Thespian Troupe #5464 Celebrates 21 Years of BC/EFA

TOWAMENCIN-Showtunes + a Troupe of Thespians + a Good Cause = BC/EFA.

Last Friday night, Thespian Troupe #5464 hosted their 21st Annual Knight of the Arts Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS Gala & Fundraiser. BC/EFA galas are now held all across the country, but back in 1999, the very first was held in the North Penn High School auditorium.

Senior Ryan Williams had to come up with an idea for his graduation project, so after talking with then NPHS Theatre Director Cindy Louden, they made some calls to the BC/EFA offices in New York. The idea began to spread to high schools across America, and the rest is history.

Not counting donations from 2020, Pennsylvania Thespians have raised $135,987, with $86,714 coming from Thespian Troupe #5464!

“I think Broadway Cares is a good way to get people in the community to witness the talent of our high school students as well as a good way to help others by raising and donating money to those affected by the AIDS crisis.”

— Tori Quinn, Thespian Troupe #5464 President

“Broadway Cares to is very important to me. I remember when Penndale did Shrek, when I was in eighth grade, and we came to perform “I’m A Believer” up at the high school. Seeing the high schoolers planning the event, organizing it and running it-I had a lot of respect for them. I think Broadway Cares is a good way to get people in the community to witness the talent of our high school students as well as a good way to help others by raising and donating money to those affected by the AIDS crisis,” said Thespian Troupe #5464 President Tori Quinn. 

Every May, members of Thespian Troupe #5464 vote on BC/EFA Co-Coordinators for the following year. Last May, junior Elijah Baker and senior Dylan Procopio were elected.

“It was a job that required a lot of work, that much is obvious. But the success of the event came from the collaboration and hard work put in by everyone who was involved,” said Baker. 

BC/EFA is very different than the fall show and spring musical, because much of the rehearsing and tech-ing happens in the afternoon hours before the gala, not weeks in advance.

“The high schoolers do a lot behind the scenes; making sure the people in the next act are there on time, putting their mics on, making sure the middle schoolers are where they need to be, etc. It can be very stressful at first, because you don’t have a day to rehearse it before time. All the backstage stuff with the tech and the order happens that day. It isn’t like a show with weeks in advance to tech. So there is a time constraint and naturally some people will feel rushed. But once it hits 7, and the coffee house and main stage performances are ready to go on, you start to relax and enjoy the night. But Broadway Cares isn’t something one high schooler does alone;  we pull it off by working together and the night always turns out amazing,” Quinn added.

The night began with coffee house performances in the lobby, including Gaby and Katrina Moseley (Barbra Streisand’s “Happy Days are Here Again”), Genesys Perez-Berrios (“Times are Hard for Dreamers” from Amelie), and members of Men’s Choir (Haley Reinhart’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”).

Mainstage performaces then kicked off, featuring high schoolers, previews of the middle school musicals, and a sneak peek at NPHS’ upcoming musical, Shrek!

Highlights included sophomore Eric Lewis’ “Santa Fe” from Newsies, sophomore Rebecca Weiss’ “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from Grease, senior Jaemon Crosby’s “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime, and for the second year in a row, a medley of Jersey Boys hits from the “Pennsylvania Boys”-Crosby, Senior Joe Popp, and Class of 2019 alumni Paul Klemmer and Krisna Chantharath.

I love BC/EFA because I get to see people perform that I normally wouldn’t get to see. And at the end, during “Seasons of Love”, it’s just so great because you’re with all your friends who are in theatre with you now, but there’s also the middle schoolers who will be here in the future to carry on the theatre program at North Penn,” said senior Cyarra Cobbs.

As everyone began singing “Seasons of Love” (the last act of the night), I just remember the satisfaction that I had knowing that Elijah, myself, and all of Thespian Troupe #5464 had succeeded by completing this gala.””

— Dylan Procopio, BC/EFA Co-Coordinator

“The planning process of the gala was a lot, but thanks to everyone’s cooperation it all went smoothly. I hope the gala was enjoyable for the audience to watch as well as informational about how the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS organization has continued to do their part in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As everyone began singing “Seasons of Love” (the last act of the night), I just remember the satisfaction that I had knowing that Elijah, myself, and all of Thespian Troupe #5464 had succeeded by completing this gala,” concluded BC/EFA Co-Coordinator Dylan Procopio.