This week justArts spoke with Bethany Adam ’15 about Tympanium Euphorium’s Brandeis Cares, a charity event that raises money for HIV/AIDS. Adam is the vice president of Tymp and coordinated the show.
justArts: Can you tell me about Brandeis Cares?
Bethany Adam: At Brandeis specifically, it is a show that focuses on theater talent and music to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness. And we work through a company called Broadway Cares, which does the same thing, except using star talent from Broadway.
JA: How did you choose to get involved in Brandeis Cares?
BA: I’m on the [executive board] for the [Tympanium Euphorium] musical theater group. And it’s part of the role as vice president. So it’s either my job to plan it or to delegate it to someone to plan, and I just figured, why not?
JA: What was your favorite part of the show this year?
BA: That’s a tough call. I have two answers. … I really like when we see glimpses of the musicals that are coming up because I think it’s a really great way to see how the rehearsal process is going and everything like that. But honestly, my favorite part of the show this year [was] that there were a lot of people that came together to really help out, very willingly and very last-minute to just be supportive, and I really appreciate that.
JA: What do you think the Brandeis community can gain from seeing the performance?
BA: One of the great things about Brandeis Cares—and kind of about benefit concerts in general—is that it gives you a chance to give art a greater meaning or a greater space. I mean, honestly, all the people who performed are incredibly talented and will be seen performing in many things at Brandeis. But the fact that they were kind of willing to use their talent in order to help other people, in order to help find a cure that affects so many Americans and people worldwide, I think is really powerful that they are able to use their art to do that.
JA: Did you have any challenges putting together the show?
BA: Yes. So, last year it was a much larger-scale production … because I had a lot more time. Being a second semester senior makes it kind of tricky. But basically, this year, there were the typical run-of-the-mill challenges, but I was really fortunate to be surrounded by a team of people who were really supportive and, as I said, were really willing to step up and work really hard last-minute to pull those strings together.
JA: What did you personally get out of your experience in Brandeis Cares?
BA: Throughout the three shows—well I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of event planning for theater—the theater crowd is a very different type of crowd than other groups that I’ve planned for. But I’m really fortunate to have gotten to know and work with so many different types of actors and actresses and performers at Brandeis. Because as a performer, I mostly just did musical theater at Brandeis so with Brandeis Cares, I got to work really closely with people who do tech, people who do behind the scenes work, people who work simply on productions and work with the crowd and things like that. So, I think that was a really great learning experience for me.
JA: Can you talk a little more about how art and social justice comes together in Brandeis Cares?
BA: I’m a huge proponent of theater—all art forms but especially theater—being used to either educate the audience or being used to bring a message home that might not normally be talked about. And the great thing about Brandeis Cares is that not every musical necessarily does that ... Sometimes art is just art to be appreciated. And I love going to really cheeky musicals and singing fun songs, and I think that’s really powerful in and of itself. But when you can kind of combine the two aspects—the really fun, outgoing, laugh-your-socks-off songs with the deeper meaning of creating a purpose for the art and working with other people towards a common goal, I think that that’s really theater at its finest.