Press Release

PlayMakers PRC² series stages Didion memoir

For immediate use: April 12, 2011

CHAPEL HILL – PlayMakers Repertory Company will present the stage adaptation of Joan Didion’s searing memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” April 27 – May 1 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
PlayMakers, UNC’s professional theater in residence, concludes its 2010-2011 PRC² second-stage series with the production. PRC² features performances of topical plays coupled with engaging post-show discussions with the creative artists and other panelists.

The play is Didion’s theatrical version of her Pulitzer Prize finalist and National Book Award-winning remembrance of the year following the deaths of her husband, novelist John Gregory Dunn, and their daughter. The story is a heartbreaking, yet wryly told journey of grief and mourning, shared with candor and insight by one of America’s foremost writers.

The New York Times called “The Year of Magical Thinking” “an epic catalog of love.” Variety said the play contains “wrenching illumination…striking intimacy…fathoming the unfathomable.”

PlayMakers’ production will feature actress Ellen McLaughlin in the one-woman show. She has appeared on Broadway, as the original Angel in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and was seen last season in PlayMakers’ hit production of “All My Sons.”

McLaughlin is also a playwright, whose plays have been produced Off Broadway, in regional theaters and internationally. She will perform in the world premiere of “Penelope,” her new one-woman play, during PlayMakers’ 2011-2012 PRC 2 season.

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on May 1 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Tickets are $10 to $35, available at or (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

Mark DeChiazza will direct the show. DeChiazza works across multiple artistic disciplines, including music, theater and film, collaborating with artists such as Phillip Glass, Leonard Cohen and Susan Marshall. His work has been seen at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Ojai Music Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Independent Film Festival Boston and Berkshire International Film Festival, among others.

Peter Perault, a Chapel Hill psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who is president-elect of The North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society, will act as consultant for the production and participate in the post-show discussions. Perault also coordinates “Mindplay” in partnership with PlayMakers, a series which presents conversations with leading experts considering the theater’s main-stage plays from a psychoanalytic perspective.

Media support for the PRC2 series is provided by Boom! Magazine in the Triangle.

Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theater company. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America.
Subscription packages are available for PlayMakers’ 2011-2012 season. For the lowest subscription prices, new and renewing subscribers can take advantage of PlayMakers’ early-bird discount rates through May 6. For more on the new season, visit

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