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 :)

 

 

 

Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Apply for the ProStaff of A Chorus Line

this picture I found on google images says it's the best musical ever, which seems like a pretty legit reason to apply tbh

this picture I found on google images says it's the best musical ever, which seems like a pretty legit reason to apply tbh

Cabaret Theatre is currently taking applications for a director, assistant director, stage manager, assistant stage manager, co-music directors, and choreographer! I'm here to tell you all the cool reasons why you should apply to be on the prostaff for what is about to be a fantastic show!

1. You meet so many people that it makes a huge school like Rutgers seem small.

-Stephanie Mangioglu, Class of 2016

It’s so exciting running into familiar faces all over campus - also it’s convenient to know people who live on College Ave and let me use their driveway, s/o to Allie Ambriano”
— Emily Reineke, sitting next to me eating sunflower seeds, Class of 2017 ("hopefully")

2. You get to build your leadership skills in a supportive and unique environment. 

-Paige Austin, House Manager, Class of 2016

As a music ed major, practicing not only my musicianship but also my teaching skills in such a fun environment with my peers is immensely rewarding.
— Rachel Horner, Class of 2017

3. Late nights with the rest of the prostaff where everyone is a delirious mess...

....but it's okay because it's worth it once you see the final product you created.

We are sleep-deprived and hilarious and some of these nights have created the best friends I have from college.
— Nicola Keegan, Class of 2015

4. Being on every cast member's most recent call list

-Paige Grecco, Class of 2017

All my life I have been annoying people. Well, now it’s my job (but only if you’re late). I get to send passive aggressive text messages to people who don’t arrive on time.
— Dom Scalera, stage manager for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

5. Running around the theater during tech week makes gym memberships unnecessary.

-Paige Grecco (again)

There’s never a dull moment. Prop fell off the set? You have to devise a ninja-like plan to seemlessly remove it. Missing a costume piece? Time for some improv! It’s so great when everything goes as planned and you’re able to sit back and see that all your hard work has paid off.
— Paige Grecco, on a roll

6. Filling in for cast members at rehearsal!

When you’re on prostaff and a cast member is missing, you can take in the responsibility of reading that role which can be hilarious. Trying accents you’re not meant to do, singing songs you shouldn’t be singing - it’s a great time!
— Justin Brown, Class of 2015

7. You get to be a part of the creative process, literally making a show from scratch. 

You are a part of something individual, something you can call your own.
— Stephanie Mangioglu, Class of 2016

8. You get to see your vision come to live and watch your cast shine on stage!

Up until the show is casted and the rehearsals start, everything is in your head. Once you’re doing it, it’s an amazing feeling to watch something transfer from your mind to the stage. When you are on a prostaff, there is no greater feeling than watching your cast, who sometimes are your closest friends, succeed in what they have worked weeks/months for. You just feel so much pride.
— Justin Brown, Class of 2016

Obviously, I had a lot of help when compiling this list of reasons. One of the most meaningful responses I received was from Courtney King, Class of 2015. I didn't feel right just cutting it up and taking bits and pieces, so here it is.

"Being on pro-staff for a show at Cabaret Theatre is a wonderful experience. Cabaret celebrates an artist’s dream and provides opportunities to learn and grow. Art has always played a huge role in my life. I have always been inspired by the moments that prove just how powerful art can be. In looking for opportunities to learn and grow as an artist, Cabaret opened doors for me that I could not even imagine were possible. I have been the artistic director, special events coordinator, director, actor, stage crew, and more. Cabaret made that possible.

Art intrigues us, inspires us, and challenges us as human beings. Being on pro-staff for a show is an experience that cannot be easily described. It is hard work and challenges you in ways that you cannot imagine, but it is worth every moment. Having the ability to create something from scratch and watch it come to life is incredible. But I would say that the best thing about being a part of show is the everlasting bond that you create with the other people involved. Every show that I have done, I have been a part of a family that encourages one another to be better artists and challenges each other to be the best we can be. We are connected by the experience we had and that is something that you will never forget. You spend months planning, rehearsing, and working hard to put up something together and that experience you will remember forever.

Cabaret, as an organization, encourages an artist’s vision and appreciates every aesthetic flavor that makes art unique. You have an opportunity to be a part of something from the very beginning. Helping artists by providing them with the resources to create their work, while also celebrating their artistic freedom and spirit is something so wonderful about student theatre. As artists it is our responsibility to create relationships, encourage restrictors, promote networking, and to inspire those who have inspired us.

To anyone considering applying for a pro-staff position, I would say seize this opportunity to gain a once in a lifetime experience. You will create lifelong friendships, you will challenge yourself and others to be their best, and you will create something incredible from scratch. Art is alive and real, so take this opportunity to create. There is something magical in being able to engage a feeling through a piece. Be fearless, be passionate, be vulnerable, be creative, and apply for a pro-staff position at Cabaret Theatre…you won’t regret it!"

