Cabaret Night: ‘Hybrid Talent Show and Open Mic’


Sophie Hornberger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Cabaret Night is fast approaching, and it provides ample opportunities to not only enjoy the arts but also participate in them. The night is a combination of performances and art, with a format unlike any other even throughout the year. 

“So Cabaret is kind of nice to the extent of, when you come to any other event or concert or performance here you have a seat, you go sit in it, and you watch the performance,” said NDA teacher Jennie Laaksonen, who organizes the events along with the music and art departments. “Here, you’re meandering. You walk and you go to places that sound interesting.” 

Laaksonen said that she has had a hard time describing the event to people after the two-year break due to Covid-19, explaining that in the past most people knew what it was from the year prior. 

“I guess the best thing I can equate it to is it’s kind of a hybrid talent show and open-mic. So it’s kind of a prescribed open mic because we sign-up people ahead of time…So we have you sign-up ahead, but you can perform and do whatever you want. And so it becomes a little like a talent show where you’re showcasing your talent,” explained Laaksonen. 

The event has three performance locations, one in the library, one in the commons, and one in the auditorium. 

“It’s kind of like this entire ambiance,” described Laaksonen. “There are three different places that are performing all at once. There’s kind of a vibe to the whole evening. It’s just really a showcase of the arts.” 

Along with performances throughout the building, there is also an art showcase competition, with works displayed throughout the night. 

The competition, open to all students, not just those in arts, includes everything from traditional paintings to digital art to sculptures, explained NDA art teacher Melanie Bradshaw. 

Known as the “Juried Art Show,” it provides an opportunity for students to display their work not only for attendees of the evening, but also for a panel of judges.

“Sometimes it’s people from the Arts and Business Center from NWTC, a professor from St. Norbert or GB that does art, or a local artist. So it’s usually two to three jurors,” explained Bradshaw. “They come in and they score the pieces on a rubric that takes into consideration creativity, technical skill and craftsmanship.” 

The winner of the Juried Art Show will win $100 and get their artwork added to Notre Dame’s permanent collection. The first and second runners up will receive $50 and $25 respectively. 

Those who wish to enter art of any kind into the show need to have their works to Mrs. Bradshaw by March 30. 

As for ways for students to get involved outside of performing or submitting artwork, Laaksonen explained that she is in need of a videographer to get photos and videos from throughout the night. 

The most important way for students to get involved, however, is to come attend the night. 

“You have to come and you have to feel it yourself and you’re going to realize, these are some of the events we have here that other places don’t, and it’s what makes us special,” said Laaksonen.