You've Never Seen This Bear - wait, is that the line?

It's here!! The final mainstage!! We did it fam! We're alive! - well, mostly. Our final show, and my final blog post and final show at Rutgers, is bare: A Pop Opera, directed by Kat Beliavski. A show about the struggles of sexual and religious identity, friendship, family, love, and getting through the school play, bare is a show you definitely do NOT want to miss. 

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

People should come see bare because it’s a very important cause #SaveTheBears. But also you’ll laugh and you’ll cry and then you’ll cry a lot and then you’ll walk away having experienced this amazing journey with all of us.
— Kat Beliavski, Director
pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

Peter and Jason are roommates and they're in loooooove. However, it's pretty hard to be queer in a Catholic boarding school, or so I'd imagine. This show brings us through their efforts to keep things quiet, and then to cover it up, and then to leave it. I am aware that sentence was very vague and not even very well-constructed. Come see the show so you can figure out what I was trying to say!

As in the style of a traditional opera, this show is 99% sung through. With 36 songs in the score, all of which are straight fire btw, the cast and pit show incredible talent and skill throughout the whole production. And no, I'm not just saying that because I'm one of the music directors. :)

The Music

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

This show ranges so many different genres that audience members will have no problem finding at least one song they enjoy. We go from sacred latin text in a traditional SATB setting to some rap to a funky gospel beat in one act alone! Of course, there are gonna be favorites among the cast and staff. Mine is a song called "Are You There?" so don't be surprised if I get more into it during that number than any other number. It's fire, you'll see. 

My favorite song is Are You There. That was actually the first song i listened to from Bare back when I was in 8th grade and pre-gay. So you can say i was pretty stoked when i had the chance to sing it. It almost means a lot more to me knowing that I get to sing it with my best friend, Jonah.
— Paolo Arceo, WHAT

I talked to myself in my head and asked about how the musical process went for this show. "Well," I said, "keeping all the key changes and tempo changes and transitions together was one of the most challenging things about bare. I was very out of my element for a while, but my pit members are so lovely and talented that it was so much easier to work through. On the vocal side of things, this show is extremely demanding of our singers. I think Jonah is onstage for like 85% of the show, if that. Pretty much every number will seem like a showstopper to the audience, until the next one starts and then you're like, 'woah, this one is awesome too!!' These songs will make you laugh, and cringe, and connect with the characters in a way that'll leave some of you in tears. Not me, though. Definitely not me. Please don't look at me." 

pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

Lauren Burcheri (Labor studies and employment relations with a concentration on law and the workplace, with a double minor in human resource management and music; Senior) (holy crap) is my awesome Co-MD, and I don't know what I would've done without having another human at my side during all of this. "I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with this cast. Each and every one of them has been extraordinarily dedicated to bringing this show to life and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of humans to close out my collegiate career with."

The Characters

“Bare is such an important show for people to see because the struggles that the characters face throughout the show are extremely relevant to the issues many people still face today. This show shines a light on the importance of accepting one another and oneself.”
— Jennifer Dars (Public Relations, Freshman)

Some of you are probably thinking, 'Man, here's another musical about being in high school, what makes this any different than the others?" and some of you are currently thinking "how is anna all up in mY MIND RN?" Hold the phone, fam. This show is incredible! It takes the conventional idea of high school love triangles (*vom*) and intertwines it with issues like social identity, religious identity, substance abuse (*spoiler),  and having weird dreams. The characters are all so distinct, and they carry you through the plot so smoothly, you don't even see the end coming. 

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

Gabby Talvacchia (History and Political Science, Junior) is such a cool cat that this is her second time doing this show! "It's cool doing a show for the second time because even though I've done the show before, this production has still been a completely new experience. The first time I did bare I was in the ensemble, but my favorite part of doing this show this time around has been being able to explore Ivy's character and see the show through her perspective. I am nothing like Ivy in real life and I was really intimidated by this role at first. But it has been an amazing experience going so far out of my comfort zone." 

Jillian Hanna (Theatre and Psychology, Senior) plays one of the more complex characters in the show. "My character is the heavy-set, sarcastic punk/goth chick who kind of feels out of place because of her size. She's got lots of talent but is often overlooked for roles because of the way she looks. This pretty much describes a large portion of my theatrical experiences thus far. I don't want to give too much away, but she also deals with some traumatic stuff that i have been through. I find it a little insane how deeply i connect with this character--having these connections with her has pushed me to be more vulnerable and go even further in my crafting."

It’s hard to choose a favorite moment so I’m not going to. The bear in act 2 probably wins though.
— Kat Beliavski, Director

Cast members and character roles coincide more than once in this group. Paolo Arceo (Psychology and Theatre, Junior) has apparently been  "method acting this role since I came out the womb. Matt and I are the same in the sense that we continuously try so hard to be great but always come second to people who effortlessly are talented. I'm also "good" at everything but still not amazing at anything. Tbh, if it's sad and Matt went through it, i probably did too. Love you, Matt. #mattlivesmatter" This response to my question was so extra, and really not indicative of how he plays this role in the show. Come see how Paolo SLAYS in this show, and see why his words are wrong. 

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

pc: Lauren Burcheri (Co-MD)

The Process

pc: Katie Siegel (DIane)

pc: Katie Siegel (DIane)

Any show comes with good times and speed bumps that we need to get over, and this show was no exception. Nic Noa told me about his high and low during the process. "My favorite part of this process has got to be experiencing the wide range of emotions that Jason feels throughout the show. He makes some very bold and questionable choices throughout the course of the show, and finding reasons to justify why he's making these choices has helped me understand Jason much better as a person."

And as for his biggest challenge? "Getting used to the space of Cabaret Theatre. My high school was brand new with an auditorium that held 800 and the stage was pretty far from the audience. I performed on that stage for 4 years and Cabaret is the polar opposite. What I'm learning to love about Cabaret is that it's so intimate- the audience is so close that they can literally reach out and touch the actors. The intimacy of Cabaret has required me to adjust myself as an actor since the audience can see everything that happens on stage."

Amy Cruz (English, Freshman) plays Peter's Mom, and seems to have had a great time! "My favorite part of being in the show has been really getting to know the awesome people at Cabaret. I've grown close to the cast and staff, and because of them I absolutely cannot wait to continue to be a part of Rutgers student theater!"

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

Kat Beliavski (Theatre Arts, Senior) talks about her fav part too - "I guess the most rewarding part of directing this production is seeing everyone finding their moments in the show. Every day, someone tries something new and it just works. The ensemble and featured roles don't get lost in this musical like they tend to in others. The cast is an absolute joy to watch and I think everyone that comes to see the show won't be able to take their eyes off Katie Siegel being deliciously awful as Diane."

She also went into talking about the prostaff, but I'm not sure she said everything she wanted to say about everyone (peep the last sentence). "This Pro Staff is honestly unbelievable. This is such a massive show and it would be impossible without a group of individuals as dedicated and talented as these humans. David and Lulu are a great team, Alex is our go-to guy for pretty much anything (he was seeing a costume two minutes ago and is currently subbing in for someone on stage since he's the understudy for every character), Lauren came to our first meeting with over 15 pages of notes (not an exaggeration), and Anna's also okay I guess. "

Like the songs, you'll be able to connect with at least one of these characters at some point in the show because honestly, who didn't have issues without finding yourself in high school?

The Production

Bare. Bear? No, it's definitely bare. The whole vision for this show is centered around the idea that everyone is left so vulnerable by the end. The set is follows the minimalistic style, with benches serving more than one purpose in the show. The cast wears uniforms. And in this small, black box, the show's aesthetic allows your imagination to be engaged throughout. The lights are really freaking cool, too, just saying, and were the ain reason why our headshots all look the way they do - Paolo and Kat wanted it to look like stained glass.

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

One of the things I look for when watching a show is what it's trying to tell me. What's the message?

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

pc: Paolo Arceo (Matt)

Director Kat Beliavski said, "I think bare has a lot of messages. That's what makes it so great. And it might sound like a cliche, but being your true self is probably one of the most important ones. To be honest with yourself, It's that simple. The lives of all five leads are laid bare by the end of the show for everyone to see and Peter emerges as a beacon of honesty and the one person that is willing to be fully happy with himself just as he is. I really admire his character a lot and hope the audience is able to learn something from his journey. But also bears. The main point is bears."

Yeah, guys, look for the bear cameo in the middle of the show, it really takes the plot for a ride :) 

pc: Kat Beliavski (Director)

pc: Kat Beliavski (Director)

Jillian Hanna wants "people to leave this show questioning their beliefs and intentions in life. I want them to understand that having more of an open mind is something that all of us need to work on--but ESPECIALLY if we have been raised in households that are more closed-minded due to cultural or religious standards. we should all consistently question ourselves and be able to adapt to our ever-changing world."

pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

pc: Katie Siegel (Diane)

Gabby thinks that "bare shows us the importance of being true to yourself. Almost everyone at some point in their lives struggles with trying to fit into certain surrounding, whether it be at school, church, or even your own family. A show like bare reminds us that you don't have to go through life trying to be someone you're not, there are always going to be people out there that accept and love you for you."

THIS SHOW IS AMAZING, COME SEE IT UGH

  

Do the Thing

You've got Barely any time to get your tickets before the opening of the show, so get on it, ya goonz! Tickets are available online as well as in person at Cabaret Theatre - but there are only a limited number being sold at the door, so buy them early!!
 

Aside from the extremely dope pop-rock music in the show, another reason why people should come see the show is because it address many issues that people in our age group can relate to- Issues of identity and finding our place in the world. In that way, most members of the audience will find themselves relating to at least one character.
— Nicolas Noa (Music Education - Voice, Freshman)

Well, that was my last post I guess. Check me out in a few weeks when I blubber on about how much this place means to me and then I say bye to this whole institution or whatever. See you at the show! :)

No Plans This Weekend? Oh, Pfff!!! Come See OPF!

I keep regretting all these blog titles, plz someone stop me

I keep regretting all these blog titles, plz someone stop me

Do you like dogs? Do you like cookies? What about Christmas? Do you like to laugh? Okay, what about crying? Finally, do you like good theatre? If 3 of your answers were yes, 1 was "um...what?', and the other was "is she trying to be funny again?", then I've got the show for you! The 9th Annual Original Play Festival is back in action and you have THIS WEEKEND ONLY to secure your ticket! Let's talk about it, and look at all my blurry pictures!

The Process

Student playwrights! Student directors! Student actors! A student run theatre company! So many students! Rutgers has a lot of those! Come see these amazing artists put on never-before-seen plays in our own little black box theatre. 

It doesn’t follow the conventions of a typical Cabaret show. By performing five completely different plays, the show stays fresh and the audience gets something a little bit different than what they’re used to, something I hope they remember and tell their friends about after they’ve left the theater
— Nathan Olmeda (Senior)

The way it works is that plays are chosen by the OPF coordinator, students interview to be a director, and then hold auditions for the shows they're assigned. These directors have the unique opportunity to communicate directly with their playwright, and make their work come to life! 

Tatianah Demande (Junior, English and Comparative Literature) talked to me about her awesome relationship with the playwright of her show, Com Down. "Fortunately for me, I got the work of someone I’ve known for a while, Julianna Pica, and was familiar with. Pica and I were immediately on the same page. From the beginning she told me, do what you think is best, I wrote it but you’re staging it. There was a level of trust and respect there that I think is really important when you put on someone else’s work. If I ever wanted to change something, I would explain it to her and she either revised or explained to me why a change like that would take away from the piece. There was an open dialogue that allowed the production to be the best that it could be."

A lot of times when I would be in english class or some sort of music rehearsal, the teacher would say, "this is kind of vague, but we can't really ask the writer or composer what they meant because they're dead!" so I'd imagine it's really cool to have have questions for a playwright that is easily accessible and breathing! 

The Cast 

As I've said time and time again, Cabaret is attracts some of the most talented people ever. No exaggeration. And this cast is no different - these 5 shows make up a cast that wowed me right from when the lights came up to the bows at the end. With such complex characters, people might wonder what these student actors do to get themselves in character. 

My favorite part of being in OPF is being surrounded by people who put their all into the work they’ve done to help OPF become a memorable production for the people involved and for the audience. Just by witnessing all of the hard work that everyone’s done for the production, I get inspired to do the best that I can to help make OPF a success and a wonderful experience.
— Colee Bellmark (Sophomore, History)

Colee Bellmay (Sophomore, History) is an OPF veteran, and gave me a little insight into how she prepares for her role. "I crafted my character around people I know and my relationship with my parents, and also the relationship that my mom had with her mom. Using experiences and conversations that I’ve had with these people has definitely allowed me to connect with and craft my character." Fun fact: her show made me shed a super dramatic single tear. Watch out for her, she's incredible.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 10.16.02 PM.png

Nathan Olmeda plays 2 very different roles in this production, and does a great job at both! "Both roles are very fulfilling in their own way! By playing two roles, I get to expand my range of emotions and feelings in a way that I can't in a normal production."

Watching casts work together as a unit is something I find so special about theatre. This show's got it. Come see it. 

Directing

First time directors probably had a few things they were worried about on their minds, and I decided to e x p o s e them - just kidding. But they really were all ready to comment on their growth as a director. 

Maya Mitterhoff (Sophomore, Music Education) directs Syzygy and does a rockin' job at it. However, she had her doubts going in. "The most challenging part was taking the lead for the first time. I've spent a lot of time working on being a good cast member and performer, but this was totally new to me. Now, it's not so scary. I know it's all about teamwork and flexibility and risk taking. And it's a very exciting thing, that I definitely want to do again."

Tatianah was worried about getting the show to it's final product. "It was weird. Like you already kind of know what you’re doing but at the same time you have no idea and you always question whether you’re making the right choices and if it’s going to come out right. Getting over that fear and always wondering what the playwright will think or if the audience will enjoy it was really hard. I think I got to the point where I just had to ask myself if I like it and was I okay with what I created because at the end of the day it was my work and the efforts I made with others. That was what really helped me get over that fear and gave me a different perspective on what I was doing. And I f-ing love it."

It’s cheesy to say it, but it truly will make you laugh and cry, and it will be hard to leave without a smile on your face.
— Maya Mitterhoff (Sophomore, Music Education)

David Novis (Junior, English and Political Science) said, "I actually didn't choose this show. The way the process went, I just applied and had a play assigned to me. It was sort of daunting at first, considering I didn't know right away if I could do the type of show well and was scared I'd screw up somebody's work, but luckily they paired with a scene so good it was hard to mess up." He also thinks he's he's hip with the cool slang in his next answer - "The most challenging part was trying to figure out how to hit those hard emotional beats right (and also teaching Benji how to play solitaire)."  (***spoiler alert!) (I think it's too late for it) (my b) Come find out what he means with his fancy youth lingo! 

The Experience

Cabaret is a place for opportunity. These directors and actors spent the last several weeks working together and growing together as artists. I talked to a bunch about what they got out of the OPF experience. 

"My favorite part of this experience is the people I got to work with," says Tatianah. "You get support for every side of it. Someone was always there when I had a question or needed help whether it was lights or costumes or even just coming with me to Target. Working with people in the same boat as me as first time directors, and sharing those experiences really helped. Elizabeth, Jill, and Ajit were a wonderful support system. And words can’t even describe how awesome Emily and Thomas were. You go into auditions hoping for the best and the you hope you made the right choice. I got them and they pushed me to be better. This was my first time directing and they were already such talented actors. We made a great team. We all did.

There's no way people won't believe we've got great people in this show, because that's all anyone could talk about!

"My favorite part of being in OPF is being surrounded by people who put their all into the work they’ve done to help OPF become a memorable production for the people involved and for the audience," raved Colee. "Just by witnessing all of the hard work that everyone’s done for the production, I get inspired to do the best that I can to help make OPF a success and a wonderful experience."

