North Carolina's Playmakers Repertory Theatre at Chapel Hill has exchanged one Albee for another. The company had planned to fill the second slot of its 1999-2000 season with a double bill of Edward Albee's plays, The American Dream and The Zoo Story, with Nagle Jackson directing.
Well, Jackson is still directing, the dates are still Nov. 3-24, and the playwright is still Albee; but the offering will be the dramatist's examination of familial feuds and allegiances, A Delicate Balance. Artistic director David Hammond said he decide to make the switch when the rights to Balance became available. Hammond also mentioned having assembled a "superb cast," though it was not revealed who would be in the play.
The Playmakers 1999-2000 season will open with the world premiere of Tazewell Thompson's Constant Star, Sept. 22-Oct. 17. Also up in the season will be Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and Noel Coward's Hay Fever, as well as a production of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner, Wit.
Thompson will direct Constant Star, the history of Ida B. Wells, born a slave in 1860s Mississippi, who grew to become a pioneer of civil and women's rights. This new play features some of America's greatest human rights advocates from Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington to Susan B. Anthony and Jane Addams. A revival of Tennessee Williams' drama, The Glass Menagerie follows, Feb. 2-27, 2000. Thompson will direct.
Margaret Edson's 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit, will run March 8-April 2. Drew Barr, who helmed Playmakers' Violet, directs this examination of a tough English professor who is dying of ovarian cancer.
The 1999-00 season will finish off with Noel Coward's classic 1920's comedy of the eccentric Bliss family, Hay Fever, April 12-May 7. A director has yet to be announced.
Playmakers, at 23, is North Carolina's oldest professional, resident nonprofit theatre. Last season, they mounted Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moises Kaufman's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Emily Mann's Having Our Say, Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Tesori-Crawley's Violet.
For subscription information ($60-$120), call the Playmakers box office (919) 962-PLAY.
-- By Christine Ehren & Robert Simonson