Nobel Prize-winner Samuel Beckett’s absurdist comedy “Happy Days” kicks off PlayMakers Repertory Company’s PRC² series Sept. 8-12 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Not to be confused with the 1950s adventures of TV’s Richie, Potsie and the Fonz, this comic yet poignant masterpiece is a challenging exploration of life and perseverance. The New York Times calls it “a grand, brutal metaphor for life and death … an astounding work.” “Happy Days” is “an affirmation of life, faith and joy,” adds The San Francisco Chronicle.

Happy Days” is the story of Winnie, a woman inexplicably buried to her waist in a large, and mounting, mound of earth, and her insistence, even as the mound begins to consume her, that today is going to be a good day. Rumored by his contemporaries to be Beckett’s attempt at writing a “happy play,” “Happy Days” has become an iconic exploration of hope against insurmountable odds.

Longtime PlayMakers company members Julie Fishell and Ray Dooley play Winnie and her husband, Willie.

Rob Melrose, who recently directed “Happy Days” to critical acclaim at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, will helm the PlayMakers production, bringing along scenic designer Michael Locher and composer Cliff Caruthers from the Guthrie hit show.

This is the fourth season for PlayMakers’ second-stage PRC2 series, where each presentation combines a topical production with engaging post-show discussions with the creative artists.

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on Sept. 12, in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.  Tickets are $10-$35 and may be purchased at www.playmakersrep.org or by calling (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

This season the Sunday evening performances during each PRC² production will become part of PlayMakers’ Community Nights Series, in which all tickets are $10 general admission.
Rounding out PRC2 this season are Lisa Ramirez’ one-woman show “Exit Cuckoo” (Jan. 12-16, 2011) and Joan Didion’s stage adaptation of her award-winning memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking” (April 27-May 1, 2011). Visit PlayMakers’ Web site for information and tickets to these shows, as well as PlayMakers 2010-2011 main stage season, which opens with William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “As You Like It” Sept. 22-Oct. 10.
PlayMakers is based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America.
Media support for the PRC2 series is provided by Boom! Magazine in the Triangle.

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