The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 4th

Grease is the word: Pauper Players presents a more personal production of ‘Grease’

	<p>Chemistry major Nate Swofford plays Danny in the Pauper Players production of  the classic musical Grease at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. It opens Friday night at 8 p.m.</p>
Buy Photos

Chemistry major Nate Swofford plays Danny in the Pauper Players production of the classic musical Grease at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. It opens Friday night at 8 p.m.

The T-birds and the Pink Ladies are coming back to school.

Starting tonight, senior Michael McWaters and UNC’s Pauper Players will bring their own flair to the iconic musical, “Grease.”

See the show

Time: 8 p.m. tonight to Tuesday with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday
Location: Carrboro ArtsCenter

McWaters, who is the director and choreographer for the show, said it was a challenge to make his personal version of the popular musical.

“‘Grease’ was such a widely done show everywhere,” he said.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1972 and gained fame with the 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

He said the 1950s-style dances will be familiar, but with his own personal touches.

“I added my own flair to it, but I tried to keep it as much in the era as I could,” he said.

Alex Herzing, a member of the cast, said he also felt challenged working with such a classic musical.

“I’m one of the people from my generation who grew up watching ‘Grease,’” he said.

McWaters wasn’t originally supposed to be the director of the project.

“The person who proposed ‘Grease’ couldn’t do it in the end, so they proposed it to me,” he said.

The cast of 24 actors has been very dedicated with rehearsals starting in late January, McWaters said.

“I’ve gotten more and more comfortable at directing and choreographing at the same time,” he said. “It’s more work, but it’s also more rewarding”.

Herzing, who plays the role of Roger, said he has never gotten as much stage time in a musical as he has in “Grease.”

He said the rehearsal process was time-consuming — but worth it.

“At first, you don’t expect to put this much work into it,” he said. “But it’s a really good sign that we’re really tired at the end of rehearsals.”

Maria Palombo, music director for the show and a music major, said she was surprised by the actors’ potential.

“I had no idea that other majors can sing and dance as they do,” she said.

She said that at first, she was hesitant to commit as a music director for the show.

“I was not experienced in teaching people music, but it helped me grow myself,” she said.

The performance will be accompanied by an orchestra of UNC students.

Herzing said Pauper is expecting a mix of students and community members in the audience at the Carrboro Arts Center, where the show is being held.

“The venue is really known as a family venue,” he said.

He said the ArtsCenter helped the group publicize to a more diverse audience.

Herzing hopes the audience — students or community — will appreciate the cast’s energy.

“People will be expecting something, and they’ll get what they want and a little more.”

Contact the Arts Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for March 7, 2022

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive