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!

Senior Interviews: Again!

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

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

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

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

Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

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

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

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

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area

Picken Chicken on George Street.

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Same-color. I don’t mess around.

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

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

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

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

Lady Gaga. And Shia Labeouf.

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

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

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

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

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

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

A teacher. And James Bond.

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

A teacher. Officially.

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

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

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

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

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

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

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

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

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

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

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

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

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

– What makes Cabaret special?

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

A New Brain, December 2009.

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

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

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

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

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

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions

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

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

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

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

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

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Both. It depends on what the dryer eats

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

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

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

Joey (see above). Hands Down.

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

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

Communication with a minor in Music

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

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

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

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

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

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

“Acting” real hard during R3VU3

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

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

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

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

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

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

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

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

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

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

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

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

– What makes Cabaret special?

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

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

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

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

Did we mention she’s a bad@$$?

Tobi, debuting Imagine Laughter, on the Cabaret stage.

– Past Cabaret Credits/Roles/Jobs/Positions:

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

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

From- Marlboro, New Jersey
Future- California

– Favorite Culinary Establishment in the New Brunswick Area?

ABP

– Same-color or Mix-match socks?

Definitely Mix-match

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

Once Upon A Time

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

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

YOU

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

– What’s your degree supposed to be in?

BA Theater Arts, English minor

– What was your least favorite class at Rutgers?

Planet Earth

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

Always an actress

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

Living in a box in Times Square

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

Actress and Writer

– Favorite Cabaret experience as a performer/prostaffer?

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

– Favorite Cabaret experience as an audience member?

Watching how much talent we have at Cabaret

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

More opportunities for theater majors

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

– How has Cabaret changed in your time there?

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

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

A classy night filled with singing and acting each semester.

– What makes Cabaret special?

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

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

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

DRAMATIC

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Happy graduation to those RU scholars walking today!

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

Excelsior!

Senior Interviews: 1-4-9

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

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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:

Meet the 2012-2013 Executive Board!

Hey Cabaret peeps!

With only one more weekend of Spring Awakening, and Cabaret’s Original Play Festival around the corner, there doesn’t seem to be a lot left of the school year!!

And, even worse, WE ARE LOSING OUR ENTIRE EXECUTIVE BOARD!!!! OH NOEZ!

And so, its time for change. It’s time for revolution!

It is time for us all to decide who we are…

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Do you hear it!?

Sorry.

Before I go off on another musical tangent, here is the new Executive Board for the upcoming season:

Producer:

Meg King

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Ain't she attractive?

Meghan is so unbelievably thrilled to be Producer for 2012-2013 season! She was last seen stage managing for Cabaret’s How I Learned to Drive and Cloud Nine and directing in this year’s Directors’ Showcase and also in the upcoming Original Play Festival. You also may have seen her perhaps running around covered in paint and sawdust as the Technical Coordinator at Cabaret this year. Her previous backstage credits include work on A Streetcar Named Desire, Pippin, Barnum, Sweeney Todd, and Children of Eden. Her favorite roles include Mary in It’s a Wonderful Life, Shelby in Steel Magnolias, and Gibbon in Godspell. Meghan is a sophomore History and Women and Gender Studies double major with a minor in Social Justice. In the little time she is not at her second home, Cabaret, she is in organizations through DRC, will be serving as an RA next year, or several other activities and clubs she’s in on campus. Her love for this organization knows no end and she cannot wait to see all the great things we will do next year!

Artistic Director:

Melissa Gabilanes

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This girl directs in her sleep!

Melissa, after two years of being the House Manager of Cabaret Theatre, is more accustomed to reading other people’s bios than writing her own. But here it goes. Melissa enjoys theatre, talking about Douglass Residential College, and stuffed pastas. Her hobbies include making lists of things to do and then staring at them until they do themselves, cleaning Cabaret more than her own room, and working on an art installation she has entitled “I am only a junior and my thesis is taking control of my life, please help”. She is majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies and Theater Arts, and is currently working on an aforementioned honors thesis that makes both departments very, very happy. Her directing work was last seen on the Cabaret stage with her production of Lee Blessing’s Eleemosynary this past March, and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole last spring semester. She also is responsible for the use of Mario Kart music during the intermission of last fall’s Directors’ Showcase: Showdown. Among other things, she was the Special Events Coordinator for The Livingston Theatre Company for the last two years and made possible that brilliant, awful thing where a musical is rehearsed and produced in 24 hours. It was in the Targum. Melissa currently lives in Bath with her 26 cats, and has sworn to never write another novel again as long as the g-men stop hunting her.

Managing Director:

Mike Moser

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A band kid involved in Cabaret? Impossible!

In the words of Mike:

“I hail from Swedesboro which is somewhere in the ‘a$$ end of New Jersey.’ I was never really involved in theatre until my senior year at high school when we ran the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, and it was an experience that I kept with me up to today. I traditionally do technical work but as the new managing director, I’ll be doing much more around here. In terms of what I like to do, I really enjoy listening to music (especially classic rock, Beatles FTW!!)) and playing my sax, because, let’s face it, saxophones are sexy. I also like anything that has to do with dinosaurs, planes, trains, or automobiles, cuz they’re awesome. In addition, I am a HUGE Disney buff. I’m a huge movie buff and video game player (I’ve actually won some tournaments) and I really enjoy just chilling with my buddies more than anything. I also like to laugh and am a pretty friendly guy. In addition to that, I have a beard.”

Director of Finance:

G Ian Tomsky

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MARSHMELLOWS OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!

In the words of G:

“Hi my name is G Ian Tomsky, yes just the letter G is my first name. Its a long story. I am going to be a sophmore in the school of arts and sciences studying to transfer over to the business school to major in accounting and minor in finance. I am from Hunterdon Central Regional High School, a nice big school in the middle of nowhere. In the time I don’t spend in Cabaret working on set I am either going to class or doing something with the marching band. I look forward to meeting you all next year and making Cabaret even better known around campus.”

Director of Marketing:

Jordan Gochman

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Here, we see Jordan 'acting' in Director's Showcase!

Jordan is absolutely thrilled to be able to whore out Cabaret via Facebook more than he already does. Jordan has worked with Cabaret since his freshman year, having involved himself in every Original Play Festival and Director’s Showcase since his freshman year. Most recently, Jordan directed How I Learned to Drive on the mainstage. He has acted in Rabbit Hole and Shakespeare in Hollywood and has served as the lighting designer for Twelve Angry Men. He is also a member of Rutgers Night Live which has brought him new friends, loads of fun, and a scarred liver. Jordan is a Scorpio who likes long walks on the beach, chocolate milkshakes, and obsessing over plays, much to the annoyance of everyone around him.

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!

The Ladies of Eleemosynary: Jasia Ries

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

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

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

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Fierce.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to reserve tickets to a performance?

Please e-mail cabtheatre@gmail.com with the following information:

1.) Your full name

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

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

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