I really can't say anything more at this point. Honestly, we have some really good times here at Cabaret, and if you have any interest whatsoever in being a part of it, do not hesitate to reach out. 

Here's the link to the post about applications for A Chorus Line. Adios, internet peoples!

Major/minor: the 2015 Back-to-School Revue and My Ride on this Emotional Rollercoaster of Feelings

not blurry, but artsy. just go with it.

not blurry, but artsy. just go with it.

At face value, Major/Minor is a snapshot of college life. Through various vignettes, we see a group of students on their path from orientation to graduation. This revue is a celebration and a log and a commentary on the realities of university experiences and, more importantly, the people involved. There are moments of decision and of despair, there are times of exhilaration and of exploration. But perhaps above all, Major/Minor is a show about memory and nostalgia; starting with graduation and then a flashback to orientation, the revue stresses the importance of one’s past as one braves the future.
— Ajit J. Mathews, when I asked "If you were to write the Wikipedia page for this show, what would that little blurb at the top say?

Let me just say that I am so incredibly excited and honored that this is the first show I get to write about on this blog. Here we go!

Major/Minor is a compilation of songs that "chronicles the typical college experience" (Kyle Buchanon, Co-Music Director), and they make it so much more relatable by adding little jokes about being a student at Rutgers. This show gets you cheesin' so hard, and then suddenly rips your poor little heart apart in the next second, and you have no time to figure out why because they're already onto the next scene. We, as an audience, go through college together with the cast, reliving the good times AND the bad ones. With hearty laughter, real tears, and those songs that make you wonder what the hell you're even doing with your life, Major/Minor is an "intense conglomerate of passion and friendship" (Emily Reineke, at my kitchen table where I'm typing this).

Coming-of-Age, In-Your-Face, YOLO, Some-other-fun-exciting-synonym
— Rachel Horner (Junior, Double Major in Spanish and Music Education - Voice), when asked to give me 4 words to describe the show

I am a person who is not easily moved by many things - literally [ask my roommates, it takes a lot for me to physically get myself out of my bed or off the couch or out the door...you get the picture]. I don't cry easily, whether they're happy tears or sad tears. However, this show tested me. It opens with a wonderful prologue that samples lines from the upcoming songs in the show, set in a college graduation, full with hats and tassles. Singing through "A Little More Homework" and "Take Me Back", the cast then brings us back to freshman year at RU, with the ever-charismatic and enthusiastic Freshman Orientation Leaders in a great Rutgers friendly version of "Hello" from The Book of Mormon. We then go through the woes of freshman year: crippling self-doubt within the first month of school ("Middle of a Moment") [don't lie, we all went through it], the terrifying experience of trying to navigate the bus system ("Welcome to Wonderland"), and trying to figure out how you're ever going to get along with your new roommate ("What is This Feeling?").

They even had my favorite part of any show: audience participation! In "Wall Lovin'", Tyler Conroy (Junior, Journalism and Media Studies with a sports specialization) is singing about his love for the girl next door who unfortunately has a boyfriend, according to all the fun noises he hears at night, when she unexpectedly knocks on his door asking for batteries (*wink wink*). Anyway, that girl is pulled from the audience and is serenaded by Tyler and his cute little trio of boys. To my obvious dismay,  I was the chosen one at the dress rehearsal.

me being so0o0o0o0o devestated that I was pulled onstage, like how dare he

me being so0o0o0o0o devestated that I was pulled onstage, like how dare he

A fun part of the Back to School Revue is that freshmen are able to try out, even though they haven't even started school here yet. This year's brave newcomer is Katie Siegel, now an official Scarlet Knight, who plans on majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Theatre. Here is what happened when I stole her away and put my phone up to her face to record our interaction - using my street name, obviously.

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ban-Anna bread: How did you find out about the show and how was the transition into Rutgers as a freshman before even actually starting school?

Katie: I’m friends with Ajit, and he suggested that I audition for the show, and I did and I got in, which was really great and really exciting because I honestly didn’t think it would happen; it was all these talented college people including voice majors, but I got in and I was really excited!

ban-Anna bread: How was the experience? Is it what you expected it to be, were you scared? Give me some of your initial thoughts about the whole thing.

Katie: At first it was very intimidating, because at the first rehearsal I was sitting next to 3 vocal majors and I was like “ooOOOOkayyy..!!”. But after a while everyone was just really nice and welcoming and it became less intimidating and a lot of fun.

ban-Anna bread: Do you think you’ll be getting involved with more theatre at Rutgers now that you’ve done this?

Katie: It definitely encourages me more to do theatre because I kind of had the impression that Cabaret and LTC were very separated and I had to choose 1, but the show is a collaboration between the 2 and I got to meet people who do shows from both theatres and I’m like “Wow, I have so many options and so many awesome people wherever I go”.

