Please be aware that the situation with Covid-19 might mean that we adjust audition and first rehearsal weekend dates. We will do so should orders for your safety require us to do so. You will be notified via email should that occur.



The 2021 Illinois High School Theatre Festival is about one of the greatest truths of theatre:  Theatre is an Accepting Place!

As theatrical artists, we challenge the world to think about who we are as human beings and how we celebrate our differences. Simply WE welcome everyone!

The All-State production is a special event that brings together like-minded, talented students from across the state. All-State is meant to supplement, not replace, students' experiences at their home schools.

About This Musical

The first line of Cabaret is, "WELCOME," in several languages. Fitting with the idea of understanding, this show is all about who we are as human beings and what happens when we don't accept others.

Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where the Master of Ceremonies and his dancers entertain all comers. Among the crowd is a young American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, who develops a relationship with an English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, while ominous political developments loom over the libertine world of late Weimar Germany. Cabaret's powerful story remains remarkably timely nearly 80 years after Isherwood’s original stories were published, which is why the piece continues to resonate with audiences more than 50 years after it debuted.

There was a cabaret
and there was a master of ceremonies 
and there was a city called Berlin
in a country called Germany. 
It was the end of the world... 
and I was dancing with Sally Bowles 
and we were both fast asleep.
The Berlin Stories, Christopher Isherwood


About Cabaret:
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and
Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
1998 version Co-directed and Choreographed by Rob Marshall
1998 version Directed by Sam Mendes

is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company



Name  Gender Identifying      Vocal Range
Emcee Any Tenor
Sally Bowles Female Mezzo-Soprano
Clifford Bradshaw Male Baritone
Fraulein Schneider       Female Alto
Herr Schultz Male Baritone
Fraulein Kost Female Mezzo-Soprano
Ernst Ludwig Male Spoken
Bobby Male  
Victor Male  
Herman Male  
Hans Male  
Lulu Female  
Rosie Female  
Texas Female  
Fritzie Female  
Frenchie Female  
Helga Female  
Ensemble (10-20) Any Gender  

Production Stage Manager
Assistant to the Director
Assistant to the Producer
Assistant Stage Managers

Reed I (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & optional Clarinet in A)
Reed II (Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone)
Synthesizer (primarily Accordion)
Guitar/Banjo (primarily Banjo)
2 Piano

Additional Orchestra Parts
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet
Trumpet II

Construction/Props/Run Crew
Costume Crew
Lighting Crew
Sound Crew

"The Illinois High School Theatre Festival All-State Production of Cabaret welcomes all artists regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability in admission to its programs, services, or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the activities and programs."

There is a $525 fee to participate in the All-State show. This charge covers meals for all rehearsal weekends and production week, housing during production week at Illinois State University, a t-shirt, water bottle, and more. Please note: We have previously helped students raise all the funds necessary and limited scholarship money is available. Please do not let finances discourage you from auditioning. If you have any questions, please contact Producer Mark Begovich at allstateproducers@ihstf.org.

General Audition and Interview Guidelines

The deadline to submit all materials is MONDAY, MAY 4th 
Note New Date: JUNE 22nd 

There is no limit to the number of students a school can send to auditions and interviews; however, only seven students from each school may be selected for cast and crew.

Students may audition as actors, technicians,  production management, and/or orchestra members, but they must fill out a separate application for each area and pay all fees.

All students interested in the 2021 All-State production MUST:

1. Assemble all supporting documentation*:

- Resume and Headshot
-  2020-2021 Participation Required Signatures Form*
2020-2021 All-State Medical/Liability Form
-  2020-2021 All-State Media Release Form

*We know that you may not be able to see your Directors and/or Principals to obtain signatures for the "2020-2021 Participation Required Signatures Form" at this time. Please know they will be made aware of your application when it is submitted. In the meantime, be sure to obtain your parent/chaperone's signature and submit.

