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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Cabaret: Exhibit


RISD Cabaret (1987-2000) was an art history and performance wintersession course.  It was taught alternately by Szymon Bojko (1917-2014) and Agnieszka Taborska (Senior Lecturer, HAVC) and directly involved students by immersing them in the art and culture of a particular time and place. The idea originated from Bojko’s classes in which students staged historical events and performed excerpts from poems, plays and art manifestos. Lectures, re-creations of historical events, rehearsals of the performance (devoted each time to a different topic), set-building, prop-making and costume-sewing would culminate in the show, presented to the public over three evenings the first week of Spring semester, on the third floor of the Waterman Building. The Cabaret had a faithful audience that came back every year. For many students it was a life changing experience.

Exhibition and Event Poster

Cabaret Leaflet


Evening Celebrating the RISD Cabaret

Saturday, March 19th6:30 pm

Graham Visual + Material Resource Center - Fleet Library room 204

Screening of The Best of the 12 Shows followed by a discussion with the participation of Special Guests, RISD Alumni and Cabaret stars.


An exhibition of Cabaret posters, programs, tickets, photographs and reviews published in Providence newspapers is on view on the second floor of the Fleet Library until the end of March. It is curated by Agnieszka Taborska and Claudia Covert.  Exhibit materials come from the RISD Archives and the collection of Agnieszka Taborska.

Timeline of RISD Cabarets (1987-2000)

From Saint Petersburg to Chruszczow’s Boot, 1987

Vienna, Paris, Berlin: the Golden Age of European Cabaret, 1988

The Ox on the Roof, 1989

The Unknown and Awakening Europe, 1991

Tabou, 1992

The Big Yes and the Little No, 1993

The Life and Times of Joseph Beuys, 1994

Hoppla! Here Comes Grosz, 1995

Ubu Roi, 1996

The Beat Generation, 1997

Dead Souls, 1998

Aha! Vivat Homo Sapiens!, 2000


The list of people without whom The Cabaret would have not been possible includes: Edward Dwyer and Barry Kirschenbaum who, in their capacity of Liberal Arts Division Deans, were more than generous to the project; Bill Newkirk, Dean of Foundation Studies who offered the top floor of Waterman Building in which to rehearse and perform; James O. Barnhill, professor emeritus of Brown University who, even when he didn’t direct, remained a source of support and advice; Julie Strandberg, also from Brown, who directed “Tabou” and “The Life and Times of Joseph Beuys”; Steven Jobe, a musician and author of operas who was on board for almost all the shows; Peter O’Neill from the Film and Video Department who videotaped most of the performances; Marcin Gizycki from LIBA who took photographs at rehearsals and shows; and many, many others. We dedicate this exhibit to the memory of Szymon Bojko, who passed away in 2014, as well as to our faithful audience and all the wonderful students for whom The Cabaret was a life changing experience.  

Special thanks to Dan Cavicchi, Dean of Liberal Arts for his support for this exhibit and event.