Ryan Garrett, Katie Langham and Owen Alderson in CCM's 'Speech and Debate' Photo by Richard E. Hess.

CCM’s Studio Series Presents the Dark Comedy ‘Speech and Debate’ Nov. 6-8

Owen Alderson, Ryan Garrett and Katie Langham in CCM's production of 'Speech and Debate.' Photo by Richard E. Hess.

Owen Alderson, Ryan Garrett and Katie Langham in CCM’s production of ‘Speech and Debate.’ Photo by Richard E. Hess.

CCM’s Department of Drama presents the regional premiere of Pulitzer Prize nominee Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate as part of this fall’s Studio Series. Directed by CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard E. Hess, the production opens Thursday, Nov. 6, and plays through Saturday, Nov. 8.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Speech and Debate is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Nov. 3. This production features adult themes and is recommended for mature audiences.

According to Hess, Speech and Debate is “a 90 minute intermission-less romp through high school experienced by three socially awkward misfits. The play is a cry to be noticed from students on the fringe.”

“Both gender and sexual identity play a large role in this play.  [It’s] a recipe for comedy in dark and disturbing moments of angst,” Hess explains.

Sophomore Katie Langham discusses her experience playing the irreverent Diwata, a young woman who envisions her future on Broadway but can’t seem to get a part in the school play: “She keeps me on my toes and constantly surprises me. Playing this character is delightfully freeing because she’s so experimental in her own artistic life.”

“Each rehearsal is a time to play and explore, maybe regress back to the days of high school and re-discover adolescent feelings of precociousness, uncertainty and insecurity,” says Langham. It’s this attitude of discovery that makes the characters of Speech and Debate so authentic and engaging.

The play will take advantage of technology to enhance the storytelling. “A crucial plot element in the play is revealed in the very first scene,” Hess explains, “A computer conversation told entirely through projections when an 18 year old high school senior begins cruising on a gay chat line. This event sets the play in motion.”

About Richard E. Hess
Richard E. Hess has been the Chair of CCM Drama for the past 20 years. Recent directing credits at CCM include The CrucibleThe Laramie ProjectCoram BoyRENTYou Can’t Take It With You (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding University Play), Anon(ymous) (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding Play), Brigadoon (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Outstanding Musical) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in AmericaPart One: Millennium Approaches (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Ensemble Acting).

He made his New York directing debut at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street directing AN EVENING OF (Mostly) TRUE SONGS (with Andrea Burns), a new incarnation of Don’t Look Down, the music and lyrics of Adam Wagner, first seen in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Favorite directing credits at the Human Race Theatre Co., where he has been a resident artist since 1996, include RaceRedDoubtProofI Am My Own Wife and A Delicate Balance. He directed Miracle on South Division Street for the Human Race in September 2014.

Other credits include the Los Angeles staging of the one-woman show Besame MuchoO.K. That’s Enough (with Diana Maria Riva) and the smash hits The Pages of My Diary I’d Rather Not Read and The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, both of which enjoyed sold out runs at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For five years Hess was the artistic director of Hot Summer Nights in Cincinnati, where he directed Violet (with Ashley Brown), Hello, Dolly! (with Pamela Myers), Godspell (with Shoshana Bean and Leslie Kritzer) and the premiere of We Tell The Story: The Songs of Ahrens and Flaherty, in collaboration with Stephen Flaherty.

He studied with the internationally acclaimed director Anne Bogart and members of the Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI Co.) in New York and Los Angeles for the past decade. He has worked with the KNOW Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Chautauqua Institution, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops and Cincinnati Opera Education. He is proud of fostering the new work of playwrights and has directed first productions of Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor’s Don’t Make Me Pull This Show Over: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Parenting, Mark Halpin’s The Kid in the Dark, Ben Magnuson’s Four Minutes and Tom Korbee’s Will It Ever Stop Raining?

He made his debut as a playwright/creator in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival with (UN)Natural Disaster created with 13 actors and performed in an abandoned building in Over-the-Rhine. (UN)Natural Disaster was named the Producer’s Pick of the Fringe and subsequently re-mounted on the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival.

In June of 2011, Hess directed The Collapsible Space Between Us with the Dadaab Theater Project, comprised of five CCM Drama students, which was presented with eight refugees from the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya for World Refugee Day sponsored by the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya. He returned to Kenya as a Fulbright Scholar in 2014 and taught acting and directing at Kenyatta University in Nairobi and researched the creation of original works by creating KUMI NA MBILI (12), a stage show and a short film.

Hess was named Ernest Glover Outstanding Teacher at UC in 1999 and again in 2012 and was also named the ACCLAIM Award Theatre Trailblazer in 2009. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

Cast List

Ryan Garrett as Howie
Owen Alderson as Solomon
Katie Langham as Diwata
Sarah Davenport as Teacher and others
Colleen Ladrick as Reporter and others

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, November 3. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman & Margaret Straub

CCM News
CCM alumnus Carmine Miranda. Photography by Cody Vickers.