All documentation must be scanned and submitted as .pdf files in the application submission process. Please save each document as “LastName_FirstName_NameofForm” Example: Smith_John_Headshot.jpg; Smith_John_Resume.pdf; Smith_John_SignaturesForm.pdf; Smith_MedForm.pdf; Smith_MediaForm.pdf

2. Fill out and submit the appropriate application (including all documentation):
All-State Actor Application

All-State Pit Orchestra Application

3. Pay the Audition/Interview Fee:
Submit a $15 credit card payment to the ILLINOIS THEATRE ASSOCIATION. This should be done in the application. (Note: if you are applying for multiple positions, please submit separate $15 payments for each form.)

4. Follow-up with school director/instructor:
Upon receipt of an application, a Student Recommendation Form will be emailed from the All-State team to the director/instructor listed on the application. (The school email address MUST be a valid and verifiable email address.) The director/instructor will be asked to fill out the form and send directly to the All-State Producer. Students are asked to follow-up with their directors/instructors and remind them to do so!

The All State Producer will send out an audition/interview schedule by May 27th (exact data tba).  Any questions, email allstateproducers@ihstf.org.

Again, the deadline for submission of all materials is MONDAY, MAY 4th.  New Date: JUNE 22nd

Auditions and interviews on Saturday June 6th Saturday, August 1st will take place at:

Effingham High School (1301 Grove Ave., Effingham, IL 62401

Auditions and interviews on Saturday June 13th Saturday, August 8th will take place at:
Harper College Theatre (1200 W. Algonquin Rd., Palatine, IL 60067)

Performance Callbacks will be held on Sunday, June 14th Sunday, August 9th at:
Harper College Theatre (1200 W. Algonquin Rd., Palatine, IL 60067)
(Note: callbacks are by invitation only, and are for Actors only)

Important Information About Rehearsal/Build Weekends

NOTE: Company Members must be available for ALL rehearsals and performances. This point is non-negotiable. If not able to make this commitment, please do not audition.

July 25-26, 2020 - canceled
September 5-7, 2020
October 10-12, 2020 

November 27-29, 2020

December 19-21, 2020

January 4-10, 2021

Students are responsible for their own transportation to the rehearsals and builds as well as to the Festival in January.

NO. Lodging will be provided to every student who requests it during regular rehearsal periods. The entire company will be provided lodging at the Festival at a hotel near campus. We are staying at the Normal, IL Marriott Hotel.

We will arrange housing with fellow Company Members or local theatre students to make sure that you have a place to stay for the rehearsal weekends.

Actor Audition Tips & Guidelines

Auditions are held because the Director and his staff have a large puzzle to solve.  They are truly hoping that you will be the one to solve their casting challenges.  Please know that they are on your side. They want you to be SUCCESSFUL.  They are rooting for you.  

Thank you for auditioning. Thank you for your time and your preparation. Take a deep breath and BREAK A LEG!


Those auditioning should:

  • Complete the on-line audition application and accompanying forms (see Audition Guidelines, above)
  • Prepare 32 bars of a song in the style of the show. An accompanist will be provided. Please bring sheet music in the appropriate key.
  • Prepare a 1-minute dramatic monologue
  • Dance Audition: please wear appropriate dance attire and dance shoes.

Note: All-State Requires that actors accept any roles in which they are cast. Actors not willing to abide by this requirement should not audition.


The Production Team is committed to creating a diverse group of actors and is seeking a strong ensemble of dedicated actors of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds for all roles. They are committed to creating a professional atmosphere and rehearsal process. All roles are open and all are encouraged to audition.


The host/master of ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub; comedic, lovable; strong dancer/singer with dynamic stage presence and hosting abilities; age range and appearance flexible; speaks with a German accent

Sally Bowles

Strong dancer/singer; vocal range: low A to high C, soprano, strong belt; a transient English second-rate cabaret singer at the Kit Kat Klub living in Berlin; a quirky character who comes across as flighty, yet at times struggles with knowing the darkness of the reality of her life as a cabaret performer; she entangles herself with Clifford and they begin a fated relationship; speaks with a British accent

Clifford (Cliff) Bradshaw

Vocal range: low A to high E, tenor; a budding American novelist searching Europe for inspiration for his next book; presented as a bisexual man exploring his sexuality; upon reaching Berlin he quickly gets entangled with its underground party scene and political climate; comfortable with stage movement, stage combat, and light dance; speaks with an American accent

Fraulein Schneider

Vocal range: low D to Ab above middle C, alto; strong acting required; a landlady who rents rooms in her large flat; comfortable with stage movement and light dance (waltz); speaks with a German accent

Herr Schultz

Vocal range: low G to high F, tenor; strong acting required; one of Fraulein Schneider’s roomers; a Jewish fruit-stand owner and the love interest of Fraulein Schneider; comfortable with stage movement and light dance; speaks with a German accent

Fraulein Kost

Vocal range: low A flat to high F, alto/mezzo; another of Fraulein Schneider’s roomers, she earns money by offering favors to sailors; commanding nature; comfortable with moments of intimacy and stage movement; speaks with a German accent

Ernst Ludwig

Sings in the chorus, vocal range flexible; a friendly and likable German, takes English lessons from Cliff, and smuggles funds for the Nazi party (in which he is an up and coming political figure); comfortable with stage movement and light dance (waltz); age range is flexible; speaks with a German accent

Kit Kat Klub Chorus

10-12 members will be cast as Kit Kat Club performers and various featured roles; seeking strong singers in all voice parts; individuals will also be part of various scenes as performers and club patrons, party guests, and various features; the ladies can be of various shapes and sizes -- the key is that they are comfortable with their bodies; features (“Two Ladies,” “Telephone Dance,” etc.) will be drawn from this group; excellent dance skills required.

Male Dance Ensemble

10-12 members will be cast as Kit Kat Klub waiters and club patrons, party guests, and various features; seeking strong singers in all voice parts; should be comfortable with possibly portraying free in gender depictions; features (Bobby, Victor, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” etc.) will be drawn from this group; excellent dance skills required.

On-Stage Costumed Orchestra

Female orchestra: Tenor Saxophone, Trombone, Drums, and Piano


Please note: Cabaret contains scenes of intimacy. 
No overt sexually provocative moments will be created. 


Production Management and Technician Interview Tips and Guidelines

The interview process is a good time for the production team to get to know you and your abilities. It is pretty stress-free. It is your chance to learn the various responsibilities of each crew, and for the staff to see how you may fit with the respected crews. 

The staff is seeking TALENTED Crew Members who are willing to work together to make the magic of theatre happen!


Those interviewing for technical positions should:

  • Complete the on-line interview application and accompanying forms (see Audition/Interview Guidelines, above)
  • Prepare a portfolio of work
    - Specific work should be highlighted. If possible, show work in progress.
    - Can be either physical (traditional photo book) or digital (on a laptop);
    if digital, please make sure it can be accessed WITHOUT internet access

Those interviewing for production management positions should:

  • Complete the on-line interview application and accompanying forms (see Audition/Interview Guidelines, above)
  • Prepare a portfolio of work
    - Include examples of work; i.e. rehearsal calendars, prompt books, call sheets, etc.

Note: All-State Requires that students accept any position that is assigned. Students not willing to abide by this requirement should not interview.

- Be prepared to discuss what technical theatre work you have done.
- Bring a portfolio to show examples of projects you've worked on.
- Be able to explain your areas of greatest interest.
- You will be interviewed for approximately seven (7) minutes. Please plan on some time for questions either during/after your presentation.

We are looking for examples of your work. This can be in the form of paperwork, actual props/costumes (if available) and photos. Your portfolios can be Digital, Matted, or in a Binder but in any form, please make sure it is your best work. If you have a digital portfolio please plan on sharing it prior to your interview, bringing a laptop and having a back up. More specific possibilities below include:

- PHOTOS OF YOUR WORK! Try to include process shots as well as the final product. Include captions detailing your contributions to each project.
- Show books including marked scripts, cue sheets, prop lists, etc.
- Light plots and sections, channel hookups, instrument schedules
- Microphone plots, selected recordings (if available)
- Draftings, drawings, sketches (napkin sketches count!)
- Paint samples, built props (if available)
- Examples of types of sewing stitches you are able to create. (Please do not bring in medium to large scale items that are awkward to carry. Clear photos are sufficient.)
- Résumé. Look at examples online.

The purpose of an interview is for your interviewers to get to know you. Prepare for any type of question to be asked that may be related to your portfolio, your resume or the following:
- Who are you?
- What are you passionate about? What are your goals?
- How would you describe your work style? What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond what was asked of you.
- Why should you be considered for a crew position for Aida?
- Why do you want to be a part of the All-State crew?

Throughout the interview your résumé and portfolio will be assessed by the interviewer(s). Be prepared to answer specific questions about each show, the process, the people with whom you worked and the final product.

Remember, the purpose of the interview is to introduce yourself in the best possible way. Since all students are being interviewed for general technicians, your résumé should describe your technical experience in any and all areas. Your area strengths will become evident in your portfolio and in the way you talk about your work. Be confident that you are the best candidate for the position of technician, and let your experience back you up. We suggest practice interviewing with a partner. Typically this works best with someone you don’t know very well rather than your best friend, as they probably already know the answers to the questions.

For any interview you should always dress your best. Keep in mind that the clothes you wear say something about you, but be sure they do not take center stage. The interview is to showcase YOU and your abilities. Your attire is the supporting role. 

Musician Tips and Guidelines

"In here, even the Orchestra is beautiful." from Cabaret

The Orchestra will play the luscious Kander and Ebb score in a very interactive way -- it will be part of the action in the Kit Kat Club! It will be a tremendous experience for all involved.

Those auditioning should:

  • Complete the on-line interview application and accompanying forms (see Audition/Interview Guidelines, above)
  • Record a 3-minute audition piece
    - Should be in .mp3 or a video
    -Email recording to allstateproducers@ihstf.org
Frequently Asked Questions Minimize

Is there a cost to audition?
Yes.  There is a $15 audition fee. It covers processing and materials fees.  

Is there an expense to participate?
Yes. There is a $525 fee. This amount is spent 100% on you and the show.  It covers your meals, 5 nights housing at  the Festival, show shirts, show water bottles, and more. Note: We help you fundraise and locate scholarship opportunities.

Can anyone audition?
Yes,  Schools can send as many students as they want to audition and interview. Your Drama Sponsor should coordinate that information and will be required to submit an online recommendation form for each student auditioning/interviewing.  Additionally, principals must sign-off on your participation at the time of auditions and interviews.

What Is All-State Really Like? 
Awesome! It is a great time for everyone involved. The All-State production is meant to supplment, not replace, your home school’s theatre experience. You are expcted to still be an active leader and model student with your home Drama Program. Being selected for the All-State is a special honor.

One aspect of being inolved in All-State is that it's a chance to enhance your love of the theatre by working with talented students from all over the state. You will be brought together with like-minded people, who believe in the art of theatre, to create a magical production.

All-State is work.  You must commit to all the rehearsal dates.  During that time, we will focus on being incredibly productive.  Yes, we start in July; however, when you add up all the time spent - that time is much less than the normal rehearsal process.  Being chosen for the All-State means that you have the capacity for that work.

Are there eligibility requirements?
Yes. We do expect you to maintain good grades. We will do a grade check-in during the October weekend. We have the same standards as the IHSA (you must be passing four credit classes to remaiin eligible for the All-State Company).

Where do we workt?
All of the Fall rehearsals will be upstate at Morton West High School in Cicero.  Production week is at the University of Illinois-Urbana.

I do not live near the rehearsal spot, where do I stay?
We are seeking Company Members from across the state! Anyone who is far away from our rehearsals will stay with a host family for the weekend; typically this  is with another Company member, or other host theatre student. Additionally, we are all housed together during the entire Festival week. 

Are rehearsals REALLY mandatory?
Yes. Because we are bringing together people from all over the state, and we have a limited time to make the magic happen, all rehearsals are mandatory. In the end, the time commitment is a lot less than your typical rehearsal time. You are expected to make All-State the priority for the dates listed. Please make sure you are available for all dates BEFORE signing up. Additionally, All-State is meant to be a bonus, and not a substitute for, work at your home school. 

I have other questions, who do I contact?
Please send an e-mail to all allstateproducers@ihstf.org with your additional questions.  Please note, it may be a few days until you get a response.