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Melissa and Mark along with Susan-ann Walker, started The Cabaret Showcases in 2000, initially to answer this question: What if each student received actual stage time, in an actual professional environment? And so was born, the first Cabaret Showcase, at Capers Cabaret in Hawthorn. A stage where a student could actually perform, for 25 minutes, with a microphone, lighting, a professional musical director (Mark), director (Melissa and Susan-ann) and a captive and friendly audience!

After the first 3 nights, and 9 ecstatic students, there was an influx of other students who were keen to get on board. The Cabaret Showcases are free for the performer, their only obligation is to sell 30 tickets. So not only do they have no financial outlay, but they learn how to market and sell their own tickets. 100 or so students and performers and 4 years later, Capers closed down and in 2007, 5 years after a supposed one off show for 9 students, the showcases took a hiatus.

But The Cabaret Showcases were not to be denied! In 2013, Melissa and Mark felt there was still no avenue for cabaret and musical theatre students to properly workshop a portion of their work. Yes, lots of concerts where they were given 3 minutes to conquer their fears of getting up to perform, and local theatre where they could hide behind a character, but other than hiring a venue themselves and going at it alone, there was no more than that. So The Cabaret Showcases were revived, at Chapel off Chapel in Prahran, but this time, through social media, and through audiences, the net was inadvertently spread wider and members of the community expressed their interest. Thus, we were able to have nights for community members or beginners, nights for those students who were attempting to further their study of music and also nights for professional performers who wished to maybe workshop a new show.

It is now 2020 and the Cabaret Showcases are still going strong, after more than 200 performers.