Important Information for a Very Important Play!!!

Hey there everybody! It’s Allie Kroeper and I’m back to the writer’s chair with some vital information about Cabaret’s first main stage of the year… The Normal Heart!!!

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(I’m also here to talk about other things, but I’ll get to that stuffs later!)

 

Due to the serious nature of The Normal Heart, I will proceed with less humor than usual.

[Director’s Note: You were being humorous in the past?]

 

Here is information from Cabaret’s Sakai site:

The Normal Heart is a play focused on the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gay Jewish-American founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group.

Production Staff:

Tyler Picone – Director

James Duffy – Creative Team

Jamie King – Creative Team

Chris Price – Stage Manager

Cast:
Dan Fisher – Ned Weeks
Donovan Smalls – Bruce Niles
Nikko Espina – Felix Turner
Alyssa Krompier – Dr. Emma Brookner
Dan VG – Michael Marcus
Jason Zomback – Tommy Boatwright
Nick McNamara – Ben Weeks
Alex Vetterlein – Grady/Craig
Michael Maxham – Hiram Keebler/David

Tickets:
$7 for Students/Staff/Faculty
$12 for General Admission

Opening night proceeds will go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. All shows will also sell armbands towards the cause.

Email cabtheatre@gmail.com for advanced reservations. Please specify your name, the number of tickets you wish to purchase and the date/time of the show you wish to attend. Our shows sell out quickly so making a reservation is the smart way to get yourself a seat!*

*Note: Reservations are not guaranteed. Patrons with reservations must arrive at least one half-hour prior to the stated performance time to purchase their tickets. Reservations may be voided at the discretion of the Box Office Management twenty minutes prior to the scheduled performance to accommodate any patrons on the waiting list or any walk-up sales.

This production of The Normal Heart contains Trigger Language. We recommend this show for mature audiences only.

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All that being said, if you want to see some kick-ass acting in action, then reserve your tickets today, ’cause that kick-ass show starts TOMORROW!!!

 

Here is some more hard-hitting information:

If you are interested in raising awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault via Cabaret Theatre, join Marisa Irabli and the Institute of Women’s Leadership for a very important project: ACT (Affective Catharsis through Theatre). ACT is a collaborative effort aimed to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault issues in our community while providing a cathartic and safe space for its participants.

This project also provides opportunities for writing, acting and stage managing!

October 19, 11:59pm – Writing submissions and anyone who is interested in acting must email Marisa Irabli at mirabli@eden.rutgers.edu.

October 21 – Actors will be assigned a piece. (****PLEASE keep in mind that not every piece sent in will be chosen, for length and content purposes, although all submissions are greatly appreciated!****)

Dates TBD – 3 rehearsals (The first half of show is the first rehearsal, the second half of show is the second rehearsal. Everyone together is the third rehearsal.)

November 3-November 7 – Tech week (includes blocking, lighting, clean up, etc.)

November 8, 8pm – SHOW NIGHT!

Email Marisa Irabli or Special Events Coordinator, Courtney King at clk10@eden.rutgers.edu for more information!

And congrats to Marisa for being chosen for the Fall 2013 Special Project Slot!!!

 

Now for the lighter news:

What is our second main stage of the year, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you!

(But only because I’m contractually obligated to do so.)

It is [title of show] and it has been cast, yay!!!

 

The [title of show] cast is as follows:

Jeff: Justin Brown

Hunter: Gabe Marquez

Heidi: Natasha Sydor

Susan: Kristen Ferris

Piano Player, “Mary”: Lauren Burcheri

 

The Production staff is as follows:

Director: Courtney King

Assistant Director: The Best Person Ever (that’s me)

Musical Director: Rachel Horner

Stage Manager: LilyAnn Foster

Piano Player, “Mary”: Lauren Burcheri (This is a cool half-production-staff/half-role type of dealio. She’s got the best of both worlds!)

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That’s right. Forever.

