The History of Cabaret Theatre

Cabaret Theatre is a student-run organization devoted to the presentation of dramatic works in an intimate and casual setting. What began nearly three decades ago as a series of skits and songs performed in the basement of the Douglass Bio-Sci building and the Gibbons Cabin, Cabaret Theatre has evolved into a Rutgers University institution, and one of its most cherished traditions. Cabaret's members have graduated to become Tony award winning actors, Broadway directors, designers, authors, doctors, lawyers, and, most importantly, teachers -- passing what they have learned on to the next generation. Cabaret's strong alumni remain avid supporters of the arts, Rutgers University, and the Cabaret itself. 

Located on the corner of Nichol Avenue and Suydam Street on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University, Cabaret Theatre is open to any Rutgers University student who wishes to share in its work. Cabaret Theatre is unique. As one of the United States' only student-run, self-supported independent theaters, Cabaret believes that its structure is the best way to allow student actors, directors, writers and technicians to experiment with their art. The atmosphere encourages a try and try again approach that is not based solely on results, but on discovery. For nearly three decades, this method has yielded both financial success and artistic advancement. 

Cabaret is only responsible to its own self-determined artistic qualifications. While Cabaret's members seek out advice and occasionally, assistance, they don't require anyone's approval. As such, the Cabaret offers the student actor and spectator an alternative theater experience. More casual and intimate than larger productions can afford to be, Cabaret's productions display only student talents and student ideas that are the core of the ethos of Cabaret Theatre. 

Cabaret's double-edged sword is its change of power. With each new year new personnel bring artistic variation. It has been a necessary evil that a through-line of interpretation has never been established. At the Cabaret it would be impossible and unfair to accommodate just one theory of theater. 

And so, since the Cabaret Theatre Society's founding in 1973 and its refounding as the Cabaret Theatre in 1975 at its permanent black box space at the corner of Nichol Avenue and Suydam Street on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University, Cabaret has been committed to bringing a wide variety of theatrical experiences to Rutgers University, as well as offering a forum for students to both teach and learn from their fellow students about acting, directing, writing, business-management, design and construction.