CLEVELAND, Ohio (WEWS) — Students from Case Western Reserve University are pushing the books aside and hitting the stage for the 37th annual Doc Opera fundraiser and variety show. It's written by, directed by and stars students from the university's health professional programs.
Money raised from the annual performance benefit the Student Run Health Clinic. Graduate students from the medical, nursing, physician assistant and social work schools help to provide healthcare to underserved populations within the greater Cleveland community.
“Everything is made from scratch in our limited free time. And I am just extremely excited for everyone to get the chance to show off all of the talents that they've been able to contribute to the show this year," said third-year medical student Allie Johnson. "There have been many hours of hard work in order to put on a quality production for the community."
Johnson serves as the the director of finance and fundraising for Doc Opera. She said the show gives students a chance to showcase their talents and unwind from the normal hustle and bustle of medical school.
"It's really a chance for the student body to come together and do and create something completely different than what we do on a daily basis in medical school," she said.
Second-year medical student, Kathleen Mulligan, agreed.
“It’s awesome that we're all studying to be doctors, but we all have all these really awesome other talents that we get to showcase.”
Mulligan, the show's production director, has a personal connection to the show this year.
“I wrote some new lyrics to the song Traitor," she said. "When I was applying to med school, my dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer and shortly after I got admitted to Case Western he passed away. So I wrote this song and the lyrics about his experience and my experience in the ICU and hospice and his last few days.”
Johnson said even though students involved in the variety show don't have much free time to prepare, it's all worth the effort.
"What really keeps us going is the fact that not only are we doing this for fun, for, you know, to get the chance to express our talents, but also for the benefit of the student run health clinic," she said.
This story was originally reported by Meg Shaw on news5cleveland.com.