From Donuts to Dorothy, Benitta Wilbert cast in first musical in Liberia

Posted: August 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Hello BAC Friends!

As our first production for The Wiz Jr. (produced by the Broadway Artists Connection & International Children’s Network) approaches, we want to introduce the children behind all of the lead characters.  Today we will be starting with none other than our lead role, Dorothy: the orphaned girl transported far away from home.

Benita with Sunnie Selling DonutsFrom Donuts to Dorothy

Benitta Wilbert is known around ICN Liberia for her smiles and positive attitude and the BAC artists fell in love with her personality & smile.  Benitta made her introduction to the ICN Center in Liberia selling donuts.  Benitta’s mother died when she was very young.  Her father abandoned her and her older brother several years back, leaving them not only heartbroken, but vulnerable to going hungry and homeless.  Her aunt and uncle took her in, but they were abusive towards her.

As a means of helping the family provide for their basic needs, Benitta began to sell donuts in her neighborhood.  When Benitta first came to the ICN Center, she was not sponsored and not consistently going to school.  Once she was enrolled in ICN’s sponsorship program, she got a sponsor through the Matsiko tour and began school.  She moved in with another family where she is happy and treated well. Benitta has big dreams of becoming a doctor and helping people around the world.

Now because of International Children’s Network, she has not only gained the opportunity to go to school, but also to participate in the early days of the Matsiko Liberian National Theater.  From the very beginning of the audition process, Benitta captured the hearts of the Broadway Artists Connection.  Her heart of gold and bravery through adversity showed right through her vulnerable and strong stage presence.  Much like Dorothy, Benitta is no stranger to longing, or perseverance through the unknown.

We are overjoyed that through sponsorship and after-school programs, our beloved Dorothy no longer needs to sell donuts just to get by.  Instead, she can bring the light of imagination to the community in Monrovia, Liberia.  By sharing the journey of Dorothy, Benitta will inspire the notion that reality is what one makes it to be, no matter the challenges.

The Countdown is ON! 

And we need your help to finalize the production.  The Broadway Artist’s Connection [hyperlink] is getting costumes ready, preparing roles for stage hands and ushers, and finalizing final rehearsal schedules before they make their way to Monrovia, Liberia.

DONATE HERE

Here are some ways you can help the theater come to life:

  • $10 Donation: pays for a local radio ad to broadcast to the community about the free event
  • $25 Donation: will cover entire costume of one child
  • $50 Donation: will cover one day’s stay for one of our Broadway Professionals
  • $100 Donation: helps finalize the construction of the theater for its very first actors and audience. All donations of $100 or more will ensure your name on the Hope for Humanity banner, which will hang forever in the Matsiko Liberian National Theater
  • $250 Donation: helps one of our Broadway Professionals fly to Liberia. For all donations of $250 or more, we will hang your photo in the Founder’s Tribute Hall in the Matsiko Liberian National Theater (please email photo after donation to lindsey@icnchildren.net)

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