WEST CHESTER, PA — The student-led University Theatre group at West Chester University is preparing to host its 24th annual benefit show and silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. This New York-based non-profit organization provides essential services to individuals living with AIDS and HIV.
This highly anticipated event will take place at the Mainstage Theatre at the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts in West Chester. The benefit has become a beloved tradition each December, drawing large audiences from the campus and surrounding community.
This year’s show, aptly themed ‘A Night On Broadway,’ promises an entertaining evening in a cabaret-style setting. Audiences can look forward to performances of songs from iconic Broadway shows such as Hair, Beautiful: A Carol King Musical, Mary Poppins, and Grease. These performances are interwoven with informative segments about HIV and AIDS, bringing a powerful balance of entertainment and education to the stage.
In addition to the full-cast opening and closing numbers, there will be performances by each class in the Department of Theatre & Dance, as well as renditions by various campus student groups. The popular “Showtune Showdown” also makes a return this year, allowing audiences to vote for their favorite performance by donating $1.
Prior to each show, attendees can participate in a silent auction and browse the merchandise sales area in the lobby. Auction items include Broadway memorabilia, tickets to Philadelphia theatres, and gift cards from local restaurants.
Senior and Producer Grace Halsey shared her excitement about being part of the benefit, expressing the joy of raising money for a worthy cause and the anticipation of reaching their fundraising goal of $20,000.
The West Chester University event stands as one of the largest external sources of funding for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Last year’s benefit raised nearly $17,000 from auction proceeds, ticket sales, and donations. Over the past 24 years, the students have raised more than $150,000 for the cause.
Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Tom Viola, expressed his gratitude for the passionate students at West Chester University. He said, “Their creativity, goodwill, and commitment to social justice is the wind in our sails upon which we all will ride into the future.”
The benefit performances are scheduled for Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, December 9, and Sunday, December 10, at 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $12. You can purchase your tickets at http://wcupatix.com/organization-events.