 

In other news…I am coordinating the 2013 Directors Showcase!!!

What, what?!?!?!

This year the Showcase consists of 4 amazing plays, directed by 4 amazing directors!!!

 

Our directors are:

Kayla Votapek

Christen Demnitz

Steph Van Huss

Jasia Ries

 

And I’d like to make a quick shout out to our awesome Stage Manager, Steph van Oppen!! (She’s so on top of things!)

And yet another quick shout out to Kate Barron (Cabaret’s Artistic Director) for being such an incredible help with this production!!!

 

Look out for more information on the Showcase, [title of show], and Marisa’s Special Project in the blog entries to come!!

 

Allie Kroeps over and out!!!

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: Back-Stage Edition!

Almost there, true believers! University Commencement is TODAY, which means that the class of 2012 will officially blow this proverbial popsicle stand. Nevertheless, we here at Inside Cabaret still have work to do up until that bell on Old Queens gets rung incessantly, so away we go with a very special edition of the Cabaret Cuestionnaire!

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Alex is finishing up his Ed.M. with the Graduate School of Education here at Rutgers. While not teaching math to teenagers, Alex can be found being an all around good guy, helping out in any way he can down at the Cabaret. He was dragged unwittingly to the theatre by former managing director Erik Stratton, fulfilling a shortage we had of able labor. Still, we weren’t able to get him on-stage as a performer, but he sure did love pushing the buttons in the booth during multiple productions over the last two years!

Here we see Alex reppin’ Cabaret in what appears to be a shark fight.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions:

  • Helped make a cake with Erik for one performance of rabbit hole (I think after that they bought cakes)
  • Pushed the light button a bunch of times for Cloud 9 and sewed the head back on the doll
  • Assistant lighting designer for Spelling Bee
  • Box Office Manager along with Tobi/Webmaster for 2011-2012
  • Stage Manager/Lighting/Sound for Directors Showcase 2011
  • Technical Stage Manager for Eleemosynary

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

Northern New Jersey, but I’ll probably end up living somewhere else

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Definitely Neilson, although Stuff Yer Face is pretty good

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

I’m not sure I own socks that match

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

Parks and Recreation

Always prepared, Alex came to Rutgers Day… prepared… with food… (Editor’s Note: It’s late.)

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

Well, it would have to be someone with eyes…

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Math Education

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Expos….so far that’s the only question I haven’t had to think about at all

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

Someone with a job

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

I don’t think I’m going to grow up

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

Someone with a job at a college

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Eleemosynary

Alex never f**ks up the ratio.


– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Streamers, cause it’s when I found out Cabaret existed

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

Working thermostats. Second question I didn’t have to think about

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Definitely not working thermostats!

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

Rent, I think LTC did it a while ago, but I didn’t get to see it

– What makes Cabaret special?

Lots of stuff: The unisex bathroom, leaky roof, the pool, only one working light bulb in the prop/dressing rooms, but mostly the amount of time and work everyone spends on shows without getting anything back for it

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

It turns out, I like other stuff besides math.

Like being pushed around. In a good way.

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What can we say about Nicole Reich? Without her, the place literally would not work. Her tenure as Technical Director and constant involvement in lighting and design for the majority of the shows over the last 4 years has made her into a crucial creative entity at Cabaret and at uptown rival LTC. We’d ask her how many sleepless hours she spent at Cabaret, but we don’t want to get punched. And she’ll punch you. She will. Not kidding. We’ve seen it. Seriously. Don’t f**k with her. She’ll annihilate your face with a stare, and then pummel your bare skull until it’s gelatin, which she’ll then scoop up and use to shine the lens on the Source 4s hanging above the stage.

