The Truth About Performing at HB Cabaret

By: Amanda Merritt

Forget about the countless number of plays, concerts, and recitals Hathaway Brown puts on every year. Forget about WOOZ, forget about the Dance Concert, forget about the Playwriting Festival, and forget Masterworks. If you want to witness the true spirit of performing arts at Hathaway Brown School, go to Cabaret. The reality is, Cabaret is put together in under a week. The tables, curtains, and lights come up and go down the same night, and the majority of the performers sign up the day before. This could lead one to believe that Cabaret is an afterthought on the part of the Performing Arts Department, but it is one of the most beloved events of the HB community.

Unless you have a side of free periods with your classes, the first chance you get to perform your song is about three hours before show time. Sure, you miss a few notes, forget your lyrics, and your voice cracks more than a University School freshman, but at least you don’t go in completely blind. The rest of the time before the show is spent nervously practicing, worrying about needing to pee during your performance, and talking to the five other people who also decided on a black dress, Doc Martens, and red lipstick.

Seven-thirty pm marks the beginning of the night. Some sing, some dance, some dance and sing, and others read poetry. It’s a relief when people cheer and laugh at your song, and now that your performance is done, you are free to drink all the lemonade and eat all the cream-puffs the refreshment table has to offer. After the last performance concludes, you scramble to help Stage Crew clear tables, candles, chairs, lights, and the grand shimmer curtain because it’s really late and you want to go home. But even if you don’t get home until eleven that night, and even though the show was put together in five days, you can’t wait until next year.