Press Release

PlayMakers Repertory Company and The Process Series Present “Making Tracks”

Inaugural New Play Reading Series, featuring work from local to international playwrights tackling the issues of our time

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company< strong>What: “Making Tracks” A New Play Reading Series
When: April 13–15, 2018
Where: Studios 101 and 104, Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Free, with a $5 suggested donation at the door

(Chapel Hill, NC, March 12, 2018) PlayMakers Repertory Company and The Process Series proudly present “Making Tracks,” a new play reading series tackling some of the most prominent issues of our time. Dedicated to representing a wide variety of perspectives, “Making Tracks” will feature readings of four plays by four vastly different voices: a UNC student playwright, a faculty playwright, a national playwright, and an international playwright. The series will run from the afternoon of April 13 to the evening of April 15, in conjunction with “Leaving Eden,” the world-premiere of PlayMakers’ first full commission, originally developed in partnership with The Process Series.

“PlayMakers aims to become a creative home for the development of playwrights’ most socially conscious and ambitious work,” says PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director, Vivienne Benesch. “‘Making Tracks’ is a new platform that gives us that opportunity and this inaugural year provides a great taste of the exciting range of voices and stories that we can expect to see. I am thrilled to be collaborating once again with the invaluable Process Series, whose ten-year track record developing significant work for the performing arts provides a great launching pad.”

The four plays being presented this year are:

Trial 9 by Jonathan Moises Olivares
Noms De Guerre by Jacqueline Lawton
Eight Nights by Jennifer Maisel
Illegal Helpers by Maxi Obexer, Translation by Neil Blackadder

Trial 9
By Jonathan Moises Olivares

Directed by Vivienne Benesch
Times: April 13, 1:00pm, April 15, 7:00pm

Is Love Enough?
Inside the world of conversion therapy, same sex attraction is a disease, and “therapists” are determined to find a cure. When they find one, Elijah’s world is turned upside down. He loves Orlando and Orlando loves him, but Trial 9 asks the question: is love enough?

Jonathan Moises Olivares is currently a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying dramatic art and graphic design. He is a recipient of The Richard and Christopher Edward Adler Award as well as a recipient of an Honorable Mention in the Inaugural LGBTQ Performance Commission Project. Born in Hollywood, California, he moved to North Carolina when he was very young. His parents, Julio and Elizabeth Olivares, are immigrants from El Salvador and taught him to be proud of all his intersecting identities. He works as an artist/activist to promote intersectionality amongst LGBTQ representation and moonlights as a graphic designer.

Noms De Guerre
By Jacqueline E. Lawton

Directed by Kaja Dunn
Times: April 13, 3:00pm, April 15, 7:00pm

When politics become personal, what price must we pay?
Every time Mira’s husband returns home from war, it’s a difficult transition. But this time, as her race for Governor gets underway, they are both thrust into the spotlight, which illuminates longstanding tensions, shifting allegiances and a new secret that threatens to derail her campaign. As the man she knows disappears into a man forever changed by war, she must decide what price she’s willing to pay to stand by him.

Jacqueline E. Lawton is a PlayMakers’ company member as well as a professor in the Department of Dramatic Art, UNC-Chapel Hill. She was named one of 30 of the nation’s leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her plays include Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Intelligence; Love Brothers Serenade (semi-finalist, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference); Mad Breed; Noms de Guerre. She has worked as a dramaturg and research consultant at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival of New American Plays, Arden Theater, Arena Stage, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ford’s Theatre, Horizons Theater, Interact Theatre, Kennedy Center VSA Program, Round House Theatre, Theater J, Virginia Stage Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, was a James A. Michener Fellow from TCG Young Leaders of Color, is affiliated with the National New Play Network (NNPN), Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena, Center Stage’s Playwrights’ Collective and is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

Eight Nights
By Jennifer Maisel

Directed by Joseph Megel
Times: April 13, 7:00pm, April 14, 5:00pm

When all you can do is hope.
In a cramped apartment on the Lower East Side, a young refugee woman yearns to start a new life in the United States. As she works to vanquish the past that haunts her, she is accompanied by her father, husband, friends, daughter, and granddaughter. Set in a single apartment and spanning the years 1949 – 2016, Eight Nights tells the story of refugees from the past and present, taking disparate circumstances and laying bare their all too similar horrors. Life is brutal, but they live with the hope that a better future awaits.

