CulturalDC’s Space4 Presents TBD Immersive’s In Cabaret We Trust


In Cabaret We Trust

CulturalDC’s Space4 Presents
TBD Immersive’s In Cabaret We Trust
September 7 – 29 | Blind Whino SW Arts Club

WASHINGTON, DC – CulturalDC is pleased to present TBD (Tradition Be Dammed) Immersive’s world premiere of In Cabaret We Trust, an immersive theatrical experience that explores the ties between Weimar Republic-era Berlin in the 1920’s and, nearly a century later, what could be DC’s future. Directed by Artistic Director Strother Gaines and devised and created by TBD Immersive, the production marks the follow-up to the team’s TEDx Mid-Atlantic production, Welcome to the Family. With support from CulturalDC’s Space4 program, the production will run September 7 – September 29, 2017 at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club; tickets are on sale now.


“History doesn’t repeat itself…but it does rhyme.” While almost certainly incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, this quote exemplifies what spurred TBD Immersive to create In Cabaret We Trust.

Set in the 2020s, In Cabaret We Trust tells the story of DC’s struggling Resistance Cabaret featuring acrobats, aerialists, fire troupes, dancers, and more. The cabaret is fighting to stay alive in the capital of the populist-controlled Republic. Congress has revoked DC’s Home Rule, and an ultra-conservative lesbian Senator now controls the city, which she regards as little more than a filthy, liberal swamp. Under increasing pressure from her constituents to shut down the Cabaret (Is #CabaretGate real? Or fake news?), the Senator has chosen tonight to make her big move.

But like everyone in this town, she has secrets. Secrets held by the headmistress of the Cabaret that could ruin her career. As the two factions lock into a chess game of “mutually assured destruction,” each side fights to maintain their foothold and gain new ground. The press wants the truth. The Resistance persists. Difficult choices are made. The show must go on.

Can the Cabaret be saved?

In Cabaret We Trust is a fully-immersive theatre experience that begins as soon as the audience arrives. It is set within the walls of the 15,000+ sq. ft. desanctified church, Blind Whino. This immersive production will highlight not only the acts on the mainstage, but also the tangled web of stories just below the surface. Drawing on influences from the Weimar Republic era, the production explores themes of power and control, as well as resistance and artistic spirit. Artistic director Strother Gaines says, “In my research following the 2016 election, I started seeing parallel storylines between the Weimar Republic and the previous 8 years here in DC. Back then, as the pendulum swung back to a fascist regime, we lost the cultural progress of the early Weimar Republic. It makes us nervous to see the increasingly similar parallels to today’s political landscape.”

In a time of chaos and secrets, what compromises are you willing to make? Which values are untouchable and which ones are you willing to bend if not break?

The event space will open 30 minutes prior to curtain with ambient performances (weather permitting). For additional information, go to www.culturaldc.org and www.tbdimmersive.com (coming soon)

TBD (Tradition Be Damned) Immersive believes in creating art that blurs the line between audience and performer. We hope to create new worlds — in the spirit of Sleep No More and Westworld — where the audience is safe to explore and challenged to step outside their comfort zone. By moving the audience from a passive observer to an active participant in our stories, we encourage audience members to truly connect with one another and the performers, deepen their understanding and empathy, and increase their retention and engagement in a co-created storyline.

Strother is the artistic director and founder of TBD Immersive. Past directing credits include the 2016 TEDx Mid-Atlantic Immersive “Welcome to the Family”, THE Theatre Company’s “House of Yes”, sold-out fringe hit “Ambien Date Night” and Best of Fringe pick “The Dish”. He is a business and personal coach for entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as a public speaker and corporate facilitator via his private practice “But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit!”. As an artist and entrepreneur he is passionately committed to the ideals of authenticity, connection, and storytelling as well as helping as many people as possible own up to the fact that they’re a unique fu&%ing snowflake. He looks pretty good in purple. (www.tbdimmersive.com & www.unicorndammit.com)

CulturalDC has a 19-year history of creating affordable, sustainable artist spaces in the Washington, D.C., area. CulturalDC has brokered more than 250,000 square feet of artist space, including the Atlas Performing Arts Center, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Source Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Each year, CulturalDC serves more than 1,000 artists and welcomes 30,000 audience members and participants who patronize local businesses and contribute an estimated $1 million to the local economy.

CulturalDC’s Space4:Performing Arts is an intensive program geared at developing performing artists and performing arts organizations and connecting with communities across Washington, DC. The program offers participants a chance to explore their craft by providing the basic tools needed to produce strong work: access to unique performance spaces, a variety of production support, and production mentorship. Specific production support provided by CulturalDC includes collaboration on marketing, publicity and audience development as well as production and artistic advisement as needed. This year, Space4 is partnering with the Blind Whino SW Arts Club for a performance in September and Dupont Underground for performances in December and April.

