BURRILLVILLE – With 16 years experience in community theater, Brittany Dyer has made more than a few talented friends over the years.
It was at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket where she first worked to gather that talent to use it for good, putting together benefits to raise funds for melanoma and Parkinson’s disease.
“I had a lot of friends who were super talented, and we thought ‘why not put our talents together and raise money for charity,'” Dyer said.
A music director for the Stadium and former director of drama and music for Mount Saint Charles Academy, Dyer was hired as the artistic and educational director for Burrillville’s Assembly Theatre in August.
And in her first production at the new venue, she will again call on her talented contacts from across Rhode Island and Massachusetts – this time to raise money for a unique and special cause.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 7 p.m., the Assembly will host “Evening of Wishes,” a cabaret-style event filled with musicians, singers, comedy and raffles to benefit the Izzy Foundation. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to design, fund and inspire creative projects and programs that will “help families live, love, laugh and play during and after cancer.”
“I find this charity unique because it’s so family driven,” Dyer told NRI NOW.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and next week, the Providence-based foundation will hold its annual gala dubbed “Wisteria Wishes.”
“We played off of that,” said Dyer. “It’s our hopes and wishes for these children and families, that the foundation can continue their unique family-based mission. We thought the timing would work well.”
Initially, Dyer envisioned the benefit as a small concert with around 12 singers and three raffle baskets. But as she got more involved, it quickly grew into a grand event with a band, 25 adult performers and a 40 member children’s choir hailing from two states.
“There’s so much talent from all over,” Dyer said of Saturday’s one-night-only performance.
The benefit will include a mix of singing and dancing, and the sharing of inspirational stories about the organization. Izzy Foundation Executive Director Erin Scott will show a video about the important work they do.
Local comedian Frank O’Donnell will serve as emcee.
The Assembly crew will also raffle off more than 25 baskets, and 15 gift cards to guests.
It is Dyer’s first time producing and directing a performance at the Assembly, a 354-seat theater that has been revitalized over the past year, and is now producing its own shows under the name AssemblyACT.
“I like it because it’s more intimate,” said Dyer. “It’s very community-driven because it’s owned by the town.”
Plus, Dyer said, it’s exciting to be involved with the launch of a theatrical production company.
“We’ll be doing a lot more,” she said of the theater’s plans.
Saturday, she notes, promises to be one event patrons don’t want to miss.
“We’ve worked really hard,” Dyer said. “It’s a one night opportunity.”
Tickets for Evening of Wishes cost $16 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com