Weber State University’s Center of Diversity and Unity, along with the Associated Actors and Technicians of WSU, will host The Side of Love: A Cabaret of Celebration on Saturday. The event will take place in the Dumke Legacy Hall, located inside the Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning on WSU’s Ogden campus. The cabaret is intended to celebrate members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.
WSU students Derek Williamson and Flo Bravo will be the event hosts.
“It is an evening of performance centered around love, acceptance and, well, celebration,” said Williamson, who will graduate from the theater arts department at the end of this semester.
Williamson said many people in the LGBTQ community need a reason to celebrate.
“So often we are left behind or pushed out of the way,” he said. “This performance will be a morale-booster filled with supporting people who understand and respect the struggles a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning person may be going through.”
Tanner Rampton, a musical theater major at WSU, will perform as part of the cabaret production.
“Getting in a room with a pianist and new music is such an exciting process,” Rampton said. “It is even more special when it is for an event with a cause that is so important to everyone involved.”
Rampton said there will be many different combinations of performers in a laid-back atmosphere.
“You will see performers from Weber State singing solos, duets, trios and group numbers from Broadway musicals,” he said. “Audiences will be in a relaxed setting with seats, tables and standing room, and will be able to eat desserts and mingle.”
Rampton said he hopes the event will spread awareness and help progress equality for LGBTQ students.
“We want people to accept all kinds of love,” he said. “Acceptance goes both ways, and we want everybody to embrace and love one another. I think there are many people out there who need acceptance and love, and this can really help show people that they can fit in and that they are loved.”
Rampton and Williamson said they have a personal connection to this event and its message.
“An evening like this would have helped me when I was going through my own struggles with orientation,” Williamson said.
Rampton echoed Williamson’s sentiments.
“This event is important to me because I have recently come out as a gay man, and I know that there are many people that love and accept me still and many people that perhaps don’t know how to,” Rampton said. “I feel passionately about love and equality and would love to spread that!”
The cabaret is free and open to the public, and will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday. AAT and the Center of Diversity and Unity will accept donations at the event. All donations will go to the LGBTQ Resources Center. Semi-formal attire is requested.
“Students can expect dazzling performances about the many faces and sides of love,” said Nic Maughan, a senior in the piano performance program at WSU who will play at the event.
“The event will be fun, and the performances are beautiful and encouraging,” Williamson said. “If you love songs of inspiration, you will love our Cabaret of Celebration.”