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This fresh, playful adaptation invites the whole family to (re)discover Jane Austen’s beloved classic at the holidays.A flyer announcing "Emma by Kate Hamill." The bright pink flyer includes five smart phones displaying various silhouettes of people. It also includes two text bubbles reading "Who needs to swipe right when you have Emma Woodhouse?" and "Based on the novel by Jane Austen."

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents the regional premiere of “Emma,” by award-winning playwright Kate Hamill and based on the novel by Jane Austen. The production is directed by Meredith McDonough and runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 4, 2022. Opening night is Friday, Nov. 18.

The play asks what a smart, energetic 19th century woman like Emma Woodhouse is to do when she’s bored. Why, matchmake, of course! Emma prides herself on being a matchmaker with an impeccable track record. But her plans are turned upside down by unpredictable displays of affection, unexpected rivals and the sudden realization that true love may have been under her nose all along.

“I jumped at the opportunity to bring Kate Hamill’s fresh take on ‘Emma’ to North Carolina,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director. “It has all the hallmarks PlayMakers is known for: a great story and characters, gorgeous costumes and scenery, amazingly talented resident and guest artists led by the marvelous director Meredith McDonough and a way of looking at ‘classic’ stories from a different lens that I believe lets us see all that is possible not just what is.”

“It’s a perfect production for the whole family to dance into the holidays!”

Director McDonough, who is making her PlayMakers debut said, “As a woman director in an industry that’s catching up with the winds of social change, I was thrilled to work with Vivienne and the PlayMakers Company to celebrate a story by and about strong women.”

“Emma” features the PlayMakers debuts of Jamie Ann Romero (“The Play That Goes Wrong”) as the title character, Eric Bryant (“Angels in America”) as George Knightly, Kimberly Chatterjee (“Pride & Prejudice”) as Harriet Smith and Amber Nicole Guest (“City of Angels”) as Miss Bates. The production also features Hayley Cartee (“The Skin of Our Teeth”), Jeffrey Blair Cornell (“Native Gardens,” “Sense and Sensibility”), Rasool Jahan (“Dot,” “Intimate Apparel,” “Native Son”), Jamar Jones (“Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “Stick Fly”), Sanjana Taskar (“A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”) and Adam Valentine (“As You Like It,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”).

The creative team of “Emma” includes Director Meredith McDonough (“Peter and the Starcatcher”), Scenic and Costume Designer Lex Liang (“Romeo & Juliet”), Sound Designer Palmer Hefferan (“Tartuffe,” “The Christians”) and Lighting Designer Marika Kent (“Catch as Catch Can). The team also includes Choreographer Emily Michaels King (“Hair”), Vocal Coach Gwendolyn Schwinke (“Blues for an Alabama Sky,” ”Native Son”), Dramaturg Mark Perry (“The Crucible,” “Metamorphoses”) and Stage Manager Sarah Smiley (“Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”).

For information and to purchase tickets to “Emma,” call 919.962.7529 or visit Individual ticket prices start at $20, with discounts for youth and student tickets.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

  • November 15-16 — Preview performances
  • November 18 — Opening Performance & Press Opening
  • November 22 — Featuring sign language interpretation and audio description
  • November 27 — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit; Post-show discussion
  • November 29 — Socially distanced seating
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