Maggie Reid, Features Editor
Next week, curtains will open for the Theatre Department’s production of “Cabaret” on Nov. 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Strebel Student Center Auditorium.
“Cabaret” takes place in Berlin during the post-World War I economic depression. It follows a group of artists through the rise of fascism. The plot transitions from the center of an underground, avant-garde cultural epicenter to the beginnings of Hitler’s totalitarian regime and the rise of the Nazi Party.
“Cabaret” was chosen as this semester’s play for a few reasons.
“It came to The Stanley last year so we looked into it during theatre history last semester and everyone was pretty interested in it,” said Laura Salvaggio, chair of Performing and Fine Arts. “It also has some very relevant political overtones.”
According to the UC Theatre Facebook page, “Cabaret” is a fierce, meaty musical that pushes the boundaries of the form and literally holds “the mirror up to nature.” It is directed by Nicholas Abounader.
The original production of “Cabaret” took place in the 1960s and, according to Salvaggio, “combined the Sixties aesthetic with Berlin aesthetic to show that the 1930’s Berlin message was still relevant in the 60’s. We’ve done something similar but not identical in that we have combined the 1930’s aesthetic with today’s.”
Casting took place in September and students as well as members of the UC community have been preparing since.
Senior Crystal Hayner plays Maxi, a Kit Kat Klub owner as well as a Kit Kat dancer, explained how she prepared for her roles.
“I love how my character is a representation of our current president and how much influence I have on the main character, Sally Bowles, when it comes to her having a job,” Hayner said. “ I feel like my character has power, even though she isn’t on the stage a lot. She might not always be there, but she is always watching and making sure things are being done right or at least her way. As a Kit Kat dancer, I just love being on stage dancing and singing along with the rest of the girls. To prepare for both of these roles, I just had to understand what it was like during this time period and how people would interact with each other and understand how life truly was during pre-World War II era.”
Sophomore Ann-Julie Martinez is new to the acting scene and plays Frenchie, a Kit Kat dancer.
“I’ve never watched a play, but now I’m in one,” Martinez said. “I’m looking forward to opening night because I love the energy that fills the theater, it elevates my performance.”
“Cabaret” will provide students with a different theater experience compared to past productions most have seen.
“A lot of musicals are just happy, light fluffy things, and this has happy, light, fluffy songs,” Salvaggio said. “But, this play has a very strong theatre for the social justice thing going on as well. It’s something that they haven’t seen before and it’s going to be a very moving experience, if we do our job well, which I hope we have.”
Salvaggio is most excited to see the conversation that occurs after the play.
“I want this play to start a conversation, or trigger more conversations around the same topics,” she said. “This play has very strong supportive aspects for LGBTQ, for domestic violence, for women’s rights, for diversity in general. We are advocating for a lot of things here and I know it is going to piss some people off, I am absolutely certain of that, but I hope we do so in a way that causes conversation , not just angers people.”
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students, and are available at the door. Pre-purchased tickets can be bought in the Arts and Sciences office, Gordon 286 , from Oct. 29-Nov. 7. It is directed by Nicholas Abounader.