwin bore articulate witness to the unhappy consequences of American racial strife. Baldwin’s writing career began in the last years of legislated segregation; his fame as a social observer grew in tandem with the civil rights movement as he mirrored African American aspirations, disappointments and coping strategies in a hostile society. 

Baldwin died on December 1, 1987 in France.

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Radical Inclusion
Bearing Witness: NorthStar Church of the Arts

What if instead of merely witnessing a performance, the audience were a vital piece in its creation? This is the idea behind PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Radical Inclusion initiative. With support from the NC Arts Council, They Do Not Know Harlem creator Tristan André and PlayMakers partnered with Durham’s NorthStar Church of the Arts, a community-focused organization that centers BiPOC and LGBTQIA artists as a sacred act, to invite community members into the play development process from its earliest stages.  

Last fall, Tristan, director Kathryn Hunter-Williams, and other members of the creative team spent a week in the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art continuing to develop They Do Not Know Harlem. At the conclusion of the week, community members were invited into the sacred space at NorthStar to join in a community meal and a sharing of the work. Following the sharing, Tristan and the team invited participants to share their thoughts and connections with the piece and invited them to reflect on what community means to them. This feedback directly influenced the work’s process moving forward.   

Prior to beginning rehearsals in February, the team once again invited community members to NorthStar to participate in a Black Restoration and Healing workshop where they were lead in group yoga sessions and sampled food and beverage options from local Black-owned wellness businesses. This allowed for a moment of respite for both the communities and the artists, prior to channeling their energy into the rehearsal process.  

Participants of both workshops were then invited to join PlayMakers in our space to see the impact of their influence with tickets and transportation to the show. 

Many thanks to Engagement Coordinator NaTasha Thompson, artist Derrick Beasley, and the NC Arts Council’s Spark the Arts grant for assisting the They Do Not Know Harlem process in this active engagement with our surrounding communities. We look forward to continuing to incorporate this radical inclusivity into future new play development. 

Actor Bios

Cast List

Tristan/Jimmy Tristan André*

Keyboard/Sax Alan Thompson
Bass — Christian Sharp
Vocals/Griot Dottie DL Zene
Drummer Brandon L. Mitchell

Stage Managers Aspen Jackson* and Sarah Smiley*

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

“They Do Not Know Harlem” is performed without intermission

Tristan André

Playwright, Tristan/Jimmy

Brother. Sun. Black memory cultural worker. 

Lover of his community. Tristan, an alum of the MFA Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, is a Southern multi-hyphenate artist whose credits include PlayMakers Repertory Company’s “Ragtime,” “Life of Galileo,” “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Leaving Eden,” “Twelfth Night” and “The Crucible”. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “The Amen Corner” and most recently Public Works’ “As You Like It”. Tristan is overjoyed to be premiering his solo performance work “They Do Not Know Harlem”. For where two and three are gathered. Peace and love to all.

Embodied. Photo by Derrick Beasley.

Up Next at PlayMakers

March 29 – April 16, 2023

Queens aren’t born. They’re made.

Casey is an Elvis impersonator with a dream of a life as big as Graceland. So what does he do when he loses his job, the rent is due, and a baby is on the way? Why, transform from “the king” into a drag queen, of course. This big-hearted, music-filled comedy will challenge your assumptions with extraordinary humor and depth.

Musician Bios

Alan Thompson


See Creative Team Bios

Christian Sharp


PlayMakers: Debut.

Christian is a formally trained synth, upright and electric bass player from Buffalo, NY. He has performed with various artists such as Rakim, Braxton Cook and has recorded with the likes of Frank McComb and Branford Marsalis. Sharp is also a founding member of the Durham-based, Fusion Jazz band, Zoocrü, and is soon to be releasing their second studio album of original music. With a divine love for composing, arranging, and performing, Sharp aspires to inspire through the lens of music. 

Dottie DL Zene


PlayMakers: Debut.

Dottie is a producer, an instrumentalist, and is also known for her background vocal arrangements. She was a contestant for season 3 of American Idol and has opened for amazing artists such as Chrisette Michele, Maxell, Common, and Anthony Hamilton to name a few. As an adolescent, she knew that she could heal the world through music, and still stands by that to this current day. 

