PlayMakers hosts Freedom Riders’ art during ‘Parchman Hour’

PlayMakers Repertory Company is collaborating with artist Charlotta Janssen, utilizing her work onstage and in exhibition during the run of the theater’s world premiere of “The Parchman Hour: Songs and Stories of the ’61 Freedom Riders.”

Charlotta Janssen is a German-American visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been shown around the world in locations such as New York, London, Paris, Milan and Shanghai.

Her exhibit “Threads of a Story, History Inspiring Art,” comprised of 82 canvases inspired by mug shots of the 1961 Freedom Riders, is currently enjoying an extended showing in Nashville, Tennessee. Of the collection, she says, “In 2010 the Freedom Riders took ahold of me. Mug shots that had preserved the reciprocity of confrontation – being confronted by injustice whilst confronting it for its injustice drew me in. Intuitively I added collage to convey a feeling for the time and the severity of the moment these images were taken, creating a context of noise and music.”

During its presentation of “The Parchman Hour,” PlayMakers is exhibiting a series of prints from these works, as well as two original pieces which Janssen created especially for PlayMakers. The production and accompanying exhibit run through Nov. 13. Limited edition prints will also be available for purchase.

Ms. Jansenn will attend the opening night performance at PlayMakers on Oct. 29.

“Parchman” scenic designer McKay Coble and video designer Roz Fulton have also incorporated projections of Janssen’s Freedom Rider portraits in the set and the creative team for the production has drawn inspiration from the artwork for the overall design of the show.

For more information about the Janssen exhibit, a performance schedule or to purchase tickets for “The Parchman Hour”, call (919) 962-PLAY (7529) or visit All performances are in the Paul Green Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Tickets to the play are $10 to $45. The art exhibition is free and open to the public in the Paul Green lobby.
PlayMakers, the professional theater-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America.

Charlotta Janssen Web site: