On Thursday, November 2, 2012, the lights will dim and the curtain will rise on the first performance of Hamline University Theater’s 82nd season. To kick off the season is a production of the provocative musical Cabaret.
Set in Berlin in 1931 during the rise of the Nazi Party, the story takes place in the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with a young American writer named Cliff Bradshaw. A subplot involves the doomed romance between a German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub who provides commentary throughout the show that serves as a metaphor for the turbulent state of Germany.
“Cabaret deals with themes of intolerance that are just as powerful today as when the show premiered,” director and choreographer Randy Winkler said. “The story focuses not only on religious intolerance toward Jewish characters, but also includes images of bigotry toward other minorities in Germany, such as gay characters and non-Aryan looking characters.”
The cast is made up of undergraduate students from first-years to seniors, theater majors and non-majors alike, and one Hamline faculty member.
“Cabaret has been indescribable,” first-year student Alex Kolyszko said. “It has been challenging tackling the role of Cliff Bradshaw, but I am getting to know him more and more after rehearsal, each reading, and each song.”
Students who are more interested in the behind-the-scenes drama also have many opportunities to get involved. They can apply for a work-study job in one of the shops that will create sets, props, and costumes for the show, or even volunteer their time to help out backstage. One student who knows this first hand is sophomore Briana Zora Libby. Besides her usual position as manager of the prop shop, she is also serving as stage manager for Cabaret.
”It’s been really busy, a little stressful, but really, really fun,” Libby said. “I’ve learned a lot about time management and how to interact with people in different ways. I’ve also realized how complex it is to bring all of the pieces together to get a show ready for audiences.”
Performances of Cabaret take place on November 2, 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and then on Saturday, November 3 at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m at Hamline University’s Anne Simley Theatre. For more information about the Hamline Theater Department, including a list of the rest of the shows in the season, click here. To contact the box office for ticket information, call 651-523-2905 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.