Musical Theatre Alumna Katie Johannigman Returns to Choreograph World Premiere at CCM

Katie Johannigman

Katie Johannigman

Since graduating from UC’s College Conservatory of Music, Katie Johannigman (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012) has worked in New York and started a non-profit, after-school musical theatre training program in Connecticut. She returns to her alma mater to share some tricks of the trade with current students and choreograph They Were You: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, a new musical revue that runs Wednesday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 9 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle got in touch with Johannigman to talk about how it feels to return to CCM and her experience working on They Were You.

What’s it like to come back to CCM as a teacher after having spent so much of your educational experience here as a CCM Preparatory student and then as an undergraduate?

It is so wonderful to come home to CCM, where I first started coming when I was 9 months old and my sister was taking ballet classes. It’s fun to reminisce about all of the exceptional training I had from fabulous CCM Prep teachers over my years here, starting when I was three with Jonnie Lynn Jacobs-Percer in the ballet department and continuing on to Dee Anne Bryll and Ed Cohen in the theatre department. I feel so lucky that my parents knew to send me to CCM Prep, and that I then moved on to such an outstanding college program in my own backyard — with so many fantastic professors from whom I learned so much. I also feel lucky to have the chance to pass on to the students what I learned both from going to school at CCM and from having spent a long time working in the business in New York.

When you were in school here, what did you gain from your experiences working with visiting professionals?
I think it was one of the most important parts of my training at CCM, because they kept us up-to-date with the trends in the business. Aubrey Berg and the rest of the faculty supplied us with strong acting, singing and dance training, and guest teachers taught us how that training is relevant and can be applied in New York today. I hope to do the same for these students.

What do you hope to pass along to the students who are currently in the same position that you were in not so long ago?
I hope to teach them that there is not one single definition of success in this business. We get really caught up while in school and are sometimes led to believe that you’re not successful unless you’re working on Broadway, but I have learned in the past four years that that is not true at all. There are so many ways to be successful in the arts, to use your training, to make an impact in the lives of others through the arts and to be a happy, healthy person working in the arts. I have participated in the arts in many ways in the past four years by performing professionally, choreographing shows and, most satisfyingly, helping to start a non-profit, after-school musical theatre training program with my fellow alumnus Connor Deane in Connecticut called Broadway Method Academy, where I am the artistic director. I wouldn’t have been able to do these things without my CCM training and connections.

What’s it been like to choreograph a new work? Have you felt more pressure to create a refined product that will set the show up for success and future productions, or do you feel freer because the audience doesn’t have any preconceived notions about how the show will look?
It has been both challenging and liberating. We are working with material that is mostly unknown, so people have no idea what they are about to see. It’s been very exciting and freeing to work collaboratively with Aubrey Berg, Steve Goers and the cast to decide what we want this show to be, since it can be anything we want it to be. Focusing on the process and not final product is something that I find very exciting. We have an unbelievably talented cast, so I know the audience will love it. We will see what Tom Jones thinks!

Are you borrowing choreography or dance styles from shows by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt or other cabaret-style works? What influenced you while you were creating this piece?
I have made sure not to watch any videos from Jones and Schmidt productions so that our staging and choreography can be completely original. We are using some standard conventions of revue-style works, such as the use of props to illustrate different scenes and styles. What really influenced me was Aubrey’s clever, smart and creative way of linking these vastly different songs together to make a show that reflects the human experience. I tried to focus on the lyrics, texts, themes and telling of stories in order to bring all these gorgeous songs to life. It has been so fun to work collaboratively alongside a professor whom I look up to and admire so much. Aubrey is really pushing and challenging me to become a better choreographer, so I am grateful and honored for this opportunity to come home to CCM. There is still so much learning to do inside this building!

Devised and directed by Aubrey Berg, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, They Were You runs Oct. 5-9 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. It features songs from some of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s most beloved musicals including The Fantasticks, Celebration and 110 in the Shade, with musical arrangements by CCM faculty member Stephen Goers.

Admission to They Were You is free, but tickets are required. CCM’s Studio Series productions often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips on how to secure your seats.

