PlayMakers Repertory Company celebrates the holidays with “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies. The real-life yet tall-tale storytelling extravaganza will be onstage Dec. 1-19 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The show’s extended title, “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself),” sets the stage. Real life explorer de Rougemont traveled the world and told his incredible tales of adventure to audiences in the music halls and scandal sheets of Victorian England. Like some of today’s celebrities, he quickly garnered fame and fortune, and then fell from grace just as swiftly.

The swashbuckling storyteller, accompanied by his faithful dog Bruno, will take PlayMakers’ audiences along on a fantastical romp to exotic locales with extraordinary creatures. Fans of the intergalactic travels of “The Little Prince” in PlayMakers’ 2007 and 2008 productions will experience a new journey of the imagination in “Shipwrecked!”

The New York Times called “Shipwrecked!” “Good old-fashioned yarn spinning.” And CurtainUp said “Even the most sophisticated theatre goer will be astonished and charmed.”

Tom Quaintance returns to direct “Shipwrecked!” He helmed both of PlayMakers’ hit presentations of “The Little Prince” and co-directed PlayMakers’ epic “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” last season with producing artistic director Joseph Haj.

All performances will be in the Paul Green Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Sundays. For a schedule, information and tickets, call (919) 962-PLAY (7529) or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Tickets are $10 to $45.

On Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m., PlayMakers will host a behind-the-scenes preview of the play, “The Vision Series: Directors in Conversation” with Quaintance. Theater-goers and others interested in the creative process are invited to the Paul Green Theatre to share wine, coffee and refreshments, along with a sneak peek at the set and upcoming production.

“The Vision Series” is free to the public. Reservations are encouraged, as space is limited. Call PlayMakers at 919.962.7529 to RSVP.

Other special events during “Shipwrecked!” will include:
• a discussion with the director and cast members at McIntyre’s Books, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.;
• preview performances on Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.;
• the opening night performance on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., with a complimentary gala party afterward;
• free post-show discussions with the creative team on Dec. 8 and 12;
• a tea/luncheon at The Carolina Inn paired with the 2 p.m. matinee performance of the show at PlayMakers on Dec. 11. Reservations may be made online at 12days@carolinainn.com or by calling (919) 918-2718. Tickets are $49 per person.
• The Prologue Series, created by PlayMakers and the Chapel Hill Library, presenting a pre-show conversation with a member of the PlayMakers creative team at the library on Dec. 11 at noon;
• free post-show “Mindplay” discussions sponsored by the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society on Dec. 18 and 19; and
• an all-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description, on Dec. 14.

After “Shipwrecked!,” PlayMakers’ season will continue with “Exit Cuckoo (nanny in motherland)” in the PRC2 second stage series (Jan. 12-16), then the Tony Award-winning plays “Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2” by Tony Kushner (performed in repertory Jan. 29- March 6).

The Mainstage season finale will be PlayMakers’ first musical in more than a decade, “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (April 6-24), featuring The Red Clay Ramblers as the onstage band. The second stage closes with Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” (April 27-May 1).  
 
PlayMakers is based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatre companies in America.”

Coverage note: Media are welcome to cover “The Vision Series” preview and director’s talk on Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For assistance, call (919) 428-1744.

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