Senior Interviews: Deep Thoughts Edition!

Today’s the day. University Commencement commences, as does “real” life for the Class of 2012! We’ve spent the last few posts profiling a few of the graduating Cabbies, particularly those that took the time to fill out our patented Cabaret Cuestionnaire! Are there more seniors than are profiled here? Of course, but interviews take time, and time is precious, particularly the time of those Cabbies that are busy being awesome, as all Cabbies are all the time.

So here it is! The final post of Cabbie Cuestionnaires! This one is entitled the “Deep Thoughts Edition,” and you’ll soon see why!

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Sabrina Blackburn is one cool cat. She dazzled audiences last season as a small boy in the Cabbie Award Winning Cloud 9 and as a small girl in the also-Cabbie Award Winning Eleemosynary. Apparently, Sabrina brings the gold with her everywhere she goes. Of course, we don’t actually give away gold statuettes or plaques, but the metaphor still stands.

Also, adorbs. Bringing back backpacks.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Edward/Lin in Cloud 9, Juror 12 in 12 Angry Men, Echo in Eleemosynary

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

 I am from Manalapan, New Jersey, and though I am a Jersey girl, I love a change. I would love to move Rockaway Beach, Queens, or Manhattan, or Paris (Why not? Dream big!).

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

I got to say Chipotle. I literally crave a burrito bowl every day of my life. I have a problem.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

My little nugget toes prefer not to be confined by socks but neon pink fuzzy socks are truly very comfortable.

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

The Real Housewives of New Jersey! I can flip tables! I can get in someone’s face calling them a prostitution whore! It would be the highlight of my acting career, and quite a stretch.

Here, we see Sabrina playing a hyper-intellectual chimpanzee (is there any other kind!?) alongside fellow Cabbies Marc and Amanda during the recent Senior Showcase.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

I don’t know if I could ever punch someone, but I would give Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, and Ben Stiller the dreaded stink eye if they ever passed me on the street.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Double major in Theater and History

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Theater Practice: I planted potatoes on the Mason Gross stage. I received 2 credits. YAY!

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I always wanted to be an actress, but was too shy ever to express that want.

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

I still have the confidence to say that I will be a working actress.

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

I want to be a person who is 100% content with their life; someone who follows their passion and dreams. I want to inspire people through theater. I want to affect people and have them learn via the vehicle of the arts.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

My favorite Cabaret experience was performing in the final show of Eleemosynary. It was electrifying on stage. I am my own harshest critic, but there was nothing I wanted to change about the performance after my final bow. To see my family and friends utterly moved by the show, put me in this odd state of contentful shellshock.

Sabrina “acting” alongside Jasia during Eleemosynary.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Every time I see a Cabaret show, I am blown away by the prestige and caliber of these student run productions. Watching Elegies was one of the best theater experiences I have ever had. I was so moved by the beautiful simplicity of the show. The actors (who were brilliantly casted) never had to push their emotions, it was just there in that moment. Elegies + Sabrina= ugly crying

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

Of course it would be having more of a budget, but I wish we could bring more college students who don’t normally see theater.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

I have been at Rutgers for two years, so therefore have only seen two seasons worth of Cabaret shows. But what a two seasons they were! From Streetcar to Cloud 9, all of Cabaret shows have challenged the actors and production staff. They challenge the boundaries of Cabaret Theater and prove that there are no constraints to college theater.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

August: Osage County! Who cares about having a 3 story house. Cabaret could totally kick butt doing that show.

– What makes Cabaret special?

The fact that we are a completely student run organization boggles my mind. Cabaret constantly challenges us, and we challenge the theater to push its vision even further. It is a safe environment to challenge yourself artistically. When I was in high school, I never thought I could even attempt to play an 8 year boy and a lesbian in the same show. Yet, Cabaret gave me a gift to explore a new plethora of characters that I never thought were possible to play. The most special thing about Cabaret is the people. The people of Cabaret became some of my closest friends. Every member of Cabaret has impacted my life and made my college experience special.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

College theater became my college experience. When I look back to my college years, I will automatically revert to Cabaret and the fun times we have all experienced in that black box. The college theater experience has made me a more confident person. By exploring new characters in every play, I have discovered something new about my own self. Cabaret Theater has made me even more passionate for my love of theater. I am so proud of the amount of work we put into this theater.

As Edward in Cloud 9, which was directed by…

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Danny. Period. The man with the plan, Danny served as Artistic Director for Cabaret between 2009 and 2011. He ran directing workshops, he wrote plays, he co-directed productions of The Goat; Or, Who is Sylvia? and Streamers and Cloud 9 and Elegies, he acted in Lieutenant of Inishmore one time, where he had (stage) blood explode out of his eyeballs (Editor’s note: may be an exaggeration). Ask any director or actor or writer or janitor at Cabaret who they turn to for creative advice and input, and they’ll say Danny. The man is that damn good.

And his hair is absurd 85% of the time.

Danny and the cast of Cloud 9. He’s the one in the middle with the AFRO. Yeah, the one like Justin Guarini.

Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Webmaster, Directors’ Scenes Coordinator, Artistic Director, General Board Representative, Actor, Director, Playwright.

