Backstage With... Marilyn Hausfeld

Q. Marilyn, how did you come to join the DC Cabaret Network?

A. I had just worked with Alex Rybeck, then musical director at The International Cabaret Conference at Yale. He told me he was conducting a master class for the DCCN with the Calloway sisters. It was already filled, but at the last minute someone dropped out and I stepped in. I was so impressed with the people from the network. It was a great feeling to be with people who were not only talented, but also encouraging and welcoming. I participated in the showcase this year and hope to get more involved with other activities ahead.

Q. What was your process for choosing the song order for your upcoming show?


A. Since this is my first show, I will specifically explain my process this time. It is a bit of a hybrid cabaret. It could be called a theater piece with songs, although the structure is definitely cabaret. It is autobiographical and has a definite beginning, middle and end. As I thought of the story line, songs presented themselves that fit the tone and feeling I was looking for.


The "presented themselves" part happened in various ways. I was just going through some music with my musical director Alex Rybeck and he suddenly stopped and sprung off the piano bench to pull a piece of music from his incredibly large file cabinet. He said, "This song is you!" I sat down next to him on the piano bench and he played and sang it for me. I listened as tears just rolled down my face. I knew right away that I had to sing it in my show. It is about a mother singing to her young son and teaching him words (the song is New Words, by Maury Yeston). It struck a personal chord. In terms of "order" it naturally slid into the part of the show where I speak about becoming a mother. But, even though the story sets up an order, as a cabaret performer I was still aware of balancing the music so that upbeat songs and ballads were interspersed.



Q. Where will we see and hear you next?

A. Alex and I will be doing be doing Just Between Us – A Piano, A Mic, A Memory at the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival Saturday, September 5th, 11am at the South Millennium Stage.


We will also be performing the show at the Source (1835 14th St NW) from October 1 through 4, as part of the Women's Voices Theatre Festival, representing Washington Women in Theatre.