CABARETCABARET                                                                                               LEARNING GUID...
CABARET                                                                                           CABARET                 ...
THE MUSIC & LYRICS                                                                                             CABARET    ...
THE MUSIC & LYRICS                                                                                CABARETJOHN KANDER & FRE...
THE PRODUCTION                                                                         CABARET                            ...
THE PRODUCTION                                                                      CABARETTHE EVOLUTION OF CABARET - CONT...
THE INSPIRATION                                                                                  CABARET                  ...
CABARETTHE INSPIRATION                                                                                      LEARNING GUIDE...
THE INSPIRATION                                                                                              CABARET      ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                            CABARET       ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                           CABARETTHE CABA...
CABARET                                                                                                                   ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                          CABARET         ...
TIMELINE - CONTINUED                                                                                      CABARET         ...
TIMELINE - CONTINUED                                                                                       CABARET        ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                                          ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                     CABARET              ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                                          ...
CULTURAL CONTEXT                                                                                              CABARET     ...
THE PRODUCTION                                                                                              CABARET       ...
CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS                                                                                           LEARNING ...
CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS                               LEARNING GUIDE | 2011JACK MAGAW - SET DESIGNERCould you tell us a bit...
CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS                                                                                                  LE...
DESIGN ELEMENTS                                                                                                    CABARET...
CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR                                                                            LEARNING GUIDE | 2...
CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR                                LEARNING GUIDE | 2011KARA LINDSAY - CONTINUEDThey are heavily ...
CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR                                                                            LEARNING GUIDE | 2...
CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON STAFF: CHARGE SCENIC ARTIST                                                                     LEARNI...
SPOTLIGHT ON AN STAFF                                                                                              CABARET...
SPOTLIGHT ON AN STAFF                                                                      CABARETALICE BRACKEN-CARROLL - ...
CABARETBEFORE THE PERFORMANCE                                                                        LEARNING GUIDE | 2011...
CABARETBEFORE THE PERFORMANCE                                                      LEARNING GUIDE | 2011PRE-SHOW ACTIVITY ...
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre
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Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre


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Learning Guide for "Cabaret" at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre

  2. 2. CABARETCABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011THE PLOT & CHARACTERSTime: 1929-1930Place: Berlin, Germany“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!” Cabaret opens in Berlin as the Nazis are beginning their rise to power and theproductive Weimar Republic is being torn apart by radical politics on the right and left, inflation and joblessness. But insidethe Kit Kat Klub, the world is alive with seedy glamour, raucous energy and a kind of freedom never known before -- fornow. The clubs Master of Ceremonies, together with the cabaret girls and waiters, welcomes their audience, beckoningthem to leave their cares and the despair of the outside world behind. Nearby, in a train station, Clifford Bradshaw, ayoung American writer coming to Berlin in the hopes of finding inspiration for his new novel has just arrived. He meetsErnst Ludwig, a German, who offers him work and recommends a boardinghouse run by Fräulein Schneider.On the advice of Ernst, Cliff visits the Kit Kat Klub and is introduced to a nineteen-year-old British singer, Sally Bowles, whois determined to live the thrillingly decadent life that the vigor of the city offers the cabaret crowd. An intimacy is forgedand Sally joins Cliff in his room at the boarding house. Their fellow lodgers include Fräulein Kost, a prostitute, and a Jewishfruit merchant, Herr Schultz. In time, we see each character’s dreams and opportunities crumble as the political andcultural chaos intrudes. Schultz courts Fräulein Schneider and they become engaged but the harsh reality of anti-Semitismis growing stronger. Sally becomes pregnant; Clifford’s job with Ernst sours and the threat of Hitler expands into the dailylives of the citizens of Berlin. Sally, however, remains determined to live life to the fullest and sings a final, impassionedcry that “life is a cabaret.” Is she a symbol of vitality and defiance in the face of the danger that is looming on Europe’shorizon or of the denial that was so prevalent during the Nazi regime’s reign of terror?Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies (Emcee) at the Kit Kat Klub, who serves throughout the show as aconstant reminder of the tenuous state of late Weimar Germany as well as our host when we want to escape. As a kind ofGreek Chorus, he alternately beckons us to join in the wild and self-indulgent arena of the cabaret “show” and warns us ofthe growing power of the Nazis in the “real world.” The tension of the plot unfolds in both worlds until their inevitablecollision. THE CHARACTERS In order of appearanceThe Master of Ceremonies (Emcee) - The host of the Kit Herr Schultz – An elderly Jewish fruit shop owner who fallsKat Klub. in love with Fräulein Schneider.Ernst Ludwig – A German man who befriends Cliff when Sally Bowles - The headlining British singer at the Kit Kathe arrives in Berlin. Klub.Clifford Bradshaw – An American writer traveling Bobby, Victor, Max – Cabaret boys at the Kit Kat Klub.through Berlin. Kit Kat Klub Girls – Girls who perform alongside Sally at theFräulein Schneider – An older woman who runs the Kit Kat Klub.boarding house that Cliff and Sally live in.Fräulein Kost – A prostitute who rents a room in FräuleinSchneiders boarding house. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 3
  3. 3. CABARET CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011SONG LIST ACT ONE ACT TWO Willkommen Entr’acte (Emcee, Ensemble) Kick Line (If You Could See Her) Welcome to Berlin (Willkommen) (Emcee and Klub Girls) (Emcee) Married (Reprise) So What? (Herr Schultz) (Fräulein Schneider) If You Could See Her Don’t Tell Mama (Emcee) (Sally and Klub Girls) What Would You Do? Telephone Song (Fräulein Schneider) (Cliff, Klub Girls, Male Patrons) I Don’t Care Much Perfectly Marvelous (Emcee) (Sally and Cliff ) Cabaret Two Ladies (Sally) (Emcee and Klub Girls) It Couldn’t Please Me More (Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz) Tomorrow Belongs to Me (Chorus of Waiters and Emcee) Don’t Go (Cliff ) The Money Song and Sitting Pretty (Emcee, Klub Girls, Bankers) Married (Herr Schultz and Fräulein Schneider) Members in the cast of the Rep’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Sean Dane. Tomorrow Belongs to Me (Reprise) (Fräulein Kost, Ernst, Ensemble) Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 4
