The Ladies of Eleemosynary: Melissa Gabilanes

Eleemosynary is open! This fabulous production has two more performances, both of which are today. Get your tickets now for this wonderful production!

But, before you get your tickets, take a moment to read this interview with the show’s director: Melissa Gabilanes. This is the second mainstage production she is directing at Cabaret. 


Inside Cabaret: How did you decide to pick this play, with its strange name?

Melissa: I first found the play in my playwriting class… And I read it, actually, in between [the weekends of] Rabbit Hole. And by this point I had already turned the show over to the actors and I knew that I wanted to do this again. It pretty much happened in a week. And I knew I wanted this one. 

IC: So, what is the show about? What is the meaning that the audience is going to take away from this? 

Melissa: This show addresses the fundamental thing that we all experience, that we’ve all felt at one time or another, the need to be extraordinary. For these three women, in this family, its something they all want in their own way, they all get in their own way, and they all fail in their own way. Its about the individual struggle of being all that you can be while at the same time having to deal with what other people want of you. 

IC: So, three girls to direct. Have you just taken over the mom role? Are you cast mom now?

Melissa: I feel like… It sounds really cheesy, but I was going to say: I had [the song] ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ stuck in my head. And I don’t want to say it, but I just feel like onstage the girls are flying and I am the wind. I think the play has no longer become the central thing. Its the experience of doing the play. That’s what really drives us now. 

IC: Most importantly, are you having fun?

Melissa: I am having so much fun. I am having all of the fun!


Get your tickets now! Email for any last minute reservations!

There are performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm!


The Ladies of Eleemosynary: Jasia Ries

Happy Wednesday! The opening night of Eleemosynary is close at hand and final preparations are underway to make this amazing show come to life!

As you may have seen over the past few days, we have been chronicling the lives of the cast members of this beautiful production.

Last, and certainly not least, is Jasia Ries, the youngest member of the cast, playing the oldest character in the show, Dorothea.



A first year student at Rutgers, Jasia made a very big entrance to Cabaret, appearing as the passionate Juror #11 in Twelve Angry Men last fall.


Inside Cabaret: You’re only a freshman and you’ve already rocked the Cabaret stage twice! How’s your first year at Rutgers treating you?

Jasia: Crazy right? My first year has been wonderful, and Cabaret is largely to thank for that. I actually can’t even imagine what my year would have been like without it. I feel so lucky to be a part of this beautiful place.

IC:How do you feel playing an old lady, especially since you are technically the youngest member of the cast?

J: I don’t feel very young. But it’s funny, isn’t it? I’m actually pretty close in age to Echo, who is 16 when she is narrating, but even from the auditions I knew immediately I understood Grandma the best of the three. Age has very little to do with empathy, I think. Something about Dorothea just speaks to me. She is so full of life and she refuses to change for anyone. She tries her best to find good in people. She spends her entire life searching for the extraordinary, and encourages others to be extraordinary. She is so brave. But there is also an element of entrapment, a desire to escape, a dissatisfaction with reality. She’s an extreme case, but I think we all find our ways to escape. And we have all dreamed of flying, in one way or another.

IC: Most places I see you, including in most of the shows I’ve seen you in, you have been wearing one of many stylish scarves. Do you get to wear a scarf again? You wore a scarf in your first show. If yes, do you plan to make it a habit? Perhaps only doing Cabaret shows when scarves are involved?

J: Perhaps, perhaps. I am a fan of scarves. We shall see. I might not even audition unless I am promised a scarf. Or perhaps a dialect in the absence of a scarf, because I do that too sometimes.


To see if Jasia is wearing a scarf or not, make your reservations now!

Want to reserve tickets to a performance?

Please e-mail with the following information:

1.) Your full name

2.) The Date and Time of the performance you wish to reserve tickets for.

3.) The quantity of tickets you wish to reserve.

** See our Reservation page for policies and additional information.

The Ladies of Eleemosynary: Alyssa Krompier

With only four more days until Cabaret Theatre’s production of Eleemosynary, we at Inside Cabaret (all two of us) know that you are chomping at the bit to see the show! We know the wait must be unbearable and you wish it was Friday, Friday, gotta get down on…

Sorry. I’m watching Youtube and typing at the same time. Let’s start over.


With our next show only a few days away, everybody’s looking forward to the weekend. Partyin’, part-

Again, sorry. Third time’s the charm.