The best part was really being able to finally know that this is for me. I was in the office last night after tech, putting some last minute touches on a costume and I had a moment where I just sat there, mulling over the production and the process and knew. This is it. Of course it is not without its difficulties but this experience was nothing I wanted it to be and everything I needed it to be.
— Tatianah Demande (Junior, English and Comparative Literature)

But of course, these people are here to perform, and Maya's favorite part was putting all the pieces together. "My favorite part has definitely been being able to watch it come together during tech. These plays are all so great and watching them for the first time was a wonderful, magical thing. I'm so proud of the other directors and actors, in addition to my own actors of course. Storytelling is definitely something everyone in OPF deeply cares for, and I must say we do a damn good job at it."

 

Are you convinced yet? Please say yes omg

Come see these amazing Rutgers students put on a show in our little black box theatre on the street corner. This is the only weekend to do it! See you there :) 

People should come see OPF because their fellow students wrote dope stuff and it’s great to support their work and it’s great to support student theater and it’s all great and also you get to watch Benji play solitaire for about fifteen minutes which is so great I swear.
— David Novis (Junior, English and Political Science)

You Got Older! Duh! That's How Time Works!

I already regret this blog title. 

I already regret this blog title. 

Hello theatre friends, and welcome to yet another episode of Anna Tries to Take Decent Pictures and Write Funny Words on the Internet! I'm your host, Anna, and today I'll be talking about Cabaret Theatre's third mainstage, You Got Older

Directed by Shayna Carney, this show goes through the life and times of Mae, whose life and times are actually kind of a hot mess. And it gets even worse when her dad gets sick and she has to move back home after being dumped and fired by the same guy. Talk about a bad day, wow. You Got Older walks us through her life, as she falls back into the youthful routine of her adolescence, her fantasies about a burly Canadian cowboy, and dealing with the rest of her siblings as they await her father's treatment. 

Not gonna lie, this is a weird show. I like to consider myself to be a weird person, but this show really threw me for a loop, which is the first time this has happened in like...ever. But that's a good thing! Congrats, guys. You beat me. I found myself squirming, and cringing, and laughing, and dropping my jaw, and on the verge of tears multiple times throughout the whole show - and that's freaking awesome. That's theatre. 

The cast has an incredible dynamic. Comprised of 7 fantastic actors and actresses, You Got Older presents an extremely relatable story - even if you aren't a person who fantasizes about Canadian cowboys. Krystina Matos (Junior, Majors in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies, Minors in Sexuality and Statistics) leads the show as Mae, and told me a little about how the cast works with each other. "The cast dynamic is so funny to me. There is never a moment in the show where the whole cast is on stage, and there were very few rehearsals where we all were there before we started running the whole show. Yet, we still have this closeness and this constant need to be talking to each other and checking on each other. It's so easy to have that when there are so few people involved, except Andrew can't seem to remember our names for some reason..."

Eating a raw avocado...That’s complete anarchy. I can think of so many better ways to consume an avocado.
— Andrew Parsons (Sophomore, Pre-Business), Matthew

The Characters

From watching the show twice, I couldn't even tell that they didn't rehearse all that much as a full cast. The way they work off of each other is so natural you can't detect it. Celine Dirkes (Junior, Theatre and English) went into how she uses the cast to craft her character. "To connect with my character I connect with other characters! I imagine the circumstances and place the other characters in the position of my siblings or father and then focus on reacting truthfully to what they give me in the moment. "

At the same time that they were falling into place with their cast members, some of them found themselves in their own characters. Krystina said, "The most challenging part about my role is doing it justice. Mae is such a full, well-rounded, real character, and this play surrounds and centers on her. Because the play is so intimate, it's hard to remember sometimes that I'm on stage because you're enveloped by the person across from you. Mae and I are similar in so many ways. We're both very bold women with no filter on our conversations. There were so many times during the rehearsal process when I'd laugh at myself saying a line because it's exactly something I would say - ridiculously out of nowhere yet thought-provoking, thinking-out-loud. But mostly ridiculous."

My favorite part of the show is when Brian Nowak rides an actual live horse into Cabaret. You don’t wanna miss that.
— Katie Siegel, Jenny

Mario Gambino (Senior, Communication) plays Dad, and finds that he can see himself and his grandfather in his role. "The general jokeyness of dad is something that I think he shares with me. He's never too serious. Even in this dark time he's able to be lighthearted, but he has his limits and you kind of see him break down at the end. In terms of differences, I think Dad is probably a lot more patient than me. I mean it takes him almost until the end of the play to even lose his cool a little bit. I would have been a lot less patient with Mae giving me the cold shoulder so often. The connection I share with him is more external than internal. I based him a lot off my grandfather who's just a very kind hearted man who went through similar medical issues a few years ago and it was just inspiring how he handled it. So, I kind of think of it as trying to do him proud. You know, having the honor to basically live as him for a night is really special and that makes the connection I have with my character all the more important and meaningful."

The Message

The show is funny, this show is dark, this show is uncomfortable, this show makes you hungry for food and other things (lol). I left the dress rehearsal with a bunch of different ideas as to what they wanted me to focus on, but I asked the cast their opinions. 

Katie Siegel (Journalism and Media Studies) plays Jenny and talks about what it means to be family. "I think there are numerous messages that can be taken from the show depending on the individual and their own experiences, so I’ll just say the main one that speaks to me. The part of the show that I’m involved in is very family-centered, and as corny and basic as it sounds, I think one of the simpler messages of the show is the importance of family. While in this show the family is related by blood, I think the definition of family can be expanded to include the people who are there for you when you need them the most."

When you come out of this show, I hope you try to find little moments of celebration even when it seems like the world is crumbling around you - just like Mae.
— Shayna Carney, Director

Mario doesn't think there is one: "I think there is no grand message. I think this show is vey impressionistic and the message really depends on what an audience member sees. There's definitely a lot here and I personally see it as a piece heavily involved with empathy and maturity. But, I think it heavily depends on what an audience brings in to it and I really credit the writing and directing to be able to do that so delicately and without making it feel lightweight."

People should come see this show because it’s something you rarely get to see on college campuses. It’s not aiming to thrill with spectacle, it’s very personal and I think that’s the most special a piece of theater can be. It’s made to be savored. It’s rewarding and it’s the kind of thing you’ll always remember seeing.
But if all that fails to bring in an audience: it’s freaking hilarious. It’s hard to juggle comedy and pathos, but when you do it makes the comedy all that much funnier.
— Mario Gambino, Dad

The Vision

Director Shayna Carney didn't originally have this version of the show in mind before auditions happened. The most rewarding part of this process was getting to see these particular actors bring this show to life. We went into auditions with a completely different view of how this show was going to go, but everything changed when* we got our actors. They bring such a new and creative life to it and it has been amazing watching that unfold.

A big part of this production is that fact that it's real. It's relatable. People watching it will definitely be able to connect with the characters during this show, maybe even a handful of times throughout. "I proposed this show because I love capturing raw moments on stage and making the audience feel like they are a fly-on-the-wall to a family that probably resembles them," says Shayna. 

People should come see the show because it provides such an intimate look into each character’s life that it almost makes you feel as if every scene is an intrusion — no moment is one that the audience should normally be able to witness.
— Oren Merhav, Assistant Director

Assistant Director Oren Merhav (Sophomore, Biomedical Engineer) expressed a similar sentiment. "My favoite part of this show is the absolute rawness. There is no part of the characters' lives that is off limits, and everything done on stage is as real as it can get in a performance setting."

So there you have it, folks. You Got Older is the La La Land of Rutgers Theatre right now - you HAVE to see it so you can find out if you like it or not. That's a terrible analogy, but I just wanted to throw in on a completely new social media platform that I was really not a fan of that movie. Anyway, here's ** the link to tickets.  Don't miss out!

"People should come see You Got Older because it is the perfect intersection of the banal and unconventional. There's a familiarity about the story that you feel comfortable in, yet there's always this underlining discomfort, whether it be visually uncomfortable, physical, intimate, or just plain awkwardness. There are so many levels to Mae's life that become clear through the characters around her, and every single moment, no matter how simple it may seem on the surface, is an important glimpse into who she is." - Krystina Matos, Mae

* [the fire nation attacked] [don't tell me you didn't think of this because then you'd be a liar]

**wonderwall.

 

RNL Idiots: not by Green Day, not a musical, def funny

THIS SHOW IS FIRE. Was that enough to get you to buy tickets for this weekend? No? Alright, fine, I guess you'll have to read another one of my lovely posts with the blurry pictures and the poor photoshop skills and the terrible jokes. Here we go. 

Rutgers Night Live is presenting its 14th show at Cab this weekend! Hosted by Dan Robertson, this hilarious troupe takes the audience through a whirlwind of some of the funniest jokes I've heard since Inauguration Day, or whatever the heck that was on January 20th. Sorry, am I allowed to say that? I don't know but I'm confident you're all interested in this show's content!!!

The show starts off with a sketch about the #reallife struggles of the first class of the semester, which is followed by a highly entertaining monologue by the ever-fantastic Dan Robertson (Theatre BA, Sophomore), who has always wanted to be on SNL - luckily, this show is only 1 letter off! On how he wrote his opening monologue, he said "There's a lot of pressure tackling the art of stand up comedy when you are not in fact a stand up comedian; it's a whole new ball game. A funny idea won't just suffice, you need to write jokes with natural fluency while keeping the audience perspective in mind. This is extremely difficult, but when you find a line that just works it's pretty awesome." Guys, I don't know what he's talking about being "not in fact a stand up comedian" because Jill and I were LITERALLY cracking up in the audience like GUYS THIS IS SO FUNNY UGH

One of the cool things about RNL is that it's so gosh darn different every they put on a show - which is cast member Paige Grecco's (Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Senior) favorite part about it. Current events are happening literally all the time - that's what makes them current, duh. So these guys have a lot of new and different things to work with each time they sit down to write. Kim Bollard (Theater and Journalism, Senior) talked to me a little about how she prepares for sketches. "I don't really have a plan for writing, I just think of things that I think are funny and then I put them in story format. Some are good, and some are less good, and then I turn in the sketches that I think are worthy of being performed and then we vote on them!"

It’s cheaper than a mainstage!
— Benji Sills (Communication, Senior)

 

 

Mario Gambino (Communication, Senior) mentioned how this year so far hasn't been very pretty. "It's been a rough year, we all need something to laugh about. But most importantly it's a lot easier to get tickets to our show than SNL. I mean you don't even have to wait in line!" I think that's a recurring thing for most of them: It could be worse.

Chris Michael even mentioned the cheeto-skinned hairball by name! "People should come see RNL if they have no plans this weekend and they want to make plans... To laugh! Also this is the first RNL since The Donald became The President, so if you want to see some college kids make slight political commentary this is def your show. RNL 14 is one for the books! We've overcome a lot of obstacles to be here. Such as not knowing our lines, not having costumes, and not even having sketches! Needless to say we've worked hard to be where we are today." 

People should come see it because RNL has now been around for fourteen seasons, and Seinfeld only lasted 9 seasons, so we must be doing something right.
— Kim Bollard (Theatre and Journalism, Senior)

We've got some real redeeming qualities in this show, one of which is that the cast has a great bond and has had  a wonderful experience working together and creating art. Paige said, "The most rewarding part of RNL this semester was being able to cowrite my first sketch with my cast mate Chris. I've never written a sketch before so it was really exciting seeing it come to life."

Let's be real for a hot second though. Since 2017 started, there is SO MUCH material for this troupe to use. like SO MUCH. and RNL uses literally ALL OF IT. I LAUGHED SO HARD YOU GUYS DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND - please see this show if you like smiling and laughing in real life. No regrets will be made in the watching of this production.

 

COME GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Everyone with a functioning bladder should take caution in coming to this show. 95.62% spectators have reported theirs busted after the show. Viewer discretion advised. Omg jk ilysm come see it we’re kewl.
— Dan Robertson (Theatre BA, Sophomore)

 

 

A Weekend of Special Events: Again!

I felt like some people were missing my terrible photoshop jobs and blurry show pics, so I tried extra special on this post. 

I felt like some people were missing my terrible photoshop jobs and blurry show pics, so I tried extra special on this post. 

WE BACK, Y'ALL! Just like Jim Carrey turned into NPH, this year's weekend of special events features a whole new cast. Between genderbent song selections and the inner workings of several distressed humans, you've got 2 jam-packed days of immense talent and artistry. Here we go!

Cabaret really demonstrates the entire scope of theatre, from sketch comedy to main stage musicals to original play festivals. Hell, the day after this irreverent genderbent concert is a completely different production that poignantly tackles the topic of panic attacks in a really tangible, arresting way. And both of these productions are valid, and necessary, and amazing.
— Ajit J. Mathews (Accounting, Junior)

Role of a Lifetime: A Miscast Concert 

This Friday, January 27, a cast of 10 hilarious individuals join together *FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY* to put on an insightful concert style event called Role of a Lifetime: A Miscast Concert. Those funny songs you know and love from famous musicals across the spectrum will be performed by the opposite gender in this attention-grabbing performance. To preserve the secrecy of the set list, I've hidden all of the song titles and character names. LEEYYGGOOOO

From an actor's perspective, it might be a challenge to accurately portray the message of each song without the traditional gender to back it up. That wasn't an issue for these folks, at least according to the ever-present Benji Sills (Communication, Senior). "For each character I did some research to figure out how they might move and sound based on previous performances and interpretations! I think [traditionally female character name!] has some things in common with other characters, but her voice and body are different in other ways, some of which are dictated by the frustration she feels at her situation." Hint - he's feeling a little *under the weather* ;) ;) ;) ;)

Come see the gender bent concert here at Cabaret Theatre because what is gender amirite?
— Shayna Carney

Rachel Horner, fresh from a semester abroad in Spain, was super excited to be back in the states (obvi bc i live here), and jumped right into rehearsals at Cab for this show, and talked to me more about the challenges of gender swap aspect. "It was definitely a challenge to find an appropriate key for each song, because the songs had to fit each of our voices while still maintaining the integrity of the original song. We also had to make sure that we conveyed the characters of each song without relying on its melodic features or its typical sound. It's hard to try to portray masculinity while singing in a female's range, but it was an exciting challenge as a performer, and I'm glad to have had an opportunity like this!"

From the audience's perspective, this cast isn't having any issue with conveying the proper messages - the songs are all funny and so are these performers. Here's a live conversation between me and Shayna: 

Me: you're funny. how do you work on being funny? i need to know. for science.

Shayna: I'm not funny. It's an illusion. If anything I do during the show makes you laugh, it's not me. It's the song. Or Ajit's direction. But definitely not me.

Fun fact: this is a lie. 

Later, I asked Tyler Conroy the same question. He said "Haha so I mean, if there's one thing I've learned it's that if you're trying to be funny on stage, you're not going to be. You've gotta just go out there and have fun, and make sure that you're prepared. Humor comes from the writing, so as an actor, you've gotta just understand what it is that your character is trying to get, and find the humor in that. I guess maybe I'm a little funny too."

Paolo Arceo dazzles the stage with his vocals and original choreography, which was a brand new experience for him, which *spoiler alert* may include some "low key" "sexy" things. This was a pretty uncomfortable thing for me to type on this sort of a platform and probably was weird to have to read in your head, but trust that the dancing is better than the way I described it. 

Not only does our Miscast cast and pro staff have a blast flip flopping the conventional gender roles in this concert, they're diffusing society's gender norms at the same time. 

