Frances Wright

About Perihelion

Karyn Traut

Jefferson Film Project

Recent Productions


2009: 20th Anniversary of Perihelion Theater Co.

20 Productions in 20 years.              


"Home of the healing play" ...  Spectator Magazine 1998



To stretch the boundaries of theater; to explore the inter-arts 

and to give sound to the voices of women and diversity.


written and directed by Karyn Traut,
original music by Didi Pearce
The Community Church, Chapel Hill, NC


Regarding Healing Theater:

When I was teaching in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I researched cultures that used art as part of the healing process. The Hopi, I learned, believed that if an individual was ill, it was a result of an illness in the community as a whole. Theater was their means of healing the community and through it, the afflicted individual.

Aristotle wrote of the catharsis which theater allowed. To heal a wound, we must probe it. Once probed, we must not be afraid to aerate it with laughter or tears. From the beginning of my own work in theater I had felt it was necessary to go to the core of problems and not skirt around with diversions. It was remarkable for me to learn that the Hopi not only knew the group healing power of theater, but had been practicing it for centuries.

...Karyn Traut, artistic director.


Perihelion Theater Company, Ltd. is a non-profit, 501-C-3 fully tax exempt organization. A non-profit, professional theater company, Perihelion has been producing plays since 1987 and received tax exempt status in 1989. (See: "About Perihelion") Most of the Plays have been produced in different venues of the Triangle Area of North Carolina. Two productions have been presented in off-off-Broadway spaces in New York City, another has toured the state of North Carolina. This same play was later taped for television and presented on UNC-TV, North Carolina's statewide PBS affiliate station.

The majority of the plays have been written and directed by artistic director, Karyn Traut. In addition, several plays created by other writers, Kindred Spirit Plays, have been produced by Perihelion.

A full listing of productions is at:  

AboutPerihelion rollover

(Back to Top)


In 1993 the play ALLIGATOR AND ELLIS was given a professional video production, and then shown on UNC-TV, the NC PBS affiliate, throughout North Carolina.

New Directions

In 1999 Perihelion sent artistic director Karyn Traut to film school for a crash course with the Hollywood Film Institute. The goal was to expand further into film and video production. Two scripts are now ready for Independent feature film production.


We are raising funds for a two hour television production of the stage play, Saturday's Children, about contemporary characters arguing about the life and legacy of Thomas Jefferson. It will be followed by a 1/2 hour discussion. (See Jefferson Project)

Current Project - Saturday's Children

The play, SATURDAY'S CHILDREN, was originally produced in 1988, at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina, and received critical attention. Saturday's Children made history: it was the first public presentation of a novel hypothesis that Thomas Jefferson's brother, Randolph, was the father of children by Thomas Jefferson's slave, Sally Hemings, and it was the first time Thomas Jefferson was portrayed by an African American actor, most notably, in the South.

A full description of this project is at:   
JeffersonProject rollover


Financial Contributions

A critical feature of the video production of Saturday's Children is the requirement that all costs be paid by Perihelion. There will be no financial compensation by PBS should they air the show. Since the costs for production will be about $500,000, it will only be possible to tape Saturday's Children with funding from donations and grants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept unsolicited manuscripts? No.

Do you have open auditions? Sometimes.

How do I get involved? If you've read everything on the website and think this is a company with which you'd like to work, send a query letter to the address below.

Are contributions tax deductible? Yes.

How To Contact Perihelion

 • Write To

Perihelion Theater Company

PO Box 208

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

 • email

Contributions may be mailed to our PO Box, or given directly on the Donation page.   

(Back to Top)















(Back to Top)