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. This program provides artistic guidance and expert instruction to a handful of participants chosen by application and invitation.

Stay tuned for application dates for the 2022 Cabaret & Performance Conference.

2021 overview

The 2021 Cabaret & Performance Conference will bring us together to once again tell our stories, enhance our song performance skills, and create live music. The Cabaret Fellows program will be held on our COVID-responsible campus at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center August 4-15. The Cabaret Fellows program offers a rigorous course of study through mentorship from top professionals from around the globe led by our Grammy & Emmy Award-winning Artistic Director John McDaniel. Master Artist Teachers include multi-award-winning performer Natalie Douglas and esteemed award-winning director Lennie Watts, joined by award-winning music directors Tracy Stark and Mark Hartman. Joining us virtually as Guest Faculty for master classes are Tony Award-winners Betty Buckley and Faith Prince as well as celebrated U.K. recording artist Barb Jungr. This performance bootcamp includes daily classes exploring every aspect of performance: song selection, preparation, 1:1 work with music directors, individual coachings, class presentation, show development, venue selection, marketing, and more! Participants will have the opportunity to discover new songs, styles, and collaborate on unique musical arrangements with a world-class team of artists. Most evenings will feature performances on the mainstage by a range of guest artists to further experience the possibilities of the artform firsthand. Participants will also have an opportunity to chat with these guest artists as an additional moment of mentorship. COVID-responsible performance opportunities allow participants to perform for a mainstage audience outdoors in our iconic Amphitheater. CDC and State of CT health and safety protocols included mask requirements, social distancing, and a robust testing regime. Detailed information will be provided to selected participants. 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.


The application window for the 2021 Cabaret Fellows program was April 15 - May 13, 2021 at 11:59pm PST. Our application is hosted through the Submittable platform. Only complete applications will be considered. Please review the preplist and application requirements here. 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, masterclasses with guest artists, tickets to nightly shows on the mainstage, 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, 2021. The O'Neill is unable to offer refunds requested after July 15, 2021. 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


John McDaniel

Artistic Director

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

Natalie ML Smile 2019 FINAL_CROP 2.jpg

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. 


Barb Jungr

Guest Faculty

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


Lennie Watts

Master Artist Teacher

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


Betty Buckley

Guest Faculty

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


Faith Prince

Guest Faculty

Tony Award-winning actress and singer who brings a wealth of musical theater expertise



Tracy Stark

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

mark hartman.jpg

Mark Hartman

Music Director

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

Performance Classes
Open Mic
Public Performance
Pinning Ceremony