The student-led University Theatre group at West Chester University is planning its 20th annual benefit event to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a New York-based nonprofit that provides services to those living with AIDS and HIV.
Performances are staged in the Mainstage Theatre at the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, located at 2 East Rosedale Avenue. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and can be purchased by clicking here. Performances are Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 PM.
The benefit is a funny and often moving mix of variety show-style acts interspersed with facts and stories about HIV and AIDS. It has become a well-attended event and a campus highlight each season.
Accompanied by a small pit orchestra, audiences will enjoy Broadway songs, including the ever-popular “Showtune Showdown” where they get to choose the winner (between Greased Lighting or Footloose) by throwing $1 into a bucket to cast a vote. Each class in the Department of Theatre & Dance performs, as well as various campus groups, including the a cappella group High Street Harmonix, the Swing Dance team, the Irish Step group, and the Improv Group.
Producer Josh Waltz, a senior Theatre major from Delaware, and Chris Yingling, a senior Education major from Bucks County, have been affiliated with the event since their Freshman year. Waltz is the producer of this year’s event and Yingling the director.
“I think Broadway Cares was chosen as the beneficiary for this event because of their natural tie to the theatre community,” said Waltz. “Over these last 20 years, we have come to know the administrators and the organization quite well. I love supporting them and being a part of this event. It is worth all of the hours and effort.”
The event is one of the largest outside sources of funding for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year’s benefit raised more than $17,000 in proceeds from the auction, ticket sales, and donations, the highest amount raised in the event’s history.