After the University moved classes online, four student-led theater groups — the Black Arts Theatre Company, LAB! Theatre, Company Carolina and Pauper Players — were uncertain of their next steps. By Company Carolina’s suggestion, the four groups supplemented their individual plans for the fall with a virtual series of stage readings, one-act plays and student-run performances.
Both Hannah Fatool, artistic producer for Company Carolina, and Maria Cade, executive director of productions for Pauper Players, said one of the reasons the groups decided to collaborate was to centralize UNC theater for first-year students.
“It’s kind of confusing already when we are producing in-person for the first-years to understand everything that's going on. And so we thought if all four of us were hosting our own events and putting on all our stuff, it would be overwhelming,” Fatool said.
While this collaboration offers a stark difference from the typical two to six productions each company produces a year, it has offered unexpected benefits.
Cade said the costly bill of performing a copyrighted play, such as "Mamma Mia!," is often leaned out by ticket sales, but each company still has to cover the remaining tab with fundraising.