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cabaret fellows

A dynamic opportunity for performers to refine their skills and stage presence with the guidance of an accomplished team of world-class professionals.

Applications Closed

Program Dates

August 10 - August 20, 2022

Performance Date

August 18

The Cabaret & Performance Conference Fellows Program is a dynamic opportunity for performers to refine their skills and stage presence under the direction of an accomplished team of professionals. During an intense two-week period, this conference provides artistic guidance and expert instruction to a handful of participants chosen by application and invitation.


With six hours of classes daily, Fellows receive one-on-one coaching from leading music directors, work with world-class guest artists, and prepare for a public performance, as well as participate in night time open mic sessions. Fellows gain admission to nightly professional shows by world-class performers. Areas of study include song selection, ear training, mic technique, harmony, and group dynamics. Alumni of the program have gone on to perform at major venues from coast to coast, utilizing the lasting relationships they cultivated at the O’Neill.

The Conference reexamines, redefines and revitalizes the Cabaret art form for the 21st century, using a definition of cabaret as “any kind of live performance in an intimate space that often breaks the fourth wall.” Recent Conference artists include: Norm Lewis, Molly Pope, Melissa Manchester, Karen Mason, Telly Leung, L Morgan Lee, Joyce Breach, Brad Simmons, Eric Yves Garcia, The Skivvies, Nick Adams, Shirley Jones, Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, Mimi Hines, Susie Mosher, Judy Kuhn, and Tommy Tune.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is now accepting applications for the Cabaret & Performance Conference Fellows Program. The professional program, helmed by Artistic Director John McDaniel, will take place August 10-20, 2022 on the O’Neill’s seaside campus.

Award-winning artists Lennie Watts and Natalie Douglas serve as the programs’ Master Teachers, and will be joined via in-person and virtual classes by Barb Jungr, Betty Buckley, Ken Page, Marilyn Maye, and Matthew Scott, with music directors Tracy Stark, Mark Hartman & Steven Cuevas.

Grammy and Emmy Award Winner John McDaniel, the Conference’s Artistic Director, says "We are excited to open applications for our 2022 Fellows. Our Fellows come from all over for a deep dive into all aspects of song performance and they benefit from a wide array of gifted professional instructors. This program is perfect for anyone who wants to up their musical game."

"It’s been an honor to get to work in workshop with the veterans & younger artists at The O’Neill Cabaret & Performance conference for the great John McDaniel! Looking forward to going back this coming summer 2022” shared Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, who will be returning this year as an instructor at the Conference.

The O’Neill provides its artists individualized attention and the opportunity to interact with other artists, establishing support and camaraderie between participants, guest artists, music directors, and faculty.

Applications will be accepted April 14 through May 5. The $30 application fee is being waived thanks to the generosity of individual supporters. Black, indigenous, and peoples of color are highly encouraged to apply.

The application window for the 2022 Cabaret Fellows program will be April 14 - May 5, 2022 at 11:59pm PST. Our application is hosted through the Submittable platform. Only complete applications will be considered.


Tuition & Refund Policy

The base cost of tuition for this program is $3,500.


Included in all tuition fees: daily morning and afternoon sessions and mentorship with faculty, master classes with guest artists, tickets to nightly shows on the main stage, and room & board on the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center campus.


Should you not be able to attend the Conference, the O'Neill will refund half of your total paid cost, minus any non-refundable deposits if the request is made prior to July 15, 2022. The O'Neill is unable to offer refunds requested after July 15, 2022.


Daily Schedule

The Cabaret Fellows Program thrives with a rigorous and varied schedule. Below is an example of a potential daily schedule. All class sessions include work with our master teachers, a team of music directors as well as esteemed guest artists.


9:30 am -12:30 pm: Morning Class Session

12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 - 2:00 pm: All Conference Meeting

2:00 - 5:30 pm: Afternoon Class Session

5:30 - 6:30 pm: Dinner

8:00 pm: Mainstage Performance

learn from world-class artists

Performance Classes
Open Mic
Public Performance
Pinning Ceremony
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