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Australian Musical Theatre Academy


Enrolments are now open for AMTA’s Creating Cabaret Course – a ground-breaking online course, which will teach you how to write, produce and perform your own cabaret show.

The course was created and is curated by AMTA’s Founder & Artistic Director, Queenie van de Zandt. Queenie is a multi-award-winning cabaret and musical theatre performer and has been touring her cabaret shows around Australia and Internationally for over 30 years. As the core tutor for the Creating Cabaret Course, Queenie will work intimately with you to help you devise and shape your own unique cabaret show.

Alongside this work, you will also take part in masterclasses with the who's who of the Australian cabaret scene, covering topics such as performance, directing, pitching, producing, drag cabaret, writing, what festivals look for in programming, comedy, musical direction, song writing and arranging, circus and variety, marketing, social media and publicity, funding and grants, burlesque performance, and international touring.

Here are some of the incredible tutors you will get to work with:

Catherine Alcorn
Cabaret Artist | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Mama Alto
Cabaret Artist | Writer | Advocate | Gender Transcendent Diva

Trevor Ashley
Cabaret Artist | Musical Director | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Rhonda Burchmore
Cabaret Artist | Writer | Producer | Australian Cabaret Icon

Michael Dalton (aka Dolly Diamond)
Cabaret Artist | Comedian | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Maude Davey
Cabaret Artist | Burlesque Performer | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Michael Griffiths
Cabaret Artist | Musical Director | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Craig Ilott
Director | Creator | Writer

Mark Jones
Cabaret Artist | Musical Director | Writer | Producer

Vidya Makan
Songwriter | Performer | Writer | Director | Producer

Maeve Marsden
Cabaret Artist | Writer | Director | Producer | Artistic Director

Ali McGregor
Cabaret Artist | Opera Singer | Writer | Producer | Artistic Director

Marney McQueen
Cabaret Artist | Writer | Comedian | Producer

Laura Milke Garner
Producer | Arts Educator

David Read
Festival Producer | Cabaret Venue Owner & Operator | Tour Manager | Programmer

Alison St Ledger
Cabaret Artist | Recording Artist | Writer | Artistic Director

Read more about our Tutors HERE

Working at your own pace, you will become part of the innovative and diverse world of cabaret, fully supported in creating your own unique cabaret show, ready to pitch to festivals, arts centres and venues for their 2021/2022 seasons. 


Enrolments are open to anyone who wants to learn how to write, produce and perform cabaret. If you’ve never thought about doing a cabaret before but think it could be fun – this course is for you! If you’ve dabbled in cabaret before and want to learn more about it – this course is for you! If you’re an experienced cabaret performer but want to step it up a notch – this course is for you too! Basically this course is open to anyone interested in creating cabaret – no matter what level of experience.

Because cabaret is such a flexible and open artform, we are open to all performers from any genre of live performance - singers, circus performers, musicians, stand-up comedians, singer/songwriters, poets, performance artists, magicians, burlesque performers, drag artists, or a genre of live performance not yet created!

Because diversity and accessibility are important to AMTA, we encourage 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.

It also doesn’t matter if you have an idea for a cabaret show and want help to develop it or you don’t have any ideas but would love to write and perform in a cabaret show – either way this course will get you writing, performing and producing your cabaret show.


Split into 3 blocks, the Creating Cabaret Course covers writing, performing and producing your cabaret. You can choose to enrol in the full 12-week course or choose your own smorgasbord of classes.

If you enrol into the FULL 12-WEEK course, you will work with all our tutors, in all the classes listed in the blocks below and complete the course with:​

  • An understanding of the various styles and forms a cabaret can take and what works for you
  • The writing skills and processes that will help you create your own cabaret
  • Practical experience of creating a cabaret show
  • An understanding of the elements found in successful cabarets
  • The ability to bring your cabaret from idea to production
  • The history of cabaret and creating from strong foundations
  • An outline of your own unique cabaret show or a finished cabaret script (students are encouraged to work at their own pace)
  • The skills needed to find and adapt great music for your cabaret
  • A a wider understanding of the cabaret community
  • Contacts for international and national touring opportunities for your cabaret show
  • A template of a working budget for your cabaret show
  • The skills to create a profitable fan base and activate & grow your social media profile
  • The tools of how to market your cabaret show
  • A database of valuable contacts for cabaret festivals and venues around Australia to pitch your cabaret to
  • The knowledge to pitch successfully to cabaret festivals and venues
  • AND MORE...

If you enrol into the WRITING block, you will work intensively with course creator and core tutor Queenie van de Zandt in the following classes:

  • The Glorious History of Cabaret
  • Exploring Cabaret Styles & Genres
  • What Makes a Great Cabaret Artist & A Cabaret Great
  • Writing Exercises to Help You Come Up with the Ideas for Your Cabaret
  • Pathos is Easy, Comedy is Hard – Comedy Songs & Satire
  • Pitching & Workshopping Your Cabaret Idea
  • Questions to Ask About Your Cabaret Outline
  • Before You Begin to Write Your Cabaret
  • Choosing Great Material

If you enrol into the PERFORMING block, you will work with course creator and core tutor Queenie van de Zandt as well as the following tutors in the classes listed below:

  • Putting on a Show with Rhonda Burchmore
  • Sensational Song Writing with Vidya Makan
  • Creating a Cabaret Character with Marney McQueen (aka Rosa Waxoffski)
  • Perfecting Your Performance with Mama Alto
  • Connecting to Your Audience with Michael Dalton (aka Dolly Diamond)
  • Directing Your Delicious Cabaret with Maude Davey
  • Cabaret, Circus, Vaudeville & Variety with Craig Ilott
  • Being Musical with Your Music with Mark Jones

If you enrol into the PRODUCING block, you will work with course creator and core tutor Queenie van de Zandt as well as the following tutors in the classes listed below:

  • Pitching Successfully to Festivals & Venues with Ali McGregor
  • Budgeting for Success with Laura Milke-Garner
  • Getting Yourself Programmed with Alison St Ledger
  • Marvellous Marketing & Successful Social Media with Catherine Alcorn
  • Find Your Fabulous Fan Base with Trevor Ashley
  • Let's Hit the Road – National & International Touring with Michael Griffiths
  • Getting Those Grants & Finding Funding with Maeve Marsden
  • Pitching Your Show with David Read
  • Where to From Here with Queenie van de Zandt

When enrolling you also have the option of picking and choosing classes from each block and creating your own smorgasbord of study.

We can’t wait to receive your enrolment and help the next generation of diverse, innovative and enthralling cabaret artists make their voices heard.

“..equipped me with the skills and confidence to write my very first solo cabaret show. In the year since completing the course I have written two cabaret shows, which have been performed at the Tasmanian Cabaret Festival, Fremantle Festival, Fringe World Perth, and Adelaide Fringe to rave reviews. I feel so much more confident as a performer and am having an absolute blast performing cabaret.”
E. Davis, AMTA Cabaret Graduate

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