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Company Carolina gets wild with "The Wild Party"

Company Carolina
Company Carolina's production of "The Wild Party" will be performed at The ArtsCenter Oct. 27-29. Photo courtesy of Bradley Barefoot.

Company Carolina's production of "The Wild Party" will open at The ArtsCenter on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. and run through Oct. 29.  

The award-winning musical chronicles the story of a couple living during the Roaring Twenties — Queenie, a vaudeville dancer, and Burrs, a vaudeville clown. In a flawed relationship scarred by abuse and impulse, the couple throws the wildest of all parties.

“Even though this play is set in the 1920s, it’s still relevant today,” said Bradley Barefoot, a sophomore music major and the show's director. “Abuse and mental illness still exists in today’s society. Moreover, a woman overcoming all odds against her is empowering.”

The show will start at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, 28 and 29, with additional matinee performances on Oct. 28 and 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, on UNC's campus and through The ArtsCenter website. 

Not only can viewers look forward to the wild plot, but also the music and dances that the play offers. 

“A lot of 1920s jazz motifs have been used," Barefoot said. "The very neat thing about 'The Wild Party' is the musical pieces associated with these themes of abuse and violence — these pieces re-shape how the scene is happening.”

Barefoot has been working tirelessly with the cast to make magic happen, having four to five hour-long rehearsals six days a week for two months straight.

“It’s been a labor of love,” he said. “I love going to rehearsals every day. It’s beautiful to see the story come to together. Not to mention, the cast is fantastic — they’re at the top of their game.”

Among the cast is Connor Nielsen, a junior dramatic arts major, and Faith Jones, a sophomore music major. They star in the play as Burrs and Queenie.

“There’s a huge interplay between the subject matter and the musical aspect,” Nielsen said. “The music is unlike anything that Carolina has heard.”

Additionally, Nielsen shed light on the major themes that people can expect to see in the play.

“The danger of excess is a major theme," he said. "The characters love attention, and they love their vices. It’s an exploration of people at their downfall in a really interesting way.”

Although their respective characters may not have a healthy relationship, the two stars of the play have an amazing team dynamic, Jones said.

“It’s a tough role as it’s physically and vocally demanding,” Jones said. “However, I like it because there’s a lot of dancing, which is musically interesting because it helps to develop the relationship between Queenie and Burrs. Plus, Connor is an amazing actor that helps push me when things get a little hard.”

While Jones has starred in plays during high school, this is her first play at UNC. Although she still gets butterflies in her stomach when performing in front of people, she’s determined to make this play a wild one.

“I know we’re going to do a great job,” she said.

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