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Collaborating for a Cause

Collaborating for a CauseTufts sophomore Samantha Kindler discusses her role in producing a cabaret show to benefit those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.26.08] For Tufts sophomore Samantha Kindler (A'11), "life is a cabaret"-or at least it has been this semester, as she worked to bring together multiple Tufts organizations in support of the fight against AIDS.

Kindler is the producer of "Over the Rainbow," a 90-minute cabaret held at the Balch Arena Theater on Nov. 24, and featured a mix of musical theatre performances by Tufts students. The goal of the performance is to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a national organization whose mission is to "mobilize the unique abilities within the entertainment industry to mitigate the suffering of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS." A reception and an auction preceded the event.

Kindler recruited two of Tufts' leading theatre organizations, Torn Ticket II and Pen, Paint and Pretzels (3Ps), to host the event, which was co-sponsored by the Leonard Carmichael Society and the Drama Department. Scott Tucker of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids provided guidance on coordinating the event and also donated items to be raffled and auctioned off the night of the show.

E-News caught up with Kindler to learn more about her role in this event.

E-News: How did you become involved with Over the Rainbow?

Kindler: I first became involved because my friend Jeewon Kim (A'11) came to me and said that he was interested in doing a charity event combined with a theater show to raise money for a charity called Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. I was very excited, because this is actually the sort of thing that I really want to do after graduating college. I'm interested in event planning, but charity fundraising and theater in general.

E-News: What can we expect from the cabaret?

Kindler: The cabaret will feature music from mostly modern musical theater, but with a twist: all of the songs in the show that would normally be performed by women are going to be performed by men. It's actually something that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of New York Citydoes on a bigger scale; they call it "Broadway Backwards."

E-News: Is there a theme to the songs that you chose?

Kindler: Yes. Broadway Cares really promotes the idea of coming together as a group to promote awareness, overcome obstacles and raise money for a great cause through entertainment and theater. So, a lot of our themes are just about coming together despite everything.

It's a really good mix of fun songs about overcoming obstacles, with a mix of very sentimental, moving songs. I can guarantee there's not going to be a dry eye in the house when "Over the Rainbow" is performed.

E-News: Do you have a fundraising goal?

Kindler: We don't have an exact goal right now. Even if we don't make a lot of money, at least we're raising awareness about the charity and about the protection and prevention of AIDS and HIV. So for us, it is important to raise money, but it's more important to raise awareness.

E-News: What was the biggest challenge in pulling this together?

Kindler: The biggest challenge was, as it's a student production, we have a student budget. A lot of times when we do student theatre, we ask for parent donations. But since this is a charity event, we really wanted them to donate money to the actual charity, instead of donating money to us. We wanted to have this great, big, grand production but in truth we have a small budget.

E-News: What is the biggest thing that you have taken away from this experience?

Kindler: I think for me, personally, I really learned about collaborating with an entire group to put together such an amazing event. And I think that after the event is over, after all the stress of putting it on, it really is going to be such a rewarding experience. Not only that we raised money for a great charity, but also that we brought such a great event to Tufts and Tufts theatre. We've never seen something like this at Tufts theatre before. It's really going to be exciting and hopefully will set a precedent for other great charity events.

Didn't make it to the show, but still want to donate? Checks can be made out to "Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids," and mailed to: Samantha Kindler, Balch Arena Box Office, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155.

Q&A by Molly Frizzell (A'09).

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