Club promises comedic show, with proceeds going to LGBT charity
Unity for Action, a student club at the University of Ottawa, is gearing up for their annual musical. This year, the club is tackling materialism, with all proceeds going to LGBT Youth Line, a charity that offers counselling, advice, and an outreach hotline for LGBT youth.
Unity for Action student-led club that organizes events based on its members’ passions, said Rebecca Mason, a former communications student at the U of O and long-time member of the club, who directed this year’s musical. Coffee houses are common, with members performing what they’re interested in, such as spoken word, music, or dance. One of the club’s biggest highlights is their annual musical, with proceeds going to charities and causes chosen at the beginning of the year.
This is the seventh year of the club performing a musical. The group settled on doing an annual musical, Mason explained, because it was a medium that could easily get their chosen social justice topic across, while gathering a big crowd.
“It was decided that, okay, what big event can we host where we can get a large number of people and that we can kind of craft around a social issue in society,” Mason said. “I think a musical was the logical answer to that.”
The club writes their own musical every year, which is the best way to keep the production within their limitations and budget.
“Since we donate all of our money, it’s not as if we have money to spend … so, when we write it ourselves, it’s easier to know what our limitations are,” said Mason.
The club tends to take a comedic or lighthearted route when they can, even though they often deal with heavy topics like mental health or domestic abuse. Mason explains that they are always careful to be respectful of the subject matter, but don’t want audiences to feel weighed down by the heaviness of the topic.
This year’s musical is about materialism, which allows the group to be funnier than they could have been with more personal topics like domestic abuse. The musical has a classic ‘life-swap’ plot, where a rich, famous woman who is miserable and ungrateful for her celebrity status swaps lives with a regular girl who desires fame and fortune. Over the course of the play, the regular girl discovers that fame and money don’t guarantee happiness, while the celebrity learns to be kind to the people around her and better appreciate them.
The musical is also unique in that they don’t write their own songs, but take popular music that fits the subject matter. Keeping with the comedic angle, the musical will feature “Rich Girl” and Simple Plan’s “Welcome to My Life,” for some cheesy throwbacks.
“It’s for a great cause, and all of the money is going to that good cause. It’s also a lot of fun to see people who love what they’re doing, who love performing,” Mason said. “I think it’s a good story, again, with materialism, you have something that comes into play a lot these days.”
“It’s just a fun time and it’s for a great cause.”
The annual Unity for Action musical runs Sat. March 10 at 8 p.m., and Sun. March 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets can be bought in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.