People are people, regardless of gender, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make that switch. It’s important though to have an understanding of gender before you go being offensive. Lastly, Maya has really done a great job adjusting these songs, while keeping the sound almost entirely the same.
— Tyler Conroy (Journalism and Media Studies with Sports Specialization, Senior)

Ajit J. Mathews, our talented associate producer, is the mastermind behind this concert and has done a wonderful job of breaking down these barriers. "Two main things inspired me to create this Miscast concert. First off, I love the idea of 'nontraditional' casting, because I think it’s unfortunate that things like gender or race or hair color can actually prevent a talented person from playing a role that they’re otherwise perfect for. I think that all the individuals in this show are terrific at the songs they sing throughout the concert, from the way they portray the character to the way they interpret the text and the music, and for something as trivial as gender to prevent them from singing these songs is silly to me. This concert lets us break down those boundaries. The second reason is that I think it’s funny to have a girl sing about her erection."

^That was a spoiler without an alert! Throwing you some curve balls to get you to come see this show - which again, is ONE NIGHT ONLY. 

I decided to audition for this show because how often do you get to full out perform opposite gendered songs to audiences? Most of my dream roles are female anyway so I am LIVING.
— Paolo Arceo (Psychology and Theatre, Junior)

The music in this concert was hand picked by Ajit, who worked really closely with Maya Mitterhoff (Music Education - Voice, Sophomore) to work on getting the keys correct as well as fitting the correct voices into the roles. On the song selection, Ajit said, "What makes this concert funny and interesting is that every song was originally written as very “ladylike” or “feminine” or as very “manly” or “masculine.” Having the “wrong” gender sing these songs lets us reveal and poke fun at how gendered some of our favorite show tunes are, sometimes in ways we’d never really consciously thought about before. Show tunes about men sexualizing themselves are few and far between, but the sheer number of songs written for women that put them in this same situation is almost... comical." As a girl who spent the last 2 years singing the bass part in an all female a cappella group, I feel dis. 

Bottom line, if you are a person who loves theatre, loves laughing, and wants to see a bunch of college kids sing songs that definitely weren't written for their voices, this is the show for you. Reserve your tickets here! 

People should come see the show because it reinforces an important topic which is that gender doesn’t exist. Our performance showcases that anyone (however you identify as) can perform these songs by still staying true to the meaning—just in a different key! All they are are songs with messages that ANYONE can connect to!
— Paolo Arceo (Still Psychology and Theatre, Still a Junior)
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The Panic Attack Play 

On the very next night, Cab is opening their doors once again for the public to witness yet another work of art called The Panic Attack Play, directed by Celine Dirkes and Sarah Ferreira, both of whom also perform in the cast! A production that was written by its talented cast, The Panic Attack Play hopes to "[increase] empathy for those who suffer panic attacks, as well as sharing information about what causes them and coping tactics." <--I stole this from the facebook event description because I definitely couldn't have said this any better. 

I proposed this show because panic attacks have affected many of the people I care about the most. I believe very firmly in the power of sharing narratives and resources to build a community of empathy and information, and I hoped that this show could do that and make the world just a little safer for those of us who experience panic attacks.
— Celine Dirkes (Theatre and English with a Creative Writing Certificate, Junior)

This show reaches the audience from a variety of different platforms - from it's speech, to carefully thought out movements, and even a musical number, any audience member, no matter their experience, will be able to come out of this show having made some sort of connection. 

Celine Dirkes, Cabaret's own General Board Representative, first proposed the show and talked to me a little about how the rehearsal process worked. To my surprise, being the director of a show you're also performing in wasn't as difficult for her as I would have thought. "The experience of co-directing a show while being in it at the same time didn't feel very different for me than it feels to direct. My major philosophy of directing is that we are a team, not a hierarchy, one single ensemble working towards making the best possible show. I feel like that extends logically into the devising process with just a shift in responsibility. Now the roles we all perform in making the show work are less defined, but we still shared the same goal."

As for writing the actual script, the cast worked together to create a show that reflected their experiences with panic attacks, as well as provide the audience with an opening for understanding and empathizing, which all stemmed from a strong foundation of trust in self-expression that Celine and Sarah fostered from the very beginning. "At the beginning of the process Sarah and I taught several movement and improv based exercises that encouraged people to access their bodies and become comfortable sharing personally created narratives. As the process continued we brainstormed concepts as a group and used improv to explore potential directions before coming to a consensus and finalizing a script. In some ways our script still isn't "finished" because we have passages where cast members "riff" like a jazz musician would. The exact wording is not our priority, but rather communicating the essence of the skit."

Jillian Hanna is no stranger to Cabaret, but she was telling me how The Panic Attack Play really helped her get back to her acting roots. Since the rehearsal process only spanned several of really long, intense days after the end of winter break, this cast of 6 really had to get the ball rolling right from the beginning. "For me, the biggest takeaway is understanding that it is indeed possible to create something out of essentially nothing. all we started with was the seed text. we literally came together over winter break and created a show in just days, which is pretty impressive to me. All you really need to perform something is an idea and the will to get it done."

They've got lights, they've got choreo, they've got some dope seed text stuff going on, all put together into an incredible show that Cabaret is holding for literally one night - EVER. Don't miss out, reserve your tickets now! 

This show is super vital in understanding mental illness from the perspectives of all different people. not everyone experiences it the same way. and not everyone has the resources necessary to deal with it. I hope someone in the audience comes to our performance and says “holy shit — it’s not just me,” and is able to either come to terms with their own struggles or get the support and help they need to begin to deal with it.
— Jillian Hanna (Theatre and Psychology, Senior)

If you've made it to the bottom of yet another one of my lengthy blog posts on this thing, then you DEFINITELY don't have any better plans this weekend. And let's face it, even if you did, these would still be way cooler. Buy your tickets before it's too late! 

Hold Still and Focus on Purchasing Your Tickets for 35MM This Weekend!

The coolest collaboration of photography and music is coming to Cabaret Theatre for one weekend only! 35 MM: A Musical Exhibition is our first mainstage musical of the year. With songs inspired by a series of original photographs taken by our very own Paolo Arceo, this 90-minute production gives each photo a story, a life, a song. Director Ajit J. Mathews and his incredibly talented cast of 5 takes us through a new groundbreaking theatrical concept in 35 MM: A Musical Exhibition.

Cabaret Theatre’s 35MM is new and exciting and like nothing you’ve ever seen. At the crossroads of photography and music, this song cycle delves into so many different dense, rich stories as it brings to life and sets into motion the frozen moment of a photograph.
— Ajit J. Mathews, Director

The Photography

In my opinion, the collaboration between the photographer and the director is what's most intriguing about this show, because otherwise there wouldn't really be a show. Paolo Arceo (Psychology and Theatre, Junior) worked with Ajit over the summer to get on the same page in terms of vision and the breakdown of each song, regarding the individual message and interpretation that Ajit wanted to convey. "Ajit wanted me as the photographer for quite some time now. This kinda had me scared because all I had was an expensive camera I didn't know how to use and a 99 cent iPhone editing app with no experience of real photography. This PUSHED me to know what I was doing and eventually create the photos I did today. So you can say I thank Ajit for my photography transformation in less than a year." Cabaret Theatre: Where Dreams Come True TBH.

Picking a favorite song or photo from the show is so tough and really changes every day. The artistry of the actors and Paolo’s photography really gives me a new reason to fall in love with each song and photo each day.
— Ajit J. Mathews, Director

It's one thing to have a vision, but it's another thing to be able to communicate it accurately to another person with the intention of collaborating with one another. On working with Ajit, Paolo said, "We kept good communication and exchanged thoughts, but I think that the looseness was important so I could incorporate my own style and creative freedom still having him as an aid. He's one of the smartest people I've EVER met in my life (intellectually and artistically), so it was good to have someone as genius as him there to help me out."

If we're talking about the actual process of taking the photographs, he had a system. "What I would do is just listen to the songs over and over, study the lyrics, and read Ajit's vision and perspective of each song. I would then narrow the message of the song to three adjectives and try to find a scene/object that embodies it. " I can't reveal any pictures specifically here, partly because I know I'm not supposed to but mostly because you should come see the show and look at them with your own eyes, fam. Seriously, it's so worth it. 

Photography is such a big part of our lives today with apps like Snapchat and Instagram where people are taking pictures every single day and sometimes we start to forget how much meaning and life a picture can hold. This production demonstrates that precisely and really brings truthfulness to the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
— Andres Moledo, Voice 3

The Music 

numbah 1 stunnahzzzz

numbah 1 stunnahzzzz

As a listener, 35MM is probably the most challenging score I've heard performed in Rutgers Student Theatre. As a musician, even more so. I get to study with some amazing and talented people, and 35's co-music directors are two of them. Andrew Moore (Music Education [Voice], Senior) and Thomas Silkowski (Music Education [Saxophone], Senior) are the dynamic duo of music directors this season, which is only emphasized by the vocal quality of their musical numbers. 

When you come see the show (which I know you'll definitely do because why else did you click this link besides wanting to see what typos I made this time), you'll notice that each cast member is i n c r e d i b l e. Not just as people, but as vocalists. The ranges are just insane. This isn't without a poop ton of work from both the performers and the music directors. As a future music educator and good friend of Andrew and Thomas, I wanted to know what the cast members thought.

Brandon Conti, who plays Voice 4 said, "Music rehearsals with Tom and Andrew have honestly made me a stronger performer and every critique they give is to help me develop my skills and be the best that I can be every time. They are fantastic people, who have been an amazing influence on me throughout the process."

Voice 3 is played by Andres Moledo, who said "Rehearsals were intense vocally because this particular show is loaded with obscure harmonies and strong belty parts so I really had to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to reach the level that the show demanded. The music directors really helped me to reach that level and I thank them both very much for their guidance."

Maya Mitterhoff, Voice 1, spent a lot of time working on her different characters, which Tom and Andrew really helped out with. "Our music rehearsals involved a lot of focus on story telling as well as technique. Tom and Andrew are so good at helping us get all the notes and rhythms down while at the same time teaching us technique and helping us properly emote through the songs. It's an intense process, and it's almost like we each had two private coaches throughout the rehearsals. We could not have done it without them."

They even had some great words from the director. "I could not imagine this show without Tom and Andrew as the music directors. This is by far the hardest vocals in a show that I've worked on, and the masterful hand with which Tom and Andrew led their music rehearsals was absolutely integral to the success of the show. The two of them pushed the actors to rise to the occasion and really gave them the tools to succeed with this score."

Ryan Scott Oliver thinks they're OK. that's it, though.

Ryan Scott Oliver thinks they're OK. that's it, though.

Before Tech Week, Cabaret Theatre did this awesome thing where they invited Ryan Scott Oliver, 35 mm's composer and lyricist, to the Brunz for a masterclass with this cast of 5. Sitting in the audience and hearing him announce, "These are some of the tightest harmonies I've ever heard a group do with this show" only further emphasized what a special place Cabaret Theatre is, and how lucky Rutgers is to have quality student theatre on their on campus.

This show is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. It allows the five of us to tell a different story for every song, but the themes of photography and film ring throughout. They pose questions like, “Will I always be with the person that I love, or will I only have this photograph as a reminder of what once was?” We are exploring whether or not photography/film are the only permanent ways of capturing moments; of capturing a lifetime. And that is pretty damn fascinating.
— Jillian Hanna, Voice 2

The Voices

I got some dope sentiments from a few of the cast members and honestly they're so cool, here are the words so you can read them for yourself.

this is the box song, clearly.

this is the box song, clearly.

Andres Moledo (Theatre, Freshman) is a noob to Cabaret, and we are so glad to have him! Playing Voice 3, he has a lot of different characters to play and a lot of singing to do. I know that as a freshman, I wouldn't have had the you-know-whats (guts, duh) to audition for a show in general. He didn't throw away his shot, though. "I originally auditioned for this show because I wanted to take a chance. The audition info called for strong singers which intimidated me and I couldn't find much info on what the show was about, but I really wanted to get involved in the theatre programs here at Rutgers so I decided why not give it a shot?"

From watching him perform, or watching any of these ungodly humans perform really, you'd never guess that he had any issues doing the thing. However, he found that the most difficult part of his role was being able to convey emotions without sacrificing his singing. "The cast is required to play many different characters throughout the show, so to jump into that character for this song has always been a struggle for me, but I eventually found a way to make the emotional transition work." Guys, real talk here, he literally sings a song where he's sitting in a chair holding a cardboard box and I felt feelings. 

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Voice 2, aka Jillian Hanna (Theatre and Psychology, Senior) absolutely slays the game in this show. Definitely no stranger to Cabaret or Rutgers theatre in general, Jill takes the stage as one of two strong and amazing women who belt notes that I only accidentally produce when I trip and fall in public, and that's not even considered singing. Her favorite photo in the set is "Hemming and Hawing, which is a collage of one of Paolo's friends taken at different angles. He's wearing makeup that makes him appear completely lethargic, bruised, broken. It seems like a symbol for the trials and tribulations of love - and not just romantic love, any kind of love. To me, it also shows how stress and hardships can take a physical form." Jill's investment and dedication to the story of each photo and song is so evident in her performance.

Voice 1 is played by Maya Mitterhoff (Music Education [Voice], Sophomore). I swear, every time I see this girl onstage I melt. She's got SO much talent and you've all gotta experience it. I asked her about her favorite parts of the show. "I am a sucker for a love story, and this song [The Seraph] is so beautifully romantic. It also has a lot of references to religion, and no matter what your beliefs are, everyone can relate to that heavenly feeling of being in love. My favorite song to perform is Leave Luanne. It's a thrilling story that has an ending I think we all can get behind. My favorite photo is Cut You A Piece because it's so cinematic and really a part of the world created by the song. It's an important part of the story telling. "

Brandon Conti (Communication PR Specialization, Senior) plays Voice 4, which *hint hint* might end up wearing a cape and pretending to be a vampire for a hot second (!!!). With high tenor vocals, Brandon tears up the stage (and backstage) with his dulcet tones and groovy dance movements. No surprise here since they had such a great conversation about crafting, but Brandon's favorite part of the rehearsal process was the masterclass! "The best moment in the rehearsal process was the Master Class with Ryan Scott Oliver himself! To listen to and learn from the man himself who created this work of art was very surreal. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first met him, but as I sat there and learned more about his life and his influences, it generated this new drive to try and make my performance better every time I go on stage."

The Director

it's this guy. he's the director.

it's this guy. he's the director.

Ajit J. Mathews (Accounting, Junior) is lajitimately one of the dopest dudes I've met at Cabaret, as well as one of the most talented people, on and off stage. With his fancy socks and long-sleeve shirt no matter how hot it is in the space, Ajit has transformed a black box and 5 singers into an unbelievably stimulating production in a few mere months. 

If you're still on the fence about seeing this show, get ready to be inspired and intrigued. 

"I think my biggest challenge as a director for this show was trying to make each song as distinct as a unique photograph. Paolo provided a set of beautiful and particular photos, and this show demands the same of each musical number, which is something I'd never faced as intensely with any of the other shows I've worked on. Unlike a musical, there are no constant characters or plot or themes that tie it all together, so I had no real safety net or handicap when creating each song's vision. I'd say the two keys to overcoming this were: the lyrics and Mary Berko. By picking apart the content of the song, I could find its heart and really craft a story and a setting inspired by the core of the music. And having Mary Berko as a collaborator in building the landscape of this song cycle was a huge blessing and her artistry and talent undoubtedly lifted this show to new heights."

The whole theme of taking pictures, photography, stopping time, focusing, holding still... it reminds me of square, angular, sharper shapes, so I think that’s what the choreography mimics.
— Mary Berko (Journalism and Media Studies, Senior), Choreographer and Assistant Director

35MM: A Musical Exhibition is the must-see event of this 2 week season before you drown in finals, so what are you still doing staring at this thing? BUY YOUR TICKETS. The photography is dope (way better than mine, tbh), the singing is fantabulous, and the dancing is fire. Don't miss out. 