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I am from an average suburban town in NJ. I would like to go some place beyond the northeast of the US, but I feel like I will be around here for a while.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Houlihan’s.

[Editor’s Note: F**K HOULIHAN’S]

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same color.

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

Law and Order: SVU.

Danny with Co-Director and fellow Cabbie Spencer, looking cool on the Streamers set.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

I’ve actually never had the urge to punch someone in the eye. I can sure think of a few people who are in need of a metaphorical punch in the eye, and it’s awesome when theatre does that!

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

It’s supposed to be in Computer Science or Engineering but that didn’t work out too well. Now, it’s in something called “Humanities”? But seriously, I’m getting a degree in Information Technology and English, with a specialization in Creative Writing.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Management of Technical Organizations. Eugh.

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was growing up I wanted to be a lawyer. These questions are making me realize how much of a cliché I am. Oh, there was a brief time in my life when I wanted to be a virologist. (This was after reading a series of mass-market fiction by Richard Preston on various horrifying infectious outbreaks.)

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

I will most likely get a job in the IT industry. I am hoping I can find a career that combines both my passion for technology and the arts.

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

I would like to be happy, financially comfortable! , and involved with some sort of creative field.

Despite not performing in the Senior Showcase, Danny managed to steal all the attention away anyway… @$$****.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Making friends! As much as I value the actual productions we create, I think what really matters are the friendships that are created and incubated through the production.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

It’s impossible to pick one! I have sat through many shows at Cabaret and there have been many times when a particular moment in a production literally sends shivers down my spine. When the body reacts so viscerally, you know the production has reached something, I don’t know, sacred? It becomes something much more than college theatre.

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

Please, please, air conditioning.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Cabaret has made enormous improvements in so many different areas during my time at the theatre. It is really amazing! I also believe the theatre will definitely continue to break its own boundaries in terms of what it can achieve, both in its artistic and community endeavors.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Anything by Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, Albee, Churchill, Kushner… I would also like to see more contemporary things go up, like from the past decade at least.

– What makes Cabaret special?

I think the space is very much a large part of what makes Cabaret such an amazing environment because the people who are drawn to the space, who help transform the black box into the unique world of every production, are very talented and passionate.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

So much! But most importantly, probably, is that I need a public and collaborative space where I don’t feel vulnerable for my ideas or looming questions. Cabaret not only offered me this but also showed me that the desire for such an environment is not a personal need, it’s a human one.

Here, we see Danny in his natural habitat, “directing.”

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Marc is one wild and crazy guy. This season, Marc performed in 3 out of the 5 mainstage productions, the R3Vu3, and the Senior Showcase. In other words, Cabaret 2011-2012 was Marc; Marc was Cabaret. As a handsome gentleman with genuine vocal and acting chops, Marc became a pivotal player at Cabaret starting with his performance as Jesus (?) in a re-imagined production of Godspell in the Spring of 2010. Marc’s passion for student-theatre, however, is not restricted to his on-stage prowess; Marc could often be found helping out with builds and clean-ups and pretty much in any way possible, partly because he wants the shows to be damn impressive, and partly because he’s just damn impressive as a person.

Also, he is built like Captain America.

ABS! AND ANGST! Student-theatre at it’s best.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Spring Awakening, How I Learned to Drive, Elegies, The R3vu3, Cloud Nine, I Love You Because, Godspell.

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I’m from freehold, and would like to live in New York City in the near future.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Definitely Tumulty’s. Before and after turning 21.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

I usually do the same color but always mix-match socks within that color.

Here’s Marc “acting” REAL HARD in Spring Awakening.

On what TV show would like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

Malcolm in the Middle.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

Genghis Khan.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Supposedly Psychology, Theater minor.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Least favorite class was Elements of Electrical Engineering (which is especially ridiculous seeing that I’m no longer and Engineering major – thanks theater). Almost vomited during the final.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

An Animorph!

What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

A therapist (who helps other animorphs integrate themselves into society)

What would you like to be when you grow up?

An actor in a marvel comic superhero movie.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

When I cut off Edward’s doll Vicky’s head with a butter knife like a bad@$$ African man (mostly because I am none of those things….except a man. I’m a man.)

Here, Marc cuts the head off of Sabrina’s doll during Cloud 9.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

When Joel Chokkattu pulled out a gun at the end of Suburbia. FTW

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

The ticketing system.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Well, it runs very differently each year but the important things are always the same, like is the sense of community for everyone who works there.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Comedic plays have been too few and far between recently, so I’d like to see more comedies at Cabaret in the future.

– What makes Cabaret special?

It has what I think a lot of professional theaters work very hard to replicate: a genuine interest in collaboration, creativity, and natural connectivity between the actors in each cast. People who work in Cabaret take their work seriously while enjoying the fact that they are creating something beautiful together and they have fun getting deeper into knowing those they work with.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

It has taught me everything I know about performing. On cabaret’s stage I learned how to constantly push the envelope with what my voice, my body, and my mind can do as an actor in both straight plays and musical theater and there have been people to help me actualize that goal every step of the way. Cabaret has been a home to me, I will miss it dearly, and I know performing elsewhere will never be quite the same.

It also taught him how to SPOIL WONDERFUL GROUP PICTURES!!! WTF MARC!!!