Brandon L. Mitchell


PlayMakers: Debut.

Brandon is a professional percussionist, and sole proprietor of his craft with 15+ years of experience helping various live performance venues supply entertainment. Specializing in Drumming, Brandon uses his skill to create art and impactful experiences for any audience to enjoy. 

Facebook: @Brandon Mitchell  
Instagram: @the.fource     

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Creative Team Bios

Kathryn Hunter-Williams


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

Jan Chambers

Scenic & Costume Designer

PlayMakers: Company member for 16 seasons and professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill. Productions include “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.

Kathy A. Perkins

Lighting Designer

PlayMakers: “Edges of Time,”  “Count,” “Mr. Joy,” “Trouble in Mind,” “Surviving Twin,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park,” “The Parchman Hour”.

Broadway: “Trouble in Mind”.

Regional: American Conservatory Theatre, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, St. Louis Black Repertory, Alliance, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Baltimore Center Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, New Federal Theatre, Mark Taper, Yale Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and People’s Light.

Education: In 2007 she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. She received her BFA from Howard University and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan.

Other Credits: Kathy is the editor of seven anthologies focusing on women both nationally and internationally, including “Selected Plays: Alice Childress”.  She is a senior editor of the “Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance”.  Kathy is faculty Emerita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1995, Kathy co-curated “ONSTAGE: A Century of African American Stage Design” at New York’s Lincoln Center.  In 2016 she served as a theatre consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture inaugural exhibition “Taking the Stage”. 

Derek A. Graham

Composer & Sound Designer

PlayMakers: “Bewilderness,” “Your Healing is Killing Me”.

Regional: “I Shall Not Be Moved/Your Negro Tour Guide” (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Featured at 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe); “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 (Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts).       

Instagram: @DGrahamSound 
Twitter: @DGrahamSound

Alan Thompson

Compose & Music Director

PlayMakers: Debut. Alan is a saxophonist, keyboardist, songwriter, and electronic wind instrumentalist. He’s had guest appearances on several reputable local news networks, radio stations, and music festivals.

Radio/Other: Alan was previously the host of Morning Jazz on 90.7FM WNCU. Known as DJ Who4thecru, Alan currently hosts a segment for 91.5HD-2 WUNC Music. Alan has played with several renowned artists including a prominent saxophone riff that was featured on the hit 2018 record “Positivo” a collaboration between Reggaeton superstar J. Balvin and Haitian producer Michael Brun.

Education/Training: Alan attended North Carolina Central University where he studied under Saxophonists Ira T. Wiggans and Branford Marsalis. He also received instruction from pianist Joey Calderazzo. Alan believes that being an artist is more than an occupation; it’s a lifestyle that is inherited when oneself embraces liberation.

Joseph Amodei

Production & Video Designer

They are a new media artist, theater designer, activist, and educator who is thrilled to be back in their hometown of Chapel Hill designing for PlayMakers where they first began their arts career as an undergrad lighting electrician 15 years ago.

PlayMakers: Debut.

Recent Highlight: Joseph’s media design for “the dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table,” a show about archiving queer care across pandemics (New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, Theater Communications Group’s National Conference, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, National Performance Network) has been selected to represent the USA in the emerging category at the Prague Quadrennial, what USITT calls, “the Olympics of performance design.”

Selected Highlights: “To Buy the Sun: The Challenge of Pauli Murray” (Hidden Voices); “Amm(i)gone” (APAP, The Theater Offensive); “Packing and Cracking: Gerrymandering through Gameplay” (The PA Center for Women and Politics, UNC’s Process Series, SFX); “This Emancipation Thing” (RedCat); “The Clothesline Muse” (National Black Theater Festival); and many show at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC.

Education: BFA, UNC-Chapel Hill, MFA, Carnegie Mellon. Currently, they are a Professor of Immersive Media at Chatham University, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Movement Consultant

PlayMakers: Debut.

New York: “On The Town” (George Wolfe, dir.); “Paul Robeson All American” (Ossie Davis, author).

