PlayMakers continues PRC2 season with ‘Wrestling Jerusalem’

PlayMakersposterPRCWrestlingJerusalemPlayMakers Repertory Company will present the regional premiere of “Wrestling Jerusalem,” written and performed by Aaron Davidman, Jan. 7-11.

PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

PlayMakers brings Davidman’s acclaimed one-man show to the Triangle as part of its PRC2 series. PRC² features innovative, topical presentations coupled with engaging and insightful post-show discussions with the creative artists and expert panelists following each performance.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2 p.m. on Jan. 11 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). Tickets are also still available as part of PlayMakers subscription packages.

“Wrestling Jerusalem” grapples with identity, history and social justice, exploring the competing narratives at the center of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict that has lasted generations. TheSan Francisco Chronicle calls it a “remarkable solo performance” [of] “yearning beauty … deep sadness and wistful hope.”

Davidman describes it as following one man’s travels to Israel and Palestine “to try to understand the nuance and complexity that lives in the hearts of the human beings at the center of the conflict. Part personal memoir, part transformational theater, in addition to myself, I play 17 different characters whom I meet along the way, each with his own story and perspective to share.”

In 2007, PlayMakers staged “When the Bulbul Stopped Singing,” an examination of the Palestinian/Israeli divide viewed from the perspective of a Palestinian civil/human rights lawyer.

“Now, especially given recent events in Gaza, it is important to once again look at this area of the world, this time through the lens of a Jewish artist/activist,” said PlayMakers producing artistic director Joseph Haj. “I have known Aaron Davidman for many years, and his deep-thinking, honest attempt to understand the situation gives another voice and perspective to one of the world’s thorniest issues.”

“As with Roger Guenveur Smith’s ‘Rodney King,’ which we presented in September only a few weeks after the events in Ferguson, Mo., it is my hope that the theater can be a place for community dialogue, increased tolerance and healing — a safe environment in which to have difficult conversations.”

Rounding out this season’s PRC2 lineup will be “Mary’s Wedding” by Stephen Massicote (April 29-May 3), a tale of young love on the eve of The Great War. “Mary’s Wedding” is one of PlayMakers’ contributions to UNC’s commemoration of the centenary of World War I.

Next on PlayMakers’main stage is “Trouble in Mind” by pioneering African-American playwright Alice Childress (Jan. 21-Feb. 8).

Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premier resident professional theater company. New York’s Drama League has named PlayMakers one of the “best regional theatres in America.”