PlayMakers Repertory Company Begins Season with Regional Premiere of RODNEY KING, 9/2-9/7

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PlayMakers Repertory Company Begins Season with Regional Premiere of RODNEY KING, 9/2-9/7

PlayMakers Repertory Company will present the regional premieres of three thought-provoking productions in its 2014-2015 PRC2 second stage series, kicking off Sept. 2 with Roger Guenveur Smith's powerful new one-man show "Rodney King."

PRC² features innovative, topical presentations coupled with engaging post-show discussions with the creative artists and expert panelists following each performance.

PlayMakers' producing artistic director Joseph Haj describes the series as "dynamic productions followed by a 'second act' of post-show conversation with our audience."

PlayMakers is the professional theater company in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PRC2 performances are presented in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre UNC's Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.

Ticket prices start at $15 and may be purchased at www.playmakersrep.org or by calling (919) 962-PLAY (7529). Subscription packages including PRC² shows are also available.

PRC² productions for 2014-2015 are:

"Rodney King" by Roger Guenveur Smith: Sept. 2-7, 2014

Coming to PlayMakers from acclaimed runs in New York and Washington DC, "Rodney King" is a poetic, rhythm-charged look at the flawed everyman behind the myth. King endured police brutality, the glare of an unrelenting media and notoriety as the symbolic spark of the LA riots. His plaintive "Can we all get along?" remains an open question in America's complicated relationship with race.

It has been said that actor/solo performer Roger Guenveur Smith "likes his topics hot." His one-man stage shows include "A Huey P. Newton Story" and "Frederick Douglass Now." Screen credits include Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and "Get on the Bus" as well as Steven Soderbergh's "K Street" and "Oz" on HBO.

The Los Angeles Times raved that Smith's performance in "Rodney King" is "solo wizardry...riffing as freely and confidently as Sonny Rollins on sax." The Washington Post called it "intensely cathartic and moving."

Performances: 7:30 p.m. nightly Sept. 2-5 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7.

"Wrestling Jerusalem" written and performed by Aaron Davidman, directed by Michael John Garcés: Jan. 7-11, 2015

"Wrestling Jerusalem" grapples with identity, social justice and history, exploring the competing narratives at the center of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that has lasted generations. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it a "remarkable solo performance" [of] "yearning beauty...deep sadness and wistful hope."

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7-11 and 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 11.

"Mary's Wedding" by Stephen Massicote: April 29-May 3, 2015

"Mary's Wedding" is a tale of young love on the eve of The Great War. The night before her wedding to another man, a girl dreams of meeting a soldier, their blossoming love, and the winds of fate that blow them apart when he goes to battle in World War I. Haunting and achingly romantic, in the words of the playwright, it's "a memorial to both the Great War and Great Love." Broadway World described the play as "[a] wonderfully tender, poignant story of innocent first love and the vicissitudes of fate."

The production is one of PlayMakers' contributions to UNC's commemoration of the centenary of World War I.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. nightly April 29-May 3; and 2 p.m., Sunday, May 3.

Based in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas' premiere resident professional theater company. New York's Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the "best regional theatres in America."

PlayMakers website: www.playmakersrep.org

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