Press Release

PlayMakers Presents Rolling World Premiere of “Jump” by Charly Evon Simpson

Quietly beautiful tale of loss, hope and the ties that bind families and strangers alike

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company
What: “Jump”. Written by Charly Evon Simpson. Directed by Whitney White.
When: January 23 to February 10, 2019. Opening Night & Press Opening Saturday January 26, 2019.
Where: Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Start at $15; Students tickets start at $10
Press Packet, Photos, etc

(Chapel Hill, NC, January 10, 2019) PlayMakers Repertory Company is proud to be the first theatre to participate in the National New Play Network rolling world premiere of “Jump,” by emerging playwright Charly Evon Simpson. The production, directed by Whitney White in her PlayMakers debut, will run from January 23 to February 10, 2019 before continuing on to three additional theatres in 2019.

“Jump” is a heartbreakingly funny new play about family grief and the spiritual journeys of two sisters, their father, and a lonely bridge walker. In this whimsical world, lights flicker, things fall from the sky, and bridges—both real and metaphorical—become places of solace and healing.

“I am so excited to introduce the brilliant, inspirational spirit that is Charly Evon Simpson to the Triangle, fresh off her off-Broadway debut,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “This is one of those plays that, from the start, grabs you by the heart and doesn’t let go. Charly’s work shows us the magic that can happen when family, or even strangers, attempt to build bridges of empathy, hope, and love, instead of building walls that separate and divide us. I’m equally thrilled to bring to PlayMakers the amazing talents of director Whitney White, who just had a runaway off-Broadway hit herself. This dynamic duo are part of an amazing pipeline of women’s voices in theatre today. And with a breathtaking set created by the genius mind of Alexis Distler (“Tartuffe,” “Three Sisters”), ‘Jump’ will be a treat for the eyes, mind, soul, and heart.”

“When  I first read ‘Jump’ I was struck by how gracefully and intensely the play handles the spectrum of grief, and Charly’s profound insight on how family ties can be both shaken and strengthened by loss,” said director Whitney White. “Each of Charly’s characters carries their individual grief like a backpack, as I think we all do. Audiences of ‘Jump’ will, I hope, experience one of the things I so love about theatre: its power to bring people together and in sharing intimate, vulnerable moments, transform us from strangers to fellow travelers. With  ‘Jump’ each of us will be walking together for a moment in time, making our individual load just a bit lighter. We will also glimpse together an issue we all need to be a little more aware of—mental health and wellbeing. Keep an eye out for Charly Simpson, because she represents so much that is exciting about American theatre today.”

“Jump” features April Mae Davis as Fay (“Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Tartuffe”), Trevor Johnson as Dad (“Leaving Eden”), Shanelle Nicole Leonard as Judy (“Tartuffe,” “Sense and Sensibility”), and Adam Poole as Hopkins (“She Loves Me,” “Dot”).

The Creative Team of “Jump” includes: Whitney White (Director), Alexis Distler (Scenic Designer), Tristan Raines (Costume Designer), Amith Chankdrashaker (Lighting Designer), Sinan Refik Zafar (Sound Designer), Mark Perry (Dramaturg), Tia James (Vocal Coach), and Elizabeth Ray (Stage Manager).

“Jump”  deals with themes of grief, depression, and suicidal ideation. We encourage all patrons to use their own discretion in determining the appropriateness of the material.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit Individual ticket prices start at $15, with student and group discounts available.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

  • January 23 – 25, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
  • January 24, 6:00 p.m. — “The Vision Series—Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with members of the creative team before the evening’s performance, at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art. Free and open to the public.
  • January 26, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Performancez & Press Opening, with post-show Opening Night Celebration
  • January 29, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
  • January 29, 7:30 p.m. — Community Night. General admission seating, with all tickets $15
  • January 30 and February 3 — Free post-show discussions with members of the creative team, cast and community members
  • February 10, 2:00 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 40 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. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

PlayMakers Contacts:

  • For photos, poster art, and other images related to “Jump,” please see our “Jump” Press Kit.
  • For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, or 919.962.7114
  • For questions about photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, or 919.962.6997