Nicole living dangerously in the Cabaret Sky.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

  • Lighting Designer, Elegies
  • Sound Designer, I Love You Because…
  • Technical Director, 2010-2011 (Streetcar, ILYB, Rabbit Hole, Cloud 9, Spelling Bee)
  • Lighting Designer, Godspell
  • House Manager, 2009-2010
  • Stage Manager, The Cocktail Hour
  • Stage Manager, “Up, Out & Away!” (1st ever original play festival)

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

I’m from Piscataway, currently living in Edison, and hope to live in New York at some point in my life. Not forever, but for a while.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

You can never go wrong with Stuff Yer Face.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same color. And white. I’m boring.

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

Doctor Who

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

No comment. (Editor’s Note: See above)

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Some science thing (aka genetics)

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Orgo. Hands down.

Here we see Nicole doing something important.

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

A doctor.

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

In theater. Somehow.
– What would you like to be when you grow up?

Happy.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Elegies

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Eurydice

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

The heat!

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Oh man. Well 427 wasn’t black, and the hallway wasn’t blue. The lobby was still red and we had an enormous ticket booth, and a pay phone taking up space. (Why is everything about paint colors?) More importantly, Cabaret is putting up better quality shows and has better people running it.

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

I don’t know?

– What makes Cabaret special?

It’s a great community of people, who are willing to let you try new things and experiment. You make lasting friends at Cabaret.

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

College (theatre) is all well and good, but sometimes my sanity comes first.

What stage of insanity is this?

###

You ever open up a Cabaret playbill or look at a Cabaret set or visit the Cabaret website or walk past the Cabaret marquis or open your eyes ever? Well, odds are that you saw some wonderful artwork and design by the magnificent Ms. Hanna Canfield. As Cabaret’s resident “scenic artist,” Hanna has drawn, painted, stenciled, sponged, and/or stickered some piece of every show since Lieutenant of Inishmore(for those counting, that goes all the way back to Fall 2008!). Everything from set pieces to posters to show logos to a giant scarlet R on the floor forRevue: Parte Deux, Hanna’s the go-to-gal for drawling.

Also, she regularly received college credit for working with bovine and other farm animals.

Hanna “drawing” the logo for Streamers!

Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Scenic Artist, Logo artist, Ruth in the SH!T PLAY in last year’s Original Play Festival, and a LOT of miscellaneous tech work

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

I was from Connecticut…now Florida as of December. Hopefully I will eventually call Colorado or Hawaii home.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Stuff Yer Face.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same-color as long as they’re a fun pattern.

Hanna in the Cabaret lockerroom, preparing for the SH!T play with fellow Cabbies Casey and Sir Nick (who exchange-studented back to England).

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

A cartoon probably. I’d like to see an animated version of myself, and voice acting would be fun.

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

George Lucas.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

I’m an Animal Science major, Pre-vet option, biology minor.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Orgo, hands down.

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

I wanted to be an archaeologist, paleontologist, or marine biologist. I really like science.

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

Definitely going to be a veterinarian! I’m still deciding on which vet school to choose, but I’m 99% sure I’m going to St. George’s University in Grenada this fall.

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

I want to be a veterinarian for shelter animals and for zoo animals. Ideally.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Dog Sees God.

Hanna with the cast of Dog Sees God, which was a cross between Peanuts and Slackers with an Acid cocktail thrown into the blender. And, apparently, mixed metaphors.

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Lieutenant of Inishmore.

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

More fake blood. We had so much of that freshman year. Where did it go?

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

I could probably write an essay on that, but for the sake of time, it got cleaner and more professional. But I’ve always loved it in any condition!

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

Honestly, I really don’t know a whole lot of shows. I just like painting and things.

– What makes Cabaret special?

It’s such a unique place. I love black box theatres, and I love that the space is so versatile.

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

I need to draw or paint something once in a while. It makes me a much happier person.

Especially rodents. They’re the best to draw. Always.

###

Click below for more interviews!

Three Lovely Ladies

1-4-9

Again!

A Letter to the class of 2012

One more post is coming, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s going to be a doozy! Stay tuned!

And happy graduation!

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!

