‘An Iliad’ joins PlayMakers’ season lineup

Obie Award-winner “An Iliad” will open PlayMakers Repertory Company’s 2012-2013 season Sept 5-9.

PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present “An Iliad” as part of its thought-provoking PRC2 second stage series, in which each performance is followed by artist-audience discussion. The one-man play completes the 2012-13 lineup, joining another Obie Award-winner, Rinde Eckert’s “And God Created Great Whales (Jan. 9-13, 2013) and the world premiere of “Spring Training” by spoken word ensemble Universes (April 24-28, 2013).

Playwrights Lisa Peterson and Tony Award-winner Denis O’Hare (also known for his role in HBO’s “True Blood”) were honored with a special citation from the 2012 Obie Awards for bringing a modern sensibility to Homer’s epic tale of mighty warriors, gods and goddesses, and the face that launched a thousand ships, without losing the grit, glory, bloodlust and poetry that have held audiences enthralled through the ages.

“This contemporary take on ‘The Iliad’ is the perfect complement to last season’s PRC2 finale ‘Penelope,’ which was a contemporary look at ‘The Oydessy,’” said Joseph Haj, PlayMakers producing artistic director.

The Chicago Sun-Times called the play “explosive, altogether breathtaking…brilliantly meshes past and present calamity, with touches of the most caustic dark humor suddenly shifting into unimaginable pathos.” The New York Times said “An Iliad” is “spellbinding…smartly conceived and impressively executed…an age-old story that resonates with tragic meaning today.”

PlayMakers’ production will feature longtime acting company member and audience favorite Ray Dooley in a solo performance as the storyteller.

Jesse Berger, founding artistic director of New York’s Red Bull Theater, will direct. Under his leadership, Red Bull produces In-The-Raw play development workshops and the Obie Award-winning Revelation Reading Series. Berger also directs extensively at other New York theaters and across the country, working with actors Patrick Stewart, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Learned and many others.

“An Iliad” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on Sept 9. Tickets are currently available as part of the theater’s 2012-2013 season packages. Single tickets to all shows go on sale in August. For more information, call the PlayMakers box office at (919) 962-7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. PRC² shows are presented in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.

PlayMakers’ Mainstage Season opens Sept. 22 with 2010 Tony Award-winner “Red.”

PlayMakers 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.