Cabinet of Curiosity offers a unique curriculum and training, devised by Frank Maugeri, to train emerging artists with the skills, confidence, and knowledge of authoring, designing, and executing modern ritual and ceremony. Every 3 months 3-5 participants are chosen from colleges across the country to join Frank Maugeri for a weekly class that studies sociology, humanism, divinity, ceremony, ritual, public space, and the art of interaction. Participants are provided responsibilities to jointly share in the creation and accomplishment of event and experience. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Past Apprentice comments:
My name is Daniel Salazar and I recently moved to Chicago about 3 months ago from Shreveport, Louisiana. Frank invited me to explore ideas of ritual and ceremony, of which I have not had much experience with coming from a theatre and film background. I have had my share of pre-show rituals and have been to a wedding ceremony or two but Frank opened a door to a new world for me. The events were an unreal spectacle of artistry and collaboration which I was lucky enough to experience due to Frank Maugeri and Cabinet of Curiosities. Working with Frank gave me new insight to a world of entertainment that I am eager to continue exploring. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to work with Frank Maugeri and Cabinet of Curiosities. Sharing a creative experience with them brings me such joy and fulfillment in life.
I was grateful for being able to watch Cabinet create something so delicate, emotional, thought provoking and witty. It is rooted in the truth of everyone's experiences and perpetuated by the curiosity and need to tell the stories; the amount of love for the work that I saw throughout this process was inspiring. I saw the collaboration as beautiful, creative, collaborative and engaging. I am incredibly grateful for the invitation to be a part of the process, the people I met along the way and all of the knowledge I gained through this experience.
Observing the ritual work Cabinet did was incredibly inspiring- the ritual rooms were the most explicit instances of our event training, and we saw guests seem to have been naturally curious to wander into them. These rooms, their existence as little havens of a spiritual dimension, had incredible impact. These rooms invited you to end up tapping into your humanity, finding the occasion to bask in the rejuvenating rays of joy and togetherness. Cabinet showed me how extraordinary and anesthetized experience and ritual could be. When we wonder about how history will remember the events of these years, we sigh. The world is challenging our capacity for hope that invigorated past generations. But feeling has to be nurtured and encouraged. With a close look and an open mind, Cabinet was teaching me about events that were saturated with moments that challenged people to engage in a celebration of joy and fear, the things that make us human and the things that help us transform.
The apprenticeship works with figuring out and seeing how an actual small theatre/spectacle event company works. It's a great way to see organized chaos and business making models for non-profits. There's also not many Theatres or companies in Chicago who do things like cabinet of curiosity, so it's a rare chance to get involved in its unique processes and challenges.
MAry Catherine Daniels
Cabinet of curiosity and this internship means a lot of different things to me. Cabinet is a community of theater artists who support and uplift each other, and constantly encourages art and personal growth. From this internship I’ve learned how to manage my work and professional life as well as gain crucial skills in the performing arts. Working with cabinet was an experience full of wonder and creativity.
The apprenticeship has given me real-world hands-on experience in budging and grant writing as well as administrative work involved in the functions of a young theater company.
In my time with Cabinet and Frank I have been introduced to the endless possibilities of ritual making. I have learned about adaptation in the creative process through sharing ideas with an enthusiastic community. I feel inspired as an artist, a citizen, and a business woman after this experience. Frank does not back away from the difficult questions that makers have a responsibility to ask and for that I am thankful.
I’ve always loved performance, but I’ve never considered myself a part of Chicago’s theater scene. I’m a philosophy major, not anything explicitly artistic, so I was thrilled just to have the chance to work in the arts. When I first showed up to Cabinet of Curiosity, I fully expected to just be an extra set of hands, doing laborious jobs no one else wanted to do, just like all of my other friends interning in local theaters. Instead, to my shock and delight, I felt like a respected part of the team from our very first meeting. Cabinet of Curiosity doesn’t just foster community in people witnessing the event: creating the ritual is in and of itself an act of love and fellowship. I learned how to create meaningful art, connected with dozens of Chicago performers, and I was even able to act as an author for an incredible event I would never have dreamed of being a part of. I can never thank Cabinet enough for allowing me to follow my passions in this life changing summer and for truly making Chicago feel like a place I belong.
The Cabinet of Curiosity Ritual Apprentice program, under Frank Maugeri's wild, wonderful, and brilliant guidance, gracefully gave me the opportunity dive into dynamic and rich responsibility, creative agency, and engage with life-changing collaborators in a way that pushed me individually and as a collective group.
I entered this apprenticeship thinking I knew what it was to materialize the seemingly impossible – how quickly I was proven wrong. Frank’s ambition was contagious and inspiring from the outset. In the months of the apprenticeship, I learned the importance of leading with hope in the face of catastrophe to create public ritual that is enticing, uncomfortable, strange, and wholly engaging of the mind and spirit. Developing “Reflections on Fire” with Cabinet of Curiosity was edifying as an artist, student, and human: I was able to flex my artistic muscles to assist creating enticing image, I learned what it was to generate work from scratch with a new company, and I witnessed this impossible and necessary ritual come to fruition in the form of a three-night run, servicing over 1000 participants. My experience with Cabinet expanded my mind and challenged my preconceptions of the realm of the possible – I feel more empowered than ever to generate work that truly matters on a deep level.
This apprenticeship was incredibly difficult, but incredibly rewarding. Frank allowed all of the apprentices the opportunity to be authors of the Ritual experience. I truly felt as though my voice was heard & understood. This invaluable experience taught me the flexibility needed to devise work & collaborate with others.
Each of us developed a sense of ownership over Reflections on Fire, as well as a fierce sense of community within the company we had all excitedly applied for before the summer began. I was nervous every step of the way, often buried and confused in the details, constantly happy that I was not the one leading the energy and morale of the process, and eventually absolutely thrilled by the outcome. Being on the production team for Reflections made me realize the way so many of my anxieties about my art manifest, the way I can hit a creative wall and lose momentum entirely, and the eventual incredible payoff that’s waiting if I don’t. It always felt like we were doing something truly original and daring. People would ask me what I was working on and my mouth would stumble in the attempt to find the words. And my best friend who is deeply critical and well-spoken about worthwhile theatre drove half an hour down to experience it two days in a row.