WMU professor organizes Broadway fundraiser

Coronavirus

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Western Michigan University professor helped organize a fundraiser for health care workers with dozens of Broadway stars.

The group created a video that’s going viral online, showing support for health care workers and raising money to help them fight COVID-19.

[embedded content]

“My writing partner Dave Ogrin and I have been creating a musical entitled ‘Mata Hari’ about the famous World War I spy,” said WMU Director of Music Theatre Performance Jay Berkow.

Berkow says the video was made with the help of more than 60 performers, including doctors and nurses.

The Resilient Project is raising money for the Broadway Cares emergency relief fund, the Emergency Nurses Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

“And help solute the frontline health care workers who’ve been really risking their lives and their health and their family’s health to help us as a society get through this horrible situation.”

Broadway actor and Western grad Patrick Connaghan says he jumped at the chance to help with the cause.

“Usually when somebody sends you a song that you have to sing you’re like OK, let me take some time and review is this something I want to do. Without even getting past the subject line in the email, I knew I was in,” Connaghan said.

A video editor and sound engineer also volunteered their time to put everything together.

“It turned out really nicely, the product was great. It sounded amazing. You can hear all the different isolated tracks and that’s really hard to do,” Connaghan said.

Berkow says he even received an email from a nurse in Pakistan about the video and hopes it continues to impact the world.

“I think if we can do anything with this video is to provide some hope, some positivity and please, please, please, help support these doctors and nurses,” he said.