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?

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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.

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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!

Spring Awakening – An Interview with the Director

Finally! Inside Cabaret does something that it promised it was going to do! We’ve done it! We interviewed Cabbie-award winning Farnaz Mansouri about her experience directing Spring Awakening at Cabaret! Like we said we would!

Related: Farnaz has adopted this as her Facebook profile picture.

Somewhere between finishing her senior year at Rutgers and serving as Cabaret Theatre’s Artistic Director and being a bad b**ch, Farnaz “Yeah Daddy” Mansouri found the time to direct a critically-acclaimed-so-far production of Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater’s Tony-Award winning musical. Really: people love it! So reserve your spot on the waiting list for tickets, because all them hotcakes be gone!!!

No more hotcakes for Kitty cats.

So check out the interview below, in which we discuss sad things, fun things, boys, girls, cats, musicals, and puberty! And be sure to check out Spring Awakening at Cabaret Theatre this weekend! Last three (3) performances!

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Inside Cabaret: What was the best comment an audience member made last weekend?

Farnaz: I was overwhelmed by all the lovely things people said this weekend. [Cabaret Administrative Advisor] Matt Ferguson said some really lovely things about the production, which was amazing to hear.

The most touching comment hands down came from Dave Seamon, who said that watching the show felt like he was “watching a passion project movie”, and further continued saying not only how the show was injected with passion, but how alive each character was on stage. Those who know me know that I’m passionate about everything I do; the fact that this passion was able to resonate on stage, through each character, through the entire production, is something truly magical.

[Editor’s note: Check out Dave’s full review by clicking HERE!]

IC: And your parents? What did they say about the show?

Farnaz: My parents actually both really loved the show. They said they thought it was really beautiful, and my mom had really nice things to say about every person in the cast.

IC: Did she talk to them after the show?

Farnaz: My dad did! My mom is a little shy.

Shy Kitty.

IC: Your last directing position was on Streetcar Named Desire; how has this experience compared?

Farnaz: I went into Streetcar with no experience directing, so it was very much a learning experience for me. This time around, I went straight from being Artistic Director to director; and still, I found that it was just as much of a learning process. I had never worked on a musical before, so it was definitely challenging. In a great way.

IC: Why Spring Awakening? What was the thought process that went into proposing it and developing it?

Farnaz: To be completely honest, I wanted to direct Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at first. There were many reasons I changed my mine.  First off, Cabaret Theatre always ends the year with a big name musical, and I have always been intrigued by musicals. I thought, “why the f**k not?”  Musicals allows for a certain amount of freedom, a boundless amount of creativity, which is liberating yet terrifying at the same time.

Who's Afraid of Virg-- Wait. This s**t is bananas.

I chose Spring Awakening because I thought it would be extremely challenging for two reasons. One, it’s so extremely popular and everyone has a preconceived notion about the show already. I wanted to break this idea of what the show should be.  Second, the transition period from adolescence to adulthood that the characters face is something that we [as college students] are facing as well.

IC: What’s the most important thing you as a director try to focus on when putting together a show?

Farnaz: As a director, I make sure to keep the big picture in mind, while attending to all the small details at the same time. Keeping the end product in mind takes a indescribable amount of clarity and focus, while attention to every single detail takes an indescribable amount of patience, understanding, and willingness to collaborate.  Finding the balance between these two different roles is the primary focus of the director.

IC: How has your vision evolved since first proposing this show? What role does your pro staff and the actors play in that evolution?

Farnaz: Without my staff and actors, my vision would remain just that: a vision. I was really lucky to have the best production staff and cast a director could ask for. Before I met with each member of the production staff, I had a few months to myself to really think through every aspect of the show, to figure out what I wanted from each scene, each character, and ultimately what I wanted from the entire show. I had specific visuals meticulously planned out.

In terms of bringing these visuals, emotions, and this story to life, it was collaboration with my staff that really allowed my vision to evolve into something clear, lifelike, and beautiful. After talking through my vision with each staff member, their input helped bring the show to a new level.  Carl’s musical direction, Sarah’s choreography, John’s lighting, Matt and Francesca’s set design/execution, Abby’s costumes, Allison’s perspectives, and all of Mike Bond’s help truly strengthened and amplified my original vision, and to them I am extremely grateful and appreciative.

Director Farnaz Mansouri & Musical Director Carl Phillips collaborating to paint the stage/each-other's-faces.

And then we added the actors. No matter how many times I direct, actors will ALWAYS surprise me. I was fascinated and inspired by the depths each actor was willing to go with his/her character. They each gave such life to each role; it turned the production into something electrifying.

IC: What was one of those surprising moments?

Farnaz: I mean there are a lot. One is definitely the moment when the actors have epiphanies about their characters and say things that you’ve been waiting to hear since day one. That’s pretty awesome. Another would be that rehearsal when everything unexpectedly falls into place and out of nowhere you have an amazing show 1.5 weeks before opening night. Is that too specific?

[Editor’s note: No.]

IC: Why should college audiences come see this show?

Farnaz: For the same reason they tune into their favorite show every week, or go see a movie; it’s the escape into another world, where our minds easily follow another story line focused around others. Our bodies are at rest, while our minds are entertained. Theatre happens to be all the more electrifying, because it’s live. And this show is just f**king amazing, lets be real.

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So there it is. An interview with the legendary Farnaz Mansouri. Check back in tomorrow for an interview with members of the cast!!!

Also, here’s a gem of a picture of young Farnaz from her Cabbie-award winning performance as Mimi Schwinn in A New Brain:

You're Welcome. (Courtesy Rich Kowalski)

Get to Cabaret! See Spring Awakening! Do it! WOOOOO!

How I Learned To Drive: Part 1

How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel

T-Minus 2 Days

The set is done! Cabaret Theatre prides itself on the malleability of its black box performance space. Every show calls for a different arrangement of the seats, a different lighting grid, a different set design.

Cabaret Theatre in the buff

It’s especially awe-inspiring for frequent audience members, who often marvel that, somehow, the theatre is never used the same way twice. From waterfalls to court rooms to oversized picture frames to army barracks to bookshelves to old timey movie studios to full Victorian interiors, Cabaret’s Black Box can literally become anything. And that’s what makes it so special to do a show here.

Here are some pics from the final set build:

Crew hard at work

Fearless Managing Director Erik Stratton ventures down into the Cabaret Basement. Will he return? (yes, but will he ever be the same!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?)

Scenic Designer Hanna Canfield lives dangerously (i.e. - sans shoes)

And finally, after weeks and weeks of hard, tiring, frustrating, tedious labor, Tech Directors Matt Leddin and Meg King and their crew always pull together another awe-inspiring set:

I see a little silhouette of an RV... Scaramouch, scaramouch do you drive a winnebago!

We’ll continue our coverage of How I Learned To Drive tomorrow with an interview with Cabaret Theatre’s Artistic Director, Farnaz Mansouri. Topic of conversation: putting together a play, challenging ideas about sexuality and maturation, and chocolate kittens.

Here are some snapshots from tonight’s tech rehearsal!

Director Jordan Gochman and Marc Mills (Uncle Peck). They're sexy and they know it.

The illustrious Boris Van Der Ree preps for rehearsal by folding clothes.

Actors Acting (?)

Stephanie Van Huss, Marc Mills, and Arm.

Also, look for an article in the Inside Beat section of the Daily Targum tomorrow!

Stay tuned!