crucibleprint-cropPlayMakers Repertory Company celebrates 40 years of professional theater with its main-stage production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” which runs in the Paul Green Theatre Oct. 19-Nov. 6. Special events associated with the show begin Oct. 12.

Miller’s landmark play couldn’t be more timely today; PlayMakers takes a fresh look at this masterful drama exploring the slippery slope of mass hysteria.

A Tony Award-Winner for Best Play, “The Crucible” is hailed byThe New York Times as “[a] cruelly magnificent play.”

“I am thrilled to be producing ‘The Crucible’ at this particular moment in time,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director. “Not only was ‘The Crucible’ part of PlayMakers’ first professional season 40 years ago, giving us the opportunity to revisit a play that paved the way to PlayMakers becoming the nationally recognized theater it is today, but the play’s masterful convergence of politics, religion, sex, greed and mass hysteria is as relevant today in the face of our upcoming election as it was when Miller wrote this cautionary tale about the Salem witch trials in the face of 1950s McCarthyism.”

“I hope this production can illuminate for us, individually and as a community, the dangers of remaining silent and the risks involved in pursuing a principled citizenry,” she added.

For “The Crucible,” PlayMakers will expand the boundaries of the stage even further by adding a new section of seating behind the traditional stage for a theater-in-the-round experience.This newly designed section is located behind the stage and contains a total of 44 seats.

“This theater-in-the-round experience will provide our audience and artists with a fresh perspective for the space and new ways to connect and engage with one another,” said Justin Haslett, PlayMakers’ new managing director.

“The Crucible” will feature Ariel Shafir as John Proctor (recently on stage in “Marie Antoinette” at Steppenwolf Theatre, on film in “Evil Nature” directed by Darin Beckstead, and soon to be on screen in an episode in the upcoming season 4 of “Orange is the New Black”) and Sarita Ocon as Elizabeth Proctor (recently in “Alicia’s Miracle” at Tides Theatre, “Bengal Tiger” at the San Francisco Playhouse, and “Ghosts of the River” at Shadowlight Productions), the tragic couple at the heart of Miller’s dark fable.

Many PlayMakers company favorites will also return for the production.

Performances will take place in the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, plus 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 29, Oct. 30, and Nov. 6. Previews will be Oct. 19-21, with opening night Oct. 22. There will be a special Sunday evening performance on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

In conjunction with “The Crucible”, PlayMakers hosts “The Vision Series-Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with director Desdemona Chiang, moderated by dramaturg Mark Perry, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Paul Green Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. Participants share coffee and hors d’oeuvres and learn about the vision for the show and get a sneak peek at the sets and costumes in progress. Reservations are appreciated. Call the PlayMakers box office at 919.962.7529 to RSVP.

Other special events will include:

  • Oct. 19, 20, and 21, 7:30 p.m.: preview performances;
  • Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.: opening night performance
  • Oct. 25: an all-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description;
  • Oct. 26 and 30 (2 pm): free post-show discussions with members of the creative team;
  • Oct. 29, 2 p.m.: open captioned performance.

Please visit www.playmakers.com for more information.

Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Carolinas’ premier resident professional theater company. New York’s Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

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