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Evidently, singing about dying your hair blue is a great experience. (not that I'm partial to people who dye their hair blue or anything......ha).

Another newcomer, Ryan Gaynor, is a new transfer from Rider University, majoring in Music Education (Voice). Performing a song about going out on a drive to nowhere and meeting a great guy, he is a fantastic new face to the Rutgers stage! He was very eager to talk about what a great experience the Revue was for him. 

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Ryan: Before the semester even began, I started with this show and it was such a postitive experience. Everyone here is really supportive, especially in the theatre community. There is no competition, it’s such a great vibe that goes on. I made a lot of great friends and even as classes have just started I definitely feel like I’m in the right place. Now, I’m even more happy about the fact that I transferred.

ban-Anna bread: How did you hear about the show?

Ryan: Actually, my best friend is in the show. Her name is Jillian Hanna. She told me about it saying that I should definitely audition for my first show at Rutgers, and it was kind of a last minute, on a whim, thing and I ended up getting into it and I was all about it! It was definitely a great experience, for sure.

ban-Anna bread: Do you plan on doing more with theatre at Rutgers after this show?

Ryan: Absolutely, yes! I think for the first semester I’m gonna take my time and ease into classes a little, but in the future I already have certain shows that are coming later on in the year that I’m super excited about. 

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Three cheers for Rutgers theatre! I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm excited for when these two come back onstage this year.

This show is emotional, relatable, truthful, and eclectic.
— Jillian Hanna (Junior, Double Major in Theatre and Psychology)

While running around with my phone in hand, voice memo app open and ready, I found myself talking to the choreographer, Allie Ambriano (Junior, Double Major Journalism and Media Studies, concentration in Sports Journalism and Theatre Arts). Being a person who really struggles with dancing, I was really interested in how the rehearsal process was for her. 

Allie: Working with them was, not to sound cliché, such a blessing. They all came in on such different levels of dance. We have people who have never taken a dance class in their life and we have people who used to compete in dancing and everything in between. It's fun for me because I get to watch them kind of grow completely and it’s even better when they get to notice that they have made these changes and evolved into these dancers. It’s the best feeling when people come up to you and say, “Oh my god, I never thought I would get that turn; I’ve never done a pirouette, how did you teach me that?” So all of the stress, all of the late nights, it’s all worth it for that.

Funnily enough, when I talked to Emily Reineke (Junior, Music Education - Voice) she told me about how her favorite, most memorable moment of the Revue was when she realized she could actually do the dances. 

Emily: I can’t dance to save my life; I suck. This is the first show where I don’t completely hate my dancing. I feel like the choreographer, Allie, took a lot of time out of her life to make sure I didn’t suck and I learned a lot about dance and dance terms, and I can stretch way more than before. It was super exciting for me to come in the first day and think I couldn’t do any of that, and then find out that I could, and she didn’t have to change it for me because I can keep up.

All of that hard work from Allie and the cast obviously paid off, because those group numbers were fantastic!

Yes.
— Matt Gordeuk (Jazz Guitar Performance Major), when asked "What is your favorite song to play in the show?"

"Freedom" is a word that comes up over and over again throughout Major/Minor. Originally from "Remember This" sung by Megan Kalberer in the second act, the directors did a really great job of incorporating it into and in between other songs. When talking to the Co-Music Director Kyle Buchanon (Senior, Music Education - Trombone) about the process, he talked all about getting the music ready for what is essentially an original musical. 

Kyle: It's always fun rehearsing but it's very challenging with the Revue because it's not like you buy the pit book from a company; we had to arrange a lot of the pit parts. The directors really wanted motifs, so we found places to insert them throughout the show to make it more cohesive. The other challenge is vocally; it's not like a standard show where Person A and B sing in certain spots, we had to figure all of that ourselves in terms of who sings the harmonies and whatnot. It's pretty much creating your own music and musical, which is fun and a big challenge, and also very rewarding.

Kyle was also a Co-Music Director of the 2014 Revue with Bernadette Burke, making this their last time being a part of this type of production at RU. Congratulations on two fantastic Revues!

Finally, I made my way around to the guys who made it all possible. Matthew Finnerty (Super Senior; Economics Major, Theatre Minor) and Ajit J. Mathews (Sophomore, Pre-Business Undecided) are the Co-Directors of Major/Minor. Inspired by last year's production of Unsung Chapters: the Back to School Musical Revue, Matt partnered with Ajit to create their own show that would "hit home more and have more of an impact on the audience." Here is a snippet of our conversation -

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ban-Anna bread: What was the hardest part of this rehearsal process?

