A night of magic and fun for a dramatic opportunity

In an effort to raise money to go to Scotland for the “Edinburgh Festival Fringe,” APU’s Fringe Festival Troupe hosted a “Disney Cabaret” that people can enjoy and take part in by singing some of their favorite Disney songs.

“This is the first of a series of cabarets or some other holiday-themed fundraiser throughout the year,” Theater Arts Professor Dr. Monica Ganas explained.

The troupe consisted of a few students singing, acting and dancing to some of their favorite Disney pieces. Despite some set backs with technical difficulties, the cast members were on their feet and welcoming everyone to the show in no time.

They performed classic songs, such as “When You Wish Upon a Star” from the film “Pinocchio,” and “A Whole New World” from the film “Aladdin.” The cast performed some pieces accompanied by music, while others were sung a cappella, or without music.

Their final song was accompanied by a ukulele, played by sophomore acting student Anna Lund. Along with some of the classics, the students performed some of Disney’s more recent works, such as “Bet on It” from the 2007 television film “High School Musical 2.”

Audience members were encouraged to sing along with the performers, which quickly created an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. At multiple points during the performance, the audience clapped a beat with the actors and sang jovially along with their fellow audience members.

“I think the show went pretty well, especially considering we threw it together in a week,” sophomore BFA acting for the stage and screen major Zachary Poole said. “A couple of us added songs this morning, even.”

Event director, junior, and fellow BFA acting for the stage and screen major Ashleigh Coe was pleased with how the event turned out. “It went a lot smoother than we thought it was going to go, and I’m very proud of my cast and all of my cohorts here.”

The money raised from this cabaret goes to help these students get to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Every year in August, thousands of performers gather in Edinburgh to take to the stage and perform shows for every taste. Whether a performer is a big name in the entertainment industry, or an up-and-coming star looking to further expand his or her career, the festival caters to everyone and includes theater, comedy, dance, physical theater, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

Last year, Ganas took about 10 students to the festival, and she said the event was life changing.

“It made [the students] so brave and so inventive.” Ganas said. “Not just doing it themselves, but seeing what other people do.”

Ganas went on to explain that one of the students she took to the festival returned to the U.S. inspired to create his own production company.

“[Students] who were ‘just actors,’ their work got exponentially more bold their senior year [after the festival],” Ganas said. “Even students who were kind of trying to find themselves in the theatrical world came back and went out on a limb and directed stuff on their own fringe, and they did really great work in these found spaces on campus that they could not have imagined without seeing the Fringe, I don’t think.”

The group plans to have more events throughout the year.

“We will be having more cabarets later on this year,” Coe said. “We’ve had some talk about singing telegrams going around, hopefully for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. So be on the look out during the holidays.”

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