A portrait of Martha Graham Cracker (Dito van Reigersberg).

Unleash Yourself: Cabaret with Tareke Ortiz and Dito van Reigersberg

Edith Piaf once said, “Use your faults, use your defects, and you too can become a star!”  (Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. But that’s so Piaf, right?)

Participants will explore these forbidden nooks and crannies of themselves, stuff them into the chrysalis of character, and allow them to burst forth as a song. Finding strength in vulnerability, participants will forge a vivid character that sings a song with laser focus, in direct contact with the audience. Through the lens of character, even a well-known song will sound to us as if we are hearing it for the first time. 
Building on decades of experience in the alt-cabaret scenes of New York, Philadelphia, and Mexico City, Tareke Ortiz and Dito van Reigersberg will lead students through character and voice exercises both intimate and technical. This cabaret workshop will culminate in a low-key virtual showing.
Dito van Reigersberg is a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company, and has performed in almost all of Pig Iron’s productions since 1995. Dito’s alter-ego Martha Graham Cracker is famously ‘the tallest, hairiest drag queen in the world.” Her monthly cabaret series at L'Etage in Philadelphia has been running for over 15 years. She performs regularly at Joe’s Pub in New York,  and across the country at the Afterglow Festival in Provincetown, the Walker Art Center, and Philadelphia’s PMA and City Hall. Her first album, the soundtrack of her show about libraries, lost love, and loneliness called Lashed But Not Leashed, dropped in 2019. 
Composer, voice teacher, stage director and drag artist Tareke Ortiz is based in Mexico City. His compositions have been presented at La Mama ETC, Lincoln Center, Tate Britain, and the Stratford Festival (with Peter Sellars). He teaches vocal technique and music at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Cabaret has been one of the pillars of his career in New York and in Mexico, and a space where he can advance sexual rights and new gender perspectives. Ortiz serves as Artistic Director of the International Arts Summit in Cumbre Tajin. He recently appeared in the Bearded Ladies’ immersive history of cabaret, Do You Want a Cookie?, in Philadelphia, and he will compose and sound design Pig Iron’s upcoming collaboration with filmmaker Josephine Decker, The Pregnant Speakeasy.

Actor-singers looking for some delicious permission to do their worst, and their best; solo performers moving onto the cabaret stage; artists in search of the joys on the border between acting and singing.

Monday, November 23: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Monday, November 30: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Tuesday, December 1: 7:00pm-9:30pm
Monday, December 7: Group A individual sessions, 7:00pm-10:00pm (30 minutes each)
Tuesday, December 8: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Sunday, December 13: Group B individual sessions, 7:00pm-10:00pm (30 minutes each)
Monday, December 14: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Tuesday, December 15: Invited showing on Zoom, 7:00pm-10:00pm

All times listed are US Eastern Standard Time.



Please arrive with two songs you are comfortable singing. Please have the sheet music and a backing / karaoke track at the ready.