Senior Interviews: Three Lovely Ladies

Over the next few days (weeks?), Inside Cabaret will be posting interviews with the graduating Cabbie class of 2012. We’ve put together a wonderful insightful exit interview of sorts–appropriately named the Cabaret Cuestionnaire (sic)–that gives us access into the personalities and experiences of these wonderful people.

We start today with three of the lovely ladies who recently graced the stage in Spring Awakening: Lauren, Francesca, and Meg.

And this isn’t a ladies-first type of thing. Rather, we tried to group the interviews in a recognizable, sensible manner, and because Spring Awakening was stacked with awesome seniors, it just so happened that our first category featured 3 girls. Don’t judge. We’re equal opportunity/equal access here at Inside Cabaret!

Before we paint ourselves into an ever smaller corner, here’s the first ever Cabaret Cuestionnaire!!!

###

Lauren last appeared as Wendla in Spring Awakening. She’s a wonderfully dedicated individual, and her passion for the arts is only matched by her compassion for others. She also once said that Midnight shows are a bad idea because a) people should be asleep at midnight and b) people don’t sing at midnight.

She is also, apparently, the girl from The Ring. So watch out!

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions:

Back-to-School Revue, Godspell, Director’s Scenes, Spring Awakening

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

I’m from Totowa, NJ. I would like to live near the sea.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

The Thai food place on easton.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

SAME

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

TRUE BLOOD

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

Kim Kardashian

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

American Studies and English

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

I had Shakespeare with a terrible teacher. it was so sad.

Lauren "acting" gothic in Godspell.

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

Actress

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

Creative Individual

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

Artist

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Being Wendla

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Watching “He Lives in You” at one of the revues. It gave me chills. I think that same revue they did a HAIR medley. it was excellent.

"He Lives In You."

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

CLEANER BATHROOMS

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

People are more focused I find.

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

CABARET

[Editor’s Note: META]

– What makes Cabaret special?

The space is extremely intimate.

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

I have to have patience and focus with every project I am apart of.

More ACTING, via PATIENCE.

###

Francesca made her Cabaret debut in Spring Awakening as the adorably innocent Anna. She also designed the set, which included tree branches, a chandelier that was totally vintage, and rose petals. Said rose petals ultimately rained down from the ceiling. Like a Boss. She’s also one of the most creative people we know. And adorable.

Francesca can also be a blonde, as evidenced in this noiresque shot from uptown rival LTC's production of The Wild Party.

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

I’m from West Chester, Pennsylvania and I have a lot of places I want to live–Rome, New York City, Canada, Antarctica etc… but I’ll probably end up living somewhere in the New York area.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Somerset Diner. Coconut pancakes and Belgian waffles with ice cream.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Mix-match. Ask anyone what my room looks like–I wouldn’t be able to find matching socks if I tried.

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

Law and Order SVU–but only if I get to be partners with detective Lake and my arc ends in arrest.

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

Rick Santorum.

He was much cooler in college. Look at that manbeard!

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Visual Arts (concentration: painting) and English (concentration: creative writing).

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Artmaking. It was awful.

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

A veterinarian, then a teacher, then a writer and illustrator of children’s books, then just a writer, then an artist and a writer…

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

I’ll probably teach some kind of art somewhere (hopefully at the college level), show in galleries, and write when I can.

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

A super famous artist and winner of the nobel prize for literature or something like that.

Francesca taking artistic pictures in the Cabaret basement. "Life is like pickle."

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

Spring Awakening since it was my only experience

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Godspell hands down. That was incredible–I cried like a baby and had some sort of spiritual awakening. Good job, guys.

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

The temperature. And the budget.

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

Well, we’ve played around with the space a lot this year–the alleyway stage seems to be the new trend and I think it works for Cabaret.

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

Hmm… that’s tough. I want to see some Beckett… or some Ionesco.

"Acting" with fellow seniors Lauren (see above) and Amanda.

– What makes Cabaret special?

