“History doesn’t repeat itself…but it does rhyme.” While almost certainly incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, this quote exemplifies what spurred TBD Immersive to create In Cabaret We Trust.
For the 2017-18 season, CulturalDC is pleased to present TBD Immersive’s world premiere of In Cabaret We Trust, an immersive theatrical experience that explores the ties between Weimar Republic-era Berlin in the 1920’s and, nearly a century later, what could be DC’s future. Directed by Artistic Director Strother Gaines and devised and created by TBD Immersive, the production marks the follow-up to the team’s TEDx Mid-Atlantic production, Welcome to the Family. With support from CulturalDC’s Space4 program, the production will run September 7 – September 29, 2017 at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club; tickets are on sale now.
Set in the 2020s, In Cabaret We Trust tells the story of DC’s struggling Resistance Cabaret, fighting to stay alive in the capital of the populist-controlled Republic. Congress has revoked DC’s Home Rule, and an ultra-conservative lesbian Senator now controls the city, which she regards as little more than a filthy, liberal swamp. Under increasing pressure from her constituents to shut down the Cabaret (Is #CabaretGate real? Or fake news?), the Senator has chosen tonight to make her big move.
But like everyone in this town, she has secrets. Secrets held by the headmistress of the Cabaret that could ruin her career. As the two factions lock into a chess game of “mutually assured destruction,” each side fights to maintain their foothold and gain new ground. The press wants the truth. The Resistance persists. Difficult choices are made. The show must go on.
Can the Cabaret be saved?
In Cabaret We Trust is a fully-immersive theatre experience that begins as soon as the audience arrives. It is set within the walls of the 15,000+ sq. ft. desanctified church, Blind Whino. This immersive will highlight not only the acts on the mainstage, but also the tangled web of stories just below the surface. Drawing on influences from the Weimar Republic era, the production explores themes of power and control, as well as resistance and artistic spirit. Artistic director Strother Gaines says, “In my research following the 2016 election, I started seeing parallel storylines between the Weimar Republic and the previous 8 years here in DC. Back then, as the pendulum swung backwards to a fascist regime, we lost the cultural progress of the early Weimar Republic. It makes us nervous to see the increasingly similar parallels to today’s political landscape.”
In a time of chaos and secrets, what compromises are you willing to make? Which values are untouchable and which ones are you willing to bend if not break?
The event space will open 30 minutes prior to curtain with ambient performances (weather permitting).
Artistic Director & Creator: Strother Gaines
Producer & Playwright: Jenny Splitter
Producer & Improvisation Director: Dana Malone
Producer & Vague Consulting Writer: Jessica Bylander
Sideshow & Variety Entertainment Coordinator: Atomic Doll Productions
Lighting Designer: James Morrison (provided by Artist Concept Groups)
Movement Coordinator: Zana Gankhuyag
Mask Consultant/Creator: Tara Cariaso
Makeup Artist/Designer: Joy Johnson
Devising Artist: Katie Maconaughey
Cast: Catherine Deadman, Chaseedaw Giles, Matthew Gibeson, Marissa Goodstone, D Scott Graham, Amanda Haddock, Zoe Walpole, Melanie Boyer, Kathleen Burnard, Darnell Eaton, Lida Benson, Andrew Dominic Filicicchia, Allison Frisch, Emily Gilson, Molly Graham, Maura Claire Harford, Alex Kazanas, Kaitlin Kemp, Beth Lyons, Colleen Parker, Annetta Sawyer, Ray Simeon, Dakota Schuck, Heather Marie Vitale, Members of Peculiarity Productions (Fire Troupe), Lauren Hanyock, Samantha Kacos, Shanna Lim, Erin Muessig, Eva Mystique, Alyssum Pohl
More performers to be added and daily cast subject to change
Visual Artists: Nando Alvarez, John Detrich, Emmett Grosland, Herrin Hopper, Hope Sorenson
Venue: Blind Whino SW Arts Club: 700 Delaware Ave. SW, Washington DC 20024
Preview: Thursday, September 7th at 8pm
Friday, September 8th at 8pm – Opening Night – The performance will be followed by drinks, food, and dancing throughout the Blind Whino art space.
Sunday, September 10th at 7pm – Talkback with cast and Creative Team after show
Friday, September 15th at 8pm
Thursday, September 21st at 8pm
Friday, September 22nd at 8pm
Thursday, September 28th at 8pm
Friday, September 29th at 8pm
In Cabaret We Trust runs approximately two hours. During that time, guests are free to explore and engage the space and partake of the bar whenever they’d like.
* Please note: many of the performance areas are accessed only by stairs and may not be accessible for all audience members