Arts & Culture

Theatre alumnus Kyle Brumley returns to campus to direct “Cabaret”

Kyle Brumley ’12

While at Oglethorpe, theatre major Kyle Brumley ’12 made a name for himself onstage and off.

Since graduating, he has worked with multiple professional theatre companies including the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, both as an actor, and more recently, as a director. In 2013, Brumley was named one of ArtsATL’s 30 Under 30.

This fall marks his return to Oglethorpe, as the director of Oglethorpe University Theatre’s production of Cabaret, the 1966 musical by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff.

Cabaret is Brumley’s largest directorial role to date, and he credits his time at Oglethorpe for preparing him for this role and his career as a whole.

“Oglethorpe gave me a ‘Swiss army knife’ in theatrical skillset, and that’s been useful not only in this process, but in practically every aspect of of my career,” said Brumley.

“The intimate size of Oglethorpe’s [theatre] department invites engagement in all areas of the process. Everyone does everything, and I think an education in theatre should be just that. It teaches an appreciation for and understanding of the whole process, and presents an opportunity to let go of our egos and support the whole.”

In his new director role, Brumley says he is still learning things along the way.

“I told the cast day one, ‘I am not a director who has it all figured out right away.’ I think it’s important to leave room for discovery. I start with impulses, certainly, and I do have a vision for the show, but it must be malleable to the present moment every day of the process.”

Although there is no exact science to Brumley’s directing approach, he says that his time as an actor has informed his approach as a director: “[I want to be] someone who is willing to collaborate, who [actors] will let know what is and isn’t working in equal measure, and who will help everyone give their best performance.”

“If I know one thing to be true, it’s that the most interesting actors are fearless actors, and often the best thing a director can do—besides rehearse the play—is lift spirits, engender bravery, and embrace risk.”

The cast and crew also have had opportunities to work with other industry professionals to hone their skill sets.

In addition to Brumley, students are working with Atlanta choreographer Bubba Carr, who has an extensive resume in both live productions and television. The show is produced by alumna¬†Sharon Moskowitz ’82, manager of the Conant Performing Arts Center, and features music from Oglethorpe’s jazz ensemble, the Jazzy Petrels, conducted by Dr. Brent Runnels, Oglethorpe’s Director of Music.

Brumley stressed the importance of having theses opportunities at a college level, saying “this approach in the classroom and rehearsal room, simultaneously combined with countless opportunities to watch professionals work—and I can’t stress that ‘simultaneously’ enough—was insanely educational.”

Moskowitz agrees. “Along with their studies, they are immersing themselves in a true professional theater environment right on Oglethorpe’s campus.”

Cabaret will be playing October 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27 at 8:00 PM and October 28 at 2:00 PM at the Conant Performing Arts Center.

The cast of Cabaret takes a break from rehearsals.

The cast of Cabaret takes a break from rehearsals.

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