The logo for THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets are now available. Please 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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the 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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Story by Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
Romeo and Juliet preview photography by Mark Lyons.

Q&A with DAAP Student Hope Rice, Dramaturg for CCM’s “Romeo and Juliet”

This week, CCM opens the Fall 2016 Mainstage Season with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. For this production, the creative team includes a collaboration with a senior art history major from UC’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP). Hope Rice teams up with the Romeo and Juliet crew to bring the show together as its “dramaturg.”

But what exactly is a dramaturg? And how is the role used for Romeo and Juliet? CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies reached out to Rice to find out more about her role in the production.

Rice’s interest in theatre was sparked after she took a few classes with CCM assistant professor of acting, Brant Russell — who also directs the upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. She was then invited to join CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION in 2015 and is now pursuing an independent study in dramaturgy with Christine Mok, assistant professor of drama and performance in UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

It’s always exciting to cast students from multiple departments in CCM productions. As a DAAP student, however, your involvement is unique. What was your experience like when you were previously cast in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION?
I got to work with seven CCM Acting students in writing and performing our play. I became intimately acquainted with the logistics of writing a short play, the rehearsal and technical process and the performance. I had a small role with no speaking lines (at my request) because I originally wanted to be involved from a writing and directing position. My favorite experience from TRANSMIGRATION was getting to know the members of my team and creating a play that was meaningful to all of us. I also learned how collaboration and accountability are an intrinsic part of the process of getting the play from script to stage.

What is your role as dramaturg for Romeo and Juliet?
There are a lot of different ways to describe dramaturgy. Not just in this production, but in all shows, dramaturgs help to support the director’s vision by making sure that all elements that make up the play are coherent. Dramaturgs act as an outside eye to see connections between the script, actors and audience. So in the rehearsal process, dramaturgs observe acting, blocking, set design, sounds, etc. and take notes. We then meet with the director after rehearsals and discuss our thoughts. Dramaturgs support the concept of the play and help the director find elements to refine and enhance that vision.

How has your degree and experience in DAAP helped you in this role?
I am a senior in the art history program in DAAP with a focus in film studies. The art history program has taught me how to take apart an art work and analyze its pieces within the whole, while also considering its social, political and economic context and consequences. Dramaturging a play uses some of the same types of critical thinking.

What have you learned from working on Romeo and Juliet?
Besides TRANSMIGRATION, I have not seen a play develop from start to finish, so I have learned what that process is like from Romeo and Juliet. Specifically, I’ve been able to see how all the elements of a play — directing, acting, sound, light, design, dramaturgy, etc. — all collaborate and work to produce the show. Most importantly, I’ve learned that theatre would not be possible without collaboration. The CCM Acting program has a close community within and outside the theatre, and I’ve been able to see how that contributes to the magic of CCM productions.

Hope Rice will join CCM again in the spring for the annual TRANSMIGRATION festival. Catch a performance of CCM’s Romeo and Juliet this weekend to see her contribution as dramaturg reflected on stage.

Romeo and Juliet opens on Wednesday, Sept. 28 (preview) and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2 at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.
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Performance Times
• 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 (preview)
• 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29
• 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
• 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Romeo and Juliet are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Sept. 28 preview performance are just $15.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series.

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/mainstage/romeo-and-juliet.

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 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: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
Cohen Studio

Student Compositions Showcased in CCM’s “A View from the Edge” Recital

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music offers a few recitals each semester called “A View from the Edge.” These free concerts showcase original works of student composers and give audiences a look over the precipice of current compositional techniques.

The first of this season’s student composition recitals is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. The concert program includes a set of three songs for soprano and piano inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, a freshman composer’s first piano sonata and How I Lost My Voice, a piece for flute and guitar that a student wrote in response to the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Daniel Harrison

Daniel Harrison.

Daniel Harrison, a third-year doctoral candidate studying music composition, is one of the student coordinators for this installment of “A View from the Edge.” CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle got in touch with Harrison to get a preview of the upcoming recital.

