PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will host the 6 p.m. program “An Evening with David Edgar” in the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.

Edgar, the playwright and adapter of Dickens’ epic novel, will be joined on stage by PlayMakers’ producing artistic director, Joseph Haj. A brief reception will follow.

Edgar burst onto the theater scene 30 years ago with his Royal Shakespeare Company/BBC version of “Nickleby,” which became the toast of Broadway and London’s West End.

Tickets are not required for the free event, but reservations are recommended. Call (919) 962-PLAY (7529). The event will be co-sponsored by UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art and the Writing for the Screen and Stage Program.

PlayMakers was awarded a $30,000 “Access to Artistic Excellence Grant” from the National Endowment for the Arts for “The Dickens Initiative: From the Page to the Stage/Literature and the Art of Theatre.”

The initiative is presented in conjunction with PlayMakers’ production of “Nickleby” from Nov. 11 through Dec. 20, the biggest show in the theater company’s history. To access the “Nickleby” blog, go to http://playmakersrep.blogspot.com/.

In The Dickens Initiative, PlayMakers will focus on literacy through the timeless storytelling of Charles Dickens, partnering with libraries, schools, book stores and book clubs, and other organizations throughout the Triangle. PlayMakers teaching artists will visit schools, and students will come to the theatre to see “Nickleby.”

Unless noted, the other public events are free. They include:

• Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.: “The Art of Literary Adaptation,” discussion with “Nickleby” co-director Tom Quaintance and cast members at Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh;

• Oct. 26, 7 p.m.: “Exploring Dickens’ Characters,” presentation by Haj and members of the “Nickleby” cast at McIntyre’s Fine Books at Fearrington, 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro;

• Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: “Directing an Epic,” by Haj and Quaintance at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., Durham, cosponsored by the Durham County Library;

• Nov. 9, 7 p.m.: “Adapting an Epic,” by PlayMakers artistic staff at the Durham County Library’s main branch, 300 N. Roxboro St.;

• Nov. 16, 7 p.m.: “Designing an Epic,” by “Nickleby” designers McKay Coble (sets) and Jan Chambers (costumes) at the Durham County Library’s main branch, 300 N. Roxboro St.;

• Dec. 19 at 11:30 a.m.: Tea/luncheon at The Carolina Inn, paired with the 2 p.m. matinée performance of “Nickleby” at PlayMakers. Reservations may be made for this event online at www.carolinainn.com, or by calling (919) 918-2711. Tickets are $49 per person.

For more information, visit www.playmakersrep.org.

PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744, cmahan@email.unc.edu