One of my favorite theatre events each year is Wright State Universit’s StuCab (student cabaret), produced and directed by the members of the Junior class in order to raise money for their Senior Showcase trip to New York City. This year’s show will be performed on Friday night, February 21st at 8 PM and Saturday, February 22nd at 2 PM.
Paige Dobkins is this year’s director. “As head of the event, I began working on Stucab last spring. Planning, getting ideas, etc. Each junior created an idea for a piece. Then we held auditions to cast the underclassmen, and a few gracious seniors. Then, we almost all began working on our pieces this fall, teaching vocals, choreography, blocking. it’s a much longer process than many would expect and a lot more goes into it. Figuring out budget, finding lighting designers, sound designers, creating a set, coming up with raffle and bake sale ideas, and so much more.”
It takes a large team to pull all of this off. Mark Beyer is the musical director. Sean Jones heads up the raffle. Lauren Schorr is in charge of the tasty goodies at the bake sale. Logan Torbet will provide decorations, and Drew Bowen is the assistant director. Dobkins is excited about the variety this year. “There’s a whole plethora of pieces from Katy Perry to tap dancing to lyrical dances to Jersey Boys and acting pieces. This is one of the most diverse StuCabs so far in regards to style.”
Putting together a show with this many performers and directors is a daunting task. “Almost every student involved is in MAGIC FIRE, LES MISERABLES, or THE CHERRY ORCHARD. Plus other DLab shows are going on and not to mention the fact that we all have class from 8 to 5 each day, basically, with very few breaks.”
While each segment in the show is short, every director pours a lot of time and attention into their scene. “I’m sure every director of each piece would tell you they’ve never had their entire cast at a rehearsal (at least those of us with large casts). It’s almost impossible to line everyone’s schedules up. But somehow, every year, even when it seems like a hopeless cause, StuCab happens and just keeps getting better and better thanks to the dedication and commitment of all involved.”
The show opens on Friday night. “This coming week is tech week and is going to be tough, with rehearsals from 10 to midnight each night until we open, but it will all be worth it!”
This year’s bake sale will feature Red Velvet cookies, Puppy Chow, Marshmallow Cupcakes and so much more at a small cost to help raise even more money. And don’t forget the giant raffle featuring 2 Kings Island tickets at each performance, a Mary Kay basket at each show, a Pure Romance basket each time, Free Smoothie cards from Tropical Smoothie, a “Movie Night basket” at each day, 2 tickets to “Les Miserables” each performance, 2 tickets to “Cherry Orchard” at each show. “Plus there’s my favorite tradition – a “Seniors Favorite Things” basket full of a plethora of fun items. The raffle is bigger than it’s ever been and I think it’s a great chance to bring in a lot of money!”
On a personal note, I can tell you that one of major reasons I fell in love with the students and shows at Wright State University was because of the first StuCab I attended in 2011. I went on Friday night and decided to go back and see it again Saturday afternoon. Watching these students produce pieces that they’re passionate about, casting their friends and classmates, and determining how to bring it all to life with limited resources is inspiring and I strongly encourage you to check out the show. Get there early in order to get a good seat as they are often scurrying for extra chairs as showtime gets closer.
I’ll see you there on Friday night – with my camera in hand – and all proceeds from any photo sales will go to the Junior class as well.
When: February 21 at 8 PM. February 22 at 2 PM.
Where: Herbst Theater, Wright State University’s Performing Arts Center
Cost: $5 mandatory donation, but welcoming a greater donation amount.