CLU Cabaret Opens For Improv Troupe

For some people, theatre is a fun and entertaining event that lasts for a short while, and then it’s over. However, for those involved in the production, it extends far beyond those hours on stage.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, before the California Lutheran University Improv Troupe went on stage, the CLU Cabaret treated the audience to its first performance of the semester.

The CLU Cabaret is crafting a stand-up comedy feel with music, said Joshua Finkel, who is a Cal Lutheran senior adjunct professor of theatre arts. Finkel is also the director and creator of the cabaret show on campus.

“An interesting thing about the art form of cabaret is that you really break the fourth wall. You really interact and have a conversation with the audience,” Finkel said.

While the opening and closing numbers for the cabaret will not change for each performance, students continuously work on preparing their own solo acts for each cabaret.

“Basically we’re creating our own acts that reflect aspects of our personal lives that are relatable to other people,” said Cal Lutheran freshman Anna Demaria.

Finkel encourages students to write in a journal everyday to help them get ideas if they don’t know what to write about for their solo acts, said sophomore Bridget De Maria.

Coming up with ideas takes the longest, said Demaria. She will come up with about 15 different ideas and then discuss her ideas with her friends to see how they feel about it.

“It’s not like a time where I sit down and think about it, but just throughout the week always thinking about it,” Demaria said. “I just have Post-it notes all over my desk.”

There were some concerns about how the audience would respond to the cabaret.

“You never know,” De Maria said. “The audience is just so big and so many people go to it so you’re like ‘Are these musical theater people?’”

As the show went on, De Maria’s worries vanished. The cabaret went a lot better than she was expecting and the audience reacted well, De Maria said.

“My goal is that you get to really leave someone’s act knowing a heck of a lot more about them than when you came in. That’s the most satisfying cabaret,” De Maria said.

According to Demaria, interacting with the audience is an important part of theatre.

“Our passion is performance and reaching people and connecting with people.” Demaria said. “That’s the aspect I really love about it is being able to connect with somebody and have a personal experience of yours resonate with somebody else.”

De Maria says that people look forward to attending theatre events on campus because it makes them laugh.

“The whole reason I do theatre and stuff is because it’s an escape for people,” De Maria said. “It helps them to brighten their day and just get out of whatever they’re thinking about.”

The cabaret also benefits the students. Being a part of the CLU Cabaret gives students fantastic professional skills that can sustain them in a career, Finkel said.

“I like that it forces me to write my own material that is comedic and trust my comedic instincts,” De Maria said. “It’s good practice to have an outlet to put your own material out there.

Finkel says that he sets the bar pretty high for his students.

“It’s really fun to do but you have to put in the time to do it, and they are and I’m enjoying it,” Finkel said.

De Maria is looking forward to seeing what ideas her peers come up with and how the audience will receive it.

The next cabaret performance will be on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 11 p.m. in the Preus-Brandt Forum.

Citlali Erazo