Village Players Gives Back: The local community theater is supporting The Pink Fund during its upcoming production of “Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.”
The theatre world is no stranger to supporting charitable causes. In the professional theatre world, the organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids supports programs and organizations that offer treatment and service for individuals with Aids or other critical health issues. BC/EFA is the result of a 1993 merger of Equity Fights Aids, founded in 1987 by the Actor’s Equity union, and Broadway Cares, founded in 1988 by the Producers’ Group. To date, BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million dollars to support its mission and initiatives.
Moving from Broadway to Birmingham, the theater community at The Village Players also has a history of supporting charitable organizations. Through its “VP Gives Back” program, VP supports the fundraising activities of other local non-profits by donating show tickets for use in silent auctions or raffles. VP donates more than 50 tickets annually to local charities.
VP also holds special events to call attention to and fund-raise for charitable organizations. During our 2007 production of W;T, a story chronicling the final days of an oncologist dying from ovarian cancer, the cast and crew hosted a hair-cutting event which benefited the Michigan nonprofit, Wigs 4 Kids.
VP’s youth theater supports a cause during each of its productions. Each VYT cast selects a charity to which it donates the proceeds from a 50/50 raffle. The young actors pick a charity that has a connection with the show they are performing. For example, during their recent production of Annie, the cast raised $600 to donate to the Michigan Humane Society in honor of Annie’s dog, Sandy. When VYT performed Rent in 2009, it earmarked 50/50 proceeds to the LGBT youth programs at Affirmations in Ferndale.
For VP’s upcoming show, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, the cast and crew will donate proceeds from a 50/50 raffle to The Pink Fund. The Pink Fund is a Beverly Hills, Mich.-based charity that provides financial assistance to breast cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatment. JDJD, as the cast refers to the show, has connections to breast cancer. The tragicomedy centers on a group of women, members of a Jimmy Dean fan club, who gather to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the star’s death. During the club’s reunion, the character Sissy, reveals that she has undergone a double mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer. In real life, the mother of the actor Jimmy Dean died from breast cancer.
The VP theater community is proud to be a part of the long-standing theatre world tradition of supporting charitable causes. VP’s various initiatives, such as 50/50 raffles, are one small way VP can give back to those in need in our own community. We hope you’ll join us at JDJD in supporting The Pink Fund and will participate with us in future charitable endeavors as well.
A 50/50 raffle supporting The Pink Fund will be conducted during each of JDJD’s performances: January 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8:00 p.m. and January 19 and 25 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets to the show can be purchased online at www.birminghamvillagetheater.com or by calling our box office at 248-644-2075. For more information on The Pink Fund, please visit its website, www.thepinkfund.org.
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Our usual blogger, Gary Mach, is on vacation through the month of January. Several VP members will be guest blogging in his absence.