COME SEE DIRECTORS DO THE THING

I totally thought of this idea. I'm also totally lying. (@emily thanks fam) 

I totally thought of this idea. I'm also totally lying. (@emily thanks fam) 

You’ve got a lot of great actors, people who are passionate and love being here and working with Cabaret. The work will speak for itself. You’ll come in, you’ll see them perform, and they’re gonna blow your mind. 4 Skits. It’s an hour. AND it’s 5 bucks for students, it’s cheap. I don’t see WHY not.
— Roni Banerjee (Theatre and Cinema Studies, Junior)

A rooftop gathering. Post-Wedding threshold shenanigans. 2 office bros talking about their lady colleague. A panicked subway ride. We got some good ish for you guys in Cabaret Theatre's annual event, The 2016 Directors' Showcase!

Cabaret Theatre offers so many opportunities for students to perform and create art, and the Directors' Showcase is one of our biggest events. Four first-time student directors get to pick their show, pick their cast, and put on their very first play in our lovely black box theater, all led by their fearless leader, Directors' Showcase Coordinator and spearhead of the Directolution, Lauren Burcheri!

I'm not tryna spill a bunch of spoilers because I definitely don't wanna clean all that up, so we're gonna dive right into my interviews. 

The Wedding Duet by Lauren Wilson

I like that we’re able to address 4 completely different things that I think are all incredible stories with incredible life and depth, yet they’re all really fun in a way - even the ones that aren’t. Everyone was able to put their all into what they did, so each of the individual parts ended up being the best that they can be and everyone is proud of the individual work that they’ve done.
— Emily Woods (Theatre, Sophomore)

Who doesn't love weddings, though??? I would be lying if I said I wasn't waiting for my late 20s so I could partake in "Wedding Szn"...that's how the kids these days spell, it right? 

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 3.21.18 PM.png

Anyway, we've got a pair of lovely newly-weds consisting of a beautiful, shoe-less bride and a pajama-less Benji. No, he is definitely not wearing pajamas...I think.

Are you superstitious? For me, I'm only kind of stitious ;) But when it comes to symbols and signs and fate and stuff? Can't get into that on this post, but you can come see The Wedding Duet and hash it all out in your head while you watch these two great actors do their thing! Directed by Cab's very own General Board Representative Celine Dirkes (Theatre and English with Creative Writing Certificate, Junior), this show is a rocky roller coaster of emotions that keeps you on your toes - or not, for some people involved. 

While at a summer program, Celine came across this script while using it for a bunch of different exercises. "The format was so simple and so focused I immediately thought 'hmm, that would be a great show for Directors' Showcase' and I guess I just couldn't let it go!" 

This piece talks a lot about the age-old tradition of a husband carrying his wife over the threshold, thus launching them into a prosperous and long-lasting marriage. How do you feel about that? Celine says, "I think the need to carry a wife through the threshold is very silly. Like all superstitions, it's a comforting way to believe you have power over something that really isn't affected by that thing at all--ie a healthy marriage and picking someone up. It makes a for a great performative metaphor though!" 

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 3.21.38 PM.png

Emily Woods (Theatre, Sophomore) gave me her thoughts as well. "I think that symbols are what you want them to be and I am a big fan of making things that aren't a  big deal into a big deal. In actuality, I probably don't believe in it. But in my mind, totally. If I get dropped in the threshold, the world will end."

In such a small cast, it's important to be able to connect with your partner onstage. While Benji and Emily are far from strangers to Cabaret, they still needed to get comfortable with each other for this piece.  "Other than being friends with each other on Facebook, we didn't know really know each other. But Celine is actually brilliant and super cool and my hero, and she had us do these contact improv exercises, and I feel like sort of going in and out of really committing to that and afterwards being able to say 'Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, my hands are so dry like a lizard person - just the slow progression to make it where we needed to be for the actual show helped us to build a relationship in and out of character."

What We're Up Against by Theresa Rebeck

Lately, we've heard a lot about "locker room talk" and what that exactly means, but this show brings you Office Space Talk! It's like the locker room, but people almost definitely have clothes on ;)

We've got two of our Cab favs starring in this piece as two office co-workers. Rafael Lozada (THINGS) and Oren Merhav (Biomedical Engineering, Sophomore) discuss how their office handles project proposals from different groups. In a show with such a  small cast (two is company!) (I googled that saying to make sure I didn't look dumb. it still looks dumb, plz don't correct me, I already know), each actor is responsible for knowing a poop ton of lines. Oren's character Stu has a bulk of them, and I'm honestly impressed when anyone can memorize things because I barely remember what day it is. "To help me memorize my lines, Katherine made noises or motions for lines that I frequently forgot, and she would do them whenever I forgot them to help me remember. If you ever look to the back of Cabaret and see a dark figure doing weird dances to no music, I probably forgot a line. Katherine is weird."

Who is Katherine, you ask? Why, she's their director! Katherine Freedman (Vocal Performance, Senior) made her Cabaret debut in last year's Original Play Festival, and has joined us once again to direct her very first show. She is also my roommate. We live together. No big deal. 

People should come see DS because the shows are incredibly relevant. These authors have something to say, and it’s theatre is such a cool and interesting way for people to fully understand issues that are going on - whether it’s sexism or racism, etc. People experience these things everyday but it’s very taboo to bring them up. In theatre, they take these taboo things and bring them up and make them real for the audience.
— Katherine Freedman (Vocal Performance, Senior)

"I like this script because it wasn't so obviously about women since there are no females in it. I also wanted something that would be relevant for our audience. Something that's happening right now is that women don't get paid as much as men, but it's something that is often shrugged off and that the women are exaggerating - it's very frustrating as a woman. I wanted to pick a show that would make people more aware from the other side."

The rehearsal processes for DS shows is usually unconventional because of all the craziness going on inside the space, but Oren seemed to have a great time in my kitchen. "The rehearsal process was really exciting. Instead of being at Cabaret, we did nearly all of our rehearsals at the house of the infamous Filipino Four, or Filipino Three plus Emily if you want to be a stickler. We woke people up from naps, scared passers by, caused a tear or two, and, may have even started a fictional business. If you ever see the words "Initiative: How the System Works" on a t-shirt, you know it started here."

Come see the show that made me realize just how often I go in search of snacky snacks, but ultimately didn't stop me from doing so~*~*~*

Moving Shortly by Sheri Wilner

PLEASE STAND BEHIND THE WHITE LINE WHILE THE BUS IS IN MOTION. Does anyone else get motion sickness on the EE? Is it just me? Dang. 

I feel a little better on subway trains, and that's where this play takes place. In a more serious, yet still somehow funny, show, 2 riders are stuck underground while they try to fix a couple kinks. Fear is running rampant among many Americans these days (wow I wonder why because nothing super major happened in this history of our nation, everything is hunky dory and everyone loves each other yay), and Moving Shortly definitely emphasizes this by exposing the thoughts of a white women and a man of color sitting near each other on a subway. 

Rafael Lozada (Communications, Second Year) plays a Sikh man on his way home from the grocery store. Having been in multiple productions here, and in 2 pieces in DS, he finds that his favorite part of being here is the grounded intensity. "Both shows feel super real, like you can possibly know these characters; but both demand to reach pretty intense emotional territory."

Director Madhu Murali managed to make me laugh, make me cringe, and make me want to see more without them ever actually saying words on stage. Come find out what I mean by seeing the show for yourself!

Zealot by Julie Marie Myatt

What would you die for? If you stand for nothing, what would you fall for? @Burr

Set on the rooftop of an apartment building, several tenants discuss mortality and the worth of life after the most recent passing of a former tenant. Would they die for what they believe in? Would it be worth it?

Roni Banerjee (Theatre and Cinema Studies, Junior) is joining us in DS for the second time, after spending a lot of time with our friends down at the College Avenue Players. What does he think of Cabaret? "It's a really great environment. Meeting new people, getting a different kind of working environment at the same time. It's very professional and comfortable - I just love everyone here. And David - he's very very passionate, very professional, very serious about his work - as I am, as everyone is. We feed off of each other, and it's amazing."

David Novis (Political Science and Economics, Junior) directs this cast of 4, and has had experience directing films. "I've been getting really into theatre recently, and I wanted to take this great opportunity that Cabaret offers for directing plays. I feel like Cabaret is the place to do it because there's an intimacy with this smaller theatre. Everyone is very willing to collaborate and it's very community oriented here." 

Yeah, we're pretty great. nbd.

David talked to me about how the theme, though it's pretty morbid, is what drew him to the script. The show talks about death and goes into each character's values and ideals. "I thought each character represented a different perspective on death - it's pretty interesting to see how they all collide with one another in real time."

There’s definitely a gap between film and theatre - people playing things out in real time. You can’t edit and you can’t redo things, but you have to make sure your actors are ready to think on their feet and act. That’s what makes this so cool.
— David Novis (Political Science and Economics)

THIS SHOW IS SO LIT. THIS CAST IS SO DOPE. JOIN THE DIRECTOLUTION AND BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY. 

ps - we're so cool and hip, our cast and crew made one of those viral videos with the number signs. Check out our mannequin challenge ###!!!!

 

Time to Start Going Going to Boeing Boeing!

I had fun with this one.

I had fun with this one.

People should be going going to Boeing Boeing because it’s hilarious and outrageous and there’s a lot of doors that people come in & out of and there’s not a single pun about airplanes in the actual show so you really can’t get any better.
— Shayna Carney (Theatre Arts, Senior) aka Gretchen

Merry second day of the holiday season, fam! I hope your lives up to this point have been sufficiently spoopy and full of candy. Now, we can get super revved up for our first mainstage of the year - Boeing Boeing, directed by Kenneth Laboy.

They're flying us back to the 1960s, to Bernard's cozy little apartment in Paris. Bernard, played by Mario Gambino, is quite the charmer, and is super sweet with his lady friends - all three of them. Three's definitely not a crowd for him! These three lovely ladies not only have the same sloppers, but they're all flight attendants who have restricted schedules. Lucky for Bernard though, because with his trusty calendar, his life has enough room for all three of them - and Berthe! Add his old chum, Robert Lambert, and it's an all-out party. All of the pictures I'm adding to this blog post will be very ambiguous, so you're gonna have to show up to Cab to find out how this all plays out. 

In my primetime VIP seat during my exclusive tech week viewing, I got to watch just how awesome the cast dynamic is among these 6 actors. In my usual effort not to spoil too much in my posts, I'm gonna tell you guys what the actors say to me off the stage. 

this looks like a candid from some sort of musical number.

this looks like a candid from some sort of musical number.

Mario Gambino (Communication, Senior) has a sh*t ton of lines, so much so that I asked about it first in my list of questions. "It was horrible. I was in a show with even more lines last year, but this was harder because of how random and all over the place they are. It was just lots of running them over and over again." I mean honestly, if you're trying to juggle 3 women, there's going to be a lot of talking, so kudos to you, Mario. 

In regards to Mario's actual character, I'm not his number one fan. Luckily, Mario has spent a lot of time with him and makes him kind of likable with this explanation. "My favorite part of Bernard is that he's got this slimy confidence that is really fun to play. And it's fun to see a guy like that lose all that confidence the second something goes wrong. He's a sweaty beaten down mess by the end, which is a far cry from the guy trying to get his friend to be polygamy buddies with him in the first act. His arc is just so obvious and I think it's really fun to play." Polygamy Bros. Multiple Marriages Men. These are words I never thought would be a thing in my life, yet here we are. Only at Cabaret Theatre, I guess. 

this is actually me everyday, except i'm in bed and also sleeping

this is actually me everyday, except i'm in bed and also sleeping

Speaking of Polygamy Bros, I talked to Benji, too. Benji Sills (Communication, Senior) plays Robert Lambert, Bernard's childhood friend who just rings his doorbell in Paris, stays for a few days, and ultimately becomes the ultimate polygamy wingman for Bernard, whose life is spiraling out of control. When I asked him about his plethora of lines, his answer was pretty similar to Mario's. "When you make sense of a line and think about why a character says it (and what they're thinking and doing when they do), it helps to make it easier to remember. That as well as lots of repetition and a little bit of prayer." I feel that.

As mentioned before, this show has 3 fantastic women who all want to marry Bernard (for some reason, lmk). Gabriella from Italy (Kim Bollard), Gloria the American (Alexis Dewland), and Gretchen from Germany (Shayna Carney). While all three actresses aren't onstage together for most of the show, they do a great job as the team of women who drive Bernard insane, with a little bit of Robert on the side. We've got accents, we've got fancy air hostess outfits, we've got mouth stuff (that's also intentionally ambiguous - come find out what I mean) - we've got all the makings of that soap opera your grandma used to love!

vogue.

vogue.

We've even got an irritable French housekeeper Berthe, played by Madhu Mohanmurali. Although she's not tryna marry Bernard, she's also giving us a great accent, some real fancy outfits, and mouth stuff - if you count her mouthing off to Bernard for his ridiculous lifestyle choices.

All 6 actors play so well off of each other, there's no way you won't find yourself LOLing (laughing out loud, fyi) at these lines. The easiest and most prominent connection to spot is between Bernard and Robert, and Mario gave me some insight on that as well! "I've worked with Benji on every show I've done at Rutgers, weirdly. So, I think you just start developing a dynamic by sheer experience with each other. Benji's just an all around nice guy so that helps with the whole 'being friends in real life which extends to having real chemistry on stage;. I also have a theory that Benji is a sociopath and that's fascinating so I'm trying to stay as close to him as possible, so as to conduct my research." As a person who has done 2 shows with Benji, I am very interested to see his case files...and add to them. 

sometimes I am Shayna. sometimes I am Madhu. there is almost never an in-between.

sometimes I am Shayna. sometimes I am Madhu. there is almost never an in-between.

None of this would be possible without the direction of Kenneth Laboy (English and Theatre, Senior), a newcomer to directing mainstages at Cab. Kenneth specifically proposed this show for its strong ensemble feel, as well as its large number of females for a straight play. With strong female and male actors, he's really happy that they all get almost equal stage time. 

This show is a comedy. Have I mentioned that? Kenneth did a great job of exploiting the funny sides of his actors, and it really shows onstage. "Making it funny was never something I actively tried to do. I didn't want to tell my actors how to make it funny. I didn't want to presume I knew what people even find funny. So getting that out of my mind and focusing on the characters and their dynamics was definitely the hardest part. Hopefully we managed to not lose that humor completely." Believe me - it is very far from lost. He talked to me more about the pro-staff to cast dynamic, saying "Just talking about me for a second (because of course, this is all about me) I love them. And I am grateful that they put up with me and my scattered-brain antiques."

What happens next??? #ambiguity

What happens next??? #ambiguity

At this point in my time here as the blog lady, there is no doubt in my mind I've already convinced you to join us this weekend for some hardy laughs. See you there!

 

This play is great escapism. The characters are entertaining, the actors did a great job bringing them to life, the set is beautiful. I have so many reasons to love this play and I just want to share that love.
— Kenneth Laboy, Director

Fun Facts! This show is about planes and traveling so I asked the 3 boys about their travel experiences. 

Ken: I am from Puerto Rico so I travel there a lot to visit the family. England and Canada have also been memorable touring spots in my life. Most importantly I've been to Paris twice, which is relevant.

Mario:I've been a few places but nothing crazy. I went to England and Italy a few times when I was young because my grandmother and dad are from their, respectively, but I don't really remember nigh about them. I'll say Sicily because there were wild dogs everywhere and that's amazing for a little kid.

Benji: I'm pretty lucky, my parents used to take me on vacations all over when I was a kid. I've been around a good portion of North America and Europe, although I've never been to Wisconsin (where my character is from) and I've never been to France (where the play is set)!

