Front Row Board 2014-2015!

We are proud to announce Front Row Theatre Co.’s board for the 2014-2015 school year!

Chair – Dana Floberg
Vice Chair – Brandon Fleischer
Secretary – Jordan Miller
Treasurer – Carson House
Community Liaison – Greg Olberding
Technical Director – Adrienne Bell-Koch
Digital Directors – Jessica Schwarz & Sam Wapner
Social Chair – Amanda Shur
General Board Member – Gray Stanton

Can’t wait to see you next year!


Cabaret Spotlight: Russell Abdo

Russell is a senior in the College, Front Row’s beloved co-social chair, manager at WilCaf, and more things than honestly even he can keep track of! He’s also an ensemble actor in FTC’s upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Russell Abdo

FTC: Who are you in the show?
RA: I play Bobby, part of the Kit Kat Club.

FTC: What’s your favorite musical number so far and why?
RA: Though I’m not part of it, I cannot WAIT for the Emcee’s number If You Could See Her. Sharell and Logan are gonna KILL IT.

FTC: If there was a drink named after you at WilCaf what would it be called/consist of?
RA: It’d be the Razzle, or a Cinnamon Dirty Chai. It’d be spicy. It’d be caffeinated. And it’s got a cute ass name.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
RA: I would say over 10 at this point, but my favorites have been the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and The Children’s Hour.

FTC: If there was a Buzzfeed article written about you 20 years from now what would the title be?
RA: 20 GIFs the Prove that Russell Abdo is still as SWUG as Ever.

FTC: What is the funniest thing that has happened in rehearsals so far?
RA: Watching Ashley Catalano try to square dance. You think white people would be better at it.

Come see Russell and the rest of Front Row in “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!


Lyrics by FRED EBB
Directed by KATE HERZLIN
Musically Directed by CHRIS BURCHERI

Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit, inspiring and spawned numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as a 1972 film by the same name. It is based on John Van Druten’s 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw. A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub.

RSVP on Facebook!

Thursday, Feb. 20th @ 8:00pm
Friday, Feb. 21st @ 10:00pm
Saturday, Feb. 22nd @ 8:00pm

Harrison Rooftop Lounge

$10 on Locust, $12 at the door
Harrison Residents, email Kelly-Ann ( by Monday, 2/17 about a discounted ticket rate!

Cabaret Graphic

Cabaret Spotlight: Kate Herzlin

Kate is a senior in the College and the brilliant director of FTC’s upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Kate Herzlin

FTC: What was the first show you ever directed?
KH: In high school, my first directing experience was with a Moliere play for my theatre class, but at Penn, my first directing experience was with Wild Party, Q Fling 2012.

FTC: What’s your favorite part about directing?
KH: This is hard! I think my favorite part is also my least favorite – letting go at the end, when the show basically belongs to the stage manager and the actors. It’s bittersweet because it means that I can’t adjust anything else, but I know I’ve put in enough time, energy and hard work with all of these brilliant and talented people, that the show is ready to live on its own, and that’s really exciting.

FTC: What was your favorite picture book as a child?
KH: Do VHS tapes of Sondheim musicals count? If not, I suppose I read Where’s Waldo a lot in the company of others because I was a really competitive 5-year old.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
KH: I was the dramaturg for Cowboy Mouth and for The Children’s Hour, I was in Zanna, Don’t!, and I props designed The Last Five Years, so I suppose this is my fifth FTC show! Assuming I did math right…

FTC: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
KH: The ability to be wherever I want to be when I want to be there! Is that teleporting? Basically, I want something to allow me to instantly go from my room in a highrise to the lobby level without waiting for the elevator or taking the stairs.

FTC: Why Cabaret?
KH: Oh, lord. How do I answer this? Because life is a cabaret! We go to the cabaret to forget out troubles and receive ignorant entertainment; we fall asleep, and when we fall asleep, that’s when we allow it to become the end of the world. What could I possibly mean by all that? Come to the cabaret (and find out)!

Come see Kate and the rest of Front Row put on “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!

Cabaret Spotlight: Kelly-Ann Corrigan

Kelly-Ann is a senior in the College and Front Row’s longest serving board member! She talks about her role producing FTC’s upcoming performance of “Cabaret”!

