The conference, artistic-directed by Michael Bush and including classes and performances, will welcome Rita Gardner (The Fantasticks), Penny Fuller (Applause), composer-director-lyricist Barry Kleinbort and Tony Award winner Gretha Boston (Show Boat), among others.
The conference "develops and presents performances and new projects by some of this country's most renowned established theatrical and musical performance artists as well as up-and-coming new performance artists who come to the O'Neill to perfect their work," according to O'Neill notes.
The conference is an arm of the respected Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, founded in 1964 for the development of new works and new voices for the American theatre.
The cabaret conference begins on Aug. 1 with a free open house/preview — billed as "a thank you to our audience for their support over the past two years." This special evening, hosted by artistic director and master of ceremonies Michael Bush, will include a master class taught by artistic associates Penny Fuller and Barry Kleinbort (offering examples of the techniques and philosophy taught at the conference). Preview performances from guest artists Penny Fuller, Rita Gardner and Marcus Hummon will follow. Reservations are required.
Among conference highlights:
The conference culminates in an end-of-season Grand Finale performance, which features "the best of everything in the conference" performed by conference participants and guest artists in "a one-night only spectacular showcase of musical talent." Most performances are followed by an "Open Mic," featuring performances by conference participants, special guest artists, O'Neill artistic and production staff and the O'Neill Intern Company.
Schedule and artists subject to change. All performances are in the Dina Merrill Theater.
Tickets to Cabaret performances are $25/$20 for members (bleacher seating) and $35, or two for $60 (table seating, including one bottle of wine per table); Grand Finale tickets (Aug. 12) are $35/$30 for members (bleacher seating) and $50, or two for $90 (table seating, including one bottle of wine per table) and include a post-show reception. For reservations, call the O'Neill box office at (860) 443-1238.
For more information, visit www.theoneill.org.