Can you tell me a bit about “A View from the Edge” and the goals of these recitals?
The “View From The Edge” series was created as a way to showcase the newest compositions from the students in the CCM composition studio. At these concerts, you will hear premieres of chamber music, which range from solos to small ensembles and occasionally works that incorporate electronics. One of the outstanding characteristics of our composition studio is how diverse all of our compositional voices are; everyone has something different to say and their own way of saying it.

What’s it like to work with student performers to hone your pieces? Have you found that you make a significant amount of changes after rehearsals have begun?
Working with other students is great! I love it when there is a sense that we, as a team, are collaborating together to create an experience for a concert-goer. As a composer, I view my role in this as only a third of the equation; the audience and performer make up the other two thirds. I have gotten advice from performers that has led to some significant revisions, both in terms of idiomatic treatment of the instruments and notional choices.

Which three pieces on the program stand out to you, and why?
One of the three pieces on the concert that I’m really looking forward to hearing is Phillip Robert‘s Her em Iteru, which is a set of three songs for soprano and piano based on texts found in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Another is our incoming freshman composer Maksym Mahlay‘s first piano sonata, which looks like a fiery and virtuosic piece for solo piano. It’s also worth noting that the composer himself will be performing the piece. Lastly, my piece for flute and guitar, How I Lost My Voice, will be premiered at the recital. This piece attempts to capture the feeling of not being able to express oneself vocally and contains extended techniques in the flute and guitar that give the illusion of a voice becoming hoarse and transparent.

Did a personal experience inspire your work, How I Lost My Voice?
While I was composing this piece, the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks occurred. After the initial shock, I vividly recall feeling this wave of absolute hopelessness. What could I do? As someone whose profession is to write music, in a country thousands of miles away and separated from France by an ocean, ‘not much’ is as a gross understatement. This event radically refocused my perspective and reframed the project I was working on for a reading session, which was a simple, short piece for flute and guitar.

I began asking what purpose music served in response to tragedy. I imagined that even if I screamed until I lost my voice, there was nothing that I could do to undo what happened. My only recourse was to respond through music well after the fact.

What should people who haven’t experienced much new music expect if they come to “A View from the Edge”?
I would come in to these concerts with an open mind. Our composition studio is filled with students who have different aesthetics. No two recitals will offer the same sounds. One bit of advice that I would offer to someone who is looking to experience a new music concert for the first time is to listen to the music in the same way one would taste a new dish­ – just be open to the experience!

The first “A View from the Edge” recital is at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Composition students will have another opportunity to showcase their new works in the second concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes
Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones. Photo by Henri Dauman.

CCM Showcases the Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt with a World Premiere

CCM continues its popular Studio Series with the world premiere of THEY WERE YOU, a musical revue showcasing the songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Devised and directed by Aubrey Berg, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM, THEY WERE YOU plays Oct. 5-9 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The logo for THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.Conceived and curated by Berg with musical arrangements by CCM faculty member Stephen Goers and choreography by alumna Katie Johannigman, THEY WERE YOU features songs from some of Jones and Schmidt’s most beloved musicals, including The Fantasticks, Celebration and 110 in the Shade. The production represents the first comprehensive revue of Jones and Schmidt’s work.

Jones, a Texas native, is widely known not only for his lyrics and librettos but also for his directing and acting chops. He directed a New York City revival of The Fantasticks in 2006, and also played the role of Old Actor in that production. He has written a screenplay for that show and a book called Making Musicals: An Informal Introduction to the World of Musical Theater.

Schmidt, also a Texan, attended the University of Texas at Austin to study art, but began to play piano as an accompanist for Jones during his time there. In addition to composing some of the world’s most beloved musicals, Schmidt has also continued to work as an illustrator for Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and other publications.

The duo’s work together earned them several Tony Award nominations and the 1992 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, as well as induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

THEY WERE YOU is organized thematically, moving from “innocence” to “experience” through the course of the performance. Each song along the way showcases some universal emotion and lauds the resilience of humanity in the face of sorrow and disillusionment. The program promises favorites like “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks and “My Cup Runneth Over” from I Do! I Do! alongside other songs from throughout the celebrated duo’s oeuvre.

Admission to THEY WERE YOU is free, but tickets are required. CCM’s Studio Series productions often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips on how to secure your seats.