  4. 4. THE MUSIC & LYRICS CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011JOHN KANDER & FRED EBBWhen composer John Kander teamed with lyricist Fred Ebb in 1962, they forged oneof the longest-running and most successful creative partnerships in Broadwayhistory. Their bold, brassy style gave rise to a series of enormously popular andprovocative musicals including Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.John Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1927 and began studying music as achild. In Kansas City, Kander attended The Pembroke Country-Day School and laterstudied at Oberlin College in Ohio before earning a Masters degree at ColumbiaUniversity.Kander began his Broadway career as substitute rehearsal pianist for West Side Story.The stage manager for West Side Story then asked Kander to play for the auditionsfor her next show, Gypsy. During the auditions, Kander met the choreographer,Jerome Robbins, who suggested that Kander compose the dance music for the showin 1959. After that experience, Kander wrote dance arrangements for Irma la Doucein 1960. He made his Broadway debut as a composer with A Family Affair in 1962. THE WORKS OF KANDER AND EBBThe show flopped, but it introduced his talents to the show’s young producer, HaroldPrince. That same year Kander met Fred Ebb and began a songwriting collaboration MUSICALSthat would last for more than four decades. Flora, the Red Menace (1965) Cabaret (1966)Fred Ebb was born in 1928 in New York. During his adult life, Ebb did anything but Go Fly a Kite (1966)music—he bronzed baby shoes, was a trucker’s assistant and worked at a hosiery an industrial musical for However, in 1955 he graduated from New York University with a degree in The Happy Time (1968)English Literature and earned his Master’s degree from Columbia University two Zorba (1968)years later. Ebb wrote his first book musical, Morning Sun, with Paul Klein in 1962. 70, Girls, 70 (1971)Like Kander’s first Broadway experience, this show was also a flop, running for only Chicago (1975)eight performances. 2 by 5 (1976) The Act (1978)In 1962, John Kander was introduced to Fred Ebb and the two began working Woman of the Year (1981)together. Their first song, My Coloring Book, was nominated for a Grammy Award. The Rink (1984)Golden Gate was Kander and Ebb’s first theatrical collaboration, but it never opened And The World Goes ’Round (1991)on Broadway. Harold Prince was still enthusiastic about the pair and hired them for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992)Flora, The Red Menace in 1965 and the team of Kander and Ebb was solidified. Their Steel Pier (1997)collaboration continued with 1966s Cabaret which rocketed the duo to massive Fosse (1999)critical and commercial success, winning seven Tony awards (including Best Musical) Over And Over (1999)on its way to a run of 1,165 performances and an Oscar-winning film adaptation. The Visit (2001)Kander and Ebb resurfaced in 1968 with two new musicals, The Happy Time and Liza’s Back (2002)Zorba, followed three years later by 70, Girls, 70. In 1972, they also composed a Curtains (2006)number of songs for Liza Minnellis Emmy-winning television special Liza With a Z. The Scottsboro Boys (2010)After contributing material to Barbra Streisands 1975 film Funny Lady, Kander andEbb launched Chicago, which was largely overlooked during its original run but was FILMSrevived to massive success two decades later. In 1977, they scored Martin Scorseses Cabaret (1972)film musical New York, New York; the title song later became a signature hit for Funny Lady (1975)Frank Sinatra as well as the Big Apples unofficial theme song. Also that year, the duo New York, New York (1977)launched The Act on Broadway. Chicago (2002) Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 12
  5. 5. THE MUSIC & LYRICS CABARETJOHN KANDER & FRED EBB - CONTINUED LEARNING GUIDE | 2011After a four year absence from the stage, Kander and Ebb returned with 1981s Woman of the Year, a vehiclefor Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall which earned four Tonys; three years later, they debuted The Rink, butwere otherwise largely silent for the remainder of the decade. Their 1991 induction into the New York TheatreHall of Fame coincided with the premiere of And the World Goes Round, an off-Broadway tribute revuefeaturing dozens of their songs. In 1993 Kiss of the Spider Woman returned Kander and Ebb to their pastprominence, netting Best Musical honors from the New York Drama Critics as well as a handful of Tonyawards, including Best Actress accolades for star Chita Rivera. Steel Pier followed in 1997, and later that sameyear Kander and Ebb were announced as recipients of the 21st annual Kennedy Center Honors.Kander and Ebb have received one Grammy nomination, four Tony Awards, two Academy Award nominations,four Emmy nominations (of which two awards were won), three Golden Globe nominations, one LaurenceOlivier Theatre Award, a Joseph Jefferson Award, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, recognizedwith Kennedy Center Honors, and granted honorary doctorate degrees from Niagara University. The musicalsCabaret and Chicago have been made into films; the film version of Chicago won the 2002 Academy Award forBest Picture.Throughout their long, fruitful career together, Kander and Ebb were never known to have had an argument ora falling out. “When we’re at our best, we sound like one person,” said Kander. The Scottsboro Boys markedthe end of their partnership with the death of Fred Ebb in 2004. At the time of Ebb’s death, the team hadseveral projects in the works including The Visit, All About Us (a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s playThe Skin of Our Teeth), and Curtains.Of Kander and Ebb, David Richards of The Washington Post writes, "Their signature tunes --Cabaret, New York,New York, How Lucky Can You Get, Maybe This Time, All That Jazz, -- are big, brassy, upbeat, numbers, usuallyabout going out into the world and grabbing a piece of the action before its too late. Kander and Ebb arearguably Broadways foremost advocates of the power of positive songwriting."THE BOOKJOE MASTEROFFJoe Masteroff is the Tony Award-winning writer of Cabaret. Born in Pennsylvania in 1919, Masteroff graduatedfrom Temple University in 1940 and went on to serve in World War II for four years in the US Air Force. Hestudied theater at the American Theater Wing, an educational theatrical organization, from 1949-1951.Masteroffs first play to open on Broadway was The Warm Peninsula, which debuted at the Helen HayesTheater in 1959 after a national tour. Four years later, Masteroff was nominated for a Tony Award for BestAuthor of a Musical for the book of She Loves Me with music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. In1966, Masteroff was commissioned by Harold Prince to write the book for Cabaret. With music and lyrics byJohn Kander and Fred Ebb, Cabaret won the Tony for Best Musical and ran for 1,165 performances. Masteroffsnext and final Broadway project, 70, Girls, 70, also with Kander and Ebb, was less successful, closing exactly onemonth after it opened.Masteroff also wrote the libretto for an operatic version of Eugene ONeills Desire Under the Elms and thebook and lyrics for a production of Six Wives. He also wrote the musical Paramour, based on Jean AnouilhsThe Waltz of the Toreadors. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 6
  6. 6. THE PRODUCTION CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011THE EVOLUTION OF CABARET 1939 - Goodbye to Berlin The musical Cabaret is based in part on Goodbye to Berlin, a short novel by Christopher Isherwood. It is often published together with Mr. Norris Changes Trains in a collection called The Berlin Stories. The novel, a semi-autobiographical account of Isherwoods time in 1930s Berlin, describes life in the crumbling Weimar Republic before the Nazis rose to power. The book, first published in 1939, highlights the groups of people who would be most at risk from Nazi intimidation and oppression. In 2010, The Berlin Stories was chosen as a TIME 100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th Century. 1951 - I Am a Camera John Van Druten used Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin as the inspiration for his play I Am a Camera. In 1951, I Am a Camera premiered on Broadway; it was subsequently made into a film in 1955. The Broadway play starred Julie Harris as Sally Bowles, who won the first of her four Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress in a play. The 1955 film starred Julie Harris, Laurence Harvey and Shelley Winters, with music by Malcolm Arnold. 1966 - Cabaret Based on both I Am a Camera and Goodbye to Berlin, Cabaret, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, opened on Broadway in 1966. Directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Ron Field, this Tony awarding-winning production ran for 1,165 performances. The opening night cast included Jill Haworth as Sally, Bert Convy as Cliff, Lotte Lenya as Fräulein Schneider, Jack Gilford as Herr Schultz, and Joel Grey as the Emcee, with Edward Winter and Peg Murray in supporting roles. Awards Tony Award for Best Musical Tony Award for Best Score Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyrics Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Joel Grey) Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Peg Murray) Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson) Tony Award for Best Costume Design (Patricia Zipprodt) Tony Award for Best Choreography (Ron Field) Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Hal Prince) Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 7