The intimacy of the space and passion of the people involved. No one lacking passion would willing work in a ninety degree theater with no backstage and a creepy basement. There’s definitely something special about this particular black box and how it comes alive during a performance. As a member of LTC, I always wanted to do a show at Cabaret, and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint.

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

That the very best people in the world are the ones you find in theaters (something I always suspected, but now I know for sure)… and that I can’t live without performing.

###

Meg Gillan is an all-around bad@$$. Really. She is the music director at WRSU Rutgers Radio, which automatically makes her 13% cooler than most people you know. She’s also hipper than an geriatric ward on “Happy Days Night.”

Meg "acting" ("making eyes?") with Francesca.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

Spring Awakening (Thea), Back to School Revue: Parte Deux (Really really talented and good looking actor)

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

I am from the great mountains of New Jersey, a big town called West Milford. Ultimately I would like to live in the Village, like a true hipster.

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

Clydz is the best place for a fancy, sexy dinner. If we are talking about more of a casual night with amazing people, go to Harvest Moon.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

What?

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

Saturday Night Live or the Big Bang Theory

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

Bono

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

My degree is in Journalism and Media Studies.

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Intro to Communication is stupid.

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

A Rockette

Proof.

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

A technical operator for a television network

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

Director of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and SNL

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

The Somerset Diner with the cast of Spring Awakening and the Rutgers Lacrosse team

[Editor’s Note: Not only did this happen IRL, but it will also be the main plot for an upcoming episode of GLEE]

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Amanda and Dave’s scene right after Stella takes Stanley back in A Streetcar Named Desire:

This scene. SO MUCH ACTING! Also, STELLLLLAAAAAAAAA!

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

The bathroom situation

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

Chicago, always Chicago

– What makes Cabaret special?

The people

Meg with "people" and fellow seniors, Galadriel and Nick.

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

…that we are all a little freaky inside

###

Keep checking Inside Cabaret for more quirky, non-serious, uber-serious, and moderately-serious responses to the Cabaret Cuestionnaire!

Stay tuned!

A Letter To The Class of 2012

We here at Inside Cabaret look forward to our post-show afterglow. Though we’ve only worked through three productions at Cabaret so far, we have consistently and without fail taken an entire week off to rest our weary fingers after closing night of Spring Awakening. Blogging is hard. Especially when you use the same jokes over and over again.

Chocolate Kitty. So February 2012.

But our rest week has passed, and something happened tonight that kick-started my desire to get writing: The Cabaret Ball. Each year, Cabaret poops away all of its leftover cash (and by “poops,” I mean scrounges around for nickles and dimes in the cracks between the floorboards to buy streamers and kazoos) to throw together a wonderful little shindig that involves dancing, Rutgers catering, and the traditional Cabbie awards. I won’t go into who won what and who danced to Ke$ha the hardest and what brand of soft drink was served (click here for a hint!), but I do want to take the time now to write a little something for a certain group of somebodies.

And I say “my” and “I” with the full intention of breaking the decorum we’ve established here at Inside Cabaret so far– I want to speak as myself here, and speak directly to the graduating group of incredible Cabbies.

###

Dearest Cabbie Class of 2012,

I admire each and every single one of you more than you will ever know.

Cabaret Theatre, as is predetermined by its very nature and mission, is always in need of something. Whether it’s physical (Please Dear God Fix the Darn Heaters) or artistic, Cabaret has a commitment to progress and to innovation that I have not seen anywhere else on this campus. There is always this need to be better, to push, to fix, to learn, to change. And that’s why I kept coming back; regardless of whatever other projects I chose to take part in, Cabaret was the place where I knew that I would become a better performer, a better leader, a better writer, director, producer, designer, a better member of the community. That’s what this is all about.

Cabaret is a community of creators committed to being better.

And to being adorbz.

And you–all of you super, fantastic, coolness, remarkable people–are the reason why this community works. It’s impossible to want to be better without a standard to serve as your benchmark. And you push each other and impress each other and challenge each other and support each other toward achieving that goal–that goal of progress, of innovation, and of something worthwhile.