THEY WERE YOU: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Aubrey Berg, director
Stephen Goers, musical director
Katie Johannigman, choreographer

Cast List:

  • Gabe Wrobel
  • Emily Fink
  • Stavros Koumbaros
  • Aria Braswell
  • Karl Amundson
  • Michelle Coben

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 3. Please 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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the 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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Story by Alexandra Doyle and Curt Whitacre

CCM News
Logo for the Opera Fusion: New Works program.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera Co-Host Free Performance of ‘Some Light Emerges’ Tomorrow

 

Logo for the Opera Fusion: New Works program.

CCM and Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works program presents excerpts from the new American opera Some Light Emerges at 7:30 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room. This free public performance provides audience members with a rare behind-the-scenes look at the creation of an original work! Tickets are available now though the Cincinnati Opera box office by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.

The Broken Obelisk outside of the Rothko Chapel.

The Broken Obelisk outside of the Rothko Chapel.

Opera Fusion: New Works is currently providing a workshop for Some Light Emerges, which is composed by Laura Kaminsky to a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. Inspired by the creation of Houston’s iconic Rothko Chapel by philanthropist and art collector Dominique de Menil, the opera is commissioned by HGOco, Houston Grand Opera’s community collaboration and education initiative. The chamber opera will have its world premiere in Houston in March 2017. The Cincinnati workshop is directed by Robin Guarino, CCM’s J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair, and conducted by Bradley Moore, Houston Grand Opera’s head of music staff and music director for HGO Studio.

In the mid-1960s, the renowned art collector Dominique de Menil commissioned the noted American artist Mark Rothko to create a series of paintings and the ideal gallery in which to house them. Mrs. de Menil also envisioned that the resultant Rothko Chapel, which opened in 1971, would serve as a spiritual space for “those of all faiths, or no faith.” Some Light Emerges is set mostly within the Rothko Chapel and chronicles the direct and tangential intersections of five people across four decades who visit the chapel, as well as the struggles and triumphs of Dominique de Menil in realizing her dream.

Opera Fusion: New Works will also workshop Intimate Apparel, a new American opera by composer Ricky Ian Gordon with a libretto by Lynn Nottage, from November 5 to 14, 2016. The new opera is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works Program. The workshop will be directed by Guarino and conducted by Timothy Myers, the artistic and music director of North Carolina Opera. Paul Cremo, dramaturg and director of opera commissioning programs for the Metropolitan Opera, will be the dramaturg for the workshop. This residency will culminate in a free public performance of excerpts in Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14,  in the Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room. Tickets are available beginning Tuesday, November 1 through the Cincinnati Opera box office.

About Opera Fusion: New Works
Funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works is a groundbreaking joint program of Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas. The program offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati, utilizing the talent, personnel and facilities of both organizations. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a public performance. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM. In 2015, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation renewed the program’s funding, allowing for a second cycle of six workshops over three years.

In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in January 2013. In 2012, Opera Fusion: New Works provided workshops for Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013; and Morning Star, by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2015. In 2013, the residency went to Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2016. In 2014, the program invited composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally to workshop Great Scott, which premiered at the Dallas Opera in October 2015. For the final workshop of the original six-workshop grant, the residency was awarded to Meet John Doe, with music and libretto by the late Daniel Catán. The first workshop of the second grant cycle was given in October 2015 to Shalimar the Clown, by composer Jack Perla and librettist Rajiv Joseph, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2016.

Opera Fusion: New Works Lab Presents
SOME LIGHT EMERGES
Composed by Laura Kaminsky

Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Robin Guarino, director
Bradley Moore, conductor

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22

Location
The Cincinnati Club’s Oak Room
30 Garfield Place, Cincinnati OH 45202

Reserving Tickets
Admission to Some Light Emerges is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the Cincinnati Opera box office for tickets by calling 513-241-2742 or visiting cincinnatiopera.org.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal

Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith

CCM News

Know Theatre Co-production “Runaways” Opens CCM’s Studio Series

Students from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music are taking over the stage at the Know Theatre for a free public preview performance of Elizabeth Swados’ Runaways at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Runaways, created in the 1970s, is based on hundreds of interviews with teenagers who had run away from home, from predators or from themselves. It blends musical styles from pop to hip-hop, jazz to reggae, while asking why children can’t remain children.

