• Mobile Menu

Cabaret: Fall Performance 2016

Director's Notes

by Jen Coté, Theater Director

“Why Cabaret in a high school?! Isn’t it a bit scandalous?” To this I will say—yes! But it is so much more than that. Cabaret is a thoughtful, historically resonant, timely, and engaging play, with a Tony Award winning script and score and fantastic choreography opportunities. Every year I try to chose material that will excite and engage our young performers as well as expose them to a new style we have yet to explore at SA. I am continuously looking for material in a variety of genres that will challenge them both intellectually and artistically. I strive to find material that feels relevant to their world, and with so much divisive political energy in our nation right now, it seemed like the perfect time to dive into a dramatic context of social and cultural upheaval.

Cabaret begins in Berlin in 1931, just prior to the Nazi’s precipitous rise to power. The play—based on the Christopher Isherwood novel The Berlin Storiesis set in the provocative Kit Kat Klub, which is loosely based on a particular style of real Berlin hotspots of this time period. The fading days of the Weimar Republic were a vibrant cultural period famous for music, film, art, and philosophy, as well as open-mindedness about homosexuality and other then-decadent behavior (including fluid sexuality, scantily clad dancers, and transgender performers). With the rise of the Nazi Party, this liberal mecca crumbled as artists and intellectuals fled to safer shores. Our play begins just as these artists and performers are starting to feel the social and political change coming, although many in the story choose to ignore the dark shadow looming, and resort to frivolity and self-imposed ignorance to shut themselves off from the changes happening around them.

What I love about teaching and directing educational theater is exploring the history and culture of each play with the students. When we examine the social and political context of each new piece, we both deepen our understanding and enrich our overall performance. While scandalous in some ways, Weimar Berlin was also a mecca for those seeking freedom of expression. Nightclubs celebrated Jewish/Christian/straight/gay/lesbian and transgender performers alike, and there was very little censorship or condemnation from the city leaders or public. Cliff and Sally (our main characters) are drawn to this world for the freedom that it represents. The Berlin of Cabaret is a place to reinvent yourself, to make money in uncertain times, and to live free from judgement.

Act 2 demonstrates how quickly this openness vanished in the wake of a shift in the political regime. Historically speaking, Hitler’s authoritarian Third Reich had displaced the older, more forgiving cultural norms and tensions were running high. Jews and homosexuals were being openly persecuted. Some of those same highly esteemed artists of the Weimar republic went from being celebrated to being exiled—or worse. Neighbors turned on neighbors and friendships dissolved as lines were drawn in the sand. A core message of the play, for the cast and audiences alike, is the danger of apathy. Cabaret is a cautionary tale about the grave consequences of ignoring a dangerous shift in political climate: Look away and you might find yourself unwittingly agreeing to and accepting the persecution of others. The wild openness and frivolity of Act 1 stands in stark contrast to the reverberations of impending doom in Act 2. In the end, we are left wondering what will happen to this world as the characters feel the very foundation of their social and political world shifting out from under them.

I am inspired daily by how open and accepting our students are of differences, and it has been a pure delight to engage with them over this subject matter and to see them embrace the fantastic choreography and beautiful songs. This group was dedicated from the start, and it was such fun crafting this story with these talented performers. I am so grateful to my amazing team: Clare Grossman, my Assistant Director (thoughtful, dependable, genius), and my unflappable and joyful Stage Manager Keira Slimmer. I also thoroughly enjoyed working with uber-talented Nina Endicott and team on creating the visual splendor of the costumes. Nathan Riebli and Joey Favalora were a dream team on music direction and choreography, and they made my job so much easier by being so professional and outstanding in their respective crafts. We are only as strong as the team that surrounds us in Theatre, and we had an all-around AMAZING team on this piece. Lastly, I would like to thank Sonoma Academy for allowing the arts to flourish on our campus and for granting me creative license to “ push the envelope” with material that challenges both the students and audiences alike.

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

Rated PG-13 for mature content

Cabaret Cast Lists

Double Casts. Check cast list below to see assigned performance dates.