Zach Baldwin

FTC: What is the producer of a Tac-e show responsible for?
KC: Everything that happens outside of the rehearsal room – though, you do schedule rehearsal space. This means you are responsible for designers, load-in, the tech week schedule, and any and all other odds and ends. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure everything gets done even if it’s not specifically your job. I think the biggest thing to remember is that when something doesn’t get done, you have to do it – regardless of who was supposed to do it in the first place. If something goes wrong, that’s also ultimately your fault. It’s a lot to take on but there’s nothing better than seeing the final product come together. I mean I wrote a 15 page guide on How to Produce a TAC-e show so there’s a lot…

FTC: What’s your favorite part about producing?
KC: When the lights go down at the end of opening night, there’s an unimaginable sense of pride that a producer feels. That’s why I keep doing it: the overwhelming feeling that you’re part of an incredible product that’s so much bigger than yourself. That feeling is addicting.

FTC: If you could go anywhere in the world for dinner where would you go and why?
KC: I would go to Italy because I love pasta…and cheese. I LOVE pasta and cheese.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
KC: Including the upcoming Spring 2014 Production of Rabbit Hole, 15. We used to do a staged reading workshop too; I guess if you include those then it’s 18. I’ve worked on every Front Row Show since the Fall of my freshmen year. I’m the only person currently on board who worked on the Fall 2010 show, Bug.

FTC: What song is stuck in your head right now?
KC: Fixer Upper from Frozen.

Come see Kelly-Ann and the rest of Front Row put on “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!

Cabaret Spotlight: Zach Baldwin

Zach Baldwin is a junior in the College doing costume design for FTC’s upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Zach Baldwin

FTC: What are the responsibilities of the costume designer?
ZB: In short: I’m responsible for making sure that the cast are all appropriately (or not so appropriately) dressed for the show.

FTC: What’s your favorite part about being a costume designer?
ZB: This one’s hard! Um…I guess I’d have to say actually being finished so that you can finally see everything come together all at once.

FTC: If there was a crayon named after you what would it be called?
ZB: Perfectly Mauve-lous.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
ZB: Oh god, so many. King Lear, Zanna Don’t, Proof, God of Carnage, The Children’s Hour, Lion in Winter, and now Cabaret!

FTC: What was the one Disney character you always wanted to meet as a child?
ZB: Pretty much anyone from either The Little Mermaid or Winnie the Pooh.

FTC: What is the most unique costume piece in Cabaret?
ZB: Well there’s a gorilla costume in the show, so it’s hard to compete with that…

Come see Zach and the rest of Front Row put on “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!

Cabaret Spotlight: Rachel Beeson

Rachel Beeson is a fabulous freshman stage managing FTC’s upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Rachel Beeson

FTC: What is the stage manager of a Tac-e show responsible for?
RB: I am responsible for everyone’s sanity but my own.

FTC: What’s your favorite part about being the stage manager?
RB: I get to watch (and assist!) the creative process at work in all its generative glory, giving life to someone’s vision. It’s profoundly moving to watch the pieces come together.

FTC: What is one of the top items on your bucket list?
RB: To go! Somewhere! Anywhere! At least not in the USA. Sweden is a top choice but my wanderlust doesn’t distinguish novel experiences.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
RB: This is my second, and I am desperately hiding my inexperience.

FTC: What is your spirit food?
RB: This is tough. I love food. I bake so much that I might as well turn into a cupcake or a loaf of bread. But my go-to response is trail mix; sweet, salty, and nutty.

FTC: What is your favorite rehearsal quote so far?
RB: A la Macklemore; “vhat vhat, vhat, vhat.”

Come see Rachel and the rest of Front Row put on “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!

Auditions and Tech Interviews for Rabbit Hole!

This spring, FTC is excited to produce Rabbit Hole!

We need talented actors and committed techies! Auditions will be January 26th and January 27th in the Harrison Basement from 7pm to 11pm. Tech interviews will be held on February 8th and 9th, times TBA. You don’t need to bring or prepare anything for either auditions or interviews – just stop by at some point on either of the scheduled days!

RSVP for auditions and tech interviews here!

Rabbit Hole
Play by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Meg MacInnes
Produced by Dana Floberg

January 26th and 27th
7pm to 11pm
Harrison Basement

Tech Interviews:
February 8th, 1pm to 5pm
February 9th, 7pm to 11pm
Harrison Mezzanine

No experience needed!

