Theater students host cabaret fundraiser

Cabaret Cast.JPG

Mackenzie Breeden, Claire Schuttler, Taylor Wesselmen and Hannah Bushyeager smile after finishing their performance. Photo credit: Josh Contreras

On Friday night, APU theater students hosted a humorous “Miscast Cabaret” event in the Blackbox Theater to fundraise for a trip to the Edinburgh
Fringe Festival this summer.

A cabaret is traditionally live entertainment in a restaurant or night club setting, but the theater students arranged for the event to be more casual with couches and a few tables placed near the performers like a floor show. The venue also included bleacher seating as well.

The “miscasts” were numbers chosen by the performers for characters they thought would never play on stage in a professional setting. The students sang, danced and made audience members laugh with their unusual performances.

Junior theater major Tory Freeth and alumni Brittany Gilmore played Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert in the number “Confrontation,” taken from the musical “Les Miserables,” while senior acting BFA student Scott Kuiper performed an untraditional male performance of Elsa’s “Let it Go,” from Disney’s “Frozen.” Additionally, senior acting BFA student Tim Davis performed as Candela, whose character is convinced that her boyfriend is a terrorist in the number “Model Behavior,” from the musical “Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

The Miscast Cabaret had a total of 22 performances with a variety of similarly-natured musical deliveries.

The whole purpose of the event was for students to raise money to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this coming summer. Many of the students who plan on going see this trip as a ministering and learning opportunity, as well as for themselves.

“We will be performing a piece there in front of an international audience with a large group of other artists and people around the world to exchange culture and ideas,” said senior theater and screenwriting double major Hannah Bushyeager, host and performer of the cabaret. “It is going to be an incredible opportunity for us as a theater department because we have never been able to go out to other countries and perform.”

This will not be the first time APU has tried to reach out through ministry in acting. According to senior acting BFA student Taylor Wesselman, who also hosted and performed in the Cabaret, a drama ministry travelled around the U.S., but this is the first international trip the theater has ever done.

Representatives from APU’s theater department will be joining many others in the festival.

“The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is set up in many ways like a convention, only with us, it is a lot of theater groups from around the world singing and learning from one another,” Kuiper said.

The trip to Scotland will cost about $5,000, according to Wesselmen. The group originally had 25 people interested in it, but has been cropped down to 12.

“I thought we had a great turnout and the audience was very responsive and supportive,” Wesselman said. “We are looking to use the money from this cabaret and the previous one to put on a much larger event where we will be focusing on getting more substantial donations and funding.”

To donate toward the trip, contact APU’s theater department.