Performance dates:
Wednesday, November 16 @ 5 pm - PREVIEW
Saturday, November 19 @ 2 pm
Sunday, November 20 @ 1 pm and 6 pm
Emcee - Lily Goldman
Sally Bowles - Perry Parsons
Clifford Bradshaw - Jeremy Sherman
Fraulein Schneider - Emmy O’Brien
Fraulein Kost - Mondara Granados Carreiro
Herr Schultz - Connor Devlin
Erntz Ludwig - Bryce Hanson
Max - Keaton Burrows
Nazi Youth - Nina Cauntay
Customs Officer - Iain Wade
Sailors - Carlos Skolnick, Kai Cobbold, Joshua Phillips
Two Ladies - Keaton Burrows, Alison Arntz
Gorilla - Kai Cobbold 

Gertrude - Julia Maliarik
Olga - Madison O’Brien
Inga - Paige Cabral
Aida - Charlotte Stern
Berta - Nina Cauntay
Elsa - Lainy Ross

Hannah - Jennifer Rink
Elke - Anna Miller
Eva - Mondara Granados Carriero
Fifi - Tasmin Arai
Utta - Ceilidh Austin
Dortie - Angel Qiao
Greta - Ana Lara
Lana - Casey McKay
Wolffie - Jack Wolff


Performance dates: 
Thursday, November 17 @ 7 pm
Friday, November 18 @ 7 pm
Saturday, November 19 @ 7 pm

Emcee - Jack Wolff
Sally Bowles - Ceilidh Austin
Clifford Bradshaw - Jeremy Sherman
Fraulein Schneider - Madison O’Brien
Fraulein Kost - Anna Miller
Herr Schultz - Connor Devlin
Erntz Ludwig - Bryce Hanson
Max - Keaton Burrows
Nazi Youth - Julia Maliarik 
Customs Officer - Iain Wade
Sailors - Carlos Skolnick, Kai Cobbold, Joshua Phillips
Two Ladies - Claire Lampson, Olivia Haas
Gorilla - Megan Dewees

Gertrude - Julia Maliarik
Olga - Emmy O’Brien
Inga - Paige Cabra
Aida - Charlotte Stern
Berta - Nina Cauntay
Elsa - Lainy Ross

Hannah - Jennifer Rink
Elke - Anna Miller
Eva - Mondara Granados Carriero
Fifi - Tasmin Arai
Utta - Perry Parsons
Dortie - Angel Qiao
Greta - Ana Lara
Lana - Casey McKay
Goldie - Lily Goldman

Cabaret Girls:

Rosie - Tristyn Huggins
Lulu - Olivia Haas
Frenchie - Gabby Hudson
Texas - Claire Lampson
Fritzie - Megan Dewees
Helga - Alison Arntz

Cabaret Boys:

Bobby - Kai Cobbold
Victor - Elliot Harrison-Lee
Hans - Joshua Phillips
Herman - Carlos Skolnick


Sarah Shi - Piano
Patric Sullivan - Drums
Elliot Harrison-Lee - Bass
Isaiah Krimel - Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
Casey McKay - Trombone
Ryan McGraw - Accordion
Isabelle Elder - Trumpet
Iain Wade - Trumpet 2
Keira Slimmer - Violin


Director - Jenifer Coté
Assistant Director - Clare Grossman
Stage Manager - Keira Slimmer
Assistant Stage Manager - Claire Jacobs
Choreographer - Joey Favalora
Music Director - Nathan Riebli
Set and Lighting Design - Theo Bridant
Sound - Steven Cano
Costume Design - Nina Endicott
Costume Assistants - Laura Casey and Gitte Johansen
Student Dance Captains - Jack Wolff, Anna Miller
German Language Coach - Susann Slimmer
Dialect Coach - Kate Brickley
Poster Design - Steven Gu, Emma Kallman
Photography - Emma Kallman
Crew - TBA
2500 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Sonoma Academy is...

The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.