CCM Alumnus Carmine Miranda Releases New Album to Rave Reviews

Album cover for Carmine Miranda's recording of Piatti's 12 Caprices.CCM alumnus and current doctoral candidate Carmine Miranda (BM Violoncello, 2010; MM Violoncello, 2012) is making waves with his latest recording project, which unearths Carlo Alfredo Piatti’s 12 Caprices for solo cello. This Navona Records release is already receiving rave reviews from music critics around the world.

“Piatti (1822-1901) was a renowned virtuoso and teacher whose name had faded into obscurity – except to cellists, who know his 12 Caprices from their studies,” explains Mary Ellyn Hutton in her review for Music in Cincinnati. “Miranda… seeks to return them to the active repertoire, to take their place beside Niccolo Paganini’s Caprices for Solo Violin and Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello and not treated ‘as mere etudes’,” she continues.

Fanfare Magazine describes the album as, “incredible performances of works that should interest every cellist and that should be in the library of anyone who appreciates the cello and hearing it played by a consummate master like Carmine Miranda.”

According to CCN, “at a mere 25 years of age, this recording places Carmine Miranda as the youngest cellist to professionally record and release this repertoire worldwide.”

Miranda’s Piatti: 12 Caprices for Solo Cello is available now through Amazon, iTunes, Classics Online, Spotify and the Naxos Music Library. Learn more about the album by visiting http://navonarecords.com.

About Carmine Miranda
Born in Valencia in 1988 to Italian immigrants and moving to the United States at an early age, Carmine Miranda is a Venezuelan/American cellist, international soloist and recording artist. Miranda began his musical studies at the age of seven at the Carabobo State Music Conservatory in Venezuela, where he studied his first years of Theory and Solfege, finally graduating from the Private Institute of Musical Education or I.P.E.M. He studied cello with cellists Luisa Fuentes, Valmore Nieves and William Molina, at the Latin-American Academy of Violoncello, and the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music (the institution that spawned the famous “El Sistema”). At the same time he was a member of the National Youth Orchestra and the Orchestra of Beethoven under the direction of maestro Giuseppe Sinoppoli.

At CCM, he studied with Lee Fiser and Yehuda Hanani, obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in music, Masters Degree and Doctorate’s degree candidacy. He has participated in several music competitions as a soloist and chamber player winning several recognitions and awards at a national and international level.

An avid soloist, Miranda has performed with several chamber ensembles, orchestras and has performed in prominent concert halls and music festivals including Carnegie Hall, the Aula Magna Hall (one of the largest and most important halls in Latin America), Bowdoin Music Festival, Close Encounters with Music Series in Great Barrington, NY, among others. Miranda has collaborated with recognized international artists such as Yehuda Hanani, Awadagin Pratt, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Spanish composer Luis Serrano Alarcón and Grammy Nominated composer Michael Hoppé.

At the age of 22, Miranda recorded the Six Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach under the label Centaur Records, joining the ranks of the youngest in the world to record the entire work. In 2013 Carmine completed the United States premiere of Nikita Koshkin’s “L’istesso Tempo” composition for cello and guitar. He was also selected to represent the University of Cincinnati as a soloist for a multi-state American tour with the CCM Wind Orchestra culminating with an opening night performance at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference in North Carolina’s Aycock Auditorium. Currently Miranda is a recording artist for Parma Navona Records and plays on a 2005 Jules Azzi cello made in New York City.

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CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM Alumnus Michael Shults Joins the Faculty of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Michael Shults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) recently accepted a tenure track position as assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He teaches applied jazz and classical saxophone, coaches saxophone quartets and jazz combos, and teaches jazz improvisation.

Shults served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Jazz Studies during his time at CCM, teaching improvisation and coaching combos and big bands. He studied saxophone with James Bunte and Rick VanMatre, improvisation with Phil DeGreg and composition with Kim Pensyl.

Shults has been praised for his “strong, imaginative” improvisations (Downbeat Magazine) and “fresh and intelligent musical ideas” (The Pitch). As a jazz saxophonist, he was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition, and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He was a featured soloist on Bobby Watson’s 2010 release The Gates BBQ Suite which reached as high as #4 on the Jazzweek National Radio Airplay Charts. Also adept as a concert saxophonist, Shults has been praised for his “jaw-dropping” and “authoritative” technique (Bill Brownlee of the Kansas City Star) and has performed by invitation at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference and the University of Iowa Festival for New Music.

He is currently a DMA candidate at the the University of Missouri-Kansas City under the tutelage of Zach Shemon of the PRISM Quartet. Before coming to CCM for his graduate studies, Shults earned dual BM degrees in Saxophone Performance and Jazz and Studio Music from the UMKC where he studied with noted saxophonists Bobby Watson, Tim Timmons and Dan Thomas.

