PlayMakers presents world premiere with Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright III (photo by Ross Halfin)
Loudon Wainwright III (photo by Ross Halfin)

PlayMakers Repertory Company will present the world premiere of “Surviving Twin,” written and performed by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, Sept. 4-8.

The professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill kicks off its 2013-2014 PRC² series with the limited engagement event, which will be directed by PlayMakers producing artistic director Joseph Haj.

PRC² features innovative, topical presentations coupled with engaging post-show discussions with the creative artists following each performance.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on Sept. 8 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Ticket prices start at $15 and may be purchased at or by calling (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

“Surviving Twin” has been conceived by Wainwright as a posthumous collaboration combining and connecting his music with the writing of his late father, esteemed Life Magazine editor and columnist Loudon Wainwright Jr. Wainwright Jr.’s slice-of-life observations were published from 1964 to 1985, when that periodical was a staple on every coffee table in America.

The focus of this new concert-style theatrical piece is on fatherhood — being a father and having one. In “Surviving Twin,” Wainwright the musician explores the issues of birth, self-identity, loss, mortality, fashion and pet ownership, inventively intertwining performance of his music with the stories written by his father.

Wainwright was born in Durham, and his father attended UNC-Chapel Hill.

As a musician, Wainwright won a 2010 Grammy Award for his album “High, Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project” and received two previous Grammy nominations. The album was named Best Album of 2009 by NPR’s Ken Tucker (“Fresh Air,” Entertainment Weekly Magazine) and appeared on “year’s best” lists for publications including The Village Voice, FolkWax and fRoots.

His album “Older Than My Old Man Now,” which provides musical influences for PlayMakers’ production of “Surviving Twin,” was named one of the Top 10 Albums of 2012 by NPR and selected for its Top 50 Albums of 2012 by American Songwriter.

Wainwright is a multi-talented performer. His film acting credits include Judd Apatow’s “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up,” for which he also recorded the soundtrack; Christopher Guest’s “For Your Consideration,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” and Tim Burton’s “Big Fish.” Television acting credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “Grounded for Life,” “Ally McBeal,” and a recurring role on “M*A*S*H.”

Mojo Magazine has called Wainwright “one of America’s most astute lyrical commentators … compelling and emotionally overpowering.”

Time Magazine said “Mr. Wainwright has proved to be far and away the most candid diarist amongst the singer-songwriters who … brought confessional poetry to popular song … [he] wrings more human truth out of his contradiction than any other songwriter of his generation.”

Ticket packages are available for PlayMakers’ 2013-2014 season. For more on the entire season lineup or to purchase, visit

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 and INDY Week calls PlayMakers the best live theater company in the Triangle.

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