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CMU Theatre will kick off the 2021-22 season with the first of the Jones Cabaret Series shows, Why Do I Own a Thong? (and other existential questions) written and performed by faculty Jill Van Brussel. The show is a one-woman original work, performed by Van Brussel, who is CMU Theatre's costume designer and has also been seen in productions such as 2020's Fiddler on the Roof. 

Throw performance art, slam poetry and traditional cabaret into your shaker and pour out the cocktail that is this sharp, witty and moving journey through the whys of what we wear. 

“The whole show is an exploration of memory, self, identity, relationships, all that stuff but through the medium of clothes,” said Van Brussel.

Van Brussel worked with music theatre program director Jeremy Franklin to devise the original piece. From choosing songs to journaling and writing new spoken word pieces for the show, the two worked together to tease out the structure for what is Van Brussel’s first solo show.

“It’s been a ton of fun,” said Van Brussel. “The process is exciting, renewing, and just addictive. I most definitely want to do this again.”

Catch the cabaret performance on August 27 and 28 at 7:30pm in the Moss Performing Arts Center Mesa Experimental Theatre. Tickets are available at