Australia’s Top Cabaret Talent To Foster Emerging Performers

The leading lights of the Australian cabaret scene are banding together to help emerging cabaret artists find their voice in a ground-breaking course. 

Created and led by Australian musical theatre and cabaret star Queenie van de Zandt, and produced by the Australian Musical Theatre Academy (AMTA), this 12-week course will see emerging cabaret performers working with the who’s who of the Australian cabaret scene to write, perform and produce their own cabaret shows.

With cabaret shows being in great demand at venues around Australia, the timing of the course is perfect.

“Cabaret is having a resurgence due to the pandemic,” says Queenie. “Cabaret shows have traditionally small casts, small budgets and audiences are already socially distanced, sitting spread out at tables, so it’s the perfect live performance for venues to offer right now.”

Because the course is run online, emerging and mid-career cabaret artists, no matter where they live, can enrol and not only work intimately with Queenie on writing and devising their shows, but will also work with and learn from some of the best cabaret practitioners in Australia.

The line-up of tutors, who will deliver specialty masterclasses across the 12 weeks, reads like a who’s who of the Australian cabaret scene. Cabaret icon and former artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Ali McGregor, International queen of cabaret, Trevor Ashley, and gender transcendent songstress, Mama Alto, are only 3 of the 16 prominent cabaret artists who will be sharing their knowledge with the participants. 

Because cabaret is such a diverse and open art form, the course is open to performers from any genre of live performance. Singers, circus and variety performers, musicians, stand-up comedians, singer/songwriters, poets, performance artists, magicians, burlesque performers, and drag artists, will all find themselves reflected in the diversity of the tutors.

Alongside touring her own award-winning cabaret shows, Queenie has been teaching cabaret skills for nearly 20 years and many of her former students now regularly perform on the comedy and cabaret circuits.  One such student is award-winning comedian Bridie Connell, who attended Queenie’s 2-week cabaret course, The Cabaret Winter Workshop, back in 2015 and out of it wrote her first cabaret. It was subsequently chosen to perform at the Sydney Comedy Festival and led to Bridie becoming one of Australia’s hottest up and coming comedians. “I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support and knowledge I gained from the Cabaret Workshop”, says Bridie.

The Creating Cabaret Course runs from 21 February to 23 May 2022 and performers can be either join online through Zoom or in person at AMTA’s Studio in Melbourne. Participants can also enrol for the full 12 weeks or choose a block to do (writing, performing, or producing) or just pick and choose individual classes that interest them.  And because accessibility and diversity are important to AMTA they will be seeking out and encourage enrolments from artists in regional areas as well encouraging enrolments from First Nations and BIPOC artists, LGBTIQ+ artists, body and age diverse artists, artists with a disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse artists. They also have several scholarships and payment plan options available to financially challenged artists.

“I can’t wait to work with the next generation of diverse, innovative and enthralling cabaret artists and help make their voices heard,” says Queenie.

Queenie van de Zandt is a multi-award-winning entertainer, educator and serenade(r), who has been writing, performing, and producing her own cabaret shows since 1988.  She has toured extensively throughout Australia and Internationally and has been nominated for numerous Helpmann, Sydney Theatre and Green Room awards for her performances, in addition to winning Glug, and Broadway World (Sydney Theatre) Awards for her work.  Alongside her 30+ years as a performer, she runs the Australian Musical Theatre Academy, has taught at NIDA and VCA and over the past 20 years has garnered a reputation for being Australia’s leading teacher of audition technique for musical theatre and cabaret, with her students now populating the professional arts industry.

Australian Musical Theatre Academy Presents CREATING CABARET

Dates: 21 February – 23 May 2022.

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