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Cabaret for Life established the John C. Rodriguez Scholarship in 2004 as a lasting tribute to one of our most beloved friends and dedicated Directors.  An integral part of CFL for five years, John was not only a set designer and builder but also a supremely talented musician, graphic artist and vocalist.  This annual scholarship, managed and promoted by CFL and John’s family, is available to all graduating seniors enrolled in Monmouth or Ocean County high schools or Teaneck High School who are pursuing musical theater, theater, or the visual arts in higher education.  Each year, $5,000 in prize money is available to the applicants.

Application Requirements

  • Rodriguez Scholarship Form

  • Submit one-page essay on how the scholarship will help student achieve his/her goals (250-300 words)

  • Submit two (2) letters of recommendation from teachers, directors, or administrators

  • High school transcript

  • Applicant agrees to enroll as a full-time student in an undergraduate college or university by fall of 2017

  • Applicant must be pursuing a degree in Acting, Musical Theater, Voice, Dance or the Fine Arts


Complete application package to be submitted to the address below or by email to


John C. Rodriguez Scholarship Fund
c/o Cabaret for Life
P.O. Box 121
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

Application Timeline

  • Deadline for submission – 2021 details to come 

  • Auditions – Details to come

  • Scholarships to be awarded at a future CFL show

Audition Requirements

  • Upon receipt of complete application package, applicant will be contacted with an audition time and place

  • Performing Arts applicant must prepare two of the following (applicant may do two CONTRASTING monologues, songs or dances or a combination of any two): theater monologue (1-2 mins), song (from musical theater, standard or contemporary), choreographed dance piece (classical, tap, modern, African, hip-hop, etc.)

  • Applicant must provide own accompanist or audition tape/CD


About John


John C. Rodriguez was an artist, singer, musician, and a song writer.  He also was a graduate of Teaneck High School and Ramapo College.  His warmth, gentle humor, prolific artistic talent and tireless goodness touched everyone he met.  As a resident of Howell NJ, he became a Director for Cabaret for Life.  John was an active participant and graphics and set designer for CFL for five years.  John had a tremendous passion to pass along his love for the arts to the next generations.  His wife, Bonnie Carolan, is a Trustee of CFL, and all three of John’s children, Annie, Jessie and Maggie have performed in CFL productions.

Scholarship Recipients


Hailey Bennett, Brick Memorial High School


Tommy Gedrich, Brick Memorial High School
Maggie Cooney, Red Bank Catholic High School


Amanda Batista, Manchester High School
William Downing, Donovan High School


Jaime Berube
Christopher Joseph Mallamaci, Red Bank Catholic High School
Helen Solomita, Red Bank Regional High School


Jessica Turk, Howell High School


Maddie Fabricant, The Ranney School
Michaela Farrell, Red Bank Catholic High School
Jordyn Postell, Neptune High School


CJ Marsini, Middletown High School South
Samantha Sayah, Howell High School
Brianna Eve Vitale, Red Bank Catholic High School


Chloe Chalakani, Shore Regional High School


Samantha Citro, Manalapan High School
Austin Ryan, Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School
Olivia Restivo, Monroe Township High School

Kevin Bianchi, Howell High School
Zach Miller, Howell High School
Brynn Mosello, Howell High School


Corey Mosello, Howell High School
Brianna Rosado, Howell High School
Sharron Sullivan, Raritan High School


Daniel Higgins, Howell High School
Paul Scott Pilcz, Howell High School
Matthew Truex, Manasquan High School


Tara Barnett, Red Bank Regional High School
Harris Cabrera, Red Bank Regional High School
Craig Held, Howell High School


Christine Lynn Papania, Middletown High School North
Taylor Williams, Howell High School


Eliza Ciccone, Red Bank Regional High School
Rashaad Kelly, Long Branch High School

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