  7. 7. THE PRODUCTION CABARETTHE EVOLUTION OF CABARET - CONTINUED LEARNING GUIDE | 2011 1972 Film The film version of Cabaret was directed by Bob Fosse and stars Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical. Only a few numbers from the stage score were used; Kander and Ebb wrote new ones to replace those that were discarded. In the film version, musical numbers are confined to the stage of the cabaret and to a beer garden. Only two of the films major characters sing any songs. Awards Academy Award for Best Director (Bob Fosse) Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli) Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey) Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth) Academy Award for Best Editing Academy Award for Best Music Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Rolf Zehetbauer, Hans Jürgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel) Academy Award for Best Sound 1987 First Broadway Revival After 18 previews, the first Broadway revival of Cabaret, again directed by Prince and choreographed by Field, opened at the Imperial Theatre, eventually transferring to the Minskoff to complete its 261 performance run. Joel Grey received star billing as the Emcee, with Alyson Reed as Sally, Gregg Edelman as Cliff, Regina Resnik as Fräulein Schneider, and Werner Klemperer as Herr Schultz. 1998 Second Broadway Revival The second Broadway revival was based on the 1993 Sam Mendes-directed Donmar Warehouse production from London. Co-directed by Mendes and Rob Marshall and choreographed by Marshall, it opened at the Kit Kat Klub, housed in what previously had been known as Henry Millers Theatre. Later that year it transferred to Studio 54, where it remained for the rest of its 2,377 performance run, becoming the third longest-running revival in Broadway musical history, third only to Oh! Calcutta! and Chicago. In addition to Alan Cumming as the Emcee, the original cast included Natasha Richardson as Sally, John Benjamin Hickey as Cliff, Ron Rifkin as Herr Schultz, and Mary Louise Wilson as Fräulein Schneider. Awards Tony Award for Best Revival Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Alan Cumming) Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Natasha Richardson) Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ron Rifkin) Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Alan Cumming) Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Natasha Richardson) Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 8
  8. 8. THE INSPIRATION CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOODChristopher Isherwood1904-1986Cabaret is based in part on Goodbye to Berlin, a short of Sally Bowles. Ross shared a lodging house with Isher-novel often found in the collection The Berlin Stories, by wood and gave him permission to use her experiences inChristopher Isherwood. Isherwood, a British-born Berlin but, in reality, Ross was nothing like the characterAmerican writer, is known primarily for his fiction, much Sally was to become. Isherwood, however, wasof which is based largely on his own life. captivated by her dynamic personality and lack of sexual inhibitions and would use these traits as aspects of Sally.Born in England in 1904, Isherwood spent his childhood Ross ultimately went to great lengths to avoid publicin various towns where his father, a career military association with the character and, only after Ross’officer, was stationed. Upon his father’s death in World death in 1973, did Isherwood publicly acknowledge thatWar I, Isherwood settled with his mother in London. she had been his inspiration.Isherwood’s formative years were spent at preparatory Isherwood’s experiences in Berlin formed the basis ofschools, beginning in 1914, at St. Edmund’s School his most-widely known works: Mr. Norris Changes Trainswhere he first met future poet W. H. Auden. From 1919- (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The books were1922, he attended the Repton School and then, in 1924, reissued together, in 1946, as The Berlin Stories andbegan his studies at Cambridge University. While at present an in-depth portrait of life in Germanys capitalCambridge, he was reintroduced to Auden and would as the Weimar Republic collapsed and the Nazis came tobecome Audens literary mentor and close friend. power. These works provided the inspiration for JohnThough educated at Cambridge, Isherwood left in 1925 Van Druten’s play I Am a Camera (1951), the 1955 filmwithout a degree. I Am a Camera, the Broadway musical Cabaret (1966) and the film (1972) of the same name.While serving as a private tutor, Isherwood’s first novel,All the Conspirators (1928), was published. For a brief After leaving Berlin in 1933, Isherwood moved aroundtime, Isherwood studied medicine at Kings College Europe, collaborating on three plays with Auden: TheLondon but gave up his studies after six months to join Dog Beneath the Skin (1935), The Ascent of F6 (1936),Auden in Berlin. It was in Berlin that Isherwood met and On the Frontier (1939). During this time Isherwoodnineteen-year-old nightclub singer Jean Ross, who also wrote a lightly fictionalized autobiographicalwould become the inspiration for his fictional character Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 9
  9. 9. CABARETTHE INSPIRATION LEARNING GUIDE | 2011CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD - CONTINUED account of his childhood and youth, Lions and Shadows (1938). Frequent traveling partners, Auden and Isherwood traveled to China in 1938 to gather material for their book on the Sino-Japanese War called Journey to a War (1939). In 1939, after visiting New York on their way back to Britain, Auden and Isherwood decided to emigrate to the United States; Isherwood became an American citizen in 1946. Settling in southern California, Isherwood wrote for Hollywood films and began a life-long interest in Hindu philosophy which would greatly influence his future work. During this period, Isherwood befriended such luminaries as Truman Capote, Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Ray Bradbury and the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Jean Ross, the inspiration for the character of Sally Among Isherwood’s later works are Bowles in Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin. Prater Violet (1945), The World in the Evening (1954), Down There on a Visit Isherwood taught at Los Angeles State (1962), and A Single Man (1964). College, the University of California at Considered by many as his finest Santa Barbara and University of achievement, A Single Man depicts a California at Los Angeles. In 1975 he day in the life of George, a middle-aged, won the Brandeis Medal for Fiction. gay Englishman as he mourns the death Isherwood died in 1986. of his partner. A Single Man was adapted into a film of the same name in 2009, directed and adapted by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth. Isherwood’s own homosexuality factored prominently in many of his works. In his 1971 biography of his parents, Kathleen and Frank, he explicitly revealed his homosexuality. His memoir, Christopher and His Kind (1972) would help fuel the burgeoning gay liberation movement in the U.S. during the 1970s. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 10
  10. 10. THE INSPIRATION CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD - CONTINUED All the Conspirators (1928) The Memorial (1932) Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935) The Dog Beneath the Skin (1935) The Ascent of F6 (1937) On the Frontier (1938) Lions and Shadows (1938) Goodbye to Berlin (1939) Journey to a War (1939) Prater Violet (1945) The Berlin Stories (1945) The Condor and the Cows (1949) What Vedanta Means to Me (1951) The World in the Evening (1954) Down There on a Visit (1962) An Approach to Vedanta (1963) Christopher Isherwood (left) with his friend and A Single Man (1964) frequent traveling partner, W. H. Auden. Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1965) Exhumations (1966) A Meeting by the River (1967) Essentials of Vedanta (1969) Kathleen and Frank (1971) Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) Christopher and His Kind (1976) My Guru and His Disciple (1980) October (1980) The Mortmere Stories (1994) Where Joy Resides: An Isherwood Reader (1989) Don Bachardy and James P. White, editors Diaries: 1939–1960 (1996) Katherine Bucknell, editor Lost Years: A Memoir 1945–1951 (2000) Katherine Bucknell, editor Kathleen and Christopher (2005) Lisa Colletta, editor Isherwood on Writing (2007) James Berg, editor Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 11
  11. 11. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011THE CABARET IN WEIMAR BERLIN During the 1920s, Berlin was a metropolis of dramatic contrasts. Blind, maimed and despondent World War I veterans begged on busy sidewalks. As inflation raged out of control, Berliners lined up with laundry baskets and wheelbarrows of paper money to buy their daily bread. Valued possessions were sold in desperation, and comfortable private apartments became rooming houses. The same decade brought the electrification of Berlin’s rail system, the opening of Tempelhof Airport, and the luminescence of the city’s entertainment districts: the Kurfuerstendamm and Charlottenburg theaters, the Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden movie palaces and glamorous revues, and the cabarets. Kabarett der Komiker (Cabaret of Comedians) in Berlin. Although the French “cabaret” and the German “kabarett” were terms used inter- changeably in Berlin during the 1920s, the latter was distinguished by its focus on poetry, songs, and satirical sketches skewering everything—from fads and fashion to sex and politics—all of which appealed to the artistic and educated crowd. As the popularity of these edgy, smaller establishments grew, larger spaces were required to accommodate patrons and political content was toned down. Berlin’s cabarets of the 1920s took inspiration from those of the early century, like Ernst Wohlzogen’s Ueberbrettl, with its nod to Nietzsche’s “Uebermensch” concept, and Max Reinhardt’s famous Schall und Rauch, with its reference to Goethe’s notion that a name is nothing but “sound and smoke.” Reinhardt’s goal was to “give joy back to humanity,” to create a bright and beautiful realm in which the miseries of daily existence could be forgotten. Schall und Rauch was the first cabaret to reopen after World War I (December 8, 1919). Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 12
