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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!