When trying to decide what to do for her senior James Millikin Scholar project, Katherine Viviano ’18 needed only to look to her father, Jerry, for inspiration. Katherine, a musical theatre major from Overland Park, Kan., wanted to choose a project that would leave a legacy at her alma mater. The many years she had spent performing with Jerry’s “Viviano Variety Show,” a 35-year staple of the Kansas City charity scene, served as the catalyst for her selection.
Knowing that Millikin was in the midst of a large-scale campaign to raise funds for the new Center for Theatre & Dance, Katherine pitched the idea of a variety show to benefit the new facility. Thus, Big Blue Revue was born. Katherine loved the idea of an evening designed to focus on the talents of her Millikin family and the chance to give back to the University that has paved the way for so much student success.
On Feb. 24, 2018, the curtain went up on the Big Blue Revue in the University Commons on Millikin’s campus. The event showcased the talents of current students, faculty and alumni and featured a variety of entertainment, including comedy, singing, dancing and more. Katherine was overwhelmed by the positive response the event received, both in terms of individuals joining the show as performers, and donors pledging their financial support, with the Revue raising over $25,000. A friend of the University, inspired by the event and by Katherine’s hard work, gave an additional $10,000 after the show.
Katherine believes that the Center for Theatre & Dance is a project worthy of support, because it is crucial to the future of the School of Theatre & Dance. “It’s high time these hard-working faculty and students are centrally-located in a facility that matches the high standards of craftsmanship in our training,” she said. “Why not take something that is already great and make it even better by giving back to the next generation of students?”