Jennifer Maisel’s Pen West Literary Award finalist There or Here was workshopped at PlayPenn before critically acclaimed runs with New York’s Hypothetical Theatre and London’s Special Relationship Productions at The Park Theatre. Her The Last Seder premiered Off-Broadway after productions in Chicago, D.C. and LA. Plays include Goody Fucking Two Shoes (ATL’s Humana Festival), birds (Rorschach Theatre), Eden (Theatre of NOTE, Original Works Publishing) and Match (UArts New Play Festival, Berkshire Playwrights Lab). Awards: Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award, Charlotte Woolard and Roger L. Stevens awards; SCR’s California Playwrights Competition; three time PEN West Literary Award finalist; five time Heideman Award finalist, STAGES International finalist. Jennifer received an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan foundation commission for Out of Orbit, which won the Stanley Award for Drama, made the 2016 Kilroy List for best unproduced plays by women and trans writers, and won the 2017/18 Woodward/Newman Drama award. Out of Orbit will premiere at Williamston Theatre and be produced by Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2018. Jennifer also writes for film and television; her Prodigal Son, was produced by Mar Vista Entertainment starring Virginia Madsen and she recently sold an original pilot with MomentumTV. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre – LA Project, DogEar Playwrights Collective, Playwrights Union and the WGA. Eight Nights was workshopped at Berkshire Playwrights Lab and at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles. She is currently working on a new play as one of five playwrights invited into the prestigious Humanitas PlayLA Workshop.

Illegal Helpers
By Maxi Obexer, Translated by Neil Blackadder

Directed by Talya Klein
Times: April 14th, 8pm

We call them criminals for one reason: they help people.
They save migrants without legal status from deportation. They provide shelter. They bring them across the border when all other options are exhausted. Some of them have been convicted on several occasions; others risk their profession and status. They come from the middle of society: doctors, judges, social workers, students. But what they do brings them to the brink of the law and sometimes beyond. They take these risks because they must and because they dream of a world where compassion is not a crime. Prize-winning German-Italian playwright Maxi Obexer weaves together documentary interviews in this passionate appeal for human dignity in the face of the refugee crisis threatening to engulf Western Europe.

Maxi Obexer, born in Brixen (South Tyrol, Italy, is the author of essays and plays for theater and radio. Her political works have won numerous awards, including the 2016 Robert Geisendörfer and Eurodram Prizes for Illegal Helpers, and the 2017 Potsdamer Theater Prize for Gehen und Bleiben [Leaving and Staying]. In 2014, Maxi founded the Neue Institut für Dramatisches Schreiben, Nids. Her first novel Wenn gefährliche Hunde lachen [“When dangerous dogs laugh”] appeared in 2011, and her second in 2017: Europas Längster Sommer [“Europe’s longest summer”]. Obexer lives in Berlin.

Neil Blackadder translates drama and prose from German and French, specializing in contemporary theatre. His translations of plays by Lukas Bärfuss and Ewald Palmetshofer have been produced in London, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere, and he has received grants from the Howard Foundation and PEN, and held residencies at the Banff Centre and Art Omi. Other playwrights Neil has translated include Rebekka Kricheldorf, Evelyne de la Chenelière, and Thomas Arzt. Neil grew up in England and since 1994 has taught theatre, first at Duke University, then at Knox College.

For information, call 919.962.7529 or visit or

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

· April 13th, 1pm — Trial 9 – Studio 101
· April 13th, 3pm – Noms De Guerre – Studio 101
· April 13th, 8pm – Eights Nights – Studio 101
· April 14th, 5pm – Eight Nights – Studio 101
· April 14th, 8pm – Illegal Helpers – Studio 101
· April 15th 7pm – Noms De Geurre – Studio 101
· April 15th 7pm – Trial 9 – Studio 104

About The Process Series

Dedicated to the development of new and significant works in the performing arts, The Process Series features professionally mounted, developmental presentations of new works in progress. The mission of the Series is to illuminate the ways in which artistic ideas take form, to examine the creative process, to offer audiences the opportunity to follow artists and performers as they explore and discover and by so doing to enrich the development process for artists with the ultimate goal of better art and a closer relationship between artists and audiences.

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:

PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina’s premier resident theater company for more than 40 years. We produce relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. Developing new work is central to our mission. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

PlayMakers Contacts: 
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