PlayMakers , the professional theater company in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will portray some of the Bard’s most beloved characters – including the sharp-witted heroine Rosalind, who escapes her uncle’s court for the lush Forest of Arden. There follows a charming tale of love at first sight, mix-ups, mistaken identities, and comedy high and low. PlayMakers’ producing artistic director Joseph Haj will direct the show.

All performances will be in the Paul Green Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, and 2 p.m. Sundays. For a complete schedule, more information and to purchase tickets, call (919) 962-PLAY (7529) or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Tickets are $10 to $45.

PlayMakers will host the “As You Like It” installment of this year’s “The Vision Series: Directors in Conversation” with Haj on Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. In the series, directors of each play give a behind-the-scenes preview of the upcoming production. On Sept. 15, theater-goers and others interested in the creative process are invited to the Paul Green Theatre to share wine, coffee and other refreshments, learn about the production in process and get a look at the design and vision for the show.

“The Vision Series” is free to the public. Reservations are encouraged, as space is limited. Call PlayMakers’ box office at 919.962.7529 to RSVP.

Other special events during “As You Like It” will include:
• A preview of PlayMakers’ 2010-2011 season with Haj at the Chapel Hill Public Library on Sept. 11 at 11 a.m.;
• “In the Wings,” a series created by PlayMakers and the Durham County Library, discussion with “As You Like It” director Joseph Haj at the library’s Southwest Regional Branch, 3605 Shannon Road, on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.;
• preview performances Sept. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m.;
• opening night performance at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, with a complimentary gala party afterward;
• free post-show discussions with the creative team on Sept. 29 and Oct. 3;
• The Prologue Series, created by PlayMakers and the Chapel Hill Library, presenting a pre-show conversation with a member of the PlayMakers creative team, at the library Oct. 2 at 12 noon;
• “Creativity and Comedy in Elizabethan England,” a seminar with UNC’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values, Oct. 8 and 9 (919-962-1544);
• free post-show “Mindplay” discussions sponsored by the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society on Oct. 9 and 10; and
• an all-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description, on Oct. 5.

Additional outreach for the play will be funded by a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest for education programs. Grant activities will include teaching artists sent into area middle and high schools and matinees of the play for middle and high school students.
The efforts are part of the NEA’s “Shakespeare for a New Generation” program, which introduces students to the masterpieces of Shakespeare through high-quality, professional theater productions and educational activities.
Support for “As You Like It” is also provided by Carol Woods Retirement Community and Counter Culture Coffee.

Also during its 2010-2011 main stage season, PlayMakers will present the Tony Award-winning plays “Fences” by August Wilson (Oct. 27-Nov. 14) and “Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2” by Tony Kushner (Jan. 29- March 6, 2011). The season finale will be PlayMakers’ first musical in over a decade “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (April 6-24, 2011), featuring The Red Clay Ramblers as the onstage band. 
PlayMakers is based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatre companies in America.”
Coverage note: Media are welcome to cover “The Vision Series” preview and talk by director Joseph Haj at 6:30 p.m. Sept.15. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For assistance, call (919) 428-1744.

News release on two NEA grants to PlayMakers: http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/3607/107/

PlayMakers contact: Connie Mahan, (919) 428-1744, cmahan@email.unc.edu