CCM Musical Theatre students in "Runaways", co-produced by the Know Theatre.

CCM Musical Theatre students in “Runaways”, co-produced by the Know Theatre.

Co-produced by CCM and Know Theatre, Runaways is directed and choreographed by CCM Professor Vince DeGeorge with musical direction from first-year Masters of Music student, Luke Flood. The cast is made entirely of CCM Musical Theatre students and the stage management team is comprised of students from CCM’s Theatre Design and Production Department. It will run at the Know Theatre Wednesday, Sept.21-Sunday, Sept. 25.

The Know Theatre and CCM have worked to co-produce multiple productions that give students opportunities to perform on a professional stage and showcase their talents outside of the CCM campus community. This partnership began shortly after CCM alumnus Andrew Hungerford (MFA Lighting Design and Technology, 2005) became the Producing Artistic Director at the Know.

“I am continually amazed at how invested the students are in this very unique musical,” DeGeorge said of the Runaways cast. “Every rehearsal these young actors are challenging themselves to physically, psychologically and emotionally live through the songs and monologues of this show – telling stories that, for the most part, may be very far away from their own personal experiences.”

“The challenging and life-affirming work that is being done in this show is testament to the genius of Elizabeth Swados and the courage of the students that we have here at CCM.”

To prepare for their performances, students have received additional training from Maria Fernanda Del Real, a junior in CCM’s Acting Department who is working as the Spanish-language coach for the production. Additionally, Elizabeth Jean-Baptise, an assistant professor in field service at UC, has taught sign language to student Kyle Pollack, who plays a deaf character named Hubble in the musical.

“Learning the ins and outs of a deaf character has strengthened my understanding of the text, the use of my body in space, my relationships with others in the show, and the way I view, accept and understand others in daily life,” Pollack said. “Runaways has continued to challenge me as an actor and instill even more love for our craft with each day.”

Student Tyler Sodoma added: “Runaways was written almost 40 years ago and contains social issues and material that are still such a huge part of society today. The fact that this work of art still speaks to us young adults and audience members today proves how brilliant the writing is.  I am so excited to open this production and bring it to Cincinnati, especially in the heart of downtown, OTR.  The Know Theatre is the perfect venue for this intimate and extremely personal show.”

CCM's Studio Series opens with Elizabeth Swados' RUNAWAYS, co-produced with Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

CCM’s Studio Series opens with Elizabeth Swados’ RUNAWAYS, co-produced with Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

Runaways will run at the Know Theatre, located at 1120 Jackson St. in Over-the-Rhine, with performances at 8 p.m. on Sept. 21-24. The musical has additional performances at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24-25 and a final 7:30 p.m. show on Sept. 25. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and are available on Know Theatre’s website, https://knowtheatre.vbotickets.com/event/Runaways/15327.

Runaways Creative Team:
Vince DeGeorge, director
Luke Flood, music director*
k. Jenny Jones, fight director
Foster Johns, dialect coach
Maria Fernanda Del Real, Spanish-language coach*
Elizabeth Jean-Baptiste, ASL coach
Jenny Mollet, assistant director/choreographer*
Scott Slucher, production stage manager*
Courtney Hickenlooper, assistant stage manager*
Kate Pozner, production assistant*
Kat Miller, props master/coordinator
* CCM Student

Runaways Cast:
Delaney Guyer
Ciara Harris
Marissa Hecker
Kendall McCarthy
Emily Ashton Meredith
Jenny Mollet
Gabriela Rodrigues
Emily Royer
Shauna Topian
Amanda Valenzuela
Bryce Baxter
Dylan Dougal
Zach Erhardt
Louis Griffin
Tyler Jent
Jordan Miller
Dylan Mulvaney
Kyle Pollak
Tyler Sodoma
Alex Stone
Donelvan Thigpen
Zack Triska

The KNOW Staff:
Andrew Hungerford, Producing Artistic Director
Tamara Winters, Associate Artistic Director
Emily James, Resident Stage Manager
Nick Koehlke, Technical Director
Alice Flanders, Managing Director
Sarah Beth Hall, Production and Design Associate

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
september-2016-ccm-air-picture

CCM and Twin Towers Partnership Grows to Embed Four Students Within Senior Living Community

In 2015, CCM and Twin Towers partnered to create a new artist-in-residence program, which provided two CCM graduate students with free housing as they lived and performed in the senior living community. The program provides students with an immersive learning experience while bringing new musical talents to the Twin Towers residents.