I speak from experience here. 5 years ago, when I first auditioned for Cabaret, things were very, very different. This is not the place to go into detail, but I do want to say that what we have achieved in the last few years–a time of upswing and rebirth for Cabaret–has astounded me on a daily basis.

The problem with all of this praise and admiration for Cabaret as a theatre is that it is too easy to ignore the people that have made it such a fantastic place to cry, sweat, and bleed.

So I return to this idea that Cabaret has spent the last 4 years redefining and reestablishing itself as the premiere organization for innovative, creative theatre at Rutgers University. The only way that it could have accomplished this is if a group of students came together and decided that things needed to change, that this was how change will occur, and that we needed to do it together.

And this is the class that made that mission work. This is the class that is stacked to the gills with talent on every side of the curtain, from every major, and from every walk of life. This is the class that, with each and every production, inspired others to work harder, audience members to come back, and producers to say “Let’s go bigger next time.” This is the class that dominated productions of A New Brain, Godspell, The Back-to-School Revue: Parte Deux and R3vu3, A Streetcar Named Desire, I Love You Because, Cloud 9, Spelling Bee, Twelve Angry Men, Elegies, and Spring Awakening. Seriously. Check the cast and staff lists for all of those shows. This graduating class, by the numbers, has defined Cabaret’s public identity for the last 3 years. That’s nuts.

Progress. You, my dear ladies and gentlemen, have pushed Cabaret to evolve into more than just a black-box that is often mistaken for the Jameson Projects; you have turned it into a creative powerhouse, a venue for communal storytelling that is unmatched anywhere else on this campus. You did that, and I am impressed each and every time any of you takes the stage or directs or writes or designs or sells me a damn ticket.

I believe that you cannot truly operate in this world without another person to inspire you, to emulate, to admire, and to respect. The reason why this class is so damn good (and will be missed so damn much) is that they provide that valuable resource for every single member of the Cabaret community.

Whether it’s being astonished by John and Matt and Nicole’s wicked cool technical designs, or being blown away by Marc and Amanda’s ability to turn out FOUR mainstage productions in one season and be incredible in every single one, or admiring some wonderful artwork at the Scott Hall bus-stop designed by Hanna and posted by Allison, or jamming to the musical pre-show stylings of Mike Bond, or being slapped in the face by the immensely talented Meg and Alex and Lauren during Spring Awakening, or smiling gleefully at the adorable special-one-time-only-awesomeness of Francesca, or smiling equally gleefully when buying a ticket from the equally bada$$ Tobi, or weeping at the sound/sight of the angelic Nick, or listening to songstresses Galadriel and Ellie and feeling your heart figuratively fall out of your chest, or figuratively dying from laughter as Jaclyn and Jenna display their damn fine… tuned comedic timing, or being schooled in acting by the uber talented Boris and Sabrina, or sitting in awestruck wonder of the awesomeness of someone as awesome as James C. Phillips III, I can honestly say that this graduating class has consistently inspired audiences and colleagues alike to think bigger, work harder, and, again, to be better.

To other members, like Corey and Sarah and Heather and Gwen and Erik, who were busy being awesome in their own right elsewhere this past year and were sorely missed; you are still part of this larger project, this continuity of excellence that helped define Cabaret’s progress over the last few years, and I extend my thanks to you as well.

There are so many people that have come and gone over the years, and I apologize a million times over if I didn’t write a witty one-liner for you, but know that your influence is felt each and every single day, and if I had all the time in the world, I would write each of you a sonnet expressing my gratitude for your time and effort.

 I extend the utmost appreciation to Katie and Farnaz, whose leadership and forward thinking has helped unite this entire class behind that mission. Which is really hard to do considering actors have huge… personal aspirations… But it was your professionalism and care that helped bring everyone together and push them to some crazy s**t.