Anna: I've been a bunch of places in Europe, including Paris. I've been up and down the east coast of America, mostly from driving up and down to Disney world. I've also been to California, Tennessee, Michigan and Canada! No Wisonsin, though. If I ever did go, I think it goes without saying I'd need a cheese hat. Those look dope as heck. Nothing compares to Jersey, though :)

Missing Your Dignity? We Gotchu - It's At Cabaret!

i drew all of those images by hand, i swear

i drew all of those images by hand, i swear

Even if you expect the unexpected, this show is, simply put, even more unexpecteder than you expect.
— Oren Merhav (Biomedical Engineering, Sophomore)

It's that time of the semester! Rutgers Night Live XIII is comin at ya THIS WEEKEND ONLY with the dopest, the dankest, and the freshest shi* their beautiful, funny, and most woke minds can ooze out of their eyelids: The Curse of the Missing Dignity. I don't know what I'm writing, but I think you get the gist. They've got so much stuff ready for ya - laughs, smirks, horrified looks, some more laughing and it's all been nicely photographed on my new phone!!!!! *fireworks* We did it fam, we made it. No more blurry pics. 

In an effort to keep things a surprise for you lovely people who are planning on attending this fantasmic event, I will say random things about some of the sketches and also post pictures of the cast doing and wearing questionable things in the sketches. Here we go!

same, girl. same.

same, girl. same.

Community College. Gotta love it. They even have that one show about it. HOwever, come take a tour of the Evil Community College, where only the best students are admitted! 

Love Rugrats? Same. But what if that show wasn't so PG? What are their real opinions on the world? What do they think about Brangelina splitting up? We'll tell ya!

Real talk, I need to go to the salon to change my hairstyle because I'm bored with it. RNL's got this new stylist at their salon, who's gonna blow you (and your hair) away!!

Bathroom etiquette is weird. We all go through it. Where do you look? I have no idea. Maybe it's best to close your eyes? I'll try that tomorrow. 

Are you a kat person or a dog person? Lmk.

The cast of RNL loves feminists. Join their book club!!!!

RIO RIO RIO RIO RIO 

If any of you tells me that you've never gone through an awkward family dinner, especially one where you bring a significant other to, you've gOTTA come see this sketch. It's real. stay woke, fam. 

Now that your mind is spinning with questions like "Does Anna think she's funny or something?", "What does she mean by 'questionable'?", and "Oh, do people not usually keep their eyes closed when they pee? Awkward...", we can dive into the nitty gritty of an RNL production. 

As a member of the Cab Gen Board, I can say without any sort of bias that it is indeed "lit". Part of that is our brandy new RNL Representative, Kim Bollard (Theatre and Journalism/Film Certificate, Senior).

emojis are my fav

emojis are my fav

She opens up each rehearsal with some sort of improv game that gets their bodies in motion, their minds a-flowin, and their *sses in gear. "The best part of this job is getting to pour my heart and soul into comedy, and working with such an amazing and dedicated cast. I'm glad I get to work with people who are down for anything and everything. They're all so flexible and it makes my job significantly easier. "

And honestly, this cast is fire. There are so many different characters happening in this production it's almost hard to keep up - and their performances are just so spot on!

"Some people have more of a dry humor, while others are more loud and animated. Some people (Oren) are perfect for dad characters, and some people are perfect crazy uncles (Mario). Everyone has taken the sketches they were given and have directed them with such finesse. They've made me very proud." 

not completely sure her face is *supposed* to be green here, but you do you, girl

not completely sure her face is *supposed* to be green here, but you do you, girl

One of my favorite parts of RNL is the Weekend Update. When I talk about this entire show being "woke", this is usually what I'm thinking about. Similar to that other show, (what's it called, SNL? yeah, that one) they produce some pretty dope jokes about the failings of our current society. When I asked Kim about how they pick which topics to poke fun at, she said that she's actually working off of the articles she reads as a journalism major. Then she just writes a bunch of jokes about the ones that stick out to her, and then pick the best ones. Amazing.

Last Year, RNL took in a buuuunch of fresh, hot, new actors into their cast. Rafael Lozada (Communications, Sophomore) is one such newbie. "When I moved to America from the Dominican Republic, I stumbled upon an episode of SNL where they were impersonating Dominicans. Sofia Vergara, Kristen Wigg and I think even One Direction,all people who I fan girl over, were a part of it. Everyone was super committed to the sketch and it looked like they were really enjoying themselves. As a result, I became a fan of SNL so when I heard there was a version of it at Rutgers, I didn't think twice to audition."   Admittedly, I am not a huge SNL fan, although I have seen some episodes. This one such episode KILLED ME. I freaking dIED it was so funny holy crap. HOnestly I just watched it again. RIP in peace, Zayn.

Just like that other show, RNL has a host and a musical guest. While I can't talk about the surprise musical guest (it's dope, I swear), I cAN talk about their awesome host!

you good tho?

you good tho?

Julianna Pica (English/JMS, Junior) is this year's fantabulous hostess with the mostest! Spoiler alert: she does an accent and I asked her about it."Oh my gosh, that accent? That's just the accent of my mother's entire family. I grew up with a lot of weird voices around me. A lot of my family is from NY, my grandma is Sicilian, my grandpa grew up in Jersey City, my aunt is Colombian. Voices have always come naturally to me, and that one is probably the first voice I ever heard. Then I came to school as a kid and was like, "wait a minute, why does everyone sound like they are from Full House?" 

This girl's done some time in the stand-up world, and her opening monologue is all about that. I won't give it away, but she's a vegan.

fam bam

fam bam

As for her fav stuff in the show, she's granted y'all with some spoilers about a sketch called Family Dinner: "I love it because it's true. We laugh when things are funny and it makes us uncomfortable. Aziz Ansari does this thing where he's like, 'I'm great! All the racist grandmas are dying.' And he's right! Our generation and those to come care a lot more about race, gender, and class, and the social inequality that they bring along. I'm kinda tired of the foreign, person of color being the butt of everyone's joke. That's why I love this sketch. The ignorance is the joke. As a white person, I think we need to make a lot more fun of white people." Ah, white people. As a brown-skinned female who is NOT voting for the failed businessman, this really resonates with me. 

@allie where did you get your onesie

@allie where did you get your onesie

The Dignity That is Missing and Therefore There is a Case Where We're Looking For It but I Just Told You It's at Cabaret

So I asked Kim about it. "The second you come on board the RNL team, all of your dignity goes into a toilet. Very dignified people wind up losing all of their inhibitions throughout the rehearsal process. If we had dignity, we'd be doing something else with our time, like trying to save the world. Instead, we're making dic* jokes and hope they stick. "

Do you like my censoring? I'm trying really hard. 

COME THRU FAM - IT'S LIT, IT'S FIT, IT'S ANYTHING BUT SH*T! Buy your tickets, you won't wanna miss it!

People should come see RNL because it makes makes you feel things. Sometimes, (actually a lot of the time) its uncomfortable, but thats what is so great about RNL. It forces you to feel things you never even thought about... and I hear Craig Dilliplane takes his shirt off so...
— Allie Ambriano (Journalism and Media Studies and Theatre Arts, Senior)

 

 

It's Lit: The Musical

when Justin took this photo, his camera didn't capture any of the fire so i enhanced the pic a bit ;)

when Justin took this photo, his camera didn't capture any of the fire so i enhanced the pic a bit ;)

People should see this show because there’s a lot of talent in it, that’s for damn sure. It’s a cool way to start the year - and also there’s no work to do this weekend because it’s syllabus week so...what else are you gonna do besides see this show?
— Ajit J. Mathews (Junior, Accounting)

The Back to School Revue is upon us once more, with a cast, pro-staff, and pit that is most definitely 12 fire emojis out of 10 fire emojis. While today's media is focused on all of the troubling aspects of the world, the e-boards of Cabaret and LTC, as well as the Rutgers Theatre Community in general, wanted to shine some light during a particularly dim time in society. In darkness, we can always find light, and for this weekend only you'll be able to find some light by watching Illuminations: A Musical Revue, co-directed by Emily Reineke and Julia Mendes.

Yesterday, I had my first creative writing class of the semester. We analyzed a poem by Maggie Smith entitled, "Good Bones", and discussed whether the speaker was an optimist or a pessimist when she writes about the world being "fifty percent terrible". Completely unrelated to the fact that it's the middle of tech week, my mind kept drifting back to the revue and it's constant back and forth between songs with positive emotions and those with negative emotions. We as humans on this beautiful green and blue (well, kinda) earth have so many things to talk about. However, our newspapers and media outlets seem to only be discussing the bad parts. War. Riots. Racism. Hunger. Death. Dirty Politics. Donald Trump's existence in general. We need some light.

14199599_10207102018048457_3210704948128254297_n.jpg
candid of [cast member] doin some "dramatic looks"

candid of [cast member] doin some "dramatic looks"

Our insanely talented cast will take you through the many different emotions that we all must be feeling - except we do it through song and dance and dramatic looks. 

In case you didn't know, I am a co-music director for this show, which means that it's not super weird when I go up to people, shove my phone in their face, and ask them to answer my questions. We have an insane amount of talent and character and lovely lookin faces in this cast and they had a lot to say about this show and about the different social issues our society is trying to work t

One of the coolest parts about Illuminations is the choreography. Alex Albanese (Senior; Theatre Major, Music Minor) worked his butt off (literally) to get our cast into shape. Since the revue is a smorgasbord of songs from different genres, he pulled from his experiences in different shows and even conducted his own research on different time periods to make the dances accurate. In pieces like "Til It Happens to You" and "In", he even tries to bring in gestures that make you think about today's social issues. It's pretty awesome, you'll see when you watch it.

My lovely co-music director, Liam McGeary (Junior, Jazz Education)  and I had an awesome time learning the ins and outs of the songs and rehearsing it with this killer cast. It's been an extremely rewarding experience for the both of us. When I asked him about his initial thoughts about the setlist for the show, he said "I heard about the setlist before I even accepted the position, and Emily told me that Fix You was in it, and I said 'Yes, I'm in' because that's my favorite song in the world. I was familiar with a few of the songs; The songs I knew, I loved, and the songs I didn't know, I now love."

For those of you who don't know, my very talented friend and colleague, Taylor Rehe, arranged 7 out of the 20 songs that are in this show. Just another example of how much talent this school and this theatre company has. I was very lucky to have worked with these two musicians and artists during this entire process. 

These "Issues" That Everyone is Talking about

Clearly, our world isn't perfect. We def got some stuff to work out not only as Americans, but as a human race. I asked some of the cast and pro-staff of Illuminations about social issues that were important to them and why.

"Our Voice Isn't Silent". I feel like this happens a lot in the LGBT community that there are all these amazing protesters and people who go out for Pride, but that's only so few of our community. I feel like there are a lot of us who don't get the chance to speak out and if they try to, it's squashed immediately - depending on where they live, their religion, etc. I'm lucky enough that my voice isn't silent, and I want to acknowledge those whose voices are. -Alex

 

 

 

 

"Stand For the Silent" When I was growing up I was bullied a lot, and I always think it's ridiculous how people are still being bullied today and people don't really talk about it. you hear about these people who commit suicides all the time and there has to be someone, a voice out there for everyone and I want to be a voice for people who can't stand up for themselves. -Brandon Conti (Communications, 5th Year)

 

 

 

"Rape is Rape. No Means No." This is an issue that is very present on college campuses today, especially with certain universities and people in power who aren't always handling it correctly. For instance, Stanford recently banned alcohol in order to deal with the issue of sexual assault. I want people to know that Rutgers University, especially people among the student theatre community, is not going to stand for that. We stand with victims and hope for a better future for victims of rape and people who are close to them. -Maya Mitterhoff (Sophomore, Music Education)

Illuminations is a great display of overarching talent and everyone can see how well we all work together and how much fun we have doing what we love.
— Ben Weise, Guitarist (Sophomore, Music)

The Directing Team

Musical revues are unique in that they are completely made up by the directors and the production staff. Both of our directors, Julia Mendes and Emily Reineke, spent a lot of time choosing songs and finessing the set order and making sure each song was relevant to the universal message of Illuminations. After a long rehearsal, I sat with Emily in our kitchen (ya, we're still roommates) to talk about what this process was like. 

"I saw a video on Facebook of the Gay Men's Chorus of New York City and they were singing 'Light' from Next to Normal on GMA. They were performing as a tribute to the victims of Pulse night club in Orlando and it was very powerful. I was with my sister at the time and we knew that me, Julia, and the rest of the e-boards of both companies would be writing the revue, and so we went to work. We literally sat there for three hours putting pieces of songs together, knowing that 'Light' would be the final number of the show and that would the inspiration for the whole thing."

Most of you reading this probably haven't been to any rehearsals, but I can tell you right now that I cry every time this cast sings this song. 'Light' is my 'Fix You', and it's a huge reason why I joined this production staff to do this show. That being said, please dear loRT do not turn around during this song to watch me cry - it would make me feel v uncomfy and you'd also be missing out on the art that is right in front of you. 

Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 1.29.41 PM.png

For you curious minds, I asked the directors what their favorite songs in the show are. Julia Mendes (Senior, Music Education) says that 'The Times They Are A-Changin' is hers. "Even though it was written decades ago, it's endlessly relevant. Just take a listen to the lyrics, you'll hear it immediately. As for Emily, she had a couple. "I love Til It Happens to You into Fix You. The whole cast is so committed to them. The dance is beautiful - Alex did a great job - the vocals are literally so on point and everyone is really connected to the reason why we're doing this show, and it really comes through in the performance."

The Ghost Light

Our directing and technical teams put a lot of thought into the set for the show. One very important component is the ghost light, which was built by skilled and very talented technical directors. 

"The ghost light in a professional theatre stays onstage to protect the theatre from ghosts, or ward off spirits, and it's become a thing so the theatre always has a light in it. when Julia and I were talking about things for the show, we thought a ghost light would be a perfect representation for us not only because we are two theatre companies coming together, but also because no matter what's going on, you could be in a dark place but there will always be some form of light you can look toward to 'ward off the demons'." -Emily Reineke (Senior, Music Education)

 

And with some wise words from Albus, I leave you. This show has been an incredible journey for everyone involved. Come join us, it's lit.

 

A special thanks to Justin Jajalla for all of these amazing shots of the show. Check him out!

Guess who's back (back, back), back again ('gain, 'gain)

HELLO AGAIN, THEATRE LOVERS! Your friendly neighborhood Anna is back and ready for action in yet another jam-packed year at Cabaret Theatre! I'd first like to extend a warm welcome to any freshies who might have already received some good fortune by stumbling upon this blog. We here at Cab can't wait to see all of your n00b faces at our first gathering (date TBD, but it'll be v soon!), set builds, auditions, and of course, the audience! Check out our table at the Fall Involvement Fair for more info, some awesome people, and a spinning wheel where you might win a balloon hat from yours truly ;)

Here's how my summer went: I worked at a summer camp and spent a lot of time outside. Yes, I now have a shorts tan, sock tan, and a lopsided watch tan (I can't wait for sweater weather). I finished season 11 of Criminal Minds on Netflix and am so confused as to how there could be another season of an already long show. I saw 3 fantastic shows: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Waitress, and the Off-Broadway show Green Card. I also joined the pro-staff for Illuminations: A Musical Revue as a co-music director! Things that didn't happen include: not getting funnier, not learning how to properly photoshop pictures, getting a better quality phone for better quality blog pictures. Sorry, fam.

Speaking of shows, we have some AWESOME ones happening this year! First one is right around the corner, and tickets are selling fast!

As a Cabaret Theatre/Livingston Theatre Company collaborative production, the Back-to School Revue will be kickstarting our year! Directed by our very own Producer, Emily Reineke, and the LTC Managing Director, Julia Mendes, this show is sure to shed some "light" on the darker parts of life. Not being biased or anything, but I hear it's pretty #lit and you shouldn't miss out. The show premieres this weekend *only* - check out the new online ticketing system to get yours today! For a sneak peek, check out our performance at the Involvement Fair tomorrow at 3:15 on the Brower Steps!