  12. 12. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARETTHE CABARET IN WEIMAR BERLIN - CONTINUED LEARNING GUIDE | 2011When historians speak of the “Golden Twenties,” they arereally referring to the second half of that decade: 1924-1929. It was during this five-year period, between the endof out-of-control inflation and the shocking collapse of theworld economy in 1929, that cabaret came to mean linesof dancing girls in spectacular, glittery costumes, risquéand nude dancing, and the dynamic rhythms of Americanjazz. Josephine Baker, fresh from Parisian cabarets, firstappeared on a Berlin stage in 1926.1924 saw the birth of Kadeko (Kabarett der Komiker), themost popular Weimar era cabaret. Performers theremocked Hitler and the National Socialists in general, whichseemed safe at that time. But by 1931, Nazi partymembership was growing and with it, threats to thosewho dared to disagree with its agenda. Kadeko was put onnotice by the Nazi newspaper, Voelkischer Beobachter and Berlin’s Weisse Maus (White Mouse). In addition to the standard cabaret fare,Berliners were afraid even to walk near the cabaret. naked ‘beauty dances’ were staged after midnight. Customers who wished to conceal their identities were given a choice of a black or white mask to wear.Friedrich Hollaender’s newly-opened Tingel Tangelcabaret, suffered a similar fate. One by one, cabaretseliminated political commentary until little of substancewas to be found at Berlin’s cabarets. By this time, manyJewish and left-leaning cabaretists, artists and intellectualshad already left their homeland. Tragically, theirsupposed safe havens in the Netherlands, Poland andCzechoslovakia could not protect them.In January 1933, the Nazi party won a majority in theReichstag and Hitler assumed the position of Chancellor.He wasted no time in suspending the WeimarConstitution, purging Berlin of its liberal factions:communists, socialists, trade unionists and other so-calleddegenerates. The rest of the story is all too familiar:suicides, arrests, torture, executions, transport toconcentration camps, death. In an act of supreme irony,cabaretists sent to Teresienstadt, the Nazi’s “showplace”concentration camp, continued to perform in stripes fortheir fellow prisoners and international inspectors untiltheir services were no longer needed. World War IIwould follow.By Jan Schall, Ph.D., Sanders Sosland Curator ofModern and Contemporary Art at The Nelson-AtkinsMuseum of ArtSee bio on page 14. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 13
  13. 13. CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011CULTURAL CONTEXTTHE “DEGENERATE ART” EXHIBIT OF 1937“Degenerate art” is the English translation of the German entarteteKunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describevirtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that itwas un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified asdegenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included beingdismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to selltheir art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely.Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by theNazis in Munich in 1937, consisting of modernist artworks chaoticallyhung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed toinflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibitionsubsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria. Joseph Goebbels and Nazi officials taking in the "Degenerate Art" Exhibition, 1937.Many of the artists included in the Entartete Kunst exhibition are nowconsidered masters of the twentieth century including Marc Chagall, Otto Dix, Edvard Munch, Paul Klee and WassilyKandinsky. These and other avant-garde German artists were considered both enemies of the state and a threat toGerman culture. Those who remained in Germany were forbidden to work at universities and were subject to surpriseraids by the Gestapo in order to ensure that they were not violating the ban on producing artwork. Although no artistswere put to death because of their work, those of Jewish descent who did not escape from Germany in time were sent toconcentration camps.For more information about the Degenerate Art Exhibit visit A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust at KC Rep Scholars’ Forum - Saturday, April 2 onstage at Spencer Theatre following the 2pm performance Berlin Cabaret and Life between the Wars. Join Jan Schall, Ph.D., Sanders Sosland Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to discuss the history and background of Cabaret. This post-show forum is free and open to the public. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Gallery Tour - Sunday, April 3 at 2 pm Declaring War on Art: Hitler, the Cabaret and “Degenerate” Art. Meet in Gallery P27. Call 816-751-1ART (1278) to reserve space. This tour will be given by Jan Schall, Ph.D., Sanders Sosland Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art.Jan Schall is Sanders Sosland Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. A specialistin modern German art, she holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Texas, Austin and is a former professorof art history at the University of Florida. At the Nelson-Atkins, Schall curated the millennium exhibition Tempus Fugit:Time Flies and produced its accompanying catalogue and award-winning website. Other Museum exhibitions include KikiSmith: Constellation, the five-part New Media series, Sparks! , Magnificent Gifts for the 75th, Inventing the Shuttlecocks,Re: Installations, and a host of works on paper exhibitions. Her most recent publications include Sparks! “Meditations onCruelty and Compassion” in Zhi Lin: Crossing History/Crossing Cultures; “City as Psychic Envelope” in The Sublimated City;and “Curating Ephemera: Responsibility and Reality” in (Im)permanence: Cultures in/out of Time. Schall’s research hasbeen supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD),and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 14
  14. 14. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011TIMELINECabaret is set in Berlin, Germany in 1929 amidst the crumbling Weimar Republic. Born out of Germany’sdefeat in World War I, the Weimar Republic spanned from 1919-1933. In the words of Marcus Bollucks,professor of English at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, "Remarkable for the way it emerged from acatastrophe, more remarkable for the way it vanished into a still greater catastrophe, the world of Weimarrepresents modernism in its most vivid manifestation." Use the following timeline to help you betterunderstand the world outside the Kit Kat Klub. 1918 Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates. First German Republic established. First World War ends on November 11, 1918. Kaiser Wilhelm 1919 Treaty of Versailles signed. Weimar Constitution announced. Hitler sent to infiltrate German Workers’ Party. 1920 German Workers’ Party changes to National Socialist German Workers’ PartyAdolf Hitler (Nazis). Membership is 2,000. 1921 Hitler becomes leader of the Nazi Party. He becomes "Der Führer" (The Leader). 1922 670 German Reichsmark = 1 US dollar. Benito Mussolini establishes a Fascist dictatorship in Italy. Benito Mussolini 1923 Reichsmark virtually useless; 10,000,000 = 1 US dollar. German currency eventually stabilized; 4.2 Rentenmarks = 1 US dollar. 1924 Hitler imprisoned for rioting (Munich Beer Hall Putsch). Sentenced for five years, he will only serve nine months. Children play with virtually worthless German marks. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 15
  15. 15. TIMELINE - CONTINUED CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011 1925 Hitler gives his first speech since release from prison. Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is published. 1926 Germany joins the League of Nations. Mein Kampf 1927 Germany’s Unemployment Insurance Law passed. 1928 Hitler speaking ban lifted in Bavaria. Kadeko (Kabarett der Komiker) opens in Berlin. Adolf Hitler. 1929 Treaty of Versailles reworked to allow Germany’s reparations to be paid over 58 years. US stock market crashes - start of world economic collapse. Christopher Isherwood arrives in Berlin; keeps detailed diary. The events portrayed in Cabaret take place. 1930 Distressed Americans at Britain, U.S., Japan, France, and Italy sign naval disarmament treaty. the height of the world Reichstag dissolved. economic collapse. New Reichstag elections; Nazis gain seats. 1931 Four million unemployed in Germany. Membership in Nazi party reaches 800,000. German bank crisis. Tingel-Tangel cabaret opens in Berlin. Bread lines during Germany’s Depression. 1932 Nazis gain majority in German elections with 230 Reichstag seats. 1933 Hitler appointed German chancellor, gets dictatorial powers. Germany and Japan withdraw from League of Nations. Hitler establishes the Third Reich; Nazi Party declared Germanys only political party. Inmates at a concentration camp outside of Berlin. First concentration camp opened at Oranienburg outside Berlin. Nazi boycott of Jewish owned shops. Nazis open Dachau concentration camp. Isherwood leaves Berlin. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 16
