The leading lights of the Australian cabaret scene are banding together to help emerging cabaret artists find their voice in a ground-breaking course.

The brainchild of Australian musical theatre and cabaret star, Queenie van de Zandt, and produced by the Australian Musical Theatre Academy (AMTA), this innovative 12-week course, will see emerging cabaret performers working with the who’s who of the Australian cabaret scene to write, perform and produce their own cabaret shows.

“Cabaret is having a post-pandemic resurgence” says Queenie. “Cabaret shows have traditionally small casts, small budgets and audiences are already socially distanced, sitting spread out at tables, so it makes the perfect post-pandemic offering. At the same time, thousands of performing artists are still out of work and, more than ever, are having to create their own livelihoods. So, I thought I’d get some mates together and help the next generation of cabaret performers find their voice and tell their stories”.

Cabaret icon, former artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Ali McGregor, International Queen of Cabaret, Trevor Ashley and Gender Transcendent Songstress, Mama Alto, are only 3 of the 16 prominent cabaret artists who will be sharing their knowledge in specialty masterclasses with the participants.

Because cabaret is such a diverse and open art form, the course is open to performers from any genre of live performance. Singers, circus and variety performers, musicians, stand-up comedians, singer/songwriters, poets, performance artists, magicians, burlesque performers, and drag artists, will all find themselves reflected in the diversity of the tutors.

Alongside touring her own award-winning cabaret shows, Queenie has been teaching cabaret skills for nearly 20 years and many of her former students now regularly perform on the comedy and cabaret circuits.  One such student is award-winning comedian Bridie Connell, who attended Queenie’s 2-week cabaret course, The Cabaret Winter Workshop, back in 2015 and out of it wrote her first cabaret. It was subsequently chosen to perform at the Sydney Comedy Festival and led to Bridie becoming one of Australia’s hottest up and coming comedians. “I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support and knowledge I gained from the Cabaret Winter Workshop”, says Bridie.

The Creating Cabaret Course runs from 21 February to 23 May and performers can be either taken online through Zoom or in person at AMTA’s Studio in Melbourne. Participants can also enrol for the full 12 weeks or choose a block to do (writing, performing, or producing) or just pick and choose individual classes that interest them.  And because diversity and accessibility are important to AMTA, they are encouraging enrolments from performers anywhere in Australia or overseas and will be seeking out and encouraging enrolments from artists in regional areas as well encouraging POC, LGBTIQ+ artists, body & age diverse artists, to enrol.

“I can’t wait to work with the next generation of diverse, innovative and enthralling cabaret artists and help make their voices heard” says Queenie.

Australian Musical Theatre Academy Presents Creating Cabaret

Dates: 21 February – 23 May 2022.

 Enrolments for the full-time course close 17 February)

For more information: go to or email: [email protected]