Quickly following the revue are our auditions for Boeing Boeing! Check out the event page on Facebook for more info on the show itself and the audition information. We'd love to see you next week - September 12 - 14!

For updates on the season, make sure you're following our Facebook page, Twitter (@RutgersCabaret), Instagram (cabaret_theatre), and our brandy new SNAPCHAT account (@rutgerscabaret)!!! Of course, I'll be here making posts throughout the year about all the cool stuff happening, blurry photos and bad jokes included.

Miss my posts and already can't wait for my next one? Don't fret, internet peoples. I'll be back in just a few days to tell you about Illuminations and how many fire emojis I would rate it with. 

OH ALSO - your favorite black box theatre has just undergone some new renovations, so you most definitely have to come hang with us and check them out ~*~*

Peace, luv, n chicken nuggets, 

Anna :)

This is New Brunswick - Bohemia is Very Much Alive, tyvm

awww s'cute :) 

awww s'cute :) 

How RU gonna pay this year's Rent (tickets)?!

Get ready for my final collection of Really Freaking Blurry PIctures Taken At Cabaret - Rent Edition. As one of the most popular musicals of our generation, Rent takes us through the lives of a group of some cool cats in New York's East Village in the days of Bohemian Alphabet City, where they're trying to get through life as young artists, and some with the struggle of HIV/AIDS . Whether you've somehow never seen a stage version or the movie version or if you regularly have sing alongs with your friends (it's not lame and you know it), I know for a fact that you've never seen Rent at Cabaret! I should tell you, I should tell you - do NOT miss out on your chance. 

Rent, in the shortest possible terms, is about the celebration of life.
— Kyle Buchanon, Director

I am a huge fan of the show myself, so seeing it on a Rutgers stage with many of my talented friends was amazing. This post in particular is great because instead of trying to concentrate on understanding the storyline during their rehearsals, I got to sit back and really watch them perform - and then I got to talk to them about it offstage, too! Get ready for many feelings, something that is rare coming from me. Here we go -  

YOLO

One of the biggest take-aways from the show is its incredible message. Through songs like Seasons of Love, I'll Cover You, and both Finale numbers, Jonathon Larson makes audiences aware of how short life can truly be, and how we have to take advantage of its opportunities before its too late.

In talking to the cast members, I found it so awesome that they had such inspiring messages to send to their audience.

Fam 4 Lyfe

*insert one of the millions of awesome lyrics from la vie boheme here*

*insert one of the millions of awesome lyrics from la vie boheme here*

Something that's unique to the performing arts is the close bond that is developed among the cast members, the crew, and the staff. This specific group of people has never been assembled before that show, and after it ends, nor will it ever be again. Asking the performers "What do you think of your cast and crew?" is one of my favorite things because everyone, without fail, gets this really cute smile on their face while they think about all of their great memories together, and then they ramble on and on about how undoubtedly fantastic they are. Dominick Scalera (Food Science, Sophomore) is in the male ensemble, and said "This cast is incredibly talented and each of them have some type of note/riff that they kill me with at every practice. Kyle and his vision are absolutely amazing. Every time that something beautiful hits in the show, he makes a face that makes him look like a toddler that just wet his diaper and I think it's adorable."

[please take this moment to imagine what that face might look like]

[I am laughing]

The nature of the show lends itself to getting the cast to be super close and tight-knit group. We don't have a lot in common, but we just get along so well. It's such an awesome group, and when we come together it's a really great time. -Liam McGeary (Music Education, Sophomore)

 

Dreams Do Come True in Cabaret Theatre!

deep in thought

deep in thought

Rent is mad popular, and is probably the favorite musical of every 3rd person you meet (#science). This is both awesome and not that awesome at the same time, and Jonah Levinson (Chemistry, Junior) who plays Mark will tell you why: "I grew up listening to Rent. It's one of my all time favorite musicals. Getting to be in the show was a dream come true. The thing that's always difficult with being familiar with a show is having to separate yourself from previous portrayals of the character. No one wants to be or watch a carbon copy of an actor who has played the character before."

Like I said before, you're never going to be able to see Cabaret Theatre's production of Rent after they close next week, so why regret it later?

tfw u wanna open a restaurant in santa fe

tfw u wanna open a restaurant in santa fe

Speaking of dreams come true, sooooo many of the cast members have expressed how grateful they are to be playing their dream roles. Justin Luckenbaugh (Math and Economics major, Physics minor, Senior)says that Rent has been his dream show since middle school, and Collins has been on his list for "FOREVER". Jillian Hanna (Theatre and Psychology, Junior) has been waiting to play this role since she was a kid. "I was in complete shock when I saw the cast list. I was like 'Pinch me, there's no way this is real.'  I never expected this opportunity to come so soon, and I'm just so grateful and ecstatic." Bernadette Burke (Music Education, Senior), or DJ Bernadizzle on the weekends (her words, not mine), commented on how "a dream come true" is a cliché that she just couldn't avoid when it came to this show. "I've been in love with Rent for the last 10 years and it's awesome being able to bring it to life in one of my favorite spaces."

rt if u cri evry tim

rt if u cri evry tim

Paolo Arceo (Psychology and Theatre, Sophomore) says that Rent is one of his favorite shows of all time! "I became familiar with it because my vocal coach was actually the Original Joanne in the 1996 Broadway production! Knowing the show and having her as my coach made me so excited and honored to be part of this production."

[please take this moment to reflect how how fREAKING COOL THAT IS, LIKE WUT]

[!!!!!]

Favz

I have been listening to the Rent soundtrack for the last 3 days, in between watching the dress rehearsals and writing this blog post, and I gotta say - it's very distracting. The amount of times I've accidentally typed out song lyrics is ridikulus, and I just stopped caring about people looking at me weird on the bus - because lets be real here, seeing the squirrel man on the bus is weirder than a sleep-deprived girl intensely mouthing song lyrics in the back.

Favorite Song? This is difficult, since this is my favorite musical. I’m gonna go with Goodbye Love, I’ll Cover You (Reprise) and Will I? because apparently, I enjoy being sad.
— Jillian Hanna (Theatre and Psychology, Junior)

My favorite song in the show is "Seasons of Love" because 1) I'm basic and 2) I sang it in the sixth grade for chorus, and it was the first musical theatre song I had ever been exposed to, so it holds a really special place in my boxy and frigid heart :')

Dom's favorite is "Out Tonight/Another Day". I could describe why, but I think y'all need the exact wording: "Even though I'm supposed to remain frozen in the loft, my body wants to do some dank dance moves, primarily with my booty [am I allowed to type this? let's find out!]. I wanna pop, and lock, and [jam and break!] dab like one of the cool kids. Also, the way Liv hollas at Liam 'There's only yes' just fills me like a cannoli, except with feels instead of cream." Oh, Dom. You kill me. Make sure you all stare him down during that number, because I sure will be.

I think my favorite song is “Without You”. It’s where the show makes its turn in mood and is such a delicate moment in the show for so many of the characters, especially Mimi, who is watching her best friend die and her boyfriend slowly pushing her away.
— Olivia Accardo (Biology, Freshman)

Totally Kyle

Warning: Kyle Buchanon (Music Education, Senior) is amazing and has written really beautiful answers to my interview questions, and I don't wanna leave any of it out because I legit teared up while reading it so I'm just gonna copy and paste this ish. You're welcome.

Describe your love for this show.

just doin some tango

just doin some tango

I saw the touring production with Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal (original Mark and Roger) for my 15th birthday and immediately fell in love with the show. I saw it with my parents (some awkward moments lol) and my very dear friend, Da Ye. Shortly after, I found out Da Ye would be moving, making the show's "no day but today" mantra so much more relevant to my life. Those next 2 months I will always remember as the summer of Rent. I couldn't tell you how many times we watched the filmed live on Broadway DVD. Since then, my love of the show has grown. As I've gotten older and experienced my own loves and losses I'm able to appreciate the show even more. What I love most about the show is how honest and forward it is. Nothing is sugar coated, there really isn't a "happy" ending, though it is hopeful, and there's a certain rawness and edge to it that makes it resonate with everyone in some capacity.

Describe your love for this cast, crew, and pro-staff.

2 seconds after the run ended

2 seconds after the run ended

This pro-staff is very near and dear to my heart. I've worked with all of them on multiple occasions and in various capacities. Ajit and I have been a part of 8 shows together in less than 2 years, same with Tyler. I think between the 7 of us on the production staff, we've done something like 40 shows total. I'm able to communicate what I need from each pro-staff member and they do it and do it well. Everyone on this staff is great at what they do. Take Allie (or choreographer). I don't do choreo. At all. I can't dance. I'm an awkward mover just no... Yet somehow Allie understood literally everything I wanted. For example, for Santa Fe I told Allie I wanted something fluid, flowing and I did a little awkward Squidward-like interpretive dance with my arms. Somehow with those three bits of information Allie created exactly what I had in my head. And this happened for literally every choreo number. I'm convinced Allie can somehow see what's in my mind.

fantastic ensemble peoplez

fantastic ensemble peoplez

The cast situation is really cool because I've worked with most of them before. Some I've known of for a while. Others are newcomers. What I particularly love about this cast is their ability to collaborate with me and Gina for blocking, crafting, all that jazz. We would have a framework established for them, and then we would work together to make it their own. It's been really fun to work with all of them to make this show our own.

What's your favorite line in the show?

How am I supposed to pick a favorite line?! There's so many gems..... I really can't decide. If I had to choose I would probably say "I'm used to relying on intellect, but I try to open up to what I don't know". This line never really resonated with me much until this year. I've always been a pretty methodical person, but up until this year I've learned to kind of just live and let things happen. There's no sense being afraid of the unknown. I've embraced it and taken many leaps of faith this year and each time I feel like I've landed on my feet.

<4

<4

Or of course "measure in love". The love we give and the love we receive really should be how we evaluate our lives and time. Ajit actually did this "measure in love" project for me as a Christmas gift. In the box were 100 slips of paper, rolled and tied shut. I was to read one slip each day from New Year's Eve to opening of Rent. Each slip contained a memory of me from a different person each day. The whole thing really gave me time to reflect on all the people who have come into my life. So yeah.. The whole measure in love thing really hits me. (Your slip, Anna, was actually one of the most touching ones I received. You wrote about your MGSA audition and how I helped you feel relaxed and calm before the audition, something that just seemed like an ordinary thing meant a lot to you.)

[I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING. SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE THE TISSUES?]

There are so many other great things that these beautiful people talked to me about, but I can hear the sound guys in the back playing the transition music in attempt to cue me off the stage. Bottom line is that Cabaret's last mainstage is the bomb-diggity, Kyle is an inspiration, and Rutgers has some of the most talented people in the universe (#morescience). Get your tickets.

You should come to EXPERIENCE Rent. This show is about celebrating life. Therefore, anyone with a heartbeat should see this show. But if you don’t have a heartbeat, don’t come because you’re a zombie and I’m not caught up on The Walking Dead yet.
— Dom Scalera, aka Squeegeeman

Support Student Theatre - Come See OPF!

Welcome back, Rutgers! I hope all of your spring breaks were filled with sleep and food and happiness and freedom and a lot of netflix! Spring break may be over, but the fun doesn't end there - Cabaret Theatre has your weekend planned out for you once again!!

As we all know, Rutgers has some of the most talented students in the universe, and Cabaret Theatre is proud to produce a show that is *completely* student run - our 8th annual Original Play Festival has shows that were written, directed, and performed by students. This means that this is the first time anyone will have seen these plays onstage, and this weekend has your oNLY 3 chances to see them. 

Are you still reading this? Hopefully you've just come back from clicking our box office tab at the top to reserve your ticket. If I haven't swayed you yet, I'm gonna do that thing where I talk vaguely about the show for a really long time in an attempt to convince you to spend your money on us!

People should come to see OPF because this is the future of theatre. We often look back to great works by great artists and playwrights, however we often forget that there is a new generation which will serve as the great works in years to come. It’s exciting to present new works by Rutgers students and have the opportunity to showcase the future of theatre.
— Emily Reineke (Music Education - Voice, Junior), OPF Coordinator

Here Now, Maybe Later

Alright so don't lie to me right now, or to your computer screen - y'all have either once had an account on a certain firey online meetup app and used it, or know about it and are mildly curious as to what's it's all about. I know, we've all been there, it's fine, we're getting past it. 

Kenneth Laboy takes us through a story that's just the right amount of awkward to be funny in his play Here Now, Maybe Later, directed by Jacqueline Malzone. Jacqueline (Political Science, Senior) is a first-time director who was working with 2 newbs in Rutgers Theatre, and said her biggest challenge was during the audition process. "I'm horrible at making decisions, so it was a struggle trying to choose among some really talented actors who came out to audition. It was really great, though, because I had the support of the e-board to sit down with me and help me figure out what was going to work best with the show." 

Speaking of talented cast members, Ryan Morey (Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, Sophomore) described his experience working on a show about an online dating meetup with 2 people he's never met before joining this cast. "It was a little awkward at the beginning; you're sitting down with a script about a tinder meetup with someone you don't know and are still getting to know. It's a small cast, and the 3 of us bonded really well. We got a good flow going, so it quickly went from something pretty awkward to something a lot more comfortable and I had a lot of fun doing it."

Look at Jennifer Ngandu hanging out on the couch looking so warm and comfy. Do not miss your chance to come see her and Ryan in OPF!

 

 

Molly's Path

Does it really matter which path in life you take? Do you believe in destiny? Do you wanna watch a show that asks both of these questions? I only know that the answer to the third question is "duh". 

Alex Albanese (Theatre and Communications Double Major and Music Minor, Junior) directs Molly's Path, written by Shayna Carney, which is a show about life and dreams and whether you fulfill your dreams in your life and all those other great parts about growing up. As director, Alex faced the challenge of trying to schedule rehearsals around the 3 other shows he was a part of. Luckily, his cast is fire and they got through it in a short amount of time. "Rehearsal was very nice and we all had great ideas for the show, and it was a very open environment. I really enjoyed it!"

Jon Dawson (Voice Performance, Sophomore), who plays Patrick, is new to the Cabaret stage, and was talking to me about how his first experience in our house was very close-up. "I've never performed in a small setting like this before, so it's kind of daunting performing and having everyone so up close to you, but it's a lot more personal and I really enjoy it, so I'm excited to perform."

Come get up-close and personal with Jon and the rest of the cast of Molly's Path!

Three Flowers

What is Love? *as haddaway plays eerily in the distance* Hell if I know. Join us in Alana's journey of love and happiness and discovery and self-acceptance in Kelly McCarthy's original play, directed by Kat Beliavski. 

Kat, who has only ever been on a Cabaret pro-staff once before, has had a blast working with her amazing cast. From the thrills of late night rehearsals in random lecture halls and having to change the blocking a mere 48 hours before opening night, she's had a whirlwind of an experience. "I didn't get to see the transitions into and during the play until two days before opening night...and that's when I realized none of them were working out the way I would have liked. So at 1 in the morning, less than 48 hours before our audience is set to come in, I decide to re-stage, re-design, and re-light the entire show. Thankfully, Emily - the OPF coordinator, the tech crew, and the entire cast were extremely supportive and worked together to help change the production to fit my new vision. Having such a great group of people willing to put in the extra work is something I am incredibly grateful for because it really shows how dedicated they are to their art. I can't thank them all enough for all of their tremendous help." I was there when this happened, and I can honestly say that I was very impressed at her taking this risk, and then at how smoothly the changes were executed among the cast and staff. Brava to all!

Selina Garcia (Economics, Senior), who funnily enough plays the character named Selina, was talking to me while this blocking change was happening (I'm not a distraction, I swear) and talked to me extensively about how she got to know her character and her backstory, which involved a lot of introspection about her character's sexuality. She loved the process and working with the cast and Kat. She even shared a funny memory-

"There was one time where Emily and I were rehearsing the smoking scene and a police officer came into the room and actually asked us if we were huffing the highlighters that we were using as a proxy for the actual joints - we swore we were acting, but he totally didn't believe us. He just gave us this look and said 'just make sure you turn the lights off when you leave.'"