Today we are focusing on Alyssa Krompier, who plays Artemis in the upcoming production of Eleemosynary.

Alyssa and her badass leather jacket in the 2011 Director's Showcase: Showdown!

For those of you who didn’t read yesterday’s article about Ms. Sabrina Blackburn, Eleemosynary is a play written by Lee Blessing (WHO TEACHES AT RUTGERS OMGZZZ) that tells the story of three generations of women: a grandmother, Dorothea, a mother, Artemis, and a daughter, Echo.

Alyssa previously made an appearance in Cabaret’s Director Showcase: Showdown! and recently made her LTC debut in their production of BARE: A Pop Opera. Inside Cabaret chatted up Alyssa and annoyed her incessantly with questions.


Inside Cabaret: So Alyssa, how does it feel to be in your first mainstage show?

Alyssa: It feels amazing to be in my first mainstage. I feel so honored and grateful to be in this show and working with such talented, dedicated, and hard-working people. It is definitely an awesome first mainstage experience for me.

IC: You were pulling double-duty, closing BARE while still rehearsing on this. How did you pull that off?

A: Doing BARE and Eleemosynary at the same time was actually a lot of fun. At times, it was extremely time consuming but so worth it. Luckily, I had such nice production staff members from Eleemosynary who would pick me up/drop me off at my BARE rehearsals which made things a lot easier for me.

IC: What is the deal with the names of these characters? Echo, Artemis, Dorothea? This family seems a bit… out there…

A: Yes, these characters have pretty crazy names, but it is because each of these characters is so extraordinary. Therefore, it is only fitting that they have such extraordinary names.


Eleemosynary opens Friday at 8:00pm at Cabaret Theatre on the corner of Suydam and Nichol Avenue on Rutgers Douglass Campus. Make your reservations by emailing with your name, the number of tickets you want to reserve, and the date and time of the performance you wish to attend. Hurry and get your tickets, because the show is approaching fast and the time is goin’. Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’…

Sorry. I had to. I just had to.

The Ladies of Eleemosynary: Sabrina Blackburn

The seats have been rearranged. The lights have been moved around. The sets have been built. And, on Friday, the next Cabaret Mainstage will open!

Eleemosynary is a play by Lee Blessing that tells the story of three generations of women – grandmother, mother, and daughter – all with extraordinary gifts and ambitions.  Through their collective memories, they explore the path of their lives both together and apart at a time when Dorothea has suffered a stroke and her granddaughter, Echo, faced with losing the only mother she ever knew, reaches out to Artemis, the mother she never knew.

Since there are only three lovely ladies gracing the stage, Inside Cabaret is going to dedicate a day to each of them.

Up first is Sabrina Blackburn, a senior, playing the role of Echo. She made her debut at Cabaret in Cloud 9, and recently appeared in Twelve Angry Men. She will probably go down in Rutgers Theater history for creating the character of ‘Booty-Drop Girl’ in LTC’s most recent ’24 Hour Musical.’

I couldn't find any photos of the booty dropping, but dramatic pen clicking will work just as well.

Inside Cabaret: So Sabrina, the past two shows you’ve done at Cabaret had relatively large casts. What is it like to work with only two other people? Did you have to change your approach?

Sabrina: This was such a unique experience to work with not only a small cast, but a small cast of women. With a small cast, you can really delve into each others relationships and history. You have to learn to accept, trust, and rely on your other cast members for there is only 3 of us on that big Cabaret stage.

IC: Tell me about Echo. What role does she play in the story? What do you think the audience will learn from Echo?

S: Echo is such a beautiful person inside and out. Through the rehearsal process, I have really fallen in love with this character. She is the central force binding her mother and grandmother together. The audience gets to see Echo’s journey from a 3 month old to womanhood. No matter what hardships Echo has to endure, she approaches them with an open heart.

IC: You’ve played a few diverse roles, each of which has shown a different side of Sabrina (little boy, lesbian, cereal promoter): what side will the audience see of you this weekend?

S: Haha! Yes, I have played quite an array of eclectic characters in college. I think you will see a genuine side, a subdued side, a side that sees the positive side in any situation. I see a lot of myself in Echo.

Eleemosynary opens Friday at 8:00pm at Cabaret Theater on the corner of Suydam and Nichol Avenue on Rutgers Douglass Campus. Make your reservations by emailing! There are only three performances and tickets are selling fast!