Matthew Morrison
Giacinta Pace  /  NBC News
Matthew Morrison performs at Broadway in Bryant Park in New York on Aug. 13.
NBC News
updated 9/1/2009 1:24:52 PM ET 2009-09-01T17:24:52

Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week, we speak with Broadway actor Matthew Morrison about his work with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The group spreads awareness of HIV/AIDS and supports organizations that help those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Among its beneficiaries is The Actors Fund, which helps professionals in performing arts with initiatives covering social services, health care and housing.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awards a grant to an AIDS service organization twice a year. The group was originally two separate organizations that merged in 1992. It has contributed more than $92 million to HIV/AIDS-related causes.

Morrison recently performed at Broadway in Bryant Park, presented by 106.7 Lite FM, on Aug. 13. Broadway in Bryant Park is a weekly lunchtime series for the public that runs in July and August. It features on- and off-Broadway talent performing the greatest hits from their shows.

Morrison originated the role of Link Larkin on Broadway in the hit musical "Hairspray" and has guest-starred in shows such as "Sex and the City" as well as several movies. For his role in “The Light in the Piazza,” Morrison was nominated for a Tony Award.

Morrison will next be seen in “Glee,” a musical comedy series on FOX that follows the travails of a high school teacher as he tries to inspire a group of performers in the school’s Glee Club to make it to the nationals. The series premieres on Sept. 9.

Question: Can you tell us about the charity you support and what your role is?

Morrison: The charity I mostly support is Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, because I’ve been on Broadway 10 years and that’s the one that is important to us as Broadway people.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to support charities in general?

Morrison: I feel like that’s what we’re here as human beings to do. It’s our way of giving back to people and helping people less fortunate than us, helping people that can’t get proper health care. I think it’s important as a human being to have that as an outlet.

Q: Is there a particularly moving experience you’ve had working with either Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS or any other organization?

Morrison: Yeah, I got to go to a hospital once when I was in "Hairspray" and we sang for some AIDS kids, patient kids. It was incredibly moving knowing that these kids probably aren’t going to get a full life.

Q: What are you doing here today?

Morrison: Well I’ve actually been in L.A. the last seven months filming this new TV show called "Glee" and we just finished up our first season and it’s going to start airing in September. And I’m just coming back to my Broadway roots and singing a song from "Glee" and I just happen to be here surrounded by my friends and it’s awesome.

Q: What can people do to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS?

Morrison: You can go online and you can donate money there. But going to see a Broadway show — a lot of shows a percentage of their tickets goes to Broadway Cares.

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