Look! Cabaret's got some rebel actors apparently - highlighters will totally the next new cool thing, just you wait. 

One of the things I love most about OPF is the ability to have your playwright right there with you whenever you need, and I think that’s a great way to enhance the production because that’s not usually a luxury you get in the theatre world.
— Kat Beliavski (Theatre Arts, Junior)

Dear Dashboard

I'm sure none of you are strangers to the classic deep car talks with your life long best friend - ish can get real. This play definitely gets real deep, while still keeping up with some comical moments about music and movies as well. 

Kelly McCarthy (Theatre Arts Major and Music Minor, Senior) directed Dear Dashboard, written by Justice Hehir, and this was her first time ever directing a show. She sought to guide her actors in a direction that was "as real as possible". "I wanted it to be not so much a production, but people looking into two people having a conversation. I did a lot of character work, and drew from my experiences with other directors, as well as having my actors connecting with each other through the mind and body."

Toni Pollitt (Theatre Major and Entrepreneurship Minor, Senior) talked further about all the character work they did, and said "The way it's written, the way Justice writes, is very 'slice of life' and there was a lot of room to fill in the blanks, so we did a lot of work on backstories for our characters, and that was really fun!" 

Pick your own slice of life with this cast and the rest of OPF by coming to hang out with us this weekend!

The Museum at Clifton Park

Are you into art history? Are you into delinquent shenanigans? Then this is the show for you! It's got all the drAma you crave - lying, arguing, stealing! 

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.13.06 AM.png

Written by Cody Beltis and directed by Dalton Zogleman, this cast of four new Cabaret actors takes you through two different stories that end up meshing together in an art museum. I caught up with Dalton (Theatre, 5th Year Senior), who said that this rehearsal process was pretty interesting because there were a bunch of revisions that were made throughout the whole thing. "It was really cool to work with the playwright as the piece was developing, because we were able to talk about what works and what didn't work. As he came in with new things, we were able to mix it up and implement new stuff!" 

 One of these four cast members is Katherine Freedman, who plays Cecile. A newbie to Rutgers Theatre, this is also her first time being in a straight play. We discussed how much she enjoyed her first time at Cabaret, especially in working with Dalton. "I feel privileged to have him as a director! It's only a 20 minute long thing, but at the end of every show we get notes, and he pays attention to even the smallest details. The other day he told me 'Ya know, your foot sometimes hits your cup. You hit it a couple times and I got anxious.' It's really helpful and I've really appreciated it."

I feel like you've all gotten the gist. Come to OPF. 

It’s unique because it’s a small theatre, really intimate, and these shows are about things that a student was passionate enough about to wanna share. You get to learn about people’s stories that they want to convey to you.”
— Katherine Freedman (Voice Performance, Junior)

Five shows. Nay, Five AWESOME shows. Nay again, Five AWESOME, BRAND NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN-SHOWS ARE HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND AT CABARET. Do not miss out!

 

Hoping to "Get It"? SAME - if you're talking about getting a ticket to A Chorus Line!

s'cute!!!

s'cute!!!

Hello again, internet peoples! I hope you're all surviving the gross, rainy weather and that you're pumped to read more of my bad jokes and look at my unbelievably blurry iphone 5 pictures - all in an attempt to get you to come to Cab to watch some more great theatre!

The craze this weekend is A Chorus Line, directed by Shayna Carney! A timeless classic in the musical theatre repertoire, A Chorus Line takes us through the lives of aspiring dancers and performers trying to make it big and land one of the 8 coveted chorus spots. After the first group is cut, the audience has the chance to delve into the lives of the remaining dancers and see just how many different ways they came into this business. They give you laughs, they give you tears, they give you moments where you don't really know what face you're supposed to be making, and for all of you fellow performers, I'm sure it won't be the first time you hear some of these stories, or something similar. 

A Chorus Line teaches us that in order to work, act, and be as one, we must embrace each other’s different personalities. Without them, our world would be nothing but boring.
— Lee Mamolen (Music Education - Voice, Senior), Co-Music Director

So, with my crappy iphone 5 voice memo app out and at the ready, I bothered a bunch of actors and asked them to talk to me because I'm needy like that - but also because it's my job so yeah

It’s a lot more than just this moment in time with these people at an audition, it shows how it’s such a huge moment for them, whereas for you it’s just peering into their lives.
— Shayna Carney, Director

I think my favorite part about these little interviews is talking to the actors about their characters, who have become both their biggest supporters and great friends throughout this crazy intense rehearsal process. One such friendship is between Alex Albanese (Theater and Communications, Junior) and his portrayal of Bobby Mills. "This show, even though I'm a character, is one that I can relate to very closely, if not the closest. This is what I want to do with my life, and I've already been on so many auditions where I don't say anything. I just dance. So, portraying this very real experience to me has set it apart from other shows I've been a part of here." Coming to watch the show is an awesome experience, because you get to see Alex act as the "bitch" of the show - "[Bobby] doesn't have time to listen to everyone's 'story'. He's come to the audition to show his skills, and he's determined to get cast in this production."

It’s interesting because this show is all about the strong ensemble and that’s just exactly what this cast has become. And now we can’t get enough of each other! People should come see this show because it tells a story that is often not told enough: the story of the dancer.
— Allie Ambriano (Theater Arts and Journalism and Media Studies, Junior), Cassie

 

A little down the line from Bobby Mills is Kristine Urich who is being played by the brilliant Kim Bollard (Theater and Journalism and Media Studies with a certificate in Digital Filmmaking, Class of 2017). No stranger to the Rutgers stage, Kim's biggest take away from this show is her newfound dance skills. "I was never a dancer. I had taken a few dance classes in the past, but nothing serious. It has been very challenging for me, but extremely rewarding. I now feel more confident in movement and dancing, even though I am still not very good. I feel that my new confidence in dance has made me a better actor than before as well. Dani was a great choreographer, and believed in me every step of the way."

People aren’t coming to see one person, they’re coming to see the ensemble because they’re amazing - at dancing, singing, acting, everything!
— Daniela Stefanelli, Choreographer
The funniest part of the rehearsal process was watching all of these perfect dancers around me. And then I’d attempt to dance and I would look like a horse wearing ballet shoes
— Kim Bollard (Kristine)

A Chorus Line is a HUGE dance show - so the choreographer, Daniela Stefanelli (Psychology, Junior) has played an important part in the success of this show. More experienced dancers like Alex Albanese and Larrej Drayton (Music Education, Freshman), who plays Richie, get a chance to really show their shtuff onstage. "My favorite part about being in this production is the choreography. I love to dance and I've never had the chance to do such an extensive amount of dancing in different styles. The choreography for this show is a lot more difficult because it has elements of all different types of dancing. There are sections of jazz and ballet and super fun moves as well as acrobatics that are just out of this world." The praise that I heard about Dani as the choreographer was never-ending, and I'm sure you'll all see why when you come see the show!

A cool part of the show is the "Cut Ensemble", or the "Cute Ensemble", which is a correction given to me by its members, and one I am very willing to accommodate. They're a part of the initial group of dancers who show up to audition, but unfortunately do not make the cut and are therefore sent home. One Cute Ensemble member, Craig Dilliplane (Math and Physics, Sophomore) who plays Frank, talked to me about how his favorite part of any rehearsal is when the whole cast is warming up, they're all in the music, and you can "feel the camaraderie and everyone being themselves - it's just a really comfortable environment to be in." Peep them in the beginning during the small group combos, and at the end waving hats and stuff with the whole cast. 

We bond.....and sing.
— Gayle Fuentes (Music Education - Voice, Junior), when asked about her time in the Cute Ensemble
this was during a real run of the show, and if I'm being honest, I'm not sure he knows this picture exists so uh.....suRPRISE...? 

this was during a real run of the show, and if I'm being honest, I'm not sure he knows this picture exists so uh.....suRPRISE...? 

So one unique part of my interview process this time was offering people strawberries before I asked them to be interviewed. A person who actually accepted my fruit is Oren Merhav (Biomedical Engineering, Freshman) who plays Zach, the daunting Director running the whole she-bang. When asked about the most rewarding part of this whole process, he talked to me about the appreciation he has for working with such a talented cast. "There are some people that when they go up and do something, I no longer feel like this is student theatre - it feels professional just because of all of the other people around me. I sometimes walk away from a scene and I'm just like, 'WOW - that was something! I got some emotions going on there!'"

Exciting. Tits-and-Ass. Blurhibohiaosprihow. Musically-Brilliant. Talent (swag).
— Oren Merhav, when asked to provide 5 words to describe the show

If I haven't yet convinced you of how awesome this show is going to be, let me take you through a part of my conversation with the director, Shayna Carney (Theatre Arts, Junior). Why should you come see this stellar cast, you ask?

"Because we're telling stories of real people. Because the music is beautiful and the dancing is incredible, but in the end these are real people and whether you're in the arts, or if you're a science major or a business major, it doesn't matter - this one thing is so important to you and you might not get it but that's okay, but it's really telling of human nature and everyone can relate to it."

I'm hoping that none of you have made it to the end of this post on the first read because you were so overwhelmed by the urge to reserve your tickets that you just HAD to click on the box office tab at the top of this webpage, or that you scooted on over to the facebook page to reserve your tickets from there. Take a break from wringing out your soaking wet hair and clothes, or from studying for that awful exam you have next week, and treat yo self to some quality entertainment. We're running this show for two weekends, so you have 6!!!! chances to come see it!

 

 

 

A Series of Special Events is Upon Us! Disclaimer: these events are neither "Lemony" nor "Unfortunate"

real talk who put me in charge of this

real talk who put me in charge of this

Welcome back to Rutgers, everyone! I hope you’ve all perfected the gotta-look-like-i’m-not-about-to-slip-and-fall-in-the-snow-in-front-of-this-entire-bus-of-kids look, what with the huge snow mounds that now adorn every inch of campus - if I’m being honest, I know I’m still workin on makin it look cool. (my unreliable snow boots are intent on making me lose this battle).

me tryna walk to class after jonas visited

me tryna walk to class after jonas visited

You know what place on campus doesn’t have a lot of snow blocking you from entering? Cabaret Theatre! (w0o0w, betcha didn't see that one coming!) We’re all plowed out and salted and ready to take in your confused-because-it’s-cold-but-I’m-sweating-from-all-my-layers-and-walking-around-all-day look into our humble home for our Series of Special Events!

Sunday, January 31 @ 7 PM

Our kick off event will be a Comedy Night! Dust off your piggy banks or dig into your couch cushions for 3 bucks and come watch Rutgers’ funniest kids show their shtuff. If you want to be one of the students showing the shtuff, make sure you let us know beforehand, because we’re not taking performers at the door - don’t miss out! Get in touch with our Special Event Coordinators, Toni Pollitt and Jackie Malzone, at tp17@comcast.net and jem352@scarletmail.rutgers.edu.

P.S. all proceeds from this event will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention!

Friday, February 5 @ 8 PM

 

Were you one of the cool kids last semester who were spotted at our first ever R Factor? If you answered no, fear not, kiddies - Cab’s doin it again! Julianna Pica and Kim Bollard are hosting this X Factor inspired talent show, where you (yes, you!) can compete to win some fantabulous prizes! Get your parents to venmo you another 3 bucks so you don’t miss out! As always, hit up Toni (tp17@comcast.net) or Jackie (jem352@scarletmail.rutgers.edu) if you wanna sign up!

Saturday, February 6 @ 8 PM

 

 

Come watch a bunch of student directors and actors in our Night of One Page Plays! After tonight's workshop, groups will have been divided and given different scenes to work on, some props to choose from, and a costume inventory to peruse - setting them up for a fantastic ride on dat imagination train (plz don't ask me to clarify what that is because I won’t have an answer and I already committed to saying it)! An event unlike anything we've done before, the Night of One Page Plays will showcase the unique minds of our students; the directors will work with different casts on the same scenes, and we can see how each cast interprets the same texts. Does this sound fun to you? Of course it does. So pack on dem layers, maybe pick up a couple bucks for that $ugge$ted donation, and come hang!

Cabaret Theatre's calendar is jam-packed with great events coming up for this semester, which means I'll be back before ya know it. I hope ya don't miss me too much! :*

xoxo, gossip gi..............anna. 

 

 

 

Come see Grace at Cab and rediscover your feelings!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should be well aware that Cabaret Theatre is showing their mainstage production of Grace, written by Craig Wright and directed by Dalton Zogleman (Theatre, 5th year, Class of 2016)

**Trigger warning for sexual assault, violence, and weaponry*

After watching their first tech run last night, I could entice you with really vague phrases and things that popped up in my head like "space plumber" or "why are there so many bugs in this apartment complex??" or "what is Kelly even saying when she's speaking in French at the beginning of that one scene???" but you'll all probably benefit more from a legitimate description, which I procured from Dalton: 

live action shot of yours truly and dalt-ON during the first night of tech!

live action shot of yours truly and dalt-ON during the first night of tech!

Grace is about faith, not in the religious sense, and what happens when one has too much or too little of it. Steve and Sara have moved to Florida to follow a lucrative business deal. As Sara befriends Sam, their neighbor who recently lost his fiance in a car crash, we see the inner workings of relationships and faith. The play is an exploration of what it means to love, and, with the help of an exterminator named Karl, what true belief looks like.

Dalton is definitely no stranger to the stage, and has experience in almost every aspect of the theatre. His favorite part about being director the ability to have the largest artist impact as well as being able to collaborate with a cast to create a product that is " personal, powerful, and truthfu". 

"I chose to propose this play because its a beautiful story. It resonates with me on so many levels. We all know people like the characters of the play and it makes great commentary on the divisive issues of faith in our country today."

This show definitely brings up a lot of different views about evolution and the creation of man, and the debate goes on throughout the whole show, along with intense backstories from Karl and Steve. Whether you're super religious or not, I have no doubt that audience members will be able to connect with these characters on some level. 

This connection is exactly what Kelly Lozo (Business Management major, Theatre and American Studies double minor, Sophomore) was able to explore a little more when trying to channel Sara.  "Personally, I am not a very religious person but it was beautiful to dive into the world of God for a little while and experience this intimate connection Sara feels to everything else in the world. It's about being open and vulnerable as Sara, but in her openness she carries an inspiring strength."

My favorite part about talking to members of each show is asking how they felt about the rehearsal process. I love seeing the bonds that each cast creates with each other throughout the several weeks they're together. It is clear that in this show, Dalton did a really fantastic job in getting his cast of four to really understand their characters and their relationships with each other, which ultimately led to a fantastic show.   Kelly told me that her favorite part of any show is always "the beginning table work and crafting. Sitting down with people and discovering the world of the play and your place in it is such a creative and rewarding process. Especially with this cast in particular, Dalton did such a professional job drawing each of us out. 

After talking to Liam McGeary (Music Education - Percussion, Sophomore), he had similar sentiments about the whole thing. "The director and the cast really set up an environment in which we all got lost in the material and got in really deep and it was just a really creatively enlightening experience. " 

What to expect when you’re expecting... to see Grace: Soup, Bandages, Phones, Coffee Table, Love, Gun, Old German Man, Lights, Prayer, Tea, an iPod from 2006, 4 amazingly talented actors, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree* *Note: Partridge in a Pear Tree may not be available at all performances.
— Dalton Zogleman, Director

Grace also has other cool stuff like cool wibbly wobbly timey-wimey things, a groovy soundtrack in between scenes, and Finnerty yelling profanities! (only like 1 or 2 times tops, though, nbd tbh)

Real talk though, this show really touched me in a way that I wasn't expecting. Definitely make your way over to Suydam Street and see this show, because it's one that you're not gonna wanna miss. 

