In the wake of social and public health crises, the need for the arts — and the joy and hope they inspire — is as prominent as ever. PlayMakers Repertory CompanyOpens in new window, the professional theatre in residence at Carolina, is finding ways to make the arts accessible to the Chapel Hill community and beyond.
Until we are safely able to gather again, PlayMakers is offering an imaginative online series of artist conversations, master classes and — coming soon — performances from their 2020-21 season. The company is taking to the virtual stage for its 45th season, All Too HumanOpens in new window. Through six streamed performances, this season will serve to represent the need for humans to adapt, learn and change to be productive and resilient in the face of resistance.
“PlayMakers remains committed to bringing audiences the best of what we have to offer, fully rooted in our belief that the arts can bring joy, hope and progress to our corner of the world,” stated Vivienne BeneschOpens in new window, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director.
In addition, PlayMakers continues to develop streaming content through the PlayMakers (keeping you) CompanyOpens in new window digital platform, where you can watch the “Stuck” monologue series created by local playwrights and episodes of “Virtually, Viv,” bi-weekly chats between Benesch and theatre artists from across the industry — including episode 5Opens in new window featuring Marin Hinkle, who stars as the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s mom. You can also take monthly acting classes from beloved company member Ray Dooley.
And, if all that’s not enough, PlayMakers has maintained its collaborations with Theatre RaleighOpens in new window and North Carolina-based actor and playwright Mike WileyOpens in new window to produce Higher Ground ConversationsOpens in new window, a series that explores American history to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts.
“I have been grappling with how to responsibly plan for and share our programming, with all that has happened — and is still happening — in North Carolina and around the country,” said Benesch. “What has become clear to me is that it is imperative that we lean into the process of transformation and redouble our commitment to producing inclusive, courageous and meaningful theatrical work for our community — whatever the medium.”
PlayMakers is an important part of Arts Everywhere — a university-wide effort to ensure that the arts are part of the educational experience for all students at Carolina. Now more than ever, we need the arts.
In the words of the late American stage producer, actor and educator, Zelda Fichandler, “there is a hunger to see human presence acted out. As long as that need remains, people will find a way to do theatre.”
PlayMakers has found a way, and the Carolina community is grateful.
See how other performing arts groupsOpens in new window at Carolina are reaching their audiences and providing inspiration at this difficult time.