The projects were solicited through a competitive open-call. Selected productions were recommended by an advisory panel of prominent DC-area arts professionals including Thembi Duncan¸ Creative Programs Director at Young Playwrights’ Theater; Michael Kyrioglou, Theatre Services Manager Theatre Washington; Peter Miller, Board Member Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and Debra Kim Sivigny, free-lance designer. The advisory panel also provides mentoring and professional development throughout the creation of each production.

CulturalDC is generously supported by, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region, Daimler, The National Endowment for the Arts, DC Office of Planning, AT&T, Washington Gas, Busboys and Poets/Mulebone, Susan and Dixon Butler Hank & Carol Goldberg, Lockheed Martin, Menkiti Group, Stephen Stein and VOA Associates.

With over 15,000+ square feet of space dedicated to community-based arts programming alongside notable art institutions and organizations, multiple rooms to host cultural and corporate events and activities, and an organic, urban farm that grows and serves local food markets throughout the region, SW Arts Club will continue its mission to be an accessible arts environment with multiple experiential opportunities to enhance your cultural palette. Housed in the historic Friendship Baptist Church, built in 1886, the facade showcases an eclectic use of Victorian and Romanesque architectural styles combined with Gothic Revival and Queen Anne elements. The facility was re-imagined in October 2012 by artist HENSE and later re-purposed in August 2013 as Blind Whino.

For more information visit culturaldc.org.
CulturalDC • 1835 14th St. NW • Washington, DC 20009
General: 202.315.1305  Press: 202.315.1310
Email: communications@culturaldc.org
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Creative Team:
Artistic Director & Creator: Strother Gaines
Producer & Playwright: Jenny Splitter
Producer & Playwright: Jessica Bylander
Producer & Improvisation Director: Dana Malone
Sideshow & Variety Entertainment Coordinator: Atomic Doll Productions
Lighting Designer: James Morrison (provided by Artist Concept Groups)
Movement Coordinator: Zana Gankhuyag
Mask Consultant/Creator: Tara Cariaso
Makeup Artist/Designer: Joy Johnson 

Cast: Catherine Deadman, Chaseedaw Giles, Matthew Gibeson, Marissa Goodstone, D Scott Graham, Amanda Haddock, Zoe Walpole, Melanie Boyer, Kathleen Burnard, Darnell Eaton, Andrew Dominic Filicicchia, Allison Frisch, Emily Gilson, Molly Graham, Maura Claire Harford, Alex Kazanas, Kaitlin Kemp, Beth Lyons, Colleen Parker, Annetta Sawyer, Ray Simeon, Dakota Schuck, Heather Marie Vitale, Members of Peculiarity Productions (Fire Troupe), Lauren Hanyock, Samantha Kacos, Shanna Lim, Erin Muessig, Eva Mystique, Alyssum Pohl, Lida Benson

More performers to be added and daily cast subject to change

Visual Artists: Nando Alvarez, John Detrich, Emmett Grosland, Herrin Hopper, Hope Sorenson

Blurb: Set in the 2020s, In Cabaret We Trust tells the story of DC’s struggling Resistance Cabaret, fighting to stay alive in the capital of the populist-controlled Republic. Congress has revoked DC’s Home Rule, and an ultra-conservative lesbian Senator now controls the city, which she regards as little more than a filthy, liberal swamp. Under increasing pressure from her constituents to shut down the Cabaret (Is #CabaretGate real? Or fake news?), the Senator has chosen tonight to make her big move. Can the Cabaret be Saved?

Location: Blind Whino SW Arts Club: 700 Delaware Ave. SW, Washington DC 20024

Preview: Thursday, September 7th at 8pm

Friday, September 8th at 8pm – Opening Night – The performance will be followed by drinks, food, and dancing throughout the Blind Whino art space.
Sunday, September 10th at 7pm – Talkback with cast and Creative Team after show
Friday, September 15th at 8pm
Thursday, September 21st at 8pm
Friday, September 22nd at 8pm
Thursday, September 28th at 8pm
Friday, September 29th at 8pm

In Cabaret We Trust runs approximately two hours. During that time, guests are free to explore and engage the space and partake of the bar whenever they’d like.

For Tickets: Available 30 minutes before each performance at the door, 866-811-4111, or online at Ovationtix

For Information: www.culturaldc.org and www.tbdimmersive.com

Ticket Prices: General Admission $45, 2 Tickets for $80 (Code: DUET), Student Tickets: $35

Metro and Parking Info: Blind Whino SW Arts Club is a 10-minute walk from the Waterfront Metro Station on the Green Line. There is limited street parking in the area.

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