  16. 16. TIMELINE - CONTINUED CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011 1937 Isherwood publishes Goodbye to Berlin. The “Degenerate Art” (Entartete Kunst) exhibition opens in Munich. 1938 Kristallnacht (also to referred to as the Night of Broken Glass), a series of attacks Joseph Goebbels and Nazi officials taking in against Jews, occurs throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria. the "Degenerate Art" Exhibition, 1937. 1939 World War II begins. 1941 Hermann Goering orders the Waffen-SS, the multi-national military force of the Third Reich, to prepare “the final solution” (murder of European Jews). A destroyed Berlin, 1945. 1945 Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps liberated. Hitler commits suicide. Germany and Japan surrender. World War II ends. 1946 Isherwood publishes The Berlin Stories containing the short stories Goodbye to Berlin and Mr. Norris Changes Trains. 1951 I Am a Camera, John Van Druten’s stage adaptation of Goodbye to Berlin, opens on Broadway. Script of John Van Druten’s I Am a Camera, (1951). 1966 Cabaret, with book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, opens on Broadway. The production, directed by Hal Prince, will run 1,165 performances. 1972 The film version of Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse, is released. The 1972 film version of Cabaret starred Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles and was directed by Bob Fosse. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 17
  17. 17. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011GLOSSARY OF TERMSAs Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rose to power, life changed drastically for many inGermany. The following terms give a snapshot of the turbulent political and socialworld at the time of Cabaret. Anti-semitism: Opposition to and discrimination against Jews. Aryan: A term for peoples speaking the language of Europe and India. In Nazi racial theory, a person of pure German "blood." The term "non-Aryan" was used to designate Jews, part-Jews and others of supposedly inferior racial stock. Beer Hall Putsch /pootch/: On November 8, 1923, Hitler, with the help of the Sturmabteilung (Stormtroopers), a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party, and German World War I hero General Erich Ludendorff, launched a failed coup attempt in Bavaria at a meeting of Bavarian officials in a beer hall. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945). Brüning, Heinrich /brooning hainrikh/: Appointed by Chancellor: Chief (prime) minister of Germany. President von Hindenburg in 1930, he was the first chancellor under the new presidential system which Communism: A concept or system of society in which ruled by emergency decree rather than laws passed by the collective community shares ownership in resources the Reichstag. and the means of production. In theory, such societies provide for equal sharing of all work, according to ability, Bystander: One who is present at an event without and all benefits, according to need. In 1848, Karl Marx, in participating in it. collaboration with Friedrich Engels, published the Communist Manifesto which provided the theoretical Cabaret /kabaray/: Large restaurant providing food, impetus for the Russian Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. drink, music, a dance floor, and floor show. Enabling Act: The Enabling Act, ratified on March 23, 1933, allowed the government emergency powers: to pass decrees without referring to the president and eventually create new laws. This helped the new Nazi regime to establish a firm footing in the Reichstag. Fascism: A social and political ideology with the primary guiding principle that the state or nation is the highest priority, rather than personal or individual freedoms. Führer /fewra/: Leader. Adolf Hitlers title in Nazi Germany. The Winter Garden, Berlin’s most famous cabaret. Note the Nazi flag in the foreground. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 18
  18. 18. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011GLOSSARY OF TERMS - CONTINUED German Workers Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)/ doiche abaitapatai/: As the precursor to the Nazi Party, Hitler joined the right-wing Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) in 1919. The party espoused national pride, militarism, a commitment to the Volk, and a racially "pure" Germany. Great Depression: A deep, worldwide, economic contraction beginning in 1929 which caused particular hardship in Germany which was already reeling from huge reparation payments following World War I and hyperinflation. Members of the Hitler Youth. Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945) /ahdolf hitla/: Nazi party The Nazi (National Socialist German Workers) Party: leader, 1919-1945. German Chancellor,1933-1945. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or NSDAP, Called Führer, or supreme leader, by the Nazis. was founded in Germany on January 5, 1919. It was characterized by a centralist and authoritarian structure. Hitler Youth: Hitler Jugend /hitla yoogend/ was a Nazi Its platform was based on militaristic, racial, anti-semitic youth auxiliary group established in 1926. It expanded and nationalistic policies. Nazi Party membership and during the Third Reich. Membership was compulsory political power grew dramatically in the 1930s, partly after 1939. based on political propaganda, mass rallies and demonstrations. Homophobia: Fear of homosexuals. Nuremberg Laws: The Nuremberg Laws were announced League of German Girls: Female counterpart of the by Hitler at the Nuremberg Party conference, defining Hitler Youth formed in 1927 but not formerly integrated "Jew" and systematizing and regulating discrimination by Hitler until 1932. and persecution. The "Reich Citizenship Law" deprived all Jews of their civil rights, and the "Law for the Mein Kampf /mine kahmpf/: Meaning "My Struggle," it Protection of German Blood and German Honor" made was the ideological base for the Nazi Partys racist beliefs marriages and extra-marital sexual relationships and murderous practices. Published in 1925, this work between Jews and Germans punishable by detailed Hitlers radical ideas of German nationalism, imprisonment. anti-semitism, anti-Bolshevism, and Social Darwinism which advocated survival of the fittest. Pogrom: An organized and often officially encouraged massacre of or attack on Jews. The word is derived from Nationalism: The policy or doctrine of asserting two Russian words that mean "thunder." the interests of ones own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common Prejudice: A judgment or opinion formed before the interests of all nations. facts are known. In most cases, these opinions are founded on suspicion, intolerance, and the irrational National Socialist Womens Association: The NS hatred of other races, religions, creeds, or nationalities. Frauenschaft /frouenshahft/ was an organization intended to recruit an elite group of women for the Propaganda: False or partly false information used by a Nazis. government or political party intended to sway the opinions of the population. National Socialist Teachers Association: Established by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party in 1927, it Reich /raikh/: German word for “empire.” assumed responsibility for the ideological indoctrination of teachers. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 19
  19. 19. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011GLOSSARY OF TERMS - CONTINUED Sudetenland /zoodeytenlahnt/: Formerly Austrian German-speaking territories in Bohemia which were incorporated into Czechoslovakia after World War I. Treaty of Versailles /versai/: Germany and the Allies signed a peace treaty at the end of World War I. The United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy negotiated the treaty at the Peace Conference held in Versailles beginning on January 18, 1919. The German Republic government which replaced the imperial administration was excluded from the deliberations. The treaty created the Covenant of the League of Nations, outlined Germanys disarmament, exacted massive reparationOn March 7, 1936, Hitler went to the Reichstag and announced that he had payments from Germany, and forced Germany to cedejust sent 35,000 troops across the border of the demilitarized zone into the large tracts of territory to various EuropeanRhineland. nation-states.Reichskammern /raikskaman/: Reich governmentdepartments. Volk /folk/: The concept of Volk (people, nation, or race) has been an underlying idea in German historyReichstag /raikhstag/: The German Parliament. On since the early nineteenth century. Inherent in the nameFebruary 27, 1933, a staged fire burned the Reichstag was a feeling of superiority of German culture and thebuilding. A month later, on March 23, 1933, the idea of a universal mission for the German people.Reichstag approved the Enabling Act which gave Hitlerunlimited dictatorial power. Weimar Republic /vaimahr/: The German republic and experiment in democracy (1919-1933) which wasSA (Sturmabteilung /shtoormabtailung/ or Storm established after the end of World War I.Troopers): Also known as "Brown Shirts," they were theNazi partys main instrument for underminingdemocracy and facilitating Adolf Hitlers rise to power.The SA was the predominant terrorizing arm of the Naziparty from 1923 until "The Night of the Long Knives" in1934. They continued to exist throughout the ThirdReich, but were of lesser political significance after 1934.Scapegoat: Person or group of people blamed for crimescommitted by others.Social Darwinism: A concept based on the idea of"survival of the fittest." Based on Social Darwinism, Naziscreated a pseudo-scientific brand of racism which wasmost virulent when directed against the Jews, butothers, particularly Slavs, were not exempt.Socialism: A theory or system of social organization that The main signatories of the Treaty of Versailles were (from left) Primeadvocates the ownership and control of land, capital, Minister Vittorio Orlando from Italy, Prime Minister David Lloyd George from Britain, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau from France and Presidentindustry, etc. by the community as a whole. In Marxist Woodrow Wilson from the United States. These leaders were known as thetheory it represents the stage following capitalism in a Big Four and met to decide the fate of Germany after the First World War.state transforming to communism. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 20
