West Chester, PA – The student-led University Theatre group aims to raise almost $15,000 to support the New York-based Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, a non-profit that provides services to those living with AIDS and HIV. They’ll do this with four performances and a silent auction from December 7 – 9, 2018.
This is the 19th year for the student directed and produced benefit, a funny and often moving mix of variety show-style acts. This year’s benefit includes 17 acts, including the return of the popular “Showtune Showdown,” and a performance by each class in the Department of Theatre. Various campus performing groups, including the Swing Dance team and the Improv Group, also perform. In all, approximately 50 students make up the cast, and an additional 15 students work backstage or on staff. The 12-piece band includes students from the Wells School of Music. A silent auction is held in the lobby prior to the performances.
The Director of the event is Caitlin Thompson, a Senior Theatre Major from West Chester. This is Thompson’s fourth year working on the event.
Thompson says, “When I started here as a Freshman, I kept hearing about this event. Everyone seemed to be involved, and so I went to a rehearsal to check it out. It took only that one hour to hook me, and I’ve been involved ever since. It is wonderful how so many students from the theatre department, in addition to various other student groups and individuals from across campus, come together to support this worthy cause.”
She adds, “Each year, when they announce the amount of money raised, it’s very emotional. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids was initially chosen by the Theatre department because of the natural tie it has with the theatre community. Over the years, we have developed a relationship with the organization, and it is so rewarding to know that our hard work is paying off to help them help others.”
Last year’s benefit raised $14,000, the highest amount raised in the event’s history.
Tom Viola, the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, says, “We are so grateful for the passionate and hardworking students at West Chester University, who have raised more than $105,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids over these last 19 years. These tenacious and dedicated students are leading the charge of young people creating advocacy and action through the arts. Their creativity, good will and commitment to social justice is the wind in our sails upon which we all will ride into the future.”
Performances are staged in the Mainstage Theatre at the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Ave., West Chester. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children at www.wcupatix.com. Performances are Friday, December 7, and Saturday, December 8, at 7: 30 p.m., and Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9, at 2 p.m.
For more information on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids visit www.broadwaycares.org.