For immediate use November 16, 2010

CHAPEL HILL — PlayMakers Repertory Company has been awarded a $200,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support annual residencies by theater ensembles over the next three years. The ensembles will use these residencies to develop new theater pieces with artistic, technical and administrative support provided by PlayMakers.

This is the first time the Mellon Foundation has recognized PlayMakers, the professional theater company based in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Pig Iron Theatre Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), SITI Company (New York, N.Y.) and The TEAM (New York, N.Y.) are the ensembles that will be in residence. Each ensemble uses a unique collaborative process to create their performance pieces devised from the mediums of theater, dance, performance art, video, visual art, music and other imaginative influences. The PlayMakers residency program will provide support for their “research and development” period with access to the theater’s staff, production shops, rehearsal halls, performance spaces and the intellectual resources of UNC. These ensembles will then take their creations, incubated at PlayMakers, on to performances around the world.

“We are deeply honored to receive this grant from the Mellon Foundation in service of supporting theater ensembles,” said PlayMakers producing artistic director Joseph Haj. “Remarkable ensembles such as Pig Iron, SITI and The TEAM are some of theater’s most daring and forward-thinking artists. Developing their future work with us will spread the word that innovation is a priority at UNC.” 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, based in New York City, makes grants in five core program areas, including performing arts. Recipients are often leaders in their fields, but may also be promising newcomers or able to demonstrate new ways of overcoming obstacles to achieve program goals.

For information on PlayMakers’ 2010-2011 season and upcoming events, visit www.playmakersrep.org or call (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

New York’s Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

The grant supports the Innovate@Carolina Campaign, a $125 million drive to help make Carolina a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society. To learn more about the campaign, visit innovate.unc.edu.

Web sites:
www.playmakersrep.org 
www.mellon.org
www.pigiron.org
www.siti.org
www.theteamplays.org

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