Fellow students,Each December, when the semester is coming to a close and we all look forward to going home for Winter Break, University Theatre moves at full speed to get ready for our largest piece of philanthropy we do each year: our Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Benefit.
The benefit starts with a silent auction of donated items from the Greater West Chester area. Items range from gift baskets, to gift certificates, to theatre tickets, to one of a kind pieces of art. After the silent auction, we have our entertainment section of the evening, where over 50 students perform a variety show full of songs, dances, scenes, videos and much more! All of the acts are in the spirit of celebrating life and the season of giving, in hopes that people will be generous in donating to this wonderful cause.
The benefit was created eight years ago by University Theatre students who wanted to raise money for an organization that is very close to home for the theatrical community: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. BC/EFA is a multi-faceted organization that supports organizations that provide treatment and support to those affected by HIV/AIDS, funds research geared to finding a cure, creates educational materials for widespread awareness of the disease, as well as serves those specifically in the theatre community who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Around the country, many university theatre organizations put on benefits to support this cause and we are proud to say that ours is annually one of the largest and most successful benefits in the country.
Over the last eight years, we have raised over $19,000 for this cause. Last year, we were excited to have the largest benefit to date, with over 300 attendees and 40 performers. Most importantly, we raised over $4,300; the most we’ve ever raised at one benefit.
Recently, it has come to our attention that the WCU community might not be aware of the caliber of students we have working on theatre here on campus. The commitment to the AIDS Benefit is a perfect example of the type of kind, loyal, and dedicated individuals who come to the E.O. Bull Center everyday and make the time to ensure that we meet all of our goals. These are the people who after a day of classes, homework, part-time and full-time jobs, as well as other theatre responsibilities, sacrifice their late nights to put together an evening of entertainment. At the same time, these people are also out in the community, getting businesses to donate auction items, sending out letters to past donors, hanging up posters, etc.
On top of that, these people also make the time to get tested for HIV/AIDS. We get tested to show the community that there is no shame in getting tested and being safe. These are the people that make studying theatre at WCU a joy. These are the people who all year round use theatre as a way of understanding responsibility, meeting deadlines, thinking outside of the box, and many other skills that can be used in theatre and in the real world. If their participation in theatre at WCU is any indication of what is ahead for these individuals, I am happy to say that our students will not only be better theatre artists, but better citizens as well.
Given all of this, University Theatre would like to invite you to experience these selfless people in action at our 9th Annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS Benefit that will take place on Saturday, December 6th in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theater. The silent auction will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the variety show will begin at 8:00 p.m. Kick off your own season of giving by attending the benefit and playing your part in making this year’s benefit our biggest success.
President, University Theatre
West Chester University