The fifth annual AIDS Benefit, organized by members of University Theatre, took place this past Saturday, Apr. 23. Including a silent auction and an evening of entertainment, all proceeds from the night, which totaled more then $2,000 were donated to Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA). This charity is the nationʼs leading industry-based, non-profit AIDS fundraising and grantmaking organization. Having won the award for best service project at West Chester last year, the AIDS Benefit is one of the theatre department ʼs most significant endeavors. They begin in January by contacting local business for auction items. From gift certificates to restaurants, one-hour massages, artwork, jewelry, autographed memorabilia, Philadelphia theatre tickets and different gift baskets, there are a large variety of donated items. A show is then arranged which includes songs, dancing, scenes and other student or faculty talent. This year included popular musical selections from shows like Guys and Dolls, Fame, Rent, Hairspray and many others.
There were also humorous scenes from Michael Fraynʼs Noiseʼs Off and an original adaptation of an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet. Complete with colorful costumes and makeup, the show had a professional but relaxed feel. Keeping in mind that it is all for charity, the audience and performers have a good time knowing that they are raising money for a good cause.
Held on the ground floor of the E.O. Bull Center, the rooms and hallways were transformed with colorful lighting, stars hanging from the ceiling, candles and beautiful flower and fabric arrangements.
Volunteers wore red ribbons to signify their support in the fight against AIDS. The LGBTA also set up a table in the lobby selling shirts, pins and other items to support the cause.
Free of charge, this yearʼs benefit drew the largest audience yet, nearly filling the Mainstage Theatre. The evening was a success for both the department of theatre and dance, as well as for the BC/ EFA charity.