Department of Theatre

A Slight Ache

By Harold Pinter
Directed by Ed Wagenseller

Dates & Times:

September 24-27 & October 1-4
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm

Due to COVID-19 restrictions: Attendance at A Slight Ache is limited to UNCW current students, faculty, and staff.  You must have a current UNCW email account in order to reserve a seat.

To reserve your seat and get either your print at home or mobile ticket please follow this link. Access code is: Pinter 


About the Play:

Event details
A Slight Ache

Everything in Flora’s garden is lovely, and would be for Edward too, if it were not for the slight ache in his eyes and the mysterious match-seller at the gate.


A Slight Ache is a tragicomic play written by Harold Pinter in 1958, it premièred as a radio broadcast in 1959, prior to its first stage production. It concerns a married couple's dreams and desires, focusing mostly on the husband's fears of the unknown, of growing old, and of the "Other" as a threat to his self-identity.


Admission is free, but you MUST HAVE a reserved seat to attend. Masks are required for attendance and must be worn the entire time. Seating will be social distanced.  Programs will be digital.  Please enter the CAB lobby using the doors under the portico (through the columns.)


How do we produce Theatre during these challenging times?

When our faculty knew classes were happening in the Fall, our department brainstormed on how we could best bring productions back but do so safely. We started from scratch.  We postponed the season of plays that we had already chosen.  We then found plays that were small cast, with little physical interaction, to allow for social distancing of our actors.  We created minimal sets and costumes so we could have as few students as possible in the shops and theatres at one time.  We marked out the Theatre seating so audience would be safe. We found a way to allow our students to have the experiences of producing plays. Our actors are required to wear either a mask or face shield, so it might look a little unusual, but the important thing is we are able to present theatre in front of a live audience As Hamlet said, “The Play’s the Thing.” We hope you will come on this journey with us and enjoy the show in the spirit it is offered to you.  

Why are we still doing theatre?

As a theatre department, we attempt to train the artists of the future.  As a college program, we combine classroom instruction with the demands of producing live theatre – theatre that lives by and through its reception by an audience.  We can teach all the theory and techniques we know (and we do), but our mainstage and Second Season productions are where our students learn to apply what we’ve taught them.  This theatre is the place where theory becomes practice.  As our students confront the challenges of acting, building, managing, and running these shows, their education becomes real.

The fact that we are doing theatre in a pandemic points to a kind of fourth-dimensional reason for producing this play. According to classicist and poet Anne Carson, we watch theatre because it affords an expression of the grief and rage we experience in real life but are forced to suppress.  As we confront death and illness all around us, we are faced with extreme emotions that we must somehow integrate into our daily lives.  The actors do us the grand favor of inhabiting these feelings for us. In another way, along the whole of its narrative arc, Harold Pinter’s A Slight Ache reminds us of the nearness of disaster.  The action of the play is a mystery, along with a warning that our attempts at safety are never more than provisional and temporary.