cabaret fellows

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

Applications for the 2020 Cabaret & Performance Conference are now closed.

The Cabaret Fellows program will be held online August 3-7.

The 2020 O'Neill Summer Season, including the Cabaret & Performance Conference will be held online. Learn more here.

learn from world-class artists

John McDaniel

Artistic Director

Conductor, composer, orchestrator, record producer, Grammy and two-time Emmy Award-winner.

Barb Jungr

2020 Master Teacher

Award-winning British songstress renowned for her vocal style, interpretation of song and radical approach to arrangements. 

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Natalie Douglas

2020 Master Teacher

BroadwayWorld Best Cabaret Vocalist Award Winner and recipient of the Donald F. Smith & Margaret Whiting Awards from the Mabel Mercer Foundation. 


Lennie Watts

2020 Guest Artist

10-time MAC Award-winner, vocalist, director, producer, & booking manager with over 20 years in the NYC cabaret scene.  


Betty Buckley

2020 Guest Artist

Tony Award-winning actress, whose career has encompassed TV, film, stage and concert work around the globe


Brian J. Nash

2020 Music Director


Tracy Stark

2020 Music Director

10-time MAC Award winner, Bistro Award winner, winner of the Dottie Burman Songwriter of the Year Award. Singer/Songwriter, Musical Director, Conductor and Arranger

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Mark Hartman

2020 Music Director

New York-based pianist, coach, conductor, arranger and composer. Recipient of three MAC Awards and the Backstage Bistro Award for Music Direction

Judy Kuhn

2017 Guest Artist

Four-time Tony Award-nominee, best known for her work in Fun Home, She Loves Me, Les Miserables, Rags, & Pocahontas.  

Norm Lewis

2016 Guest Artist

Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominee. Broadway showstopper and star on the silver screen.


Melissa Manchester

2016 Guest Artist

Grammy winner with career hits such as “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Midnight Blue,” and “You Should Hear How He Talks About You.”


Tommy Tune

2013 Guest Artist

Actor, dancer, singer, director, producer, and choreographer. Won ten Tony Awards, the National Medal of Arts and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2020 overview

The 2020 Cabaret & Performance conference is going virtual! The reimagined course of study for our Cabaret Fellows program still includes top professionals from around the globe led by our Grammy & Emmy Award-winning artistic director John McDaniel. Master teachers include international singing star Barb Jungr, multi-award winning performer Natalie Douglas, featuring master classes by Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley and MAC president Lennie Watts. Returning music directors include award-winners Tracy Stark & Mark Hartman. The 5-day program, held online August 3-7, will include daily classes exploring every aspect of performance: song selection, preparation, one on one work with music directors, individual coachings, class presentation, show development, venue selection, marketing, and more! Join us for an unforgettable experience this summer! Alumni of the program have gone on to perform at major venues from coast to coast, utilizing the lasting relationships cultivated at the O’Neill.


Applications for the 2020 Cabaret & Performance Conference will be open March 19 - May 22 at 7pm EST. Only complete applications will be considered, which includes:

  1. an application form
  2. a video audition
The reduced tuition rate of $800 includes all classes, coachings, and master classes. ___

A note from Artistic Director, John McDaniel

Hello everyone!

While we are fully aware of everything that’s going on around us, particularly and potentially impacting our ability to gather this summer, we are still accepting applications for the Summer 2020 Cabaret & Performance conference.

Who knows yet what form this summer conference will take? BUT, since we’re all isolated at home, it’s the perfect time to center ourselves and prepare ourselves for the day that we can once again scramble into the world!

What better time to consider your place as a Fellow at our conference? Perhaps this year it’s impossible to get with your accompanist to make an audition video? Ok. Maybe your video is accapella? Or perhaps you’re able to download a track to accompany you? In any event, there’s no fee to apply and we want to hear from you.

Very best,

John McD

Performance Classes
Open Mic
Public Performance
Pinning Ceremony


Eugene O'Neill Theater Center

305 Great Neck Road

Waterford, CT 06385

Administrative Offices: (860) 443-5378



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