July 15, 2024

San Antonio College Student News

Search
Close this search box.

With Cabaret, SAC Theatre Department Brings Back Musical Production

cabaret
Micah Wolfe as Sally Bowles in SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

San Antonio College’s Theatre Department performed John Van Druten’s Cabaret (1998 version) April 12-15 and April 19-21, and the production earned a standing ovation from the audience at McCreless Theater on its opening night. 

Theatre Program Coordinator Laura T. Garza, who directed the play, said she chose Cabaret because she loved producing musicals when she was a student at SAC and wanted to bring a musical production back to McCreless Theater.

Cabaret
Sean Wilson (center) played the Kit Kat Klub’s Master of Ceremonies at in SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

The play is set in Berlin in 1929-30 and follows the lives of an American writer, a British cabaret performer, and a German landlord amidst the rise of Nazi fascism. The story explores themes of love, sexuality and political turmoil. 

“Cabaret is thought-provoking,” Garza said. “I think it encourages discussions that are relevant still today.”

Cabaret
Micah Wolfe as Sally Bowles and Samuel Black as Clifford Bradshaw in SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

Garza said she took a “Brechtian approach” to the production. Bertolt Brecht, a German playwright and producer who began his career in the 1920s, was a proponent of “epic theatre,” which sought to provoke an effect of estrangement or alienation in audiences, using techniques such as having actors play multiple characters, rearranging the set in view of the audience, and speaking directly to the audience at times, or “breaking the fourth wall.” 

“We’re not trying to fool the audience into thinking we’re not in a theater,” she said. “You know you’re in a theater. You can see the light fixtures; you can see the actors in the background moving around, doing the things they need to do. So the audience is always reminded that these are heavy issues we’re dealing with, but they need to be faced head-on.”

Sean Wilson performs as the Kit Kat Klub’s Master of Ceremonies in SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

In one scene, an actress wears a gorilla mask as Kit Kat Club’s Master of Ceremonies, played by Sean Eric Wilson, dances around singing about how ugly she is and how people stop and stare at her as she walks down the street. When the gorilla mask was ripped off to reveal the wearer is a Jewish woman, the audience’s laughter was replaced by stunned silence and gasps.  

“I loved the way the cast portrayed the story,” Maryellen Helmke, a science major at SAC, said, “(I like) the way you could see the unraveling of society through the characters.” 

Javauna Harris portrayed Lulu in the SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

Most of the characters in Cabaret ignore the political turmoil happening around them until it starts affecting them. 

Micha Wolfe, who played Sally Bowles, said it’s best to “go in blind” when seeing Cabaret.

Micah Wolfe as Sally Bowles in SAC Theatre’s production of Cabaret. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

“Let yourself be taken in with the world,” she said. 

At the end of the play, the Master of Ceremonies reveals a Nazi symbol behind the curtain on the back wall. When he revealed the star of David on his arm, more audience members gasped or cried.  

Cabaret
San Antonio College’s Theatre department performed John Van Druten's Cabaret (1998 version) April 12-15 and April 19-21 at McCreless Theater. Photo by Daz Ramirez.

“It’s amazing,” Michel Wolfe, Micha’s father, said after watching the play. “I love it; I eat it up.”

Read Next: SAC Speech Team Earns Silver, Bronze Awards in National Tournament

Legaci Lee

Legaci Lee

Legaci Lee is a communications major with an emphasis on journalism. Lee has a passion for the arts and aspires to write a fantasy novel.
Legaci Lee

Legaci Lee

Legaci Lee is a communications major with an emphasis on journalism. Lee has a passion for the arts and aspires to write a fantasy novel.