March and April 2003 marked a new era for the performing arts at American University, as a brand-new facility came to life with the voices and talents of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. On March 27-29, the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre’s grand opening, Curtain Up!, was a montage of performers and performances from the previous 25 years of music and theatre at AU. April 9-13 then featured celebratory performances by the AU Symphony Orchestra and the AU Chorus in Lights Up!. A few short months later, the AU theatre department graced the stage of the beautiful facility with Cabaret.
Fast forward 10 years, and the Greenberg Theatre is now a vibrant part of the arts in Northwest D.C. In addition to hosting the many AU performances, the facility also provides a state-of-the-art performance space for outside organizations.
To celebrate the Greenberg Theatre’s impact, and to honor Harold and Sylvia Greenberg’s gift, the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Greenberg Theatre, "Art at the Heart," is set for April 4, 2013. The celebration will include alumni, faculty, students, and Sylvia Greenberg. As a part of the celebration, AU students will reprise the musical favorite Cabaret.
Cabaret will run for four performances from April 4 to April 6. However, the “Art at the Heart” celebration will be only Thursday, April 4. For more information about Cabaret and the 10th anniversary celebration, or to purchase tickets online, visit the arts calendar.
“This celebration is a way of showing Sylvia Greenberg that AU and the Department of Performing Arts truly appreciate the gift that made this theatre possible,” says Peter Starr, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Greenberg Theatre is an invaluable resource to the entire community.”
The celebration will be a multifaceted affair. Before the performance that evening, there will be a pre-show on the Greenberg stage. While the details are to be a surprise, the performance will include alumni from past AU casts. Sylvia Greenberg will also be honored.
After the evening’s production of Cabaret, attendees will move to the lobby to enjoy a reception featuring live “mannequins.” These “mannequins” will be actors dressed up in costumes from previous years’ shows. Audience members will also be able to enjoy scenic models and a wall of posters from previous productions.
“We are celebrating the 10 years of shows that we’ve done here at the Greenberg Theatre,” says Greg Anderson, the theatre’s facilities and production manager. A reception will feature food and toasts to Sylvia Greenberg.
The centerpiece of the celebration will be the anniversary run of Cabaret.
“We asked Mrs. Greenberg for a list of her favorite musicals, and Cabaret was one of her choices,” Anderson explains. “It’s the show that opened the Greenberg Theatre 10 years ago, so we decided that it would be a nice circle of starting with Cabaret and then celebrating the 10th year with Cabaret.”
The production, directed by Gail Humphries Mardirosian, will be the Studio 54 version of the famous musical, done in 1998. While darker than previous versions, this version was chosen because it is much more accurate to historical events. Cabaret, featuring memorable songs like “Mein Herr” and “Maybe This Time,” tells the story of cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her romance with American writer Cliff Bradshaw, all set in 1931’s Berlin with the rise of Nazi power.