That’s a bunch of donkey doodie.
— Karl

You all still have 2 hours to support Cabaret Theatre in #RUGivingDay! Head over to the Giving Day website to see how you can help!

First-Time Directors Showin' You Wassup in Cabaret's Directors' Showcase!

It's that time of year again - Cabaret welcomes you to see our company's freshest new directors in the Directors' Showcase!

Generally, students come to Rutgers not having had any experience in directing any type of show. However, we've got some really fancy kids over here at Cabaret! These 7 super talented theatre members have decided to tackle the arduous, exhilarating and ultimately immensely rewarding position of directors of short shows!

Is your eyebrow raising skeptically right now? Or are they raising because you're confused? Or have you stopped reading altogether? I'll never know the answers to any of these questions. BUT, my dear sirs and madams, I'm here to tell you that I got all of the deets that should entice you to mosey on down Suydam Street this weekend and check these kids out!

"Sure Thing" by David Ives

Are you a hopeless romantic? Well, Stephanie Leiva (Senior, Math and Theatre) directs a show about true love, soul mates, and an eavesdropping barista. Set in a coffee shop, Bill and Betty meet for the first time, but time keeps turning backwards every time that darn barista dings the bell. When happens at the end? You're gonna have to come and find out!

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.52.49 AM.png

Leiva is no stranger to the stage, being in several shows with our friends over at LTC, and most recently being our lovely host for Rutgers Night Live. Not knowing when she would be able to do theater again (*cue sad face emoji*), she took on this play that she first read 4 years ago in a speech class. "I'm very serious about the true scene work and honest, truthful doing in acting. This show lends itself to true crafting and working on core techniques in acting." This aspiring director had a "one in a million experience" with her cast that she says had the same values in acting that she does, and who have actually become great friends of hers throughout this process. 

When I asked her what was most surprising about leading the show instead of being a member of the cast, she said the best part was being the one with all the ideas. "Being an actor, I never really 'created art', I more so just made someone else's ideas come to life. It was so amazing to be the person to hold the reigns [...]. I'm seeing the thoughts and ideas in my head come true, and I've never had that before." 

Intrigued? You know what to do - just click that box office button at the top of this page! :)

If you believe in soul mates, if you believe in second chances, if you believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve, and if you believe in art reflecting life, come see “Sure Thing”, directed by Leiva.
— Leiva (duh)

"Baggage Unattended" by Eric Coble

Emily Reineke (Junior, Music Education) takes you to the airport, where a couple waiting for their flight sees an unattended bag. As they try to persuade each other of their own beliefs, paranoia sets in and the couple struggles with the decision to open the bag. Will we ever find out what’s in the bag, or will the couple’s dysfunctional relationship lead to their own downfall? .......COME SEE THE SHOW AND FIND OUT! (this isn't over, I have 6 more shows to go)

Another student who has tons of experience onstage, Emily explains that the most challenging part about being a first-time director was actually doing the thing. "Because I’ve been in a lot of shows, I’ve worked with a lot of directors and always saw them as the person who had it all together. However, there were several times throughout the process where I didn’t know exactly what I wanted and had to figure things out as I went along. It was difficult at times to articulate just what I wanted from my actors, but I’ve been getting better at it, it’s all part of the learning process!" 

Wanna see what resulted from this "encouraging, fulfilling, eye-opening, and hard-working" experience? Reserve your ticket today!

My cast is beautiful and everyone should get a chance to see the hard work they’ve put in. I’m so glad they were part of my first directing experience, I couldn’t have done it without them.
— Emily

"Trash" by Justice Hehir and Alyssa Krompier

And onto a completely new topic - "Trash" is a feminist piece challenging the audience and the actors to consider the Free The Nipple movement and potential flaws in the American justice system.  Two different girls are brought together on the side of a highway to do community service for very different reasons and get the chance to learn from each other’s experiences.  

Director Elizabeth Alt (First Year, Undecided) is brand new to Cabaret, but wanted to jumpstart her college theatre experience with DS. Since she's used to being a cast member, she explains that the biggest difference between the two experience is "In a cast, I felt like verything was more individual. I only had to worry about myself being prepared. As a director, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page all of the time, so there is a lot more responsibility." She also gushed about all of the hard work that her cast has put in to this show and about her wonderful experience working with the other directors and the e-board (wooh!). Want to watch two talented young actresses try to make you laugh? BUY YO TICKETS NOW!

It’s the perfect combination of controversial yet tasteful and I think everyone will come away with a new way to think about the Free the Nipple Movement.
— Elizabeth

"He Said and She Said" by Alice Gerstenberg

Yay for more feminism! Julianna Pica (Sophomore, Theatre and Journalism) takes us through another funny show about a 40s dinner party gone awry! <<<<This is all you're getting for a description, ya gotta come see for yourself what actually happens :)

Interested in what "the other side" was like, Julianna chose to direct this show because it's a feminist comedy. Her favorite memory was the first full run through, when all the ducks were in a row. Though she found her first directing experience to be stressful because other people initially tried to guide her through the process, she realized that "directing is personal and different for everyone."

People should come to Directors’ Showcase because feminism is awesome and everyone loves a comedy.
— Julianna

"Death Knocks" by Woody Allen

Although Ivana Melara (Sociology, Gender and Media minor, Film certificate with MGSA) has had experience in directing previous film and tv series projects, this is her first time directing a play! Encouraged by her positive experience in working on Avenue Q last year with her best friend, she's here now for DS!

"Death Knocks" takes a serious topic like death, and twists it into lighthearted jargon during a game of gin rummy with Death himself. The show unveils some strange yet comforting characteristics that the character Death encompasses and we see how sometimes our final moments of life do not necessarily have to be as depressing as one would think.

Something I found interesting was her observation about the difference between directing a play onstage as opposed to something filmed on camera. There is an audience, she explains, so "there is definitely more pressure to perfect a scene since there are not going to be any reshot or retakes like film." The more you know!

I have found that the guidance and assistance of Cabaret’s producer and DS coordinator, as well as my fellow directors, has helped me prevail and create a show for all to enjoy. My current cast and those who have previously assisted me in this process have been hard working and enjoyable to work with. I am a very proud director!
— Ivana

"Some Fresh Ideas" by Zachary Sinkiewicz

Looking for "a productive and humorous time"? Well, Jillian Hanna (Junior, Theatre and Psychology) has something ready for you! A story with an unexpected romance between youngsters interning for an Off-Off-Broadway producer named Hoss, we watch as they work to save his job by coming up with the next biggest thing to hit the stage.

Mostly being in the spotlight, Jillian found herself "visualizing the different ways that certain scenes could be staged, how our costumes might look, and what type of person might fit one of the roles in the current show." In an effort to learn and experience as many aspects of theatre as she can, she wanted to add being a director to the list and answer all of those questions for herself. Come and see these answers for yOURselves and call dibs on your ticketzz!!

It has been both strange and exciting to use my knowledge on the art of acting to help my actors build a strong emotional life and get in touch with the truth of their work.
— Jillian

"Cindy & Julie" by Bruce Kane

Who doesn't love a good spin fairytale spinoff? TJ Ellis (Freshman) directs a hilarious show about Cinderella and Juliet Capulet's encounter in their psychiatrists waiting room. Love talking about whether or not happily ever after exists? Then this is the show for you!

PSSSSST......you still there? You are? Well wHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE?

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS FOR THIS AWESOME SHOW! Click the Box Office button at the top or email cabtheatre@gmail.com to call your dibs!

 

See you there :)

Come see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead - THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

Looking for something to do before/after trick or treating this weekend? Mosey on down to Cabaret Theatre and watch the talented members of our company put on this awesome tragicomedy (yes that's a thing)!

Told from the perspectives of two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosencrantz (Mario Gambino) and Guildenstern (Celine Dirkes) are essentially going through life "behind the scenes", trying to work out their confusion about what's going on around them. 

Julianna Pica (Sophomore, Double major in English and Theatre) plays one of the three Tragedians, and says that "the best part about being in the show is how meta it is.  It is hamlet from the perspective of the two most insignificant characters. We have done the show so many times now, and I realize something new about the show everyday. The ending is up to interpretation. Come see it because everyone is going to leave with a distinct impression of how it ended." If you're one of those cool kids who like to think outside the box, this show is for you!

Hamlet meets Gilmore Girls
— -Matthew Finnerty (Super Senior; Economics Major, Theatre Minor), when I asked him for 4 words to describe the show

If you've taken a high school english class, you almost definitely had to read Hamlet, whether or not you remember it. Instead of him being the big hot shot, main character, he mainly comes in to update us on what's been happening in the actual Hamlet, which happens to be the backstory for this show. 

I love the part of Hamlet! As one of the most famously complex characters in theater history, it’s been a fascinating experience exploring and learning about him. Also as much of his story takes place offstage, it was interesting practice in trying to create a believable life offstage!
— -Benji Sills (Hamlet), Junior Communications Major

You only have two more chances to see this fantastic show! Closing night is tomorrow at 7 pm.

It's an incredibly deep and eye-opening show, carried by a tremendous cast and crew! (Benji also said this.)

Come to Cabaret's Weekend of Special Events!

No plans for this weekend besides hoping that the internet doesn't poop out on us again?? Good news - Cabaret Theatre has really fun things coming up that don’t require the internet at all in our Weekend of Special Events!

 

Friday, October 2nd - A Night of Shakespeare

google images just gets me sometimes

google images just gets me sometimes

Come on down to hear or perform all things written by or inspired by the great Willy Shakes! Whether it be his sonnets, scenes from any of his plays, original work inspired by him, or even covers of songs that reference his works, like Love Story by Taylor Swift, show us what you've got!

 

If you’re currently thinking, “To be or not to be?”, I can tell you the answer right now - it’s definitely the right choice TO BE there on Friday! [fun fact: my friends all told me that joke was lame but I typed it anyway]

Saturday, October 3rd - The R Factor

Are you a huge fan of talent competition shows on TV? We've got our own version here on the banks! Sign up to compete in The R Factor and get the chance to win 1 of 3 fantastic prizes. Hosted by Cab's very own talented and hilarious members, Abid Hassan and Matt Finnerty, you lucky Rutgers students can try your hand at wooing the 3 judges - a rep from Cabaret, Livingston Theatre Company, and College Avenue Players. Who needs Simon, Demi, or Britney when you've got Eddie, Brenna, and Scott?

Come get your William Hung on!

Sunday, October 4th - Disney: Outside the Lines

I clearly have too much time on my hands

I clearly have too much time on my hands

Have you ever thought, "Wow, I wish I could perform I'll Make A Man Out of You somewhere, I can definitely hit those low notes even though I'm an alto!" I DEFINITELY HAVE. If you answered yes to that question, then clear your Sunday night plans because now is your chance! Pick any disney song and maybe grab a couple friends to join you in singing any Disney song (or Broadway song) in any way you want! 

someone should perform this on Sunday

someone should perform this on Sunday

Coming from a girl who was cast as Papa Ge in her 8th grade production of Once On This Island, I can vouch that portraying a different gender on stage is so much fun! 

Have I convinced you yet? Yes? Fantastic! Go on ahead and email our Special Event Coordinators,

Toni Pollitt (tp17@comcast.net) and Jackie Malzone (jem352@scarletmail.rutgers.edu).

I'll be there throughout the weekend, and I can't wait to see y'all strut your stuff on Cab's stage! Until next time, internet peoples!

- ban-Anna bread

LIVE FROM DA BRUNZ, IT'S RUTGERS NIGHT LIVE XI: VERY SPOOKY STORY VERY FUNNY 2015

cast be like: who wOULDN'T want to come to this show?!

cast be like: who wOULDN'T want to come to this show?!

Are you a fan of Saturday Night Live? Well, we've got our own version right here on the banks - Rutgers Night Live is LIVE THIS WEEKEND ONLY! I was lucky enough to watch one of their tech rehearsals, and this show is hilarious - you don't wanna miss this one!

You’re stupid if you don’t come see this show.
— Jake Torsiello, Cast member

Just like SNL, RNL is a bunch of "very funny" sketches written by the people in the cast. Hosted by the very talented Stephanie Leiva (Senior, Math and Theatre), this show ranges from parodies of different cartoons and movies to sketches about actual real life issues; RNL tackles it all. 

Since I don't wanna give anything away, here are some vague descriptions about the sketches that should definitely entice you to reserve your ticket!

Bank robbery gone wrong!

Dance off!

A weird and kind of evil cat that "helps" solve mysteries!

Some guy named Gary from Pre-calc!

Fat sandwiches, chickens, and role playing games!

....and a lot of other cool, funny, relevant things!

 

I’m Leiva and I’m queen so come see the show ‘cause I’m hosting!
— Stephanie Leiva, Host

For those of you reading this who don't really know much about RNL, here's some stuff I gathered from the cast-

A newly established Cabaret organization, RNL just celebrated its 10th anniversary show last semester! They also accepted 4 new cast members who are very excited to be a part of this family. I talked to Allie Ambriano (Junior, Journalism and Media Studies and Theatre Arts) about her first thoughts coming into this group, 

"My first thoughts were that I don’t think I’m that funny and I don’t know how to feel about this whole situation. It was definitely something new for me playing the funny roles. But now that I’m in it, I can’t imagine not being in it or why I was worried in the first place because it’s like one big crew here; everyone makes you feel so comfortable."

After seeing this show, you'll definitely be wondering why she ever felt this way - she's hilarious!

RNL is a great opportunity for students to write their own sketches and direct them with an energetic and talented cast. The answers I received about this creative process really showed the passion these students have for the theatre - on and off the stage.

Kim Bollard (Sophomore-ish, Theatre and Journalism):  I love comedy and this is kind of an outlet for me to write crazy things and my own stuff. I don’t see myself as much of a playwright, but as far as sketches go, I think I’m really messed up in the head so I can’t wait to write the craziest stuff and that’s what sets it apart from other things at Cabaret. You can do your own thing and write your own jokes and it’s fun!

Abid Hassan (Senior, Theatre major and DCIM minor): Writing has become a recent passion of mine. There is something very rewarding about writing something and people enjoying what you created. So I love acting, but I am also really loving directing these sketches and seeing the people that I casted within the group really shin; it makes me think that I did something cool! 

Raynee Morris (Senior, Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources): I started writing last semester for the RNL digital short. This is my first semester having a sketch performed in the show, but I've been writing for a while. This is cool because I don't normally write comedy - I tend to be a serious writer and a funny actress so it was weird to write comedy and see people like it!

This cast has definitely found a home within RNL, and hearing them talking about it will put a smile on anyone's face!

Jake Torsiello (Senior, History): I've never done anything in theatre before this. I saw the show last fall and it was awesome! One of my close friends was in the show and said I should try out, I said "why not" and they thought I was funny for whatever reason and here I am! My favorite part about this is just hanging out with everyone, it's the best part. Coming to rehearsal knowing that everyone is going to be in a good mood is awesome. There is just a synergetic attitude here and it's great.

Raynee Morris: I love sketch comedy and SNL was honestly a safe haven for me growing up. I was the awkward kid that would go to school, feel out of place and would try to be funny, and nobody would laugh at me. And then I would go home and watch reruns of SNL and watch Kristen Wig and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and think that I wanted to be like them. When I heard RNL existed, I thought, "Yeah, I think this is my thing!"

If you've made it to the end of this post, then I've definitely convinced you to reserve your ticket to this show. If you need any more persuading, I have provided some really low quality pictures (s/o to my iphone 5 camera, tyvm apple) without any captions to keep you readers wanting more.

It’s insanity on drugs - i’s a good time all around!
— Raynee Morris

Since you're already on our website, you might as well click on that handy dandy box office tab reserve your ticket right now!

Thanks for reading, I'll be back soon :)