Benesch said PlayMakers welcomes a diverse audience, and limited parking makes it difficult for them to attend these performances.
“We have patrons of all ages, including some with accessibility issues, and it would be tough for them to get around when parking is so limited,” Benesch said.
Patrons are not the only demographic affected by game-day parking.
Tia James, a company member, vocal coach and performer in "Native Son" said actors and production staff are reminded, prior to rehearsal, to reevaluate their parking strategies on game days.
Company members aren't the only ones affected by parking restrictions. Students will face penalties if they do not move their car, including potential fines, tickets or towing consequences.
Jalen Johnson, a UNC sophomore and self-proclaimed Tar Heel fan, pays $345 annually for his parking spot near Ehringhaus Residence Hall.
“Every time there’s a home football game, I do have to move my car,” Johnson said.
Parking seems to be the primary source of contention between the University and its visitors, students, staff and organizations on game days. This furthers the conversation beyond the canceled performances of "Native Son" and calls the University’s infrastructure into question.
Lauren Toney, a UNC senior, is the president of Company Carolina, a student-run theater organization on campus.
Toney said she feels the University could improve its infrastructure to be more supportive of the arts.
“For one, they could build spaces for us," Toney said. "We have this amazing football stadium and we don’t really have a decent space we can perform in."
Even for members of the company, Toney said it is difficult to access space on campus.
“Even the bare minimum things, our needs aren’t being met," Toney said. "It’s so hard to even book rehearsal rooms."
James had a similar sentiment about the University's cultural attitude toward the arts. She said she isn't sure how the University prioritizes theatre as an institution of campus life.
“I feel like the University does support the theater, knows its value and knows its worth, but I don’t know that the students know that," James said. "I don’t know if it’s lack of interest or lack of knowledge.”
Haslett believes it is a societal issue, rather than one specific to the University.
“We’ve stopped marketing the arts in a national way," Haslett said. "There’s an NFL TV station. There’s an MLB TV station. There’s no ‘arts’ TV station. It’s not something that people pride in the same way. It’s a challenge; it really is."
Students do not entirely agree with Haslett's perspective, though.
Toney said she does believe the University prioritizes sports over other aspects of campus culture.
“I think we're supported by the other theater groups, but I don’t feel like we are supported by the University in general," Toney said.