Education & Artist Development

 The Cabaret offers a variety of educational programs both for high school and college students who will become the next generation of cabaret stars and current performers looking to take the next step in their artistic career.  This will ensure the unique art of cabaret continues to grow in Indianapolis.

Most universities focus on the classical genre and few local performers are trained for cabaret. Training in this style of performance further develops singing talent, but also the ability to be truly vulnerable with the audience. Developing this ability requires specialized training and performance opportunities. Due to the intensive nature of the educational programs, The Cabaret makes a meaningful impression on a targeted number of students that yields a deep, long-term impact on their futures.

The Next Generation


The Cabaret offers complimentary student tickets to select shows. Educational partners are also invited to perform prior to most Saturday performances. Students receive complimentary tickets to the show.  Depending upon artist availability, students will also have an opportunity to meet and get pictures with the artist(s) following the performance.  Select shows will also include a Q&A with the artist following the performance.


The Cabaret provides aspiring artists with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work one-on-one with a Broadway star or world-renowned cabaret or jazz artist.  Classes provide participants the opportunity to take their performance skills to the next level. Classes provide one-on-one performance coaching with a smaller group of select students and will be expanded to include a 20-30 minute Q & A with the artist, giving students the opportunity to participate in a performance and career dialogue with an already accomplished artist in the field.

Occasionally, the artist will also sing a song or two for the class. All students attending the class will also receive a group photo with the artist.

Contact The Cabaret about educational opportunities
Recent classes have included:

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Lindsay Mendez
Star of Waitress, Wicked, Godspell, Significant Other, Everyday Rapture, and Grease

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Gavin Creel
Star of Waitress, Hello, Dolly!, She Loves Me, Hair, La Cage Aux Folles, The Book of Mormon, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and 8

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Stephanie J. Block
Star of The Cher Show, Wicked, Falsettos, 9 to 5, The Pirate Queen, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Boy from Oz, and Anything Goes

Broadway Star, Betsy Wolfe
Star Carousel, Falsettos, Bullets Over Broadway, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Everyday Rapture, 110 in the Shade, and A Wonerful Life

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Joshua Henry
Star of Shuffle Along, Porgy and Bess, Violet, The Scottsboro Boys, American Idiot and In the Heights

Broadway Star, Jason Danieley
Star of Chicago, The Visit with Chita Rivera, Curtains with David Hyde Pierce, Next to Normal with his lovely and talented wife Marin Mazzie, and The Full Monty

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Brian Stokes Mitchell
Star of Shuffle Along, Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, and Kiss Me, Kate

Broadway’s Hunky Heartthrob, Kyle Riabko
Star of Broadway’s Spring Awakening and Hair and star and creator of the hit West End and Off-Broadway show Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined

Tony Award-winning Broadway Star, Laura Benanti
Star of Gypsy, Meteor Shower, She Loves Me, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Into the Woods, Swing!, Nine, The Wedding Singer, and The Sound of Music.

Artist Development

As part of our mission to develop the next generation of cabaret performers, The Cabaret works with select promising performers in developing a full-scale cabaret show from start to finish to be presented on our stage.  We provide one-on-one training for the show; produce the marketing materials and show; work with the artist on promotional and marketing materials for future opportunities and help to promote the artist to other cabaret venues around the country.


Once a cabaret is in its final stages of development, Artistic Director & CEO Shannon Forsell will mentor local performers to prepare them for a performance at The Cabaret. At the final performance, the audience will gain more insight into the process of creating a cabaret at a post-show Q&A with the artists.


The Cabaret partners with Ball State University’s Theater and Dance Department to provide experiential learning opportunities for students each semester. Artistic Director Shannon Forsell helped the university develop a vocal and cabaret course in 2013.  This program has since grown to two cabaret courses annually that culminate with a showcase at The Cabaret in the winter and spring.  The senior course is taught by esteemed Broadway star Sutton Foster and acclaimed music director Michael Rafter.  The classes culminate in a full-scale student cabaret showcase at The Cabaret.  The students then present the show at New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub. Students in this program are also featured throughout the year in pre-show spotlights prior to performances by national artists. This series provides the emerging performers the opportunity to apply the skills they developed in class on stage.

In addition to our formal programs, The Cabaret annually partners with other community organizations for special education programs/workshops.


Your generosity makes it possible to present shows with top national and international talent and train up-and-coming performers in the art of cabaret. LEARN MORE