  20. 20. CULTURAL CONTEXT CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011THE LANGUAGECabaret contains many German and French phrases. Use the guide below to helpyou translate any unfamiliar terms. How does the use of these languages help toconvey a sense of time and place?German FrenchIn order of appearance in the script In order of appearance in the scriptwillkommen - welcome bienvenue - welcomefremde - stranger, foreigner étranger - stranger, foreignerGlücklich su sehen - Happy to see you Je suis enchanté - I am delighted.bleibe - a place to stay reste - restMeine Damen und Herren - Ladies and Gentlemen Mesdames et Messieurs - Ladies and GentlemenGuten abend - Good evening Bon soir - Good eveningWie geht’s - How are you doing? Comment ça va- How is it going?Ich bin euer Conferencier - I am your Master of Ceremonies. Je suis votre Compère- I am your Master of Ceremonies.Und sage - And sayWir sagen - We sayDeutsche Grenzkontrolle - German border controlIhr pass, bitte - Your passport, please.Nein. Auf eine urlaubsreise. - No. On a vacation trip.Öffnen Sie bitte Ihren Koffer. - Please open your suitcase.Haben Sie nur diesen einen Koffer? - If you have only this one case?Ja Das is alles. - Yes That is all.Ja! Gut! - Yes! Good!Hals-und Beinbruch - Break a legGroschen - a pennyEins, zwei, drei, vier - One, two, three, fourSech, sieben, acht - Six, seven, eightLiebchen! - Darling!Letzte Ansage! - Last announcement!Bahnsteig siebzehn - Platform five p.m.Alle einsteigen, bitte. - All aboard, please. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 21
  21. 21. THE PRODUCTION CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011ERIC ROSEN - DIRECTOREric Rosen is a nationally recognized playwright, director Regional credits include work at Steppenwolf, the Goodman,and producer and the fourth artistic director in the 45-year Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Hartford Stage, Cincinnatihistory of Kansas City Repertory Theatre. He is also co- Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, 7 Stages in Atlanta, and workshopsfounder and former artistic director of Chicago’s acclaimed at Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group.About Face Theatre, where he developed, wrote, producedand/or directed nearly 30 world premieres in his thirteen As dramaturg and producer, Rosen collaborated on Dougseasons there. Wright’s play I Am My Own Wife, winner of the Tony Award for best play and the Pulitzer Prize; produced the famedRep credits include direction of Metamorphoses and The site-specific performance Eleven Rooms of Proust created byTrip to Bountiful prior to his appointment, and direction of Mary Zimmerman; and was dramaturg for Frank Galati andClay; Winesburg, Ohio (for which he also wrote book and Stephen Flaherty’s Loving Repeating at the Museum oflyrics); the world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Contemporary Art, Moisés Kaufman’s One Arm atMusical! and the world premiere of Venice, a new musical Steppenwolf Theatre, all in About Face Theatrehe co-wrote with Matt Sax, his creative partner on Clay partnerships; and Kaufman’s 33 Variations at Sundance(which he directed at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles Theatre Lab, where he also directed Carlos Murillo’sin the fall of 2010). Rosen’s original plays and musicals Diagram of a Paper Airplane in 2009.include Winesburg, Ohio (Chicago’s Jefferson Award for bestnew work, and five Barrymore Awards including best Rosen earned his Ph.D. in performance studies frommusical), Dream Boy (Jeff Award for best direction and Northwestern University, and is the recipient of numerousproduction) and Wedding Play (Jeff nomination for best new awards and honors including a Human Rights Campaignwork), Dancer from the Dance, Whitman and Undone. His Community Leadership Award and a National Endowmentproduction of Clay was seen at Kansas City Rep, About Face for the Arts (NEA)/Theatre Communication Group (TCG)and Lookingglass Theatres in Chicago, Center Theatre Group Career Development Fellowship for Directors. He has twicein Los Angeles, and Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 in New served as a theatre panel member for the NEA and hasYork. participated in the TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts’ National Theatre Artists Residency Program. Rosen has taught atOther directing credits include the world premieres of M. Northwestern University, University of Chicago, BrooklynProust by Mary Zimmerman (Jeff nomination for best new College, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,play) and Theater District (Jeff Award for best new play), his alma mater.and the Chicago premiere of Take Me Out, all in About Face/Steppenwolf co-productions. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 22
  22. 22. CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS LEARNING GUIDE | 2011JACK MAGAW - SET DESIGNERJack Magaw returns to the Rep after having designed the sets for A Flea in Her Ear and Winesburg, Ohio.The Rep’s production of Cabaret, which is set in the round as well as behind the proscenium arch, is designedto create an intimate setting for the audience; essentially giving them the sense that they are huddled aroundthe story. The set itself has a sparseness to it and Jack was inspired, in part, by the arch beams one would seeinside a factory. Jack recently spoke to us about his designs for the set of Cabaret.Could you tell us a little about your design concept?Eric [the director, Eric Rosen] was interested in setting the entire piece inside the Kit Kat Klub as well assurrounding the playing space with the audience. We felt it was important for the audience to see itself.Once the physical space was decided, a lot of thought went into how to play the book scenes with a minimalamount of furniture and practically no special scenery.What kinds of challenges have you faced with this design?We had the added challenge of turning a traditional proscenium theatre into an arena space. Because of thelevel changes between the existing audience space and the stage as well as the architectural proscenium, thesight lines for audience members in the round were difficult to accommodate. In addition, we are using aturntable to help change the audiences view of the action and to keep the visual idea dynamic for everyone.Above: Photographic research and a sketch of the set design for Cabaret. Courtesy of Jack Magaw. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 23
  23. 23. CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS LEARNING GUIDE | 2011JACK MAGAW - SET DESIGNERCould you tell us a bit about the designprocess for this production?Eric brought me to Kansas City back inlate August to look at the space. Thefirst step was to decide if it was evenlogistically possible and artisticallydesirable to change the traditionalarrangement of this particular theatrespace. Since then, our interaction hasbeen a pretty constant back and forthof floating new ideas, trying them out,modifying them, etc. Also, we havehad to work closely with the otherdesigners as well as the staff to makesure everything we are planning to docan be accomplished. It may looksimple from the audiences point ofview, but the whole piece is actuallyrather complicated to pull off.Putting it TogetherTop: One of Jack Magaw’s designdrawings for the set of Cabaretshowing the theatre set in the round.The Rep’s scene shop uses thesedrawings to create plans to build theset.Bottom: An early model of the set.Note the cabaret tables on stage.Patrons can purchase tickets for theseseats, essentially becoming part of theshow. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 24
  24. 24. CABARETDESIGN ELEMENTS LEARNING GUIDE | 2011SARAH BEERS - COSTUME DESIGNERCostume Designer Sarah Beers returnsto the Rep after having designed thecostumes for the Rep’s 2010production of Bus Stop. Sarah recentlytook a moment out of the rehearsalperiod to talk to us about designingfor Cabaret.Where did you draw your inspirationfrom for the costumes?The inspiration for the costumes camefrom image research of Berlin cabaretsduring the Weimar era, as well as fromperiod clothing of the 1920s and early30s and also what is happeningcurrently in contemporaryfashion. Eric Rosen wanted to createa world of this cabaret that was set in1930, but also evoked everyday life; asetting that would be exciting andtheatrical but would also remind theaudience of themselves. Are there any challenges whendesigning costumes for a productionset in the round?The biggest challenge when designingcostumes for a production in the roundis the consideration of costumechanges. The actors are sometimesfurther away from changing areas inthe round and they need time to getoff stage, change and return. Becausethe audience will see the clothes from Costume sketches for Sally Bowles and the Kit Kat Klub girls courtesy of Sarah Beers.all angles and also quite close up, theclothes have to be finished well,without distracting closures. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 25