Matt: (Laughs) Because this project takes place over the summer, not everyone is on campus and they live all throughout new jersey. For the most part, people who do the revue tend to live locally. But even then, people decide to do it and they live 2 hours away. It’s getting everyone in one place that was difficult; we finally got the full cast together 2 weeks ago. Honestly, as much as we’ve been able to work on individual things in the last few weeks, this show finally came together in the last week or 2.

ban-Anna bread: What was your favorite part?

Ajit: Writing the show. It was just so, so new. As challenging and different as the rehearsal process was, I had never put together an entire show. 

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And there you have it, folks. Major/Minor "takes you back" through those awesome college experiences as a "20-something" and makes you feel SO MANY THINGS, especially for all of you graduating seniors out there. All of the laughter, the tears, the love and broken hearts, the (very) social gatherings, and all those times where you thought you couldn't do it but did it anyway - this show has it all. Congratulations to this cast on an outstanding sold-out production that rocked the audience's socks off! 

You'll hear from me again when I talk about the next show: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, directed by Cody Beltis. The link to the facebook event is right here: https://www.facebook.com/events/420894971429279/

 

 

 

 

Who's That Girl? (Who's That Girl?) It's Anna!

 

Hello people of the interwebs! My name is Anna Espinoza and I will be the new voice inside your head! Your previous blogger, the illustrious Kristen Ferris, has graduated (yay, congrats!) from our school on the banks and has leveled up into the real world, so here I am to take her place for this year!

So I should probably give you all some tidbits about my life. I am a junior at Mason Gross School of the Arts, majoring in Music Education with a concentration in Voice (Mezzo Soprano). Aside from being Cab’s Social Media Coordinator, I am the President of the Rutgers Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association, Secretary of the Kirkpatrick Choir, and Assistant Music Director of Shockwave, the all-female a capella group, in which I sing alto 2. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I like to sing the muzix from time 2 time). When I'm not doing all of that, I am the typical college cliché who binge watches shows on Netflix (I'm obsessed with Sense8 right now), gets little to no sleep and takes too many naps at the same time, and loves to indulge in any kind of food at any time.


Last year, I made my Cabaret Theatre stage debut as Christmas Eve in the mainstage production of Avenue Q, where I was BFFz with a bunch of puppets and had some of the best times of my life here at Rutgers.

me having fun @ cab (photo credz to princeton's dad)

me having fun @ cab (photo credz to princeton's dad)

aaaaaand that's basically all you need to know about me. The next time you read this blog, I'll be raving about this year's Back to School Revue: Major/Minor, opening this Friday! In case you haven't heard of it yet, here's the link to the Facebook event page. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1620817298172619/

Until next time!

ANNOUNCING: OPF 2015 Cast Lists!!

Cabaret Theatre is proud to announce the cast lists for our 2015 Original Play Festival. Throughout the entire audition/callback process, the directors were very lucky to have seen such talent that everyone brought to us. We were truly blown away by everyone! The Original Play Festival is a great opportunity to bring eager actors together with eager directors and student playwrights who want to see their work come to life. We are more than certain that this year's OPF will be very successful in that!

If we were unable to cast you in this year's OPF, please do not be discouraged! Everyone is amazing and it was very hard for the directors to cast their shows with such a large pool of qualified performers. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page for information on how to assist with the technical aspects of upcoming productions as well as future auditions.

If you see your name below, please check your emails within the next few days with information on when rehearsals will begin!!

Here are the casts!!

 

SOFA (by: Jonathan Misrahi)
-Directed by Cody Beltis

Ryan: Abid Hassan
Paul: Benji Sills
P2: Na-Lee Ha
P3: Jose Sanchez
Dancer: Alisa Bondarenko
Dancer: Alex Albanese

 

The Burden of Noel (by: Raynee Morris)
-Directed by Raynee Morris

Noel: Kelly Lozo
Charlie: Benji Sills
Lana: Shachar May
Chorus 1: Kajoree Bhattacharya
Chorus 2: Arunendra Banerjee
Chorus 3: Christian Ortiz
Principal Young: Catherine Emery

 

EYE OF THE LLAW (by: Julia Barnett)
-Directed by Julia Barnett

WALL: Jascynt Tulloch
FRIEND VO: Kim Bollard
FRIEND SILHOUETTE/WALL: Brenna Knight
STERLING/WALL: Alex Albanese
ANA/WALL: Alyssa Krompier
MICHAEL/WALL: Christian Ortiz
WILL/WALL: Shachar May

 

WHITTLING AWAY (by: Cody Beltis)
-Directed by Eddie Norgard

Sean - Alex Albanese
Kelly - Julianna Pica
Susan - Kelly Lozo

 

Remaining (by: Joseph Mankowski)
-Directed by Kayla Votapek

Silvia: Julianna Pica
TIM: Matthew Finnerty
Walter: Dan English

 

Untitled Project (by: Justice Hehir)
-Directed by Connie Scoullis

TBA