Scenic designer and third-year graduate student Ryan Howell (left) and Canadian artist Amy Shackleton give a design presentation to CCM Theatre Design and Production students.

Scenic designer and third-year graduate student Ryan Howell (left) and Canadian artist Amy Shackleton give a design presentation to CCM Theatre Design and Production students.

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream receives a colorful and refreshing update in the upcoming production at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. Beginning with a preview performance on Oct. 3, audiences will be transported to the 1960s and will follow four lovers and some unfortunate “mechanicals” as their lives become the playthings of a band of fairies.

Director Michael Burnham wanted to take a new approach to a traditional piece and encouraged set designer and third year graduate student Ryan Howell to contact Canadian artist Amy Shackleton to collaborate on an original art piece for the show. With the help of CCM’s Division of Electronic Media, Amy Shackleton was filmed while painting the piece and the resulting footage will be used to create a backdrop that will paint itself as the story develops.

Amy Shackleton begins her painting with Theatre Design and Production students looking on. Amy’s original piece is featured in the October production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and can be viewed in the Patricia Corbett Theatre lobby.

Amy Shackleton begins her painting with Theatre Design and Production students looking on. Amy’s original piece is featured in the October production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and can be viewed in the Patricia Corbett Theatre lobby.

Amy Shackleton became famous in 2011 when she posted a YouTube video showing her unique drip-painting technique. She and Ryan Howell collaborated over how to use her style and technique to best represent Michael Burnham’s vision. When she visited Cincinnati to begin the project, Amy gave a demonstration of her painting technique to Theatre Design and Production students while filming the new piece that will be used as the backdrop in the show.

The actual artwork can be viewed in the Patricia Corbett Theater lobby along with a slideshow documenting Amy’s time spent in Cincinnati. Click here to see more of Amy Shackleton’s work.

Learn more about A Midsummer Night’s Dream here.

– Written by Melanie Guinto, a sophomore scenic design major originally from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

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