The West Virginia University School of Theatre & Dance, in conjunction with the Theatre Student Organization, is heavily involved in directing funds to charitable causes, including the $425 raised in donations and auction proceeds during their recent play “The Shape of Things.”

The funds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising organizations.

Students from the Theatre Student Organization manned booths during the show and sold various kinds of Broadway autographed memorabilia provided by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, including show posters, programs and biographies, as well as the organization’s signature red “Make a Difference” ribbons and wristlets.

Theatre professors Lee Blair and Jenna Cole, both members of the Actors’ Equity Association, forged the connection with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

“This is a wonderful organization that benefits many charities, including the Caritas House in Morgantown,” Cole said.

Donations for the organization were also collected during Professor Blair’s production of “Urinetown” in 2009.

The Theatre Student Organization will continue to take donations for the organization’s red ribbons and wristlets during each WVU Theatre & Dance production this season.

“Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS really makes it a special event with all that they send, and it makes it exciting and worthwhile for young theater artists to become involved,” Cole said. “The future of theater and of giving back to the community is in their hands, and every opportunity to pass on that tradition is important.”

Donations are also collected at dance concerts for Broadway Cares/Dancers Responding to AIDS.

In addition, the School of Theatre & Dance has also used its productions to raise funds for The United Way and for the Kposowa Foundation, which was founded by WVU Theatre alumna Sarah Culberson to help raise funds and rebuild a boarding school for students in Sierra Leone.

For more information on charities affiliated with the School of Theatre & Dance or to make a donation, contact Jenna Cole at



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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