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UNC's PlayMakers Repertory Company performs "A Wrinkle in Time"

Ethan Haberfield, Kathryn Hunter-Williams and Jamar Jones rehearse for the Playmakers' production of A Wrinkle in Time. Photo courtesy of HuthPhoto.

After weeks of six-hour-long rehearsals, the PlayMakers Repertory Company's cast of "A Wrinkle in Time" has officially opened its doors to the UNC community.

This spring, PlayMakers presents a theatrical adaptation of the 1962 novel "A Wrinkle in Time"  by Madeleine L’Engle. The show opened on Wednesday, March 30 and will run until Sunday, April 17.

The production is directed by Shelley Butler, a UNC alumna who has been credited for her work across the country on- and off-Broadway. "A Wrinkle In Time" is her debut with PlayMakers.

“I hope that (the audience has) a fantastic thrill ride," Butler said. "I hope that they enjoy it. I hope they leave more excited to be in their own skin and celebrate themselves."

Throughout her time directing the production, Butler reflected on the relevance of the story's plot in regard to today's society.

"What happens when we don't get to be ourselves and are afraid to be our best selves?" she asked. "I think that is powerful in our story, and I think it's powerful in our world right now."

The sci-fi fantasy play follows the adventures of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O’Keefe as they travel through space and time on a quest to save the Murrys' father — and the world — from evil.

Omolade Wey, a UNC graduate student who plays Meg Murry, said that the show is something everyone can watch and enjoy.

"Generally speaking, you're thinking this is a young adult book — so, great! You got kids who might read it, but then you have everybody older than that who's had fond memories of this story as well, and still can connect to the general story that is there," Wey said.

Ethan Haberfield, a guest actor from New York who plays Charles Wallace, said the show explores a world of emphasized conformity, where strengths come from differences.

"It’s about finding the confidence in who you are and you know, at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to bring you closer to the ones you love and it's going to defeat all evil," he said.

Butler emphasized Wey's sentiment that the show was meant for people of all audiences.

The story engages young viewers, but also reaches adults through its key ideas, she said. The power of uniqueness, the dangers of conformity and the idea that people often have to save themselves from danger make the show a must-see for everyone, Butler said.

The energy both on set and behind the scenes has felt fantastical, Wey said. She hopes that those who see the play are able to make a connection to it in some way.

“I hope that people are able to connect, even if it’s not just with Meg — we’ve got a whole world that we’re jumping through — and find something that touches their heart and their spirit, to hold onto as we go on this crazy fantastical ride,” Wey said.

Tickets for the show can be purchased starting at $10 for students and $20 for adults. Along with regular performances, Playmakers will hold five socially distanced performances on March 30, March 31, April 1, April 6 and April 12.

Jamar Jones, Jeffrey Blair Cornell, Omolade Wey and Tia James rehearse for the Playmakers' production of A Wrinkle in Time. Photo courtesy of HuthPhoto.

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