  25. 25. DESIGN ELEMENTS CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011SARAH BEERS - COSTUME DESIGNERCould you describe the various looksof the Kit Kat girls?For life inside the Kit Kat Klub, Ericwanted the dancing girls to look asthough they had made or altered, andcertainly mended their performancecostumes, themselves. I liked thesassiness of referencing the militarywith the matching blue and white sailorsuits and nautical elements in womensfashion was appropriate for theperiod. Working with the costumeshop who have built the costumes, wetried to create suits that were a littlehaphazard and worn, with frayed edgesand miss-matched buttons. The Kit KatKlub Girls also wear a nude tattooedbody suit and red briefs during theMoney Song. I wanted them to have aside-show quality, like tattooedcarnival performers . I wanted toreflect the performer both as a workerand yet as slightly rebellious toconventional society. The Kit Kat Klubgirls also appear as non-descriptGerman citizens (who are notnecessarily the girls from thecabaret) during the engagement partyscene.How did the Spanish influence for theMoney Song come about?Both Jack Magaw [the set designer] andI had found a piece of German cabaretresearch of a performer dressed as a Costume sketches courtesy of Sarah Beers. Sarah uses pen, colored pencils, acrylic, and sometimes fabricdusky matador with his gypsy paint to create her sketches. Occasionally, when she wants to do something a little more airy, she willparamour. This led me to thinking switch to watercolors. Note the vintage catalogue illustrations and fabric swatches used as reference.about the spectacle, showmanship andbarbarianism of the bullfight. The ideathat the bull fight is a dance, but also afight for one’s life, seemed to fit theintention of this production. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 26
  26. 26. CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR LEARNING GUIDE | 2011KARA LINDSAY - SALLY BOWLESKara LindsayKara Lindsay is making her Kansas City me aside and said, "You know, you couldRep debut as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. actually do this for a living." I had alwaysKara, who received her BFA from dreamed of being an actor, but thought itCarnegie Mellon University, recently would never be more than a dream,starred as Laura Ingalls in the national realistically. I had heard the "starvingtour of Little House on the Prairie artist" stories and I did not want to beopposite Melissa Gilbert. Kara recently that. But I knew that I had to try, becausetook a moment out of the rehearsal Id be kicking myself five years down theprocess to share her thoughts about road when Id chosen a different careertheatre and the role of Sally Bowles. path. Theater is what makes me happy and feel fulfilled. I made the choice toWhat got you interested in pursuing a pursue my dream and here I am! I stillcareer in theatre? feel like Im just beginning. I have a lotThroughout middle school and high yet to learn and, fingers crossed, manyschool I participated in theater, from the more opportunities to grow.yearly musical to show choir. Oh yes, Iwas in show choir...not ashamed to say. The role of Sally Bowles is a triple threat,I was also involved in dance, soccer and demanding an accomplished actor,basketball. I was one of those students dancer and singer. Where did you getthat couldnt make up their mind about your training?what they wanted to do, so I just decided I graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Acting/to do everything! My high school drama/ Musical Theater from Carnegie Mellonchoir teacher had a lot of faith in me. University. It was incredible training.Near college application time, she pulled Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 27
  27. 27. CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR LEARNING GUIDE | 2011KARA LINDSAY - CONTINUEDThey are heavily geared toward acting,which was essential for me. They gaveme the confidence and tools I need totackle a character, scene, play, orwhatever it may be. As far as dance, Igrew up dancing competitively which hasbeen helpful. I stopped dancing severalyears ago, though, because of aninjury. However, some of the dancetraining has, thankfully, been able to stickwith me. I have been singing since I wasin middle school and took many a lessonand master class. I am continuouslylearning how to use my voice. Everyshow is different. The songs for SallyBowles, for example, sit pretty low in myvoice, which has allowed me to explore anew range of sound.Could you describe the character of SallyBowles in a word or two?Decadently eccentric. She actuallydescribes herself as "mysterious andfascinating" in a scene with Cliff. She isalso a bit childlike, although superspunky. Our director, Eric Rosen, keepscalling her "Hurricane Sally" which couldnot be more appropriate.How did you prepare for this role?I started preparing for this role as soon asI found out about the audition. I hadnever read the script before or seen anyproductions of Cabaret. I saw clips of themovie with Liza Minnelli, but that wasit. I was happy to read the script withoutany other interpretations in my head. Itsnice to hear it in your own voice ratherthan someone elses. This way you candiscover the character for yourself with-out any preconceived notions. Afterreading the script, I went to the Theateron Film and Tape Archives at the New Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 28
  28. 28. CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON AN ACTOR LEARNING GUIDE | 2011KARA LINDSAY - CONTINUEDYork Public Library and watched the first Lindsay, connect with the character. It’sand second Broadway revivals of the best starting place, becauseCabaret. Two completely different ultimately it’s you up on that stage. Theshows! Almost the same script, but more you can connect with a role, thewidely different in tone. Reading more honest and true it will feel.Christopher Isherwoods Goodbye toBerlin was essential since Cabaret is What would you like young people tobased on several chapters in this book. I take away from this production?also needed to learn about the world that I hope they can see how this story isthese characters live in. Berlin in 1930 relevant to our world right now.was a frightening time. Especially Unfortunately, political rhetoric has notbecause the people of Germany had no changed much since the early 1900s. Weidea the horror that they were about to cannot be blind to the world we liveendure. Nazi power would soon take in. We must stand up for any injusticeover and Hitler would become Chancellor and protect our community, and beof Germany - destroying everything and proud to do so.everyone. Could you share some advice for youngAre there any particular challenges in people who want to work in theatre?playing this role? Never be anybody but yourself. It is easyThere is a laundry list of challenges in to get caught up in the demands of theplaying the role of Sally Bowles! She business and to start wishing silly,never stops talking, impressing, shocking, impossible things like, "I wish I wassinging, dancing, laughing or crying. Any blonde," "I wish I was older," "I wish I wasemotion that exists, Sally feels at some super skinny and short," "I wish I had apoint in the show, Im convinced. She has loud belt voice," etc. You have somethingquite a journey from the top of Act One very unique to offer the theater world soto the end of Act Two. This perfectly dont waste it by trying to be someonemarvelous gal has a childlike air about her else. Audition after audition of seeminglyin the midst of all the sexual comments failed attempts can bring you down, but itand behavior. She is the dictator of her should do the complete opposite. I useown life. She craves attention, hence her these times to learn from my mistakesadoration for performing at the Kit Kat and to grow each time I step into theKlub. At this point in the process, Im still audition room. Nobody can be YOU. Betrying to figure her out, though. I think I confident in that.will be discovering more and more abouther right up until we close. Thats the joyof theater. You perform the same scriptand score eight times a week, but no twoshows are ever the same. Actors areconstantly learning more about their roleand the world they are living in. But I dothink its important to see how I, Kara Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 29
