Where is your second home?

Young Auditorium hosts telethon fundraiser


Lizzy Rost

Shannon Dozoryst and Aaron Wesolowski hang out in their pajamas at the Young Auditorium’s green room for a behind-the-scenes virtual telethon fundraiser running from Oct. 16-22 .

Lizzy Rost, Arts and Rec Editor

When most arts students think about their second home, they think of their passions. They think of their singing lessons, interactions with the audience, the laughs from their inside jokes, and their thrilling environment. When they performed on stage they could feel the music in their bones and knew they were at home. However, due to COVID-19 the Young Auditorium’s artists couldn’t perform in-person and experience the live audience.

“It’s really like a second home to the performers and viewers. We need to get back into motion with performers and actors living as a second home. It gives them a purpose,” said video producer Chad Johnstone. 

The Young Auditorium made them feel at home, because it’s where people smiled, enjoyed the audience and were welcomed. The Young Auditorium was a place where artists, the community, and students belonged.

Due to the pandemic, it has lost opportunities with Broadway shows, orchestral performances, dance academies and magicians on their stage this year. Yet this theatre troupe won’t let COVID-19 stop them entirely. Instead the Young Auditorium hosted it’s first ever virtual telethon fundraiser called From Our Home to Yours, which began Oct. 15 and runs through Oct. 22. 

“The goal is to help them feel like Young Auditorium is their temporary home as well. I think that goes over to our audience too. We bring people into our audience, we want you to feel comfortable, and we want you to feel like you’re at home. We cannot invite you physically into our home just yet, or the place we all think of as home in one way or another. So we are going to bring our home to you with this fundraiser,” said Marketing Specialist Aaron Wesolowski. “You will see a few behind the scenes areas of the Young Auditorium, and what people might not be used to seeing. It is a really relaxed atmosphere. We are just trying to get people to feel comfortable, and show them what really goes on here at the Young Auditorium.”

In the fundraiser video, audiences will see exclusive areas that in-person events could not show. For instance, on the Young Auditorium’s From Our Home to Yours video brought artists like The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, Bill Blag a Magician, Kick-Ass Celtic Music, South Chicago Dance Theater and David Stokes a naturalist educator. When they invited these artists, it gave them a new opportunity to spread awareness. 

Without their in-person performances, the artists need a way to keep the community connected to the arts. Virtually, community members can stay in their own homes and kick back with some fresh popcorn safely. The Young Auditorium wanted the community to feel comfortable just like these performers. 

“It’s a family atmosphere. We all worked together. That’s where I created a lot of my friendships over at the Young Auditorium. And some of them who even graduated – I still have friendships with them,” said senior theater major Nicolas Sole. “It’s like my second home, because I spent so much time there with them. They have become family and I used to always want to be there. Right now I can’t because of COVID, but I always wanted to be there.”

The Young Auditorium has been there for so many in the past, and is now asking its Whitewater family to help keep the arts and artists together through this pandemic. To learn more and make a donation visit https://www.uww.edu/youngauditorium/2020-home by Thursday, Oct. 22.