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Boris Van Der Ree. We’d write a witty introduction for him, but we wouldn’t be able to match the histrionic profundity that he himself produces every time he speaks or writes or is present. We’ll let him do the talking in his introduction below. We will say that his mainstage directorial debut on Twelve Angry Men revolutionized the use of the Cabaret space, and he constantly schools his fellow actors everytime he graces the stage.

Look at that eyebrow. That’s some method s**t right there.

–  Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

  • Spring 2009: Bradley – The Cocktail Hour
  • Fall 2009: Assistant Director – Shakespeare in Hollywood
  • Spring 2010: Scott – “Welcome to Caffeine World”/2nd Annual Original Play Festival
  • Fall 2010: Doctor – A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Fall 2010: Director – “The Sh!t Play”/3rd Annual Original Play Festival
  • Fall 2010: Host – Rutgers Night Live
  • Spring 2011: Harry/Martin – Cloud 9
  • Fall 2011: Director – Twelve Angry Men
  • Spring 2012: Male Greek Chorus – How I learned to Drive
  • Spring 2012: Adult Male – Spring Awakening

 – Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. At the age of five our family moved to Chester Springs Pennsylvania. And the year before my senior year of high school we moved again to Pennington New Jersey, where my family still lives today. By the end of this summer I plan to return to England, hopefully London, to try living there for a while and see how involved I can become in the theater culture there.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Nothing beats MyWay on George Street. Cheap, delicious, abundant food, hilarious wait staff, and the most linguistically confusing menu in New Jersey.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same Color

Boris “acting” with Amanda and a cookie during How I Learned to Drive.

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

Easy, HBO’s Game of Thrones. Been a fan of the book series since I was sixteen.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

No one specifically, but anyone who acts pridefully and out of self-interest

 – What’s your degree supposed to be in?

My diploma will say “Graduated with Bachelors of Arts in Communication and Theater Arts”

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Introduction to Principles of Public Relations. Not that it was a boring topic, or that it was really difficult, it was actually pretty interesting and easy. But our professor never really had a coherent syllabus in mind and the class slowly collapsed into chaos by the end of the semester. She once stopped in the middle of a lecture and said “why are you taking notes? There aren’t any more exams.”

Boris “acting” with fellow graduating cabbies Joey and Nick during Spring Awakening.

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I went through many phases. Lawyer, garbage man, aerospace engineer, hotel manager, but ultimately I realized that I needed to be in theatre.

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

Homeless, and I’m totally fine with that.

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

I would love to be a grandfather one day. It would also be nice if I had a small cafe on a quiet street in rural france.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

When I directed Twelve Angry Men. I truly felt, for the first time, that I was utilizing my whole creative energy and focusing it on one piece. Few things are more gratifying.

Boris with HIS cast of 12 Angry Men.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Anytime I’ve gone to Rutgers Night Live. If you’ve never gone, you’ve missed out.

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

The abandoned pool in the basement would be turned into a second performance space. It would be perfect.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Policies have changed, people have changed, the lobby has been renovated, the floors redone. I’ve seen it all over the past four years. But the spirit has never changed, and that’s why I call it a home.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Glengarry Glen Ross. I f**king love that s**t.

– What makes Cabaret special?

No one else on earth does exactly what we do. Cabaret has given me and countless others the opportunity to be creatively liberated without the pressures of critics or the professional theatre world. That is enormously valuable. Cabaret is a safe place, and not once have I ever felt alone there, even if I was the only one in the building.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

That I both love and hate theatre. Sometimes I would do anything to save the art form and to practice it regularly, but the other half of the time I want nothing more than to see a show close. It is this process of creation and destruction that makes theatre so dynamic and alive, and in turn, makes me feel more alive than anywhere else.

A favorite photo here at Inside Cabaret.

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Check out the other Cabbie Cuestionnaires below!

Three Lovely Ladies

1-4-9

Again!

Backstage Edition

A Letter to the Class of 2012

Otherwise, it’s been a real pleasure working with for you all, true believers. We hope you’ve enjoyed the commentary and interviews and pictures and all the other stuff. We happily bequeath the cabaret blog over to the newly appointed Social Media Director (Abigail!), and… yeah.

So that’s it. Finito. Complete. Done. Adios. Peace out. TTFN. IC OUT DAWG!

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Senior Interviews: Again!

Does posting twice in one day make up for two weeks of procrastination? Probably not, but here are three (3) more Cabaret Cuestionnaires filled out be three (3) more fantabulous graduating Cabbies!

In case you missed it, check out this morning’s interviews and last week’s interviews as well!

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Joey is f**king old. Okay, maybe not that old, but he’s been around since 2007. That’s, like, forever ago in terms of College Theatre years. He started at Cabaret way back at the tail end of it’s “Community Theatre” years, and served on the executive board as Managing Director while the theatre transitioned back to being a completely student-run and student-doing-things-all-time kind of place. He also recently posted a glowing letter thanking the other seniors for all their hard-work at Cabaret, and it pretty much sums up anything that we’d put down here, so check it out!

Joey’s (Gentleman on the Right) Cabaret debut: a shirtless, down-to-there-haired hippie in HAIR. Also, multiple bandanas.

Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

  • Debuted on the Cabaret stage as Margaret Meade (the transvestite square) in HAIR way back in February 2008.
  • Dog Sees God (Beethoven), Assassins (Ensemble), Eurydice (Father), Spring Awakening (Moritz)
  • Co-director of Back-2-School Revue: Parte Deux
  • Choreographer and Joke Writer for Spelling Bee
  • Directed productions of A New Brain and Songs For A New World,
    and a scene from Les Miserables in Directors’ Scenes.
  • Facilitated the Directors’ Workshop and Coordinated Directors’ Showcase 2011
  • Managing Director from January 2009 through May 2010
  • I’ve also been on the roof a few times.

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

North Brunswick, NJ. I’ve grown quite fond of New Brunswick, but I see myself living in the NYC area (probably on the Jersey side of the river). I’d like to live in the African Serengeti at some point in my life. Also, Ireland.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area

Picken Chicken on George Street.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same-color. I don’t mess around.

Joey, down in the far left corner, “directing” Songs for A New World (Editor’s Note: Believe it or not, that stage was actually painted Blue. THEATRE!)

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

WWE Raw. I’m pretty wicked with a steel chair.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

Lady Gaga. And Shia Labeouf.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

I have a BA in English (lolz Avenue Q), and I’ll be getting my Ed.M. in English Education (hopefully) this Sunday.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

18th Century Novel. So… canonical… traditional… old…

“Acting” as Moritz in Spring Awakening. “Channeling” Spider-Man. “Winning” Cabbie Awards for Best Actor in a Musical.

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A teacher. And James Bond.

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

A teacher. Officially.

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

A teacher. Who moonlights as an acclaimed comics writer for MARVEL.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

I’ve had my fingers in so many productions over the last few years that it’s hard to pick just one favorite experience. If I had to pick just one, I’d pick the performance of my senior capstone project last Spring. It was a play called i gotta right. Cabaret, in all of its experimental, artistic wisdom, granted me the Black Box for one performance in early April. So, with good friends and fellow Cabbies Dave Seamon, Amanda Padro, and Danny Cassidy, I put together a staged reading.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Cabaret used to host semi-regular performances of the improv troupe, Quaint Little Coffee Shop. They were pretty much an in-house group of wonderful actors that got together and did awesome improv. The shows were reckless, irreverent, loose, and absolutely hilarious.

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

Too freaking hot all the time. And I wish people would stop thinking it’s Jameson Projects Blackbox. So really, I’d just like to change Jameson Project. Let’s move it to Antarctica or something.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

A LOT. But also not really a lot. We’ve become much more… focused. A little bit more professional. Nobody likes to knock the last generation, but it was a little fast and loose way back when. A little too self-satisfying. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Now, there’s still that artistic, indulgent creativity, but there’s much more of a focus on teaching and training and expanding. A larger emphasis on development and progress. That ensures a future for Cabaret that we didn’t really have locked down just a few years ago.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

I’ve always wanted to direct a production of Les Miserables in Cabaret. I know how. I can make it work. That and West Side Story.

Oh yeah. It’ll fit. (Editor’s Note: That’s what she said.)

– What makes Cabaret special?

Directing has become one of my most favorite things in the world, and I never ever would have thought I had the necessary skillset if Cabaret wasn’t willing to give me the opportunity with Songs For A New World way back when. When I got the opportunity to direct A New Brain in the winter of 2009, a life goal of mine was achieved. A New Brain is my favorite musical of all time, and at Cabaret, they love s**t like that—obscure, interesting shows that mean something to the directors; that’s what they actively seek out. That’s what makes it so special. There’s a deeper connection to the material than just doing theatre. There’s a passion that starts with that one person—the director—and that then extends down into the cast and crew. By the time it gets to the audience, it’s got some heavy boots. It means something.

A New Brain, December 2009.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

How important collaboration really is. At Cabaret, because of the limited budget and because of the need for experimentation, every single moment of every single day really is an exercise in creative storytelling. And no one can do that alone. Each cast and crew is this microcosm of brilliance that produces these wonderfully innovative, captivating shows. The most important thing to come out of that collaboration is this sense of mutual peer-to-peer respect that is so vital to the process of creation.

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Alexandra Kelly Hausner (or “powerhausner” as one Cabaret alumnus dubbed her) is one crazy talented singer-songwriter-dancer-actress-all-around-good-person. She debuted on the Rutgers stage in LTC’s TOMMY, and razzle-dazzled audiences in Revue: Parte Deux and R3VU3, but it was her turn as Ilse in Spring Awakening that marked her Main-Stage debut and denouement on the Cabaret stage. And it was a phenomenal turn.

She kicks more @$$ than Angelina Jolie circa 2008.

She also learned the cello for her stellar performance in LTC’s production of BARE. (Editor’s note: learning of the cello may or may not be true. Stellarness of the performance is 100% accurate.)

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Actor in Cabaret’s Back to School Revue 2 and 3 and Ilse in Spring Awakening

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I’m from Fair Lawn, NJ and I would love to live in NYC in the future

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

I am obsessed with Mekada on George Street…if you’ve never had Ethiopian food you NEED to try it

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Both. It depends on what the dryer eats

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

I would love to be on Criminal Minds. I have a weird fascination with serial killer shows and I think I could play a decent crazy.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

Joey (see above). Hands Down.

