by Rose Brennan & Madalyn Johnson, A&E Editor & Asst. A&E Editor
The tension in the air of Thomas Hall was palpable as students lined up anxiously outside the Black Box Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Wednesday, Oct. 9, to showcase their talent for auditions of Manhattan College Players annual cabaret.
The cabaret is unique among Players productions, and has certainly become a mainstay in the department. Performers sing and dance their hearts out in a production less formal than a spring musical, but with all of the fun that comes along with it.
In keeping with previous productions, the cabaret will follow a theme. The theme for the 2019 cabaret is “Welcome to High School.” Previous themes have included “Fears,” “Coffee House,” and “Backstage on Broadway.”
For the freshmen, the “Welcome to High School” theme isn’t far from an experience they shared recently and for the seniors, it is a sentimental way of saying goodbye to being a Jasper.
Senior Megan Lawlor has been a member of Players since her freshman year, and is particularly excited for this year’s theme.
“This year the theme is high school and that’s really exciting, I’ve done a couple Cabaret themes in the past this one kind of, it hits really close to home especially, I’m graduating this year, so all like the high school seniors feelings are coming back around,” Lawlor said.
This year’s cabaret will be student-directed by junior Camryn Kidney and senior Maria Summerville. For a cabaret veteran like Lawlor, this directing duo inspires quite a bit of confidence.
“I’ve done all of them the past three years I’ve been here but I’m really excited, the directors, Camryn and Maria, are incredible and I know they’re going to do such a phenomenal job with it,” Lawlor said.
Gabby Kasper, a senior and member of Players, also felt sentimental with the selection of the “Welcome to High School” theme, and took it as an opportunity to look back at her time with Players.
“I’ve done [cabaret] for my freshman and sophomore year, so it felt wrong not to come back for senior year. Also, I really like this theme. We did a ‘fears’ theme my freshman year so it kind of felt reminiscent, so it feels a little close circle,” Kasper said.
Following the audition process, directors Kidney and Summerville selected over 40 students to perform in this year’s cabaret. Following a month or so of rehearsals, the cabaret will take place on Thursday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23. All showtimes will be at 8 p.m.
Kasper is looking forward to the opportunity to participate in her final cabaret, as well as what the theme will afford the club in terms of the cabaret’s structure.
“I think it’s gonna be really fun, I mean, as a club, we’ve kind of [moved] back and forth between doing themes that have allowed people to … act a lot more and we don’t know if we really want a really structured theme versus just kind of like something where people can sing whatever they want so I feel like this is a really good balance of both,” Kasper said.