BY KATELYN TRELA | The Daily Tar Heel
Sophomore Clare Shaffer had a vision for Company Carolina.
After directing a play as a freshman, Shaffer wanted bigger audiences and more shows for the group.
This season, as producing artistic director, Shaffer has helped bring new life to the community theater company.
Rob Hamilton, the group’s faculty adviser, said Shaffer’s ideas have helped Company Carolina reach new heights.
“With her there, they seem to have really ramped up their ability to present themselves in a professional manner,” he said.
By putting business majors on the business side of things, she said, the company would be more functional.
“The biggest job is putting in someone competent,” she said.
Will Hawkins was one of those people.
The sophomore is Company Carolina’s functioning dramaturg. He researches the logistical probability that a proposed show can be done, especially regarding cost.
Company Carolina receives about half of its annual spending budget from student government and half from ticket revenue.
This season, the company received $6,131 from student government and brought in about $11,671 from ticket sales. The group also received a $1,000 grant from Zipcar.
After 23 performances of six productions, the group’s total expenses were about $10,166 of an available $18,802.
The most expensive performance was also the group’s most attended — “Spring Awakening.”
Performed from March 24 to 26, Hawkins said the awareness it brought is invaluable.
“That kind of show with wide appeal is what we want for next year,” he said.
Royalties for the 2006 musical cost them $1,800, only a portion of the show’s $7,118 price tag.
“Musicals cost so much more than anything else, and it’s a cheap one,” Shaffer said. “But everyone comes to musicals.”
With attendance of around 700, Company made back about $5,716.
The group’s most sizeable profit came with the yearly Valentine’s Day staple, “The Vagina Monologues.” The performance cost $903 and made back $4,088. They gave $3,600 of that profit to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and $400 to the V-Day Spotlight campaign.
Junior Gentry Hodnett hadn’t heard of the company before “The Vagina Monologues.” The play piqued her interest, she auditioned and is now a part of the company.
“Company Carolina has definitely given me a new home within the Carolina community that I never knew I had,” she said.
Shaffer said she is proud of the group’s community atmosphere, which doesn’t cater to the drama-student niche.
“It doesn’t feel cliquish.”
Hawkins said the group will try to publicize that aspect to draw in new audiences and auditioners.
“If people are willing to take a little risk, we could do a lot.”
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