In lieu of a permanent stage, UNC’s Pauper Players have performed all over campus.
But their Fall production of “Guys and Dolls” won’t be seen in Chapel Hill.
Rather than the Student Union Cabaret or Historic Playmakers Theatre — which have previously hosted Pauper shows — “Guys and Dolls” will be at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. The show will open in November.
Jeffrey Sullivan, the show’s producer, who is also a staff designer for The Daily Tar Heel, said Pauper chose the ArtsCenter to become more involved in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.
The center will probably not be the company’s permanent home, he said.
“I doubt that we will find a permanent place to rehearse,” Sullivan said.
Having found their stage, Pauper is faced with the new challenge of gaining an audience in an off-campus location.
Cast member Max Bitar, said he expects people to attend despite the Carrboro venue.
“As long as we put out the word in time we’ll be able to draw a crowd,” he said.
Some students said that the musical’s off campus location would deter them from attending.
Senior Tyshia Hedgspeth said that going to the ArtsCenter might be too much trouble for some students.
“People who may have come to watch the performance out of curiosity will not come because they may feel like they’re going out of their way,” she said.
Freshman Halle Sinnott said Pauper will retain its core audience, though she doesn’t think many students will make the extra effort.
“It’s going to decrease the attendance for mainstream students, but I don’t think that it will stop friends and family from going,” she said.
Cast member Nate Swofford said students’ loyalty to Pauper would help maintain their attendance rates despite the changes.
“Everyone on campus knows somebody (in the musical) or at least knows somebody that knows somebody,” he said.
But cost might also be an issue for Pauper’s perspective audience.
“Being a college student, it’s hard to pay for entertainment, especially off campus,” Chad Manhertz, marketing chairman for the Carolina Union Activities Board, said.
Tickets to Pauper’s performances in the Cabaret used to cost $5 for UNC students and $10 for the general public.
Prices are slightly higher at the ArtsCenter on the day of the performance, costing students $7 and the general public $12.
The ArtsCenter also has a membership system which offers $8 tickets to ArtsClub members.
Despite students’ uncertainties, Hayley Wright — the show’s director — said that the ArtsCenter will draw a fresh audience.
“‘Guys and Dolls’ is a classic family show that will attract not only UNC students, but families also,” she said.
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