The Salt Lake Community College theater program is set to take the stage for their next production of the 2017-18 season.
The next play in the lineup is “Cabaret,” a classic musical set during the 1930s in Berlin, Germany. “Cabaret” is a classic musical that has had several runs on Broadway and around the world. The background of the musical takes place during the rise of the Nazi party, and the story follows people who learn a lot about themselves while the world around them begins to descend into chaos.
“I think almost every character is dealing with not fitting into society,” SLCC theater program director Zac Curtis says.
Characters include a bisexual American living in Germany, the dancers at the Kit Kat Club — where the setting takes place most of the time — and a Jewish shop owner and his love interest who could be persecuted by the Nazis if the relationship is discovered.
The play also has characters who join the Nazi party and explain their position on the matter.
“I think every character in this play is fighting for a place to feel themselves within their society and feeling like an outsider in some way. This play does a really nice job of bringing all those people together and hashing out those issues,” Curtis adds.
“Cabaret” is a particularly difficult play to perform, considering it’s also a musical with a high amount of dancing. In order to make the cut, students participating in the show had to demonstrate skills such as acting, dancing, singing, and the ability to stay in harmony with the rest of the cast.
But beyond those important skills, “Cabaret” is a complex play with significant character development over the acts.
Curtis says learning the difficult choreography is not the only challenge students with various levels of dance experience had to overcome. Another arduous challenge was teaching the students about their characters’ emotions and teaching them to truly become their character and make it believable.
“We’re asking students to connect and relate to characters who are far removed from their current place in life,” Curtis explains. “These are 2018 Salt Lake City college students trying to understand what it is to be a Jewish man in 1931 Germany. There’s a disconnect there. So our students have been working really hard to understand these characters and bring pieces of these characters into themselves and vice versa to bring life to these characters.”
“Cabaret” runs April 12 to 14 in the Black Box Theatre at South City Campus. Admission is $5 for students, and $10 for the general public. There is also a program in place for middle school and high school students and teachers to get in for free with their ID.
Photo gallery by Jacob Erickson