The balance of truth and entertainment
This thesis project worked in tandem with the THEA 434 course, the capstone course for B.F.A. Theatre Majors in the Musical Theatre Option. Worth three credit hours, this course is titled “Immersion Experience”. Informally it is referred to as the “Cabaret Class”. This is due to the course’s focus on, and exploration of cabaret performance. Cabaret performance manifests in song, dance, drama, etcetera, and is categorically performed in a bar, restaurant, casino, hotel, or nightclub that has a stage. In the musical theatre industry, this is more specifically the intertwining of music and a monologue or spoken word to tell a story and connect with the audience. The theme was “Berlin and Blake...Musical Theatre Pioneers of the 1920's”, referring to composers Irving Berlin and Eubie Blake. Each of the eight assignments for the course must include a song by Irving Berlin and/or Eubie Blake in some capacity. As previously stated, there are eight assignments for this course. We were given one to two weeks for each assignment. During that time we were expected to find the sheet music for the piece, create a story, intertwine the two, and have materials prepared to communicate our idea to our accompanist, all before performing these new pieces for our peers. Through this course, I aimed to examine the balance of honesty and entertainment in cabaret performance.