Regional: “Rough Crossing” (GeVa Theatre);  “Black Eagles” (Karamu House); “Anything Goes,” starring Melba Moore (Montclair Summerfest); “Black Box” (Ford’s Theatre).

Other: Directs SLIPPAGE: Performance | Culture | Technology, a research lab that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. Believes in our shared capacity to do better and engage creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.

Alejandro Rodriguez

Associate Director

PlayMakers: “Native Gardens”. “Wilder & Wilder” (PlayMakers Mobile).

Off-Broadway/Other: As director, “Letters from Cuba” and “Anna in the Tropics” (The Acting Company); As actor, “Ghetto Babylon” (59E59, world premiere, National Latino Playwrights Award); Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’ “Bird in the Hand” (Theater for the New City); “King Lear” opposite Billy Porter, the title role in a national tour of “Romeo and Juliet” (The Acting Company) among others.

Regional: The Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center Theater, Baltimore CenterStage, the Humana Festival and The Chekhov Project at Lake Lucille, among several others.

Film/TV: “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime), “Dates from Hell” (Discovery ID), and the feature film “Emoticon ;)”.

Writing: “In My Body” (Canadian tour, Dora Award Winner for Outstanding Production); “Brackish Water” (Miami Light Project); “Sorry” (LaGuardia Performing Arts Project)

Other: Formerly, he served as the Associate Artistic Director for PlayMakers Repertory Company, and as Deputy Executive Director for Arts Ignite (formerly ASTEP). A graduate of Juilliard.

Tia James

Voice Coach

PlayMakers: Company member for three seasons. Actor: “Hamlet,” “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.

Jacqueline E. Lawton


PlayMakers: Company member in her 8th season and professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Regional Dramaturgy: Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, Arden Theater, Arena Stage, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ford’s Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Horizons Theater, Interact Theatre, Kennedy Center VSA Program, Rorschach Theatre, Round House Theatre, the Stratford Festival, Theater J, Virginia Stage Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Playwright: “Anna K”; “Among These Wild Things”; “Behold, a Negress”; “Blackbirds”; “Blood-bound and Tongue-tied”; “Deep Belly Beautiful”; “The Devil’s Sweet Water”; “Edges of Time”; “Freedom Hill”; “The Hampton Years”; “Intelligence”; “Love Brothers Serenade”; “Mad Breed”; “Noms de Guerre”; “So Goes We”; and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”.

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

Aspen Blake Jackson

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.

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.

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 “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 seven seasons with the theatre, she is particularly proud to have produced 11 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 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.

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


Jeff Agular, Director of Engagement
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
Sarah Tackett, Assistant to Producing Artistic Director
Adam Versényi, Dramaturg


Johanna Ashwell, Administration Assistant
Matara Hitchcock, Company Manager
Kate Jones, Associate General Manager
Lisa Geeslin, Accountant
Maura Murphy, General Manager
Undergraduate Assistants: Elena Holder, Sage Howard, Amy Madrigal, Nigel Morgan, Hannah Richmond, Alexis R, Steele-Kubuanu


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

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
Tygia 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
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
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, 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, 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 “They Do Not Know Harlem”

Erin Teachman, Projection & Video Supervisor
Chyna Wiles, Associate Dramaturg
Camryn Banks, Moving Lights Programmer
Morgan Russell, Sound Engineer
Derrick Beasley, Photographer
NaTasha Thompson, Spark the Arts Coordinator
Garrett Weeda, Production Technical Director
Joel Ernst, Shop Lead
Zachary Morrison, Draper

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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 
American Endowment Foundation 
Betsy Blackwell and John Watson Jr. 
Thomas and Holly Carr 
Munroe and Becky Cobey 
Mr. and Mrs. David G. Frey 
Joanne and Peter Garrett 
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund 
Joan Gillings ~ 
The Charles Goren and Hazen Family 
Foundation, Trustees Tom and Lisa Hazen 
Amy and Kevin Guskiewicz 
T. Chandler and Monie Hardwick 
Brian Hargrove and David Hyde Pierce 
Mrs. Frank H. Kenan 
Thomas S. Kenan III 
John and Debra Ratliff 
Wyndham Robertson 
Coleman and Carol Ross 
Shubert Foundation 
Schwab Charitable 
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program 
Alan H. Weinhouse  