It began as an experiment, said Twin Towers Executive Director Jim Lay, and after a successful first year, the program doubled to embed two more graduate students in the community. The four student artists reside on one of the Twin Towers campuses as they work complete their graduate degrees at CCM. They perform one recital per month and socialize with the community’s residents throughout the year in discussions and open rehearsals.

“None of us imagined the level and depth of mutual connection and personal relationships that have emerged between these individuals of different generations, nor did we imagine the potential impact that this relationship has had on the energy and vitality within our Twin Towers community,” Lay said.

The program’s inaugural artists-in-residence were second-year Master of Music students soprano Annie Barr and collaborative pianist Alyssa Griffith. This year, they are joined by harpist Anna Odell and jazz studies major Angie Coyle, both are first-year Master of Music students at CCM.

Annie Barr remembers how supportive the Twin Towers residents were during the first year of the program and said she loved performing in front of such an encouraging audience, which usually included around 200 residents.

“Making someone else’s day brighter with music makes my day,” she said. “I talk to many of the residents most days, simply from walking on community grounds or practicing in the main lounge. I’ve learned a lot about their lives and in return they’ve learned about my life as a musician.”

The two new artists-in-residence, Anna Odell and Angie Coyle, moved in to their new homes in August and were quickly invited to a welcome “block party” to meet their Twin Towers neighbors.

“When I first heard about Twin Towers, I loved the idea of automatically having ‘150 grandparents,’ “Odell said. “Living at Twin Towers has been amazing. The community is so kind and welcoming; I felt at home right as soon as I moved in.”

The program offers her a valuable opportunity to improve performance skills in monthly recitals for the residents, she said. “Performing is a skill that definitely takes practice and gets easier the more you do it, so playing at Twin Towers is a great atmosphere in which to fine-tune that skill.”

Angie Coyle added: “This program makes it easier for us to focus on our studies by helping with the financial burden and it also gives us a chance to be somewhere that our music is truly appreciated. It is nice to see people so grateful for us being here and sharing our music with them.”

All four artists-in-residence performed at Twin Towers for the first time this year on Thursday, Sept. 15, in a “meet and greet” concert for the senior living community. They will also perform short, 30-minute concerts as part of “Twin Towers Day” at the CiTiRAMA home showing event in College Hill on Friday, Sept. 16.

On October 14, the students will perform in the Twin Towers “A Musical Feast” fundraising concert. Event details for “A Musical Feast” will be available on the Twin Towers website within the month.

“When you attend an evening concert, it is inspiring to see the genuine affection shared between those who perform and their audience of neighbors and dear friends,” Jim Lay said. “I cannot envision a future at Twin Towers that would not include these beloved artists.”

twin-towersAbout the Twin Towers Senior Living Community
Located on Hamilton Avenue between Cincinnati’s Northside and College Hill neighborhoods, Twin Towers is committed to enhancing adult lifestyles through a philosophy of whole-person wellness. Specializing in both residential and assisted living, the community consists of patio and apartment homes throughout their Towers, Greeno, North and Parkview areas. Twin Towers provides a full neighborhood experience including an extensive dining area, full gym and pool, and multiple other locations for residents to meet, interact and partake in the arts.

Twin Towers is owned and operated by Loveland-based Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), a private not-for-profit corporation, offering an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati. Best known for their Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, they deliver exceptional everyday experiences to everyone they serve. With a focus on quality living options and healthcare services, and a commitment to whole-person wellness, LEC has become one of the area’s leading senior living providers. Life Enriching Communities is affiliated with the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church and welcomes people of all faiths. For more information, please visit http://www.lec.org.

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