For immediate release:

 

CHAPEL HILL – William Shakespeare’s “Pericles,” an epic adventure that spans oceans and generations, is filled with princesses, pirates, assassins, exotic locales and multiple shipwrecks. PlayMakers Repertory Company at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill kicks off its 2008-09 mainstage season Sept. 24-Oct. 12 with the Bard’s exciting tale.  

 

Producing Artistic Director Joseph Haj will direct the production, which will feature original music and songs by Jack Herrick of the Red Clay Ramblers. Herrick will perform his music live during the performances, along with an ensemble cast of 14 actor/singer/musicians. He has created music for many theatre and film projects, including “Fool Moon,” for which he won a Tony Award, Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of the Mind” and Doug Marlette’s musical “Kudzu.”

 

All performances are in the Paul Green Theatre, inside the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, and 2 p.m. Sundays. For a complete schedule of performances, more information and to purchase tickets, call (919) 962-PLAY or visit www.playmakersrep.org.

Tickets are $10 to $40. Special events will include:

  • opening night festivities on Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. (following preview performances Sept. 24-26);
  • a free “Sneak Peek Director’s Talk” on the set at noon Sept. 17 with Haj in the Paul Green Theatre;
  • free post-show discussions on Oct. 1 and Oct. 5;
  • an all-access performance for attendees with special needs (sign language interpretation, audio description) on Oct. 7.
  • collaborative event with the program in the Humanities and Human Values focused on the long history and this exciting reinvestigation of “Pericles” Oct. 10 and 11.

“Pericles” is “all about man’s place in an unpredictable universe, where terrible things happen, beautiful things happen, and how little control we have over either eventuality,” Haj said. “One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime, its themes of loss, redemption and reconciliation resonate as strongly now as they did then.”

 

Haj last directed PlayMakers’ hit 2007-08 season finale, “Amadeus.” He previously directed “The Illusion,” “Not About Heroes” and “Cyrano de Bergerac” at PlayMakers. The production team for “Pericles” includes PlayMakers resident company members Jan Chambers (sets) and McKay Coble (costumes), along with Justin Townsend (lighting.)

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.”

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) selected PlayMakers’ production of “Pericles” for its “Shakespeare for a New Generation” program that introduces high school and middle school students to the masterpieces of Shakespeare through high-quality, professional theatre productions and educational activities. Support for “Pericles” also comes from Durham Catering Company and The Forest at Duke.

Coverage note: Media are welcome to cover the preview and talk by Haj at noon Sept.17. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For 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