Please be aware: Rabbit Hole deals explicitly with grief and the loss of a loved one, and audition sides may require portrayals of this kind of grief.

Cabaret Spotlight: Chris Burcheri & Jeremy Cohen

Chris Burcheri, a senior in the College and Front Row’s illustrious chair, is the Music Director for our upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Chris Burcheri

FTC: What are the responsibilities of the music director?
CB: The music director teaches the music to the cast and the band, and conducts the performances.

FTC: What’s your favorite part about being the music director?
CB: My favorite part about being the music director is that we get to be involved with the entire process of the show, from auditions at the very beginning, all the way through conducting the performances at the very end.

FTC: What is your favorite musical key and why?
CB: This is such a hard question to answer! It depends on the style and the performers; in musical theatre, A major/minor tend to work well because they sit comfortably in many singers’ voices. But if you’re writing for a group of brass instruments, for example, E-flat major is where it’s at.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
CB: Cabaret is, incredibly, my 13th FTC show, and I’ll be adding number 14 this spring with Rabbit Hole.

FTC: What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore?
CB: I grew up a few blocks from the at-the-time general manager of the New York Islanders NHL team. When the NHL players went on strike in 2004, I dressed up as a striking hockey player and trick-or-treated at his house. It was, at least, the most topical Halloween costume I ever wore. That counts, right?

FTC: What is the most challenging song in Cabaret?
CB: Every song in this show is challenging! I know it’s a cliche, but cliches exist for a reason. Even if the notes are easy to learn, you can’t just sing them and call it a day. There are always more ways to explore all of these songs, emotionally or otherwise, which is part of what makes Cabaret one of the best musicals of all-time.

Jeremy Cohen is a freshman in the College trying his hand at dramaturgy!

Jeremy Cohen

FTC: What is a dramaturg?
JC: Basically, a dramaturg is one whose studies include theatrical history and the historical context of and within specific plays. The work is, by nature, nested in the belief that artistic representations can speak to real human experiences.

FTC: What inspired you to interview for the position of dramaturg?
JC: One night, as I lay in slumber, the Deity came to me and spoke thus: “Jeremy, my son. Thou hast always enjoyed historical and cultural study, especially of early 20th century Weimar Germany and its greater European milieu. Dramaturgy is a decidedly different and interesting way to contribute to the theatrical production without a regimented time commitment. Thus, as I am your Vague and Nondenominational Lord, take thy staff and walk before the people, and they shall know what thou art.”

FTC: What is the best commercial you’ve ever seen?
JC: Old El Paso Hard & Soft Tacos. “¿Porque no los dos?” is a terrific life philosophy. I have never actually tried the product, however.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
JC: This is the first, hopefully of many.

FTC: If you could have the largest collection of anything in the world what would you collect?
JC: One-of-a-kind items. That seems properly paradoxical.

FTC: What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far about Cabaret?
JC: Anyone who has taken a cursory look at European history knows that the two decades between the World Wars (1919-1939) was full of peril, instability, political turmoil and economic hardship. That said, it was also an era of unprecedented artistic merit and productivity. Nowhere was this more true than in the doomed German republic. In the kabaretts of Berlin, one could find intimate escape, but also a dark, comedic venue for the very serious social and political chaos of the day.

Come see Chris and Jeremy and the rest of Front Row put on “Cabaret” this February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!

Cabaret Spotlight: Sarah Middough

Sarah Middough (also called Smiddy) is a senior in the College and is playing Sally Bowles in FTC’s upcoming production of “Cabaret”!

Sarah Middough

FTC: Who is Sally Bowles?
SM: A perfectly marvelous girl.

FTC: What’s your favorite part about musical theater?
SM: At Penn? In general? THIS IS HARD. The singing. That’s a cheesy answer but I stand by it.

FTC: If you could be in the Olympics for anything what would it be?
SM: Ugly face competition. I am a PRO.

FTC: How many FTC shows have you worked on?
SM: Three! [title of show], Last Five Years, and now Cabaret.

FTC: What is the funniest thing you’ve ever had to say on stage?
SM: “It’ssssssssssssss…soy sauce.” Less funny out of context, so you’ll have to trust me on this one.

FTC: What your favorite line in Cabaret?
SM: “I think people are people Cliff, I really do.” This is the only one I can remember at the moment….but I like it!

Come see Sarah and the rest of Front Row in “Cabaret” on February 20th, 21st, and 22nd!