Press Release

PlayMakers Explores Capital Punishment

For immediate release: March 25, 2008

PlayMakers explores capital punishment with world premiere of “Witness to an Execution”

CHAPEL HILL – PlayMakers Repertory Company presents playwright/performer Mike Wiley in the world premiere of “Witness to an Execution.” Commissioned by PlayMakers, Wiley’s new one-man play explores capital punishment, recounting tales inspired by surprisingly candid and chilling interviews from death row in the Texas prison system.

PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theatre in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present “Witness to an Execution” April 23-27 in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.

Shows will be at 8 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on April 27, in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre. Tickets are $24 to $32, and may be purchased at or by calling (919) 962-PLAY.

Mike Wiley is a Triangle-based playwright and actor with over ten years of experience in theatre for young audiences, as well as credits in film, television and regional theatre.  Formerly a company member with Theatre IV of Richmond, Virginia, and Shenandoah Shakespeare Express of Stauton, Virginia, Wiley is a graduate of the MFA acting program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Witness to an Execution” concludes the inaugural season of PlayMakers’ PRC² second stage ssseries, which showcases uniquely gripping and topical stories, followed by engaging artist/audience discussion after each performance. For “Witness,” Wiley will be joined by death penalty scholars and activists for these post-show discussions.


The play is part of UNC’s 2007-2008 campus-wide examination of the death penalty. The project, “Criminal/Justice: The Death Penalty Examined,” presents arts events staged by multiple campus units, designed to stimulate critical thought about the issue.


Carolina Performing Arts at UNC is coordinating the project, “Criminal/Justice: The Death Penalty Examined,” made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program.  The program is a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation of New York City.

Based in UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theatre company. New York’s Drama League has named PlayMakers “one of the best regional theatres in America” and the North Carolina Theatre Conference gave PlayMakers its “Professional Theatre of the Year” Award.


PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744,