Aly and Joey taking dramatic pictures during Spring Awakening rehearsals. Marc photobombing like a champ.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Communication with a minor in Music

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Communication Research. The worst class I’ve ever taken in my life and that counts any math class. It was that bad.

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’ve always wanted to be a performer, but when I was like 12 I wanted to be a Spice Girl.

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

I’m probably going to be a singer and songwriter, but instead of a Spice Girl, more of a Sarah Bareillis.

“Acting” real hard during R3VU3

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

A Singer/songwriter……these last three questions were very similar.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

I LOVED Spring Awakening, but I think my favorite moment was when Joey and Corey let me sing a song from the musical that I was writing in Revue #2. That really meant a lot to me.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Watching 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show was amazingly funny and I knew the entire cast, which only made it better.

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

The damn heat. That place gets HOT as anything. I blame Jameson.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

It hasn’t really changed that much. It was always the small, “artistic,” theater to me.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

If I ever finish the musical that I’m writing I would love to see it at Cabaret. I think they could do an amazing job with it.

– What makes Cabaret special?

It really is a family. The space is small, the casts are small, but the love isn’t. It is truly dedicated to the art of acting and creating and it allows the people who work there to grow as people and performers.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

It has taught me that I am stronger then I think. I’ve always second guessed myself as an actor and through this experience I know that just need to let go and ACT! I need to stop thinking so much. It also taught me that compared to these people I’m not that weird. LOL. Jk I love you all.

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Tobi might be petite, but she’ll kick your teeth in–figuratively and literally–with her wry wit and spry creativity and her boots (that’s the literal part). Tobi has performed on the Cabaret stage continuously since her transfer to Rutgers, and she also stage managed the College Avenue Players’ production of Uberman, a completely original musical, this past Spring. (Editor’s Note: It was AWESOME!) Much like Joey’s comments up above, Tobi also was able to produce a stage reading of her full-length original play, Imagine Laughter, a few weeks ago.

Did we mention she’s a bad@$$?

Tobi, debuting Imagine Laughter, on the Cabaret stage.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions:

  • Box Office Manager
  • Rutgers Night Live Premier- Various Sketches
  • August Osage County– Jean Fordham (Director’s Fest)
  • Amorica– Cheap Foreign Labor (Director’s Fest)

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

From- Marlboro, New Jersey
Future- California

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

ABP

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Definitely Mix-match

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

Once Upon A Time

Tobi with fellow Cabaret senior, Nick, at the Cabaret Ball!

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

YOU

[Editor’s Note: Who me? Couldn’t be! Then who?]

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

BA Theater Arts, English minor

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Planet Earth

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Always an actress

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

Living in a box in Times Square

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

Actress and Writer

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Telling people they have to go home cause the show is sold out- bwahaha

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Watching how much talent we have at Cabaret

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

More opportunities for theater majors

Tobi “acting” alongside fellow Cabbie, Marc, in the BA Theatre major’s production of Our Town. Cabaret has let the BAs use the space for the final project for the last few years. RU pride, baby!

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

I’m a transfer student so I haven’t seen much, but I noticed there’s always talented people walking in the door.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

A classy night filled with singing and acting each semester.

– What makes Cabaret special?

It really brings people together through a creative outlet, and I love all the people I’ve met being a part of Cabaret.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

I definitely learned a lot about myself through this experience and know that I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.

DRAMATIC

###

Happy graduation to those RU scholars walking today!

Stay tuned for two more posts tomorrow, when the rest of Rutgers graduates!

Excelsior!

Senior Interviews: 1-4-9

Okay. Okay. So… weeks. Our bad! Finals and graduation and Senior-Showcase-Revues-that-we-put-together-in-4-hours take up A LOT of time! Also, typing is hard. We have big heads and little arms…

But enough about us! Three (3) more interviews here, featuring three (3) more grown-up ladies!

###

Jackie Spoleti is hardcore. She’ll mess you up real bad, forrealz. With her fists. And her acting skills. Her acting skills are so hXc that she picked up a Cabbie award for her performance as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre in last year’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

She also does voices. Ask her about them some time.

This performance garnered Jackie her Cabbie Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

  • Original Play Festival: Up, Out, and Away – “Focus” (Tracy)
  • …Spelling Bee (Logainne)
  • Director’s Showcase Spring 2011: “Sure Thing” (Director)
  • Director’s Showcase Fall 2011: “Next Door Down” (Susan)
  • Original Play Festival: “Nowhere, Nothing, Fuckups” (Kat) and “The Exorcism of Jakob O’Donnell” (Mrs. O’Donnell)

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I’m from Monroe Township, NJ.  I’d like to live in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Europe, etc. in the future.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Due Mari

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same color!

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

“Modern Family”

Jackie also dazzled audiences as Rosie in LTC’s production of The Wedding Singer. She rapped.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

My high school drama director

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Communication and Theatre (double major) and Italian Studies (minor)

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Astronomy

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

An author

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

An actor

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

An actor.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Jackie “acting” in T25APCSB with fellow senior and roomie, Galadriel.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Twelve Angry Men

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

The facility itself

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

It became a little bit condemned

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite

– What makes Cabaret special?

It’s very welcoming and takes risks

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

I’ve learned a great deal about how to work with all different types of people.  I’ve grown as an artist.  I’ve learned to challenge myself.  I have definitely learned some humility as well.

“Acting” as a uber conservative, hyper religious Jersey mom in “The Exorcism of Jakob Donnelly,” an original play by fellow Cabbie, Danny Cassidy.

 ###

Once upon a time, Galadriel auditioned for Songs for a New World when she was just a wee little freshman. The director was so enamored with her audition that he nearly cast an extra four people in the show, reworking how the entire production was going to work, just so that he could get her on the cast. Ultimately, he didn’t do that, but Galadriel persevered and became a hotshot music director on A New Brain, Tommy, and Revue: Parte Deux, the vocal director of RU acappella group Deep Treble, and starred as freaking Joanna in Sweeney Todd and Olive in T25APCSB! She also, quite impressively, put together the first ever Senior Showcase at Cabaret in like 3 days. And it was good.

As her final act of awesomeness, she told everyone to go the f**k home from said Senior Showcase.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

  • Director’s Scenes – Cosette in Les Miz
  • A New Brain – Music Director
  • Revue 1 – Cast
  • Revue 2 – Music Director
  • Spelling Bee – Olive
  • Elegies – Director

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

Parsippany – I literally lived in the same 150 year old house since I was born.
I’m moving to NYC in the Fall and hope to live there for many years to come.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Depends, when sober and my parents are paying, Due Mari or Old Bay. When not sober and paying myself, Sanctuary or Hansel is my favorite non-pizza establishment.

Galadriel and Co. won the Cabbie Award for Best Musical Performance for their rendition of “The I Love You Song.”

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Mix-match…anyone who has seen my room would know that .

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

LOST…oh wait that’s no longer on TV. If it has to still be on TV, then most definitely Community.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

Joey. He’s so annoying. Just Kidding! I don’t really want to punch anyone, sorry.

She will punch you in the ear, though, with her VOICE!

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Haha, supposed to be? Psychology and Music.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Music History. Most useless thing ever. I really don’t care who Mozart met when he was 10.

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A Marine Biologist. I don’t know what I was thinking.

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

A Speech Pathologist.

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

A Speech Pathologist and awesome famous youtube singer person.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Definitely Elegies. All of my experiences were awesome, but that was life changing.

Elegies. She directed the s**t out of this s**t. (Editor’s Note: I cried.)

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Cloud Nine. My mind was completely blown.

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

The thermostat.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

It’s pretty much just gotten more and more organized and talented.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Les Miz, with a turntable.

– What makes Cabaret special?

The unisex bathroom. But actually the awesome intimate and home-like environment.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

That I can handle a million things at once. The perfect preparation for grad school and probably life.

Galadriel singing in Revue 1 with Sarah, who will be profiled… RIGHT… NOW!

 ###

Sarah is/was the artistic director of uptown rival student theatre company, LTC, but we forgive her her trespasses. Just kidding. She started way back when as the choreographer for a little show called The Wedding Singer back when LTC was still doing shows in the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick. And she kicked @$$. Since then, she’s been a major artistic player at both companies. Her first main-stage performance ever at Rutgers of all time, however, was as the thin nurse Nancy D in Cabaret’s winter 2009 production of A New Brain. So suck on that LTC, we showcased her first. BOOYAH!

Sarah (far left), once a lowly freshman, choreographed a difficult-to-choreograph-show. And it was good. Also in this picture, Cabaret Alumna Lena!

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions:

  • Back to School Revue… Performer
  • A New Brain … Nancy D
  • Back to School Revue: Parte Deux… Performer and singer of the “Blue Hair”
  • I Love You Because … NYC Woman

– Where are you from? Where would you like to live in the future?

I am from Nutley, NJ … I am moving to Orlando this Fall to work for Disney, WOO!

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Houli’s!

[Editor’s Note: F**K HOULIHAN’S!]

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Mix-matched, all day err day

Here, Sarah leads the “DRAGON” maneuver during “And They’re Off,” a highlight of A New Brain.

– On what TV show would you like to guest star in a 3-episode mini-arc?

This doesn’t really answer the question … but I really want John Pisciotta and myself to team up and be on the Amazing Race. We’d kick @$$.

– Who do you most want to punch in the eye?

Marc Mills or the entire RUSA Allocations Board

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Fo Reals — Psychology (Major), Education (Minor) … if I could go back four years and start over? Theater Management (Major) with a double minor in Organizational Leadership and Awesome.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Chem 102/Chem Lab

– What did you want to be when you were growing up?

CSI Investigator

– What are you probably going to be when you grow up?

A proud stage mom of a fabulously talented gay son

– What would you like to be when you grow up?

Disney Casting Agent

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

A New Brain

This A New Brain? Oh yeah.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

I have enjoyed each unique experience I’ve had as an audience member at Cabaret (but to be honest, I really enjoyed watching Godspell, I didn’t want that to be my answer because I did not want to give more satisfaction to the cult-ish cast) (you can write all of that if you want, I don’t care)

– If you could change one thing about Cabaret, what would it be?

More cowbell.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Looking back over the past four years I am happy to see that LTC and Cab have grown closer together. Each organization grows stronger with support from the other.

– Budget & talent pool aside, what show would you most like to see Cabaret do in the future?

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson & Avenue Q

– What makes Cabaret special?

Cabaret is the epitome of college theatre … practicing in a dingy basement into all hours of the night, designing/redesigning the space for each production, creepy garbage filled swimming pool, awkward unisex bathrooms. I have spent many hours here, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

– What has the college (theatre) experience taught you about yourself?

Over four years I have changed my major five times, failed one too many classes and constantly doubted my future … the only “constant” in my life has been college theatre. As an Undergrad I have not only picked up vast amounts of theatrical knowledge but I have learned a lot about myself along the way. Being involved with college theatre has really helped me grow both creatively and as a leader. I can honestly say that my four years participating in this “extracurricular” activity has taught me more than my 128 degree credits I am receiving upon graduating. Suck on that, Rutgers.

Editor’s Note: I don’t even know what this is. Sarah crashing T25APCSB? Yeah. Probz.

###

Check out last week’s Cabbie Cuestionnaires!

And stay tuned for THREE (3) more posts containing more Senior Interviews in the coming DAY! That’s right! THREE! (3)! And that’s even more right! DAY! Promise!

Exclamation Point!

HIL2D: Part 2; Interviews! Also, The Value of Good Press

Today’s entry was originally intended to be an in-depth interview with Artistic Director Farnaz “Yeah Daddy” Mansouri, but recent current events have pushed this lowly Cabbie to take a new course of quasi-journalistic action.

Recent Current Events.

Dear Reader, there are some things that should go into an article that is set to appear in a school-wide publication, especially when said article’s main intention is to get @$$es in seats. The purpose of the Inside Beat section of the Daily Targum is to promote and discuss the diverse cultural opportunities on campus and out in the world. The student newspaper of Rutgers University provides student organizations on campus with a public venue to promote their products, activities, and dance charities.

Which is how it should be. So we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Daily Targum and Inside Beat for your full page spread and putting How I Learned To Drive in the inset above the fold on the front page.

Here are some of things that the Targum missed in its feature; the same feature that was supposed to get people to want to come see How I Learned To Drive, but really only featured some very good photographs, some very good ruminations on acting, and a very large block of text:

TL;DR

#####

Inside Cabaret recently sat down with the cast and crew of How I Learned To Drive and asked them questions about the play, about sex, about Life, The Universe, and Everything. Sadly, no time for chocolate kittens.

#####

Inside Cabaret: Steph, tell us about your character Lil’ Bit.

Steph: Which Lil’ bit? [laughs] As a 29 year old woman-narrator, she’s specifically choosing these moments in her life to talk about. These are the things that she believes have defined her as a person. You need to know about her relationship with Uncle Peck and, in order to understand that, you need to understand her family, her school life, and everything else. The running thread through all of it is Uncle Peck, and her relationship with him varies from love to anger to frustration to this desperate need.

IC: What do you hope college audiences will get out of Lil Bit’s story?

I think they can get so much out of it! The severity of her story isn’t necessarily common, but the coming of age story is everyone’s story. Nobody liked school, and, let’s face it, everybody needs validation and love. And that’s what Lil Bit needs. The play is about moving forward. We all need to learn how to let go, and to keep moving forward. That’s something for college audiences and everybody, across the board.

Lil' Bit </3 School

IC: Marc, what was the hardest part about playing Uncle Peck? How did you overcome those difficulties?

Marc: His emotional restraint. That’s the essence of peck; he holds things back because of his circumstances. The crafting–his alcoholism and his relationship with his niece– that was in the script; it wasn’t too difficult, but learning to have to hold everything back… that was a real challenge.

The way I overcame it was by essentially releasing it, going all the way to the extreme, seeing what it was like for Peck in private. Once I knew that, I knew what my limits were.

Emotional Restraint.

IC: Do you think that college audiences can connect with that idea of emotional restraint?

Marc: I hope so. Even though they’re younger, they can be sympathetic to his situation. Restraint isn’t a WWII and baby boomer problem, but more a universal problem. The inability to really display what you’re feeling… they should understand Peck’s need to feel so passionately.

IC: One more question, is your name spelled with a “C” as in classy or “K” as in “kick myself in the mouth?”

Marc: You know, I’ve been going with “C as in classy.” I considered “Kick myself in the mouth” for a while. I went through one of those artistic flings where I considered the K… kind of like Prince or Diddy Dirty Money. (IC may have added that last part)

IC: Boris, in the Inside Beat article, you mention the “mask method” of acting. Do you think that the theory behind the “mask method” connects to our everyday lives?

Boris: Yes, absolutely. We don’t do it consciously. In every situation, in every group of friends, we have a set of actions and reactions and personalities that we wear. What I’m doing in this show is different in that these masks are in brighter colors then what you might wear in everyday life… but it’s obviously a mask.

It's A Metaphor

IC: You play several roles in the show; how do you “put on the mask” to differentiate those characters to the audience?

A lot of it is physical. A lot of it is also the way I speak. I’ve experimented with everything. My hair is different. My costume is a different. Every aspect. That’s something I really wanted to do with each character, a challenge that pushed me through this process.

IC:  Matt [Assistant Director], how did you translate the themes of the show into the set design?