Learn more by visiting www.michaelshultsmusic.com.

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Senior Musical Theatre major Max Clayton is Don Lockwood in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Singin' in the Rain,' running Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 in Corbett Auditorium.

CCM Alumnus Max Clayton Cast in Broadway-Bound Revival of ‘Gigi’

CCM alumnus Max Clayton.

CCM alumnus Max Clayton.

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumnus Max Clayton (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) has just been cast in the Broadway-bound revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Oscar and Tony Award-winning musical Gigi.

Gigi is set to play a pre-Broadway engagement in the Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The show will officially open on Jan. 29, 2015, and will play a limited engagement through to Feb. 12, before moving on to the Great White Way later next year.

Clayton has kept busy since graduating just last spring. He was recently seen as Gabey in On the Town at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre in Chicago and as Slim in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Oklahoma! The Chicago Tribune hailed Clayton’s performance in On the Town, calling him “an excellent lead.”

CCM audiences last saw Clayton as Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain and as Macheath in The Threepenny Opera.

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Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s ‘Legally Blonde’ Receives Rave Reviews

Photography by Mark Lyons.The critics are praising CCM’s current production of Legally Blonde – The Musical, which plays through a matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 2!

In his review for the Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard writes, “Legally Blonde – The Musical is an energetic, satisfying show and CCM has brought all of the elements together continuing their reputation as one of the best musical theatre programs in the country.” Sheppard singles out the performance of senior Lawson Young (one of two CCM students playing Elle Woods in this double-cast production), going so far as to say, “Of the five [different] productions I’ve seen, she’s by far the best and that includes the national tour and the [Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera] last summer.”

David Lyman has similar praise for the production and for senior Sarah Bishop in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “What’s really refreshing about this production,” he observes, “is that, as Elle, Sarah Bishop gives a measure of humanity that we rarely get to see. We see Elle develop a conscience and compassion and – heaven forbid – come to love a man to whom she never would have given the time of day at the outset of the show.”

The News Record‘s review praised the entire company, with Aidan Smith writing, “The humor offered by every cast member made this musical stand out, and it showed in the audience’s constant giggling.”

“Featuring strong performances, fun choreography, and a superb set design, this mounting is a true crowd pleaser,” Scott Cain observes in his review for Talkin’ Broadway.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher calls CCM’s production, “a very fun and entertaining show. Excellent work.”

Rick Pender profiles Legally Blonde director/choreographer and CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala in his “Curtain Call” column for Cincinnati CityBeat, observing that “the evidence of her success is currently onstage at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.”

You have five more chances to catch this all-singing, all-dancing production… and tickets are still available!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Customizable subscription packages are also available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/legally-blonde-mainstage.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

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Colorado Symphony.

CCM Alumnus Austin Larson Joins the Colorado Symphony

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

We are delighted to report that CCM alumnus Austin Larson (BM French Horn, 2012) has joined the Colorado Symphony as Assistant Principal Horn.

Larson has previously held the Second Horn position with New Jersey’s Symphony in C (formerly the Haddonfield Symphony) in addition to summer positions with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.

Larson has been highly successful in many competitions, including First Prize wins in both the International Horn Competition of America and the International Horn Society’s Premier Soloist Competition. Larson has also appeared as a soloist at the Music for All Symposium, International Horn Symposium and twice on Wisconsin Public Radio. You can learn more about some of Larson’s competition wins here.

A native of Neenah, Wisconsin, Larson holds degrees from both CCM and the Curtis Institute of Music. While at CCM, he studied with Professor of Horn Randy Gardner.

A strong believer in music advocacy, Larson has also been involved with numerous charitable organizations, including Horns a Plenty Christmas and Classical Revolution, and has raised funds for music scholarships both at UC and in the Northeast Wisconsin area.

For more information, visit www.austin-larson.com.

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Universal Sports Network Premieres Student-Produced ‘2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Tonight

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

The Universal Sports Network presents the premiere broadcast of the student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, Oct. 24!

The Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary films chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. Over the course of four days, teams face merciless heat and sleepless nights while trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking amidst the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) and the winning team receives an entry into the ARWS World Championship.

Each film has been produced by a team of UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Working under the guidance of professional television director/producer and CCM Electronic Media (E-Media) alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001) and E-Media Professor Kevin Burke, these students shot, edited, scripted and produced the film on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Both Leitten and Burke advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Earlier this month, GearJunkie.com hailed the Gold Rush Expedition Race project as “undoubtedly one of the most amazing educational initiatives we’ve seen.”

Learn more about the Gold Rush Expedition Race project by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

All broadcast times Eastern and subject to change. Learn more about the Universal Sports Network by visiting http://universalsports.com.

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