And, finally, there is one person who shares my old-timey knowledge of where Cabaret has come from. Mr. Danny Cassidy has consistently been the creative heart and soul of Cabaret through his service as artistic director between 2009 and 2011, his commitment to new and exciting workshops for directing, playwriting, and textual analysis, and his Beckett-ian admiration for waving cigarettes around while making absurd and/or odd remarks about everything.

Samuel Beckett? Or Danny Cassidy? Only the Shadow knows!

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot ever say it enough. A few of us once had the idea that Cabaret could be better, and with your tireless dedication, perseverance, creativity, and blood, it has become the best place in the world. A home. A community. A place where anything and everything can happen.

I hope that Cabaret has been a wonderful place where you could learn and work and grow and live. I hope that you take the lessons that you learned here, whether practical or spiritual, and you carry them on as you stumble along. I hope that you keep in touch, or at least check in every once in a while to see how you can support or learn or laugh with one another.

And I hope that this system continues into the future. While this is a letter to the graduating Cabbies, I would like to also remind those rising seniors and everyone down to interested first-years, that Cabaret is not one person; Cabaret is every one of you. You are all vital, you are all creative, you are all responsible for its future. Please remember this, and be as welcoming, as tenacious, as creative, and as passionate as these graduating Cabbies were and are.

Thank you all. I cannot say it enough. You have all redefined what Cabaret means, and you have all defined what Cabaret will be in the future.

Best of luck, and be excellent to each other.

From New Brunswick with love,

Joey

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So that’s that.Inside Cabaret will continue to give the graduating Cabbies the appreciation and recognition they deserve in the next few weeks leading up to graduation, through various interviews and questionnaires.

Be well, true believers, and stay tuned!

Photos, as always, via the fantabulous Rich Kowalski.

And for old time’s sake:

YES.

Spring Awakening – The Girls

After that wonderful interview with the Boys of Spring Awakening, are you ready for some more gender segregated hard-hitting journalism fromInside Cabaret?

Too bad, you're getting it anyway.

Inside Cabaret:  Who is your Favorite President of the United States of America?

Nick: franklin pierce

Jenna: Taft OF COURSE

Will: Gotta go with family: JFK. And he got with Marilyn Monroe.

Alex: Anyone who’s not Bush. Well, Daddy Bush was alright.

Jordon: Lincoln

Tyler: Richard Nixon

Amanda: Lincoln

Francesca: Kennedy

Lauren: Alexander Hamilton & Ben Franklin are my favorite people. I know they’re not presidents, but they should have been.

Marc: James Polk.

Meg: TAFT, it’s gotta be Taft

Joey: Millard. Fillmore. Period.

President William Howard Taft riding a Carabao

Enough ridiculosity! Let’s get on with the interviews! Read on, fellow Cabbies, for a revealing expose with the lovely ladies ofSpring Awakening!!!

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Inside Cabaret: According to popular (mis)conception, Spring Awakening is a boys show. Why are the girls such an integral part of the show?

Meg: I remember telling people that guys are much cooler, but the girls bring the truth of the time. We are the naïve ones, we are the ones that are preparing to have babies. The only thing we talk about is dreaming about boys. It’s stripped down to what we were allowed to think about. This is written by a man, so a lot of the girl’s points of views—there’s not a lot of depth. So I think for us, for our cast of girls, we make the female roles important. And rock and roll.

Amanda: The show is not only about sexuality, it’s about the discovery of others. It’s the reciprocity, the give and the take. You can’t do that with just one sex. It happens with a group. By the time it gets to “Song of Purple Summer,” you see how inclusive this show is. To say it’s a boy’s show is to say that it is sexually exclusive; that’s not what this show is about at all.

Alex: You can’t have a love story in this time period if girls aren’t involved. And that’s what makes some of the stories in the show so interesting. I think that the boys bring power to the show, but the girls ground it.

The girls. Adorbs.

IC: This is both your first and last show at Cabaret. What took you so long? And how has it been?

