For immediate release: March 17, 2008

Note: Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj will discuss the
play at noon on Wednesday, March 26 in the Paul Green Theatre.

PlayMakers presents an immortal musical rivalry in “Amadeus”

PlayMakers Repertory Company concludes its 2007-08 mainstage season with “Amadeus,” which will be presented April 2 – April 20. Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj directs the Tony Award-winning play by Peter Shaffer. Show times are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, and 2 p.m. Sundays in the Paul Green Theatre, in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.
All performances by PlayMakers, the professional theatre in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are in the Paul Green Theatre, inside the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. For a complete schedule of performances, visit http://www.playmakersrep.org.
Tickets are $10 to $40. Special events will include:
• opening night festivities on Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. (following preview performances April 2, 3 and 4);
• a free public director’s talk and set preview at noon on March 26 with Producing Artistic Director, and “Amadeus” director, Joseph Haj, in the Paul Green Theatre;
• free post-show discussions on April 9 and April 13 ;
• an all-access performance for attendees with special needs on April 15.
The tale of 18th century musical rivals, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Austrian court composer Antonio Salieri, is a brilliantly funny and sometimes tragic examination of a man at war with his God. Salieri, in the long shadow of Mozart’s undeniable genius, cannot forgive his Creator for endowing him with comparative mediocrity. Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Play, “Amadeus” ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway, and was made into a major motion picture, winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for playwright Shaffer.
“This play wrestles with huge ideas, huge emotions, and is set to the astonishing music of Mozart,” says Joseph Haj. “ It’s the Cain and Abel story, transplanted to the royal court of Vienna during the 1700s . Salieri does everything right to earn the love of his God. But God chooses to bestow the far greater musical gifts on Mozart, who is infantile, profane and indifferent to God’s very existence. In fact, Amadeus, Mozart’s middle name, in Latin literally means “Loved by God.”
Last season, Haj directed Tony Kushner’s adaptation of “The Illusion” at PlayMakers. He previously directed “Not About Heroes” (2004 Ten Best List, Raleigh News & Observer) for the company, and adapted and directed its 2006 production of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” which featured “Amadeus” cast member Ray Dooley in the title role.
“Amadeus” is performed by an ensemble cast of twenty, with Ray Dooley as Salieri and Vince Nappo as Mozart.

Ray Dooley (Salieri) has been a PlayMakers company member since 1989.  He has appeared on and Off-Broadway and has been awarded New York’s Village Voice OBIE Award for Distinguished Performance in “Peer Gynt.” He has appeared at many theatres across the US, including Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company in Boston; Center Stage, Baltimore, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and at the Santa Fe Stages International Theatre Festival. He was Father Flynn in the European premiere of “Doubt” at Vienna’s English Theatre. His roles from recent PlayMakers seasons include Cyrano in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” Sassoon in “Not About Heroes,” Astrov in “Uncle Vanya,” Tom in “Dinner With Friends,” Arnolphe in “The School for Wives,” and Fool in “King Lear.” Ray is Head of UNC’s Professional Actor Training Program and a Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art.

Vince  Nappo (Mozart) most recently appeared in “Phallacy” at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York’s West Village.  He performed in “The Merchant of Venice” and “The Jew of Malta” in repertory at Theatre for a New Audience alongside F. Murray Abraham, who won the Oscar as Best Actor playing Salieri in the film version of “Amadeus.”  That production of “The Merchant of Venice” then transferred to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, England.  He has performed at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Chautuaqua Theatre Company and Denver Center Theatre Company in the US, and in the UK with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

The production team for “Amadeus” includes McKay Coble (sets), Bill Black (costumes), Marcus Doshi (lighting), and Michèl Marrano (sound). 
For information about PlayMakers and to purchase tickets, call (919) 962-PLAY or visit www.playmakersrep.org.
Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theatre company. The Drama League recently named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatre companies in America.”
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Coverage note: Media are welcome to cover the director’s preview and discussion of the play with PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj at noon on Wednesday, March 26. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For additional assistance, call (919) 428-1744.
PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744, cmahan@email.unc.edu
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu