UNCW Department of Theatre Presents PROM in Partnership with New Paradise Laboratories

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Theatre presents PROM, a production by New Paradise Laboratories, as the last show of its 2012-13 season. Created by NPL's artistic director, the Obie Award-winning Whit MacLaughlin, PROM mashes together two of high school's famed rituals - the formal dance and a football game. In this experimental piece, teachers battle students and tuxes are traded for jerseys on a stage serving as both a ballroom and athletic field.

In each production of PROM, the characters are created by the actors, invented anew and given Facebook identities. It was recognized in Minneapolis as Best Stage Production of the Year in 2006.

MacLaughlin and NPL are at UNCW for an extended residency as part of the UNCW theatre department's Professional Partner Program. This innovative initiative pairs prominent artists with students to extend their theatrical practice and imagination.

While in residence, MacLaughlin and his performers - Julia Frey, Emilie Krause, Kevin Meehan and Matteo Scammell - are creating a new piece entitled THE ADULTS, to premiere next year in NPL's home base, Philadelphia. Also in development is an ongoing project for its online theatre practice, called FRAME.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be here," says MacLaughlin. "We're having a blast working with the student cast members and hope they are enjoying themselves as much as we are. We premiered PROM in Minneapolis in 2004 where it was hailed as the best production of the year. We sincerely hope that it will make a similar splash in Wilmington."

Shows will run April 11-14 and April 18-21 at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for UNCW employees and seniors and $5 for students. They are available at the Kenan Box Office (910.962.3500) or online at

New Paradise Laboratories is an experimental performance ensemble founded in 1996 by MacLaughlin and seven others to create explore radical means of expression, bending and reshaping conventional ideas of theatre. Theatre is structured as a visionary experience, using a variety of creative strategies including company-devising techniques, cross-media design elements, and site-specific installation.

NPL artistic director Whit MacLaughlin is available for interviews. For more information on NPL, please contact the NPL connectivity director Katy Otto at, 240.478.9387.

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