Angel ($5,000–9,999)

The Educational Foundation of America 
Mr. and Mrs. Matt Hapgood 
Prentice Foundation 
Schwab Charitable 
Mr. and Mrs. H. Edward Wright, III 
Jim and Bonnie Yankaskas  

Investor ($2,500–4,999)

Richard and Deirdre Arnold ^ 
Andrew and Katherine Asaro ^ + 
Jennifer Cannizzaro 
Susan E. Hartley 
Susan J. Kelly 
Duncan and Stuart Lascelles 
Kim Kwok 
Nick and Amy Penwarden 
Jean and Joseph Ritok 
Dr. and Mrs. Edward Smithwick 

Page to Stage ($1,500–2,499)

David and Judy Adamson 
Vivienne Benesch 
Steve Benezra ^ 
Dr. Stephen Shaw Birdsall 
Ed and Eleanor Burke ^ 
Cindy and Thomas Cook 
Dustin and Susan Gillings Gross 
Carol Hazard and Winston Liao 
David J. Howell 
Hugon Karwowski and Joanna Karwowska ^ 
Dr. Catherine Kuhn and Glenn Tortorici 
Mark & Bette Morris Family Foundation 
Mark and Julie Morris 
Paul and Linda Naylor 
Panter Foundation 
Dr. Abigail T. Panter and Dr. George Huba 
Bettina Patterson 
RR Donnelley 
Carole L. Shelby 
The Rev. Wendy R. and W. Riley Waugh 
Roger and Marlene Werner 
Jenny and Julian Wiles

Partner ($1,000–1,499)

Anonymous (4) 
Michael and Joan Clendenin 
Dr. Carrie Donley and W.P. Gale ^ 
Dr. and Mrs. John P. Evans 
John and Diane Formy-Duval 
Dr. Moyra Kileff and Mr. Brian Kileff 
Myron B. and Anne C. Liptzin 
Jack Knight and Margaret Brown 
Lynn K. Knauff 
Shirley and Tom Kunkel 
Douglas MacLean and Susan Wolf 
Mr. and Mrs. Ned S. McClurg 
David and Lisa Price 
Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund 
Karen Sisson and Andrew Levine 
Triangle Community Foundation 
Jessie L. White 
Paul and Sally Wright 
David and Heather Yeowell

Backer ($500–999)

Anonymous (3) 
Pete and Hannah Andrews 
Dr. Thomas C. Apostle and Sharon E. Lawrence-Apostle 
Adam C. Beck ^ 
John W. Becton and Nancy B. Tannenbaum 
Dr. Stanley Warren Black, III 
Thorsten A. Fjellstedt 
Mrs. Linda Whitham Folda and Dr. Jaroslav Thayer Folda, III 
James P. Gogan ^ 
Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Greenwood 
Dr. Konrad H. and Dr. Hannelore L. Jarausch                                            C. Hawkins 
Mr. and Mrs. David L. Henson 
Moise Khayrallah 
Michael Maness and Lois Knauff 
Anand and Sandhya Lagoo 
Dr. and Mrs. Morton D. Malkin 
Ed and Connie McCraw 
Cecelia D. Moore and William T. Schneider ^ 
Laurie E. McNeil and Patrick W. Wallace 
Jeanne and Herbert Miller 
Dr. James C. and Dr. Susan D. Moeser 
Nelda and Douglas Lay  
Linda W. Norris 
Ariana Pancaldo and Michael Salemi 
Jodi and Glenn Preminger 
Rao Family Foundation 
Lucy and Sidney Smith 
Dr. William W. Smith and Brenda W. Kirby 
T. Rowe Price Program for Charitable Giving 
U. S. Charitable Gift Trust 
George Weinhouse

^ Sustainers Club Member
+ Women’s Point of View (WPOV) Supporter
* PlayMakers Special Event Supporter
~ Deceased

This list is current as of February 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.

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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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