  29. 29. CABARETSPOTLIGHT ON STAFF: CHARGE SCENIC ARTIST LEARNING GUIDE | 2011ALICE BRACKEN-CARROLL Alice Bracken-Carroll has been the Rep’s Charge Scenic Artist for the past 24 years. She recently spoke to us about what it means to be a scenic artist, where she draws her inspiration from, and why she’s known across the country as ‘Toxic Alice.’ What does it mean to be the Charge Scenic Artist? A scenic artist (also known as a scenic) is a person who, literally, paints everything the audience sees - and sometimes things they don’t see. A scenic works directly with the Technical Director to determine what type of materials will benefit the build and what is needed in order to fulfill the desires of the director and set designer. A scenic is a person A light-hearted moment in scene shop as the Rep’s who must provide the designer with a set Charge Scenic Artist, Alice Bracken-Carroll, hops on the horse from Into the Woods. that matches his/her paint elevations and desired look. The paint elevations are repainting certain pieces. There are also scaled paintings of the actual set pieces. times the scenic will sit through rehearsal Sometimes a scenic who has worked with so the two can discuss notes under lights. certain designers can talk through certain pieces without an elevation. For example, You are also on the faculty at UMKC in we will talk about shows we have done in the Department of Theatre. What do you the past and decide what look and enjoy about working with the students? process would be perfect for this present Teaching keeps me young. Over the show. All the processes are made up years, I have noticed that grad students from the scenic with a close collaboration are not unlike kindergarten children. with the designer. The two will send After years of structure and being tight- many emails, photos and full scale fisted and a bit uptight, my job is to samples. Scenic artists often have the release the inner child so creativity can misfortune of being the last department flow again and they can begin to see to touch the scenery. This can be things in an unconventional manner. problematic because if one person or department falls behind, we are still What is your educational background? responsible to deliver on time. During I went to Kansas State University for art, technical rehearsals, the scenic and Wichita State University for sculpture and designer will discuss new avenues if photography and nine months in Ireland something isn’t working right. For learning Gaelic. So I am two classes from example, if the lights are making a unit a degree but, with life experience, I have dull and drab they will discuss pushing been able to teach in five schools over the and pulling of colors or, at times, totally years. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 30
  30. 30. SPOTLIGHT ON AN STAFF CABARET LEARNING GUIDE | 2011ALICE BRACKEN-CARROLL - CONTINUED How did you make your way to the Rep? He handed me some paint and brushes I was a migrant scenic artist/designer for and said, “GO FOR IT!” So I painted Little 15 years, traveling either to design or to Mary Sunshine by myself (except for the be a guest scenic artist. I did movies in two times the T.D. helped). At that time, L.A., went south to Florida and worked at K-State had a professional theatre the Burt Reynolds Theatre, worked at the company attached to it called Continental North Carolina School of the Arts, and Theatre Company. They came into town painted at the Guthrie Theatre and to put on a show they were touring Huntington Theatre Company. I also around the U.S. and they needed two taught at Lindenwood University and at large paintings that were portraits 5’ x the University of Illinois. I was the Charge 10/1/2’ and I was hooked. I painted and Scenic Artist at Goodspeed Opera House then designed their tour shows from the for four years where the set designer early 70s to the 80s. My mother said she James L. Joy was designing quite a bit. At always knew I would be ‘some kinda times I would assist him by drafting or painter.’ She would have a hard time doing models when I wasn’t painting. keeping me off the driveway as a child Mr. Joy was designing a lot at this theatre because I would take a stick and play with [known at the time as Missouri Repertory the antifreeze spills (which I still think is Theatre] and asked me if I wanted to cool). I had no schooling in the field of charge the winter season at Missouri Rep. painting; I was just a sponge who was As my parents lived in Manhattan, curious about things and what paints Kansas, I, of course, said yes. That was liked each other and what paints didn’t. I January 2, 1987. Goodspeed had no lean to the latter; most of my techniques winter season, so it fit into my schedule involve chemicals and water-based very nicely. While I was here, I met John paints—that’s why across the country I Ezell [Hall Family Foundation Professor of am known as ‘Toxic Alice.’ Design in the Department of Theatre at UMKC], who loved my unorthodox method of painting and asked me to stay and teach a class in scene painting as a trial. After teaching that class, I was not only hired as faculty but also as permanent Charge Scenic Artist. The paint department didn’t exist before I came. What got you interested in working in the theatre? I was an art major at K-State and some- one told me to check out the theatre department because they were always looking for people to paint the sets. To paint big didn’t bother me; my mother was an artist and had done some murals. So I walked in and the technical director/ set designer almost had a heart attack. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 31
  31. 31. SPOTLIGHT ON AN STAFF CABARETALICE BRACKEN-CARROLL - CONTINUED LEARNING GUIDE | 2011 What artists inspire you? Theatre is a collaboration of many The artist I love the most is ‘Mother people who are experts in their fields; Earth.’ If I’m doing a show that has old each department relies on another field brick and crumbling walls, I find myself to make this wonderment appear. While tuning out everything around me and I you are young, you should see as many see art all around me in brick buildings. shows and movies as you can; not to There is beauty in crumbling walls or criticize but as research. As a young thing broken cement facades. Sometimes I will my parents took me to museums, shows drive around and take pictures of and movies to help expose me to life and interesting places and things. Some to see art imitating life. All fields people love the shuttlecocks at the research, whether you are an actor/ Nelson (I do, too) but I get more pleasure actress, designer or director. I always tell in seeing the beautiful graffiti under the my students, ‘There are no mistakes, only overpasses that I see when I take the new avenues.’ Above all you must enjoy train to St. Louis. Taking the train is an and have fun! Many of my students will art experience in itself, places, watching tell me they can’t paint but want to take trees, graveyards and things you see that my class and I always reply that anyone no one would see if driving on the high- can paint. My classes are filled with way. All of these works inspire me and scene designers, technical students, stage amaze me. For example, how a junkyard managers and some undergrads. They looks the way it does, and how one can are always amazed; at the end, they can’t translate that to the stage (which is believe they painted all those projects. If harder than one would think). Trees are you plan on going on to college, check something I have had to make many out the faculty. It’s amazing what times so, once again, I go outside to be a happens when you research You must sponge and the cycle keeps going around love theatre in order to do theatre – take and around. the good with the bad. If you come into theatre you should leave your attitude at What advice do you have for young the door. We are all the same and people interested in a career in theatre? nobody is more important than the other. Ask questions, be curious, be dedicated Theatre is a great place to work. Who else to what you believe, find answers, read, but us can make dreams happen and practice, practice, practice and above all affect the public as theatre can? have fun. All of this pertains to painting and designing as well as life. Theatre is hard work and dedication, with a bit of insanity mixed in, and when it’s blended together you end up with a piece of performance that can transport the audience to places they never thought they would go to. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 32
  32. 32. CABARETBEFORE THE PERFORMANCE LEARNING GUIDE | 2011PRE-SHOW DISCUSSIONBefore attending Cabaret at the Rep, use the following prompts as conversation starters withyour students. You may also want to visit and search for The RealCabaret (there are six parts totaling approximately one hour). This is a fantastic documentarythat explores the inspiration behind Cabaret. Follow Alan Cumming (the Emcee in the secondBroadway revival) as he explores the origins and history of the show. This documentary isengaging and interesting and is a great way to prepare your students for seeing the Rep’sproduction of Cabaret. Note: You may want to preview the segments before showing it toyour class.What are your expectations of seeing Cabaret at the Rep? Make predictions about the set, costumes, sound and lighting.Cabaret is set in the round. What are some challenges in designing and performing in the round?Cabaret is based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin. What might be some of the challenges in bringing anovel to the stage? List examples of other films or plays that have been based on literature.Research the time period of Cabaret. Can you think of any parallels between now and 1929? Explain.Cabarets served to comment on the political climate of the day. Many times they were subversive and satirized theirgovernments. Can you think of any forms of entertainment that do that today? Explain.If you have seen the movie Cabaret what do you think or feel about the story as you have experienced it?What is the role of the audience in a theatrical production? Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 33
  33. 33. CABARETBEFORE THE PERFORMANCE LEARNING GUIDE | 2011PRE-SHOW ACTIVITY - KEY CONCEPTSEVALUATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Research and discuss the topics listed below using a graphicorganizer. Put the key concept in the middle of the circle and list students’ ideas in the areacoming out from the main circle. You will need to use a separate organizer for each topic. Useavailable resources to research additional information. You may also want to refer to thetimeline on pages 15-17 and the glossary of terms on pages 18-20. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: Cabaret | 34