Press Release

PlayMakers Presents an Encore Presentation of “Edges of Time” in Honor of World Press Freedom Day


PlayMakers Repertory Company Releases Encore Presentation
of Jacqueline E. Lawton’s “Edges of Time” on World Press Freedom Day

(Chapel Hill, NC, April 26, 2021) In honor of World Press Freedom Day, PlayMakers Repertory Company is proud to release a limited encore run of the world premiere production of “Edges of Time,” written by Jacqueline E. Lawton. Directed by Jules Odendahl-James, “Edges of Time” will be available to stream from May 3 – 9, 2021.

This one-woman show takes us into the life of investigative journalist, editor, and activist, the marvelous Marvel Cooke, the first Black woman writer to have her own byline in a major US newspaper. We meet Marvel in 1963 in the wake of the Birmingham church bombing, as she threads the story of mid-century Civil Rights with her own trailblazing journey from the suburbs of Minnesota to the newsrooms, labor unions, and arts societies of New York– with a fateful detour into the witness chair under interrogation by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Always unconventional and willing to pay the price for speaking her mind, Marvel calls us from the past with warnings about our present.

“I’m thrilled that more audiences will get to see Jacqueline E. Lawton’s resonant play and learn about the extraordinary Marvel Cooke—a woman who epitomized the power a free press can wield,” said Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch. “Edges of Time” is a wonderful encapsulation of what we hold dear at PlayMakers: not only is it a new work (our eighth world premiere in the last five seasons) but it was written with curiosity, compassion and fierceness by Lawton, a PlayMakers company member and UNC Department of Dramatic Art faculty member. The play also features the incomparable Kathryn Hunter-Williams, an esteemed company member and North Carolina treasure. Jacqueline often writes about people, particularly black women, who are bold and ambitious, and achieve much in the face of adversity, all while centering their strength, complex humanity, and capacity for love. Those are the stories we need right now.”

“With this play, I have been able to tell the powerful story of a woman who fought for justice and equity at a time when civil rights of women and people of color were under attack,” said playwright Lawton. “She did so in a time very much like our own. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of this nation, and I feel strongly that this play will speak to the issues of our time and give inspiration to the next generation of writers, journalists, and storytellers.”

“Edges of Time” continues PlayMakers’ commitment to new work. In the last six years, the theatre has produced more than ten new plays (including 8 world premieres) across its stages, several of which have gone on to great success across the country. PlayMakers is proud to grow that legacy with our @PLAY new works development program, with a focus on supporting women playwrights and spotlighting stories by and about women of a diverse range of identities. @PLAY launched in 2021 with two new commissions from Bekah Brunstetter and Charly Evon Simpson.

“Edges of Time” features Kathryn Hunter-Williams as Marvel Cooke (“The Life of Galileo,” “Skeleton Crew,” “Dot”) and Jeffrey Blair Cornell as the Voice of Joe McCarthy (“Julius Caesar,” “Leaving Eden”).

The Creative Team of “Edges of Time” includes: Jules Odendahl-James (Director), McKay Coble (Scenic Designer), Bobbi Owen (Costume Designer), Kathy Perkins (Lighting Designer), Alex Maness (Projections Designer and Video Editor), Brandon Reed (Sound Designer), Lormarev Jones (Dramaturg), Charles K. Bayang (Stage Manager) and Elizabeth Ray (Stage Manager).

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit Individual ticket prices are $24 for one-week of streaming access.

Also available online:

  • “Virtually, Viv” – A conversation with playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton, actor Kathryn Hunter-Williams, director Jules Odendahl-James and Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch.
  • “Where Are We Now: Black Women in Journalism” – A conversation with Rhema Bland (Director, Ida B. Wells Society at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media), Leoneda Inge (Race and Southern Culture reporter, WUNC), and Trevy McDonald (Associate Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media), moderated by Renee Alexander Craft (Associate Professor, Department of Communications and Department of Curriculum in Global Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill)
  • About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
    PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 45 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100+ year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and are committed to becoming an antiracist organization whose work is accessible to all. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

    PlayMakers Contacts:
    • For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, or 919.962.7114
    • For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, or 919.962.6997