U of O club puts on original musical for Operation Come Home
Members of University of Ottawa student club Unity For Action (UFA) belted it out at their fifth annual charity original musical Singing it Out on March 12.
The production was held March 12–13 at Academic Hall, with all proceeds from the tickets, food sales, and their silent auction going to Operation Come Home, an Ottawa charity that supports over 1,200 homeless and street-associated youth a year.
The original musical featured cast from UFA, which is made up of passionate performers dedicated to creating a positive difference in society. The fundraiser is held every year for a different charity, and this year they decided to keep it close to home.
“It’s easier to get the money to them and it’s nice to do something and know that the money is staying in the community,” says Emily Cortes, president of UFA and recent U of O communications grad.
Rebecca Mason, a U of O communications alumna, the vice-president graphic design for the UFA and director of the play says that the theme of the musical was lighthearted, but with an important message.
“Every year we try to tackle some sort of overall theme… this year it’s self acceptance and confidence and going after what you want,” says Mason. “It’s university and we know a lot of people are going through very similar situations… we want people to be able to relate.”
The musical stayed true to this theme with the main characters all dealing with student-related problems, ranging from the stress of schoolwork and pressure to make their parents proud, to issues surrounding sexual orientation and coming to terms with who they really are.
The cast was full of high-energy individuals, and a back and forth dialogue full of funny quips to keep the audience entertained. It also featured upbeat songs and emotional numbers such as “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, and “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.
The fundraising effort was made even more fruitful by the presence of Eric Bollman, secretary on the board of directors of Operation Come Home, who offered a few words of thanks during the intermission.
“Our aim as an organization is basically to prevent homeless youth from becoming homeless adults,” said Bollman. “(The money raised) is going to go to the things that are most important in our program—addictions counselling and social services… job action programs, schools… thank you guys so much for being a part of that.”
Bollman also discussed other ways people could get involved with their cause, including ordering local beer Beau’s online, or signing up for vegetable delivery from a farmer’s market that they run in which the youth are active participants in farming and delivering in order to gain job experience.