Francesca: I didn’t know about any theatre until Sophomore year. I tried out for two shows (Streetcar & How I learned 2 Drive) here and didn’t get in, but finally I got into Spring Awakening!

IC: And how has the process been?

Francesca: Amazing, I knew I’d love it here! I’ve talked to a lot of people about the Cabaret experience, and it just seemed like a cool place to work.

I love the space; I think it’s beautiful. It has a lot of potential. The people that work here are extremely passionate. The show’s are typically pretty good, too.

IC:  Amanda, what was the hardest part about this show for you? How did you overcome the challenge?

Amanda: Allowing myself to be very free. I almost had to…not necessarily dismiss what I’ve grown up with, but mature during the show. And that was hard because I had to make myself very vulnerable. I had to share myself with people.

Amanda "Mama" Padro letting go.

IC: Meg, speaking as the Music Director at WRSU, why is the music in Spring Awakening so effective?

Meg: I mean, think lyrically. It’s easy to relate to. Especially for our generation.

IC: Why is that?

Meg: Because of the issues at hand. There’s that teen angst in there. When we’re getting ready downstairs, I was like “We need to listen to Green Day.”

IC: What was playing downstairs?

Meg: What the f**k were they playing? Probably some Beyonce or some top 40 thing.

But over all it’s just beautiful. Also, when you hear that rock and roll guy is writing musical theatre music, I personally cringe. However, there are so many legit rock and roll moments in this score, but when it’s not rock and roll, it’s beautiful and genuine.

The girls rehearsing "Mama Who Bore Me." Meg Gillan adding a bit of Grunge flannel to the mix.

IC: Lauren, what’s your favorite moment in the play as an actor? As an audience member?

Lauren: As an actor: “Whispering.” The transition that happens. Wendla completes her journey in that song. So as an actor, I get to build that journey inside of the song. And craft it and layer it very carefully.

As an audience member: I love watching everything. I’m trying to think of something little, because there are so many great moments. This isn’t actually in the show; it’s offstage. Before “Totally F**ked,” Will is behind Jordon, ready to enter, and Will is rocking out headbanging with his huge hair, and only the audience on the one side can see him. It’s this hidden moment that only a few people see.

IC: Alex, you’re like a singer-songwriter IRL; how did you challenge the other components of your performance as Ilse?

Alex: I don’t coin myself as an actress at all. I’ve never felt confident at all in that regard, but I think that through BARE I learned to let go of everything, and I think that this show helped me extend that. I thought of every high as balls hippie that I’ve ever met.

IC: Have you met a lot of hippies?

Alex:Yes. My mom was a hippie at Rutgers in 1977. My first tour of Rutgers I went around with my mom who told me about the apartments she got high and where she did horrible things. And I had a lot of friends in high school who thought that being a hippie meant just getting “high.” So, if you count those kids, too…

HIPPIE!

IC: Jenna, how did you perfect your slapping skills?

Jenna: Lauren’s face looked more supple to me each night and I just got soooo angry. We also share a good cheek to hand ratio. It just fit.

IC: Why are the adult figures so vital to this show?

Jenna:  I was thinking that the other day. (Editor’s note: It’s a good thing I asked.) They’re a mixture between caricature and real, but yet they’re so different from the children. It’s important to have that perspective in the show, the other side of the question about puberty and maturity and growing up.

IC: You really triple threat it out in this show: dancing, singing, acting really hard. What have you learned about yourself as a performer?

Jenna: I’ve gotten a lot more confident in my physicality and dancing. I think this is really due to [choreographer] Sarah Lifson and Farnaz. I’ve never felt so comfortable dancing and in my own body as I have been in this show. I’ve never felt so empowered by it. With the right kind of atmosphere and coaching, I can dance if I want to.

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So that’s it. The boys and girls of Spring Awakeninginterviewed by Inside Cabaret for your reading pleasure.

And for your viewing pleasure: