The Rookie Cabaret

About the program

The Play the Fool Festival’s Rookie Cabaret mentorship program and emerging artist showcase is for emerging physical comedy artists and students of any age. Artists may be creating their very first piece outside of the classroom, or they might be experienced performing artists new to clowning or physical comedy.

Over several weeks, participants work with festival director Christine Lesiak and other mentors to take their idea from concept to stage. They create and rehearse an original short work, then perform it at Play the Fool in the The Rookie Cabaret, always a festival highlight!

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As a rookie artist, getting my first original piece onstage helped build the confidence to create more. I would recommend participation to any emerging artist developing a clown or physical comedy bit.

Heather Cornick

Christine is an experienced and intuitive director who had a strong hand in helping my team create a turn in an area that was new to us, and she made the process feel smooth and easy! Whether you’re looking to dip your toes in the water, or experiment in uncharted territories the Rookie Cabaret is a fantastic place to get your most basic of ideas off of the ground!

Skinny McLeod

The Rookie Cabaret has become a cornerstone of learning for our clown duo and I would recommend any young comedian to pursue the cabaret to bring the most professionalism, sincerity, and joy to their careers.

Emily Smith
Kidd Crimson, Rookie Cabaret 2018