PlayMakers receives Leaders in Diversity Award

L to R: DEE DEE BATTEAST as Ruth Younger, MATT GARNER as Karl Lindner, MIRIAM HYMAN as Beneatha Younger, and MIKAAL SULAIMAN as Walter Lee Younger in PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry.  (photo by Jon Gardiner)
PlayMakers provides a diverse set of plays designed to appeal to a wide cross-section of the community, as in 2013’s “Raisin in the Sun.” (photo by Jon Gardiner)

PlayMakers Repertory Company has been named an inaugural winner of Triangle Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity Award.

The professional theater company based in the College of Arts and Sciences was honored in the 2013 group at an awards luncheon and in the Sept. 13 edition of the newspaper.

Triangle Business Journal says the Leaders in Diversity Awards program “recognizes accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry of our community. These winners have demonstrated respect and inclusive treatment of others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and multicultural marketing.”

PlayMakers provides a diverse selection of plays designed to appeal to and reflect a wide cross-section of the community, such as “A Raisin in the Sun” paired with “Clybourne Park” (2013), “Angels in America” (2011) and “When the Bulbul Stopped Singing” (2007), among others. The theater begins its new main-stage season this week with the regional premiere of “The Mountaintop,” an award-winning new play about the last night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Joe Haj in the 2007 production of "When the Bulbul Stopped Singing." (Photo by Andrea Akin.)
Joe Haj in the 2007 production of “When the Bulbul Stopped Singing.” (Photo by Andrea Akin.)

PlayMakers makes its plays accessible to area schools by providing low-cost and free tickets.

PlayMakers also creates partnerships with community and university organizations in its outreach efforts. Recent partners include Chapel Hill’s award-winning spoken word ensemble Sacrificial Poets, the Durham County Library, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program and UNC’s Program in the Humanities & Human Values.

Additionally, the organization’s leadership has been active in forwarding a national conversation on issues of diversity in the arts with groups such as Theatre Communications Group and the League of Resident Theatres.

“We are honored by this recognition of PlayMakers’ efforts in service to our increasingly diverse community,” said producing artistic director Joseph Haj. “We are proud of our programming and outreach, development of a more diverse audience, and being a home for a diverse group of artists where they can create dynamic and revelatory theatrical work.”

For information on PlayMakers’ 2013-2014 season, subscription packages and tickets to individual productions, visit or call (919) 962-PLAY (7529).

The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America. INDY Week calls PlayMakers the best live theater company in the Triangle.