The AMTA Cabaret Creation Course is taking registrations now!
Australian Academy of Musical Theater offer workshops, short courses and mentoring to prospective musical theater students of all ages and skill levels. Founded and directed by Queen van de Zandt, the company operates from its headquarters in Melbourne, but has recently pivoted to also offer some online courses.
Queenie is no stranger to the scene. One of Australia’s most beloved performers, she has worked extensively in theater, film, musical theater and cabaret making her an incredible wealth of industry knowledge – and AMTA is how Queenie gives back. “I have always been passionate about transmitting knowledge and sharing skills,” she says. “At the start of my career, I met so many talented and generous artists who helped me get my foot in the door and develop myself as a performer. I made the decision on the spot that I would be like them – and that I would always help those who came after me, as they did ”.
AMTA is the perfect answer to this, hosting numerous classes and courses with pillars of the theater industry at the helm. Opportunities include weekly musical theater masterclasses, audition bootcamps, creative coaching, and currently they are taking registrations for their Creation of cabaret lessons.
The Cabaret Creation Course takes place over a 12 week period and can be taken online or at the AMTA Studio in Melbourne. Artists will learn to write, produce and present their own cabaret show, whether musical, comedy, burlesque, drag, circus or any other form of cabaret. Even if you don’t have an original concept in mind, Queenie and the incredible range of tutors will help you create your perfect show, ready to go to festivals and venues!
The Cabaret Creation Course is based on another course organized by AMTA called Cabaret Winter Workshop, which had its first incarnation in 2014 and 2015 at the Hayes Theater in Sydney. However, other than the Cabaret Winter Workshop, Queenie says in her research she hasn’t found anything like this class in Australia or the world, which makes it incredibly unique. While the course was born out of the need to pivot during COVID, the move to holding the online course in 2021 and again in 2022 has proven to be hugely beneficial, not only allowing cabaret performers from across the country to participate. , but the ability to pair them with an array of professionals who may not have been able to make it into the program due to the Melbourne-based course.
“It can be very difficult to have access to great teachers when you don’t live in a big city. Putting together a group of great teachers can also be difficult when living and touring across the country. Because the course is held online, we were able to give emerging and mid-career cabaret performers, no matter where they live, access to the best cabaret practitioners in Australia! This makes the course incredibly distinctive and it’s a very happy byproduct of COVID that we now realize these things are possible. “
The formidable lineup includes international cabaret queen Trevor Ashley, burlesque legend Maude Davey and transgender diva Mama Alto, as well as artistic directors from Australia’s top cabaret festivals like Ali McGregor (formerly of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival), Alison St Ledger (QLD Cabaret Festival), Michael Griffiths (Perth Cabaret Festival) and David Read (Melbourne Cabaret Festival). The course covers many crucial areas of cabaret development, such as writing, directing, design and musical direction. guardians. Another thing that makes the course unique is that participants also learn about the ‘back home’ events of a show, such as how to apply for funding and grants, social media and advertising, the ins and outs of international tours and how to market and launch your show.
“Sure, developing a great idea into a show is the starting point, but if you don’t know how to pitch your show and pitch it to the right people, it will never have a greater life. Cabaret is a unique art form in that in order to do it you need skills in writing, performance, and production. The course is therefore divided into these 3 sections. At the same time, we are focusing on access for participants to the ‘gatekeepers’ who decide what is scheduled and where. This course isn’t just about teaching people how to ‘put on a show’, it’s also about giving them access to people who can schedule their work, so the work we see on our cabaret stages is diverse too. than Australia, and truly reflects the stories, ideas and talents of the artists who live here ”.
Because of this philosophy, when selecting the tutors who will deliver the course’s 16 specialist masterclasses, Queenie emphasized how important it is to have a wide range of diversity-oriented artists at all levels. Emphasis is placed on the presence of female artists, tutors from BIPOC and various genres, as well as tutors involved in the different styles and genres of cabaret.
As cabaret is about storytelling, and often the stories of the individual artist, Queenie felt it was crucial that tutors could encourage performers to discuss their lived experiences. “The course is open to artists from anywhere and from all genres of performing arts. – singers, circus, comedians, burlesque, drag – all will find themselves reflected in the diversity of tutors,” says Queenie. “And because diversity and accessibility are important to us at AMTA, we will seek and encourage artist registrations in regional areas, as well as POC, LGBTIQ + artists and artists of various body and age to register. We also invite artists who are having financial difficulties to contact us, as we offer a number of grants to people in difficult financial situations. ”
So if you’ve got a story or an idea that’s germinating, or you’ve always wanted to like the song says, come to the cabaret, Check out AMTA’s Cabaret Creation Course and be part of the next generation of diverse, innovative and exciting cabaret artists to make their voices heard.
For more details and to register for the Cabaret Creation Course, please visit the AMTA website.