Remembering the University of Cincinnati’s Wilson Auditorium

UC's Wilson Auditorium.

UC’s Wilson Auditorium.

This month, the University of Cincinnati says goodbye to the 81-year-old Wilson Auditorium, the debut venue for CCM’s Musical Theatre program (with the 1969 production of Sweet Charity) and the onetime home of CCM’s Department of Drama.

Originally opened in December of 1931, the building was constructed in remembrance of Obed J. Wilson, a local self-made businessman and arts advocate. At the time of its opening, the building featured then cutting-edge amenities including a projection room for “motion-and-sound pictures” with the capability of relaying radio broadcasts.

Vacant for the past decade and a half, Wilson Auditorium’s demolition was approved in 2006 and is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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To mark the end of an era, CCM Drama Chair Richard E. Hess looks back on the impressive legacy of Wilson Auditorium:

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CCM Drama Celebrates Graduating Students at 2013 Senior Showcase on March 15

CCM Drama's Class of 2013.

CCM Drama’s Class of 2013.

CCM’s Department of Drama presents its 2013 Senior Showcase at 2 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Both showcase performances are free and open to the public.

Graduating seniors in CCM’s drama program will present a variety of monologues and scenes to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their acting skills, honed during their undergraduate training at CCM. This will be the first presentation of a performance that these students will be taking on the road to exhibit their talent in industry showcases in New York and Los Angeles this April.

The 11th annual CCM Drama Dolly Awards will follow the 7 p.m. showcase performance. Hosted by Drama Department Chair Richard E. Hess, this annual event recognizes outstanding achievement and performance by students in the Department of Drama at CCM. Awards are given for Excellence in Performance and Excellence in Ensemble Performance from the 2012-13 CCM Drama season, which included the productions Arcadia, Ulysses, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and most recently The Time of Your Life. The year’s ceremony will also include tributes to retiring Professor of Dramatic Performance Michael Burnham and alumna Elana Ernst (’07 BFA Drama).

The highlight of the Dolly Awards will be the presentation of the 2013 Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award to a graduate of CCM Drama. This year’s honoree is alumnus Damian Baldet (’95 BFA Drama), who will join the event via Skype videocast from London. Baldet has performed the role of Timon in the London, North American Tour and Mandalay Bay Las Vegas productions of The Lion King since 2005, and has a long list of credits that include shows off-Broadway and at La Jolla Playhouse (Calif.) and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.

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CCM’s ‘Chess’ Receives Four League of Cincinnati Theater Nominations

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice’s Chess has earned four nominations from the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)! The LCT also distinguished the rock musical as a recommended production: Outstanding Production (musical), Ensemble, Lead Actor (Julian Decker) and Lead Actress (Aubrey Ireland). Congratulations to the entire creative team!

Loosely based on the lives of chess grandmasters Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov, Chess involves a romantic triangle between two top players (an American and a Russian) and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.

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CCM’s ‘Chess’ Features ‘Great Singing, Great Dancing, Jaw-Dropping Costuming, Superb Orchestral Support, Sharp Techno Scenic Design’ Raves Enquirer

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

In her review of Chess for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jackie Demaline writes, “It’s easy to be swept up in the spectacle conjured by director Aubrey Berg – great singing, great dancing, jaw-dropping costuming, superb orchestral support (led by Stephen Goers), sharp techno scenic design (by Mark Halpin and Alan Hanson).”

Chess runs through this Sunday, Oct. 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are still available by calling 513-556-4183, visiting CCM’s E-Box Office here!

Read more of Demaline’s review after the jump.

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CityBeat’s Stage Door Blog Reviews ‘Chess’

"Chess" runs Oct. 25 - 28 in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.

“Chess” runs Oct. 25 – 28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Mark Lyons.
Tickets on sale now! Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Theatre critic Rick Pender reviews Chess in today’s CityBeat Stage Door blog: “The story is set in Bangkok and Budapest during a mid-1970s world chess championship — and it’s driven by gamesmanship between nations, between lovers and, of course, between chess players. I saw the opening on Thursday, and it’s a BIG show with a gigantic cast. Several leading roles are double cast (with more juniors than seniors, in fact, which bodes well for CCM productions for this season and next). In particular, Matthew Paul Hill, playing the Russian grand master Anatoly, lifted the roof of Corbett Auditorium with his powerful baritone voice singing the stirring ‘Anthem,’ the Act 1 finale.”

Read more here. 

Chess tickets are still available by calling 513-556-4183, visiting CCM’s E-Box Office here!

Directed by Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Stephen Goers, choreography by Diane Lala, scenic design by Mark Halpin and costumes by Rebecca SenskeChess runs Oct. 25-28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

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CCM Slideshows: Chess

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Featuring music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson with lyrics by Tim Rice, CCM’s Mainstage Series continues with the must-see musical Chess, running Oct. 25-28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

CityBeat’s Rick Pender writes, “Our local theater scene is enhanced considerably by works presented on the stages at universities: Tonight through Sunday, CCM’s esteemed musical theater program is offering CHESS, with music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The story is set in Bangkok and Budapest during a 1972 chess championship — which is about conflict between nations, between lovers and, of course, between chess players. Director Aubrey Berg says, “The action plays out in a world of spies, counter-agents and superpowers vying for supremacy.”

Tickets are still available for this acclaimed rock musical!

Learn more at http://ccm.uc.edu.

Check out the original music video for “One Night in Bangkok” from the 1984 Chess concept album below:

CCM Presents Acclaimed Rock Opera ‘Chess’ Oct. 25-28

CCM proudly presents the acclaimed rock opera Chess as the next installment in this year’s Mainstage Series. Featuring music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (of the Swedish rock group ABBA) with lyrics by Golden Globe, Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winner Tim Rice (of Jesus Christ SuperstarEvitaThe Lion King and more), Chess has what Time magazine calls “one of the best rock scores ever produced.” Directed by Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Stephen Goers, choreography by Diane Lala, scenic design by Mark Halpin and costumes by Rebecca SenskeChess runs Oct. 25-28 in UC’s Corbett Auditorium.

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Everybody’s Playing the Game, But Nobody’s Rules are the Same…

CCM Presents Comedy-Horror-Rock Musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Oct. 11-13

Cassie Levine as Audrey and Lee Slobotkin as Seymour in CCM’s Studio Series production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Photography by Nik Robalino.

Cassie Levine as Audrey and Lee Slobotkin as Seymour in CCM’s Studio Series production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Photography by Nik Robalino.

CCM proudly presents the award-winning Little Shop of Horrors as the first installment in this year’s Studio Series. UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater will be transformed into an iconic drive-in movie theater for this much-loved musical, which runs Oct. 11-13, 2012.

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CCM Announces Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events

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CCM is delighted to announce its fall schedule of performances. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents more than 100 public performances this fall, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, drama and musical theatre productions.

This fall’s schedule includes a Beethoven Festival (Sept. 14 – Oct. 12), a Kurt Weill Festival (Oct. 19 – March 10) and a Cage Centennial Celebration (Nov. 5 – Nov. 29). CCM also collaborates with Cincinnati Opera on public workshop performances of two new American operas (Oct. 27 – 28 and Dec. 4 – 5) and presents a pair of concerts in conjunction with the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts (Oct. 10 and Oct. 28).

Download a digital copy of CCM’s Fall 2012 Calendar of Major Events today. Physical copies are also available at the CCM Box Office in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

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