Matt: The show is about memories… always remembering the best thing and maybe not the worst. The set is a little bit too realistic: the grass is a little bit too green; the road is too straight. Parts of the memories, though, are falling away. The image is still clear, but somethings off. The movie posters are falling down. There’s an RV, but you’ll have to see the show; I don’t want to spoil anything.

IC: Does the theme of memories and their glossy nature connect to your target audience of college students?

Matt: Our generation is all about reminiscing. It’s all about remembering that better time, back in 3rd grade with Pokemon and [expletive]. You look at the set and it says, “Sunbeam Bread, Kid’s Really Love it!” And the poster is just torn to bits. I mean, I can’t take all the credit for it, [Director] Jordan Gochman had all these ideas coming in.

If I get invited to one more "You Know You're A '90s Kid When..." group on Facebook, I'm gonna leave my stoop and punch a sucka.

IC: Amanda, during the play, there is an extended sequence entitled “Men, Sex, and Women.” What’s that all about, and what’s the play saying about female sexuality?

Amanda: In the scene, there are three generations of women all at one table: a young woman, an “experienced” women, and then the third, who is jaded, old, and bitter. She’s the married woman, with one sexual partner, and the strict religious aspect included. Curiosity, Experience, Fidelity & Loyalty all at one table. It covers every single facet of “love.” Love has a very wide spectrum. Depending upon when it hits you in your life and who with, it can change your perception of love.

Grandma has resigned herself. There is no further exploration. Lucy [the mom, the experience woman] drove her car and crashed. Lil Bit is trying to map out her road, her understanding of love.

IC: Where do you think women in the college crowd will see themselves on the spectrum?

The scene–and the play–allows the viewer to think back on their mother or their grandmother or their cousins, and all the women in their lives and consider perhaps that these relationships that they’ve taken for granted have another layer to them, a layer of loss, of fidelity, of newness and experience. The great thing about Vogel’s play is that it gives life to female sexuality. It recognizes that female sexuality has character; it’s not sterile or textbook. There’s so much more… uncertainty to actual sexuality.

IC: The last question is for our director, Jordan Gochman. Why should people come see your play?

Jordan : Because it’s [expletive] wonderful. And because everyone’s gonna see it through a dfiferent eyes. Everyone has a family, everyone has problems in their family, and, whether it’s the sex, alcoholism, the feeling of control, the need to be the teacher… everybody will come away having seen something they really, truly know.

#####

Cabaret - Challenging the Definition of Love Since 1975

How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel opens Friday at 8 pm and continues Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday 7 pm. There are also performances next Friday at 8 pm and Saturday at 3 pm and 8 pm. For reservations, e-mail the show you wish to attend and the number of tickets you require to cabtheatre@gmail.com.

For more questions and info, click here.

BREAKING: Cabaret Finally Enters the Blogosphere

Related: Producer responds to Critics, “Perfection takes time”

 

The Internet is immediate, unadulterated, non-stop sensory saturation.

Cabaret Theatre is immediate, unadulterated, non-stop sensory saturation.

This is a match made in media heaven.

[Do media-ites have a heaven? Thought we were all bloodsucking harlequins of the vilest order?]

For the last few years, Cabaret Theatre has thrown a lot of stuff at the wall in the Sisyphean effort to reaffirm itself as Rutgers University’s premier student theatre organization. New workshops in directing and playwriting. New showcases and special events, catering to the diverse predilections of the surrounding New Brunz area. New investment in recruiting and cultivating talented and creative student minds. And a brand new look and a new marquis, both now a sleeker Black & White—a dual representation of nothingness and everything, clean, malleable, divergent.

Cabaret's Business Strategy

A lot of it stuck.

Cabaret is in the best shape it’s ever been in throughout its long, 36-year history. A long string of high quality productions and a newfound commitment to developing and fostering a community of progressive, experimental, and innovative student-writers, -directors, and –actors.

And this is the next step in Cabaret’s evolution.

The community within is invested, engaged, and growing.

The community without, however, is often left in the dark.

Think about it.

Other than the occasional show, what do you really know about what goes on inside? What are rehearsals like? Set builds? The production process? What does the basement of Cabaret look like? What is life like for a Cabbie? Nay, what is it like inside the mind of a Cabbie?

TRUTH.

Theatre is as much by the actors as it is for the people. And social media like this blog allow direct access to the people. We’ll let you in, posting original content like interviews with directors and actors, videos and photos of productions just starting out, and in-depth explorations of Cabaret, Life, The Universe, and Everything.

What do we want from you?

Money. Particularly of the Defaced variety.

Just kidding (not really). What we really want from you is to hear your voice. Click on over to SUBMIT! and share a Cabbie story, or make a comment, or send us your experimental neo-noir short film! We’ll (maybe) publish it!

Theatre is an exercise in communal storytelling. You’re part of that community. And this blog is an experiment in that.

So expect consistent updates from us here at Cabaret Theatre. It’s Halftime in America. And Cabaret’s second half is about to begin.

He went in the Cabaret basement...

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Below: How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel opens in 4 days! Check out this preview snap shot featuring Marc Mills and Steph Van Huss. Look for an interview with director Jordan Gochman and members of the staff and cast in the coming days!

She's learning how to drive. Get it?