Photo credits: Holly Brooks, Ben Andre, Jaclyn Lund
Cabaret was my first scenic design, and through this process I came to realize my love for the craft. The show takes place in the decaying Weimar Republic, the decadent but short-lived government that preceded World War II and Nazi Germany. As a Jewish designer, it was important for me to properly weigh the heavy themes and context of this show in my designs.
The show takes place in the Kit Kat Klub, a seedy Berlin nightclub, as well as domestic locations around the city. I played with abstract, ephemeral German expressionism, a landmark style of the time. Thus, set pieces and painted backdrops represented faux luxury, decay, and the illusion of opulence through their textures, edges, and permeability.
The Kit Kat Klub, the anchor location of the show, is dark and lushly red, with marquee lighting shining through the dimly lit set. It is a place for debauchery and revelry, but it is also musty and decaying. Most importantly, the club sign, curtains, and lighting are always visible throughout the show in every scene, signifying the weight and inevitability of a changing Germany on the characters.
First Year Players