Playwrights Conference

10-Minute Play Festival closes Playwrights Conference with new work by Todd Almond

The week-long playwriting intensive hosted by CCM Summer Programs will come to a dramatic close Saturday (May 14) in a series of 10-minute plays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre.

Fourteen playwrights have spent the week learning from industry professionals in master classes to write and develop original works. The inaugural Playwrights Conference was organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell. It gave participants the unique opportunity to work closely with leaders in the field — including internationally known playwright and composer, alumnus Todd Almond (BM, 1999) and dramaturg Lisa Timmel, director of new work at the Tony award-winning Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.

“[The participants] are working with levels of expertise and talent that they would not otherwise have access to,” Russell said. “Lisa and Todd represent the very best of what the industry has to offer and I don’t know of any other situation in which playwrights at this level with their engagement with the craft would be able to work these people.”

Each participant has written a short play to be performed at the 10-Minute Play Festival on Saturday. Almond was commissioned to write and develop a new play specifically for this conference, which will premiere at the close of Saturday’s festival around 8:15 p.m. Each play will be performed by CCM’s own drama students.

“Todd’s play is part of a commissioning initiative that I’ve launched here that brings plays to CCM to be produced, the world premiere version of that will hopefully then go on to have a professional and academic life of its own for years and years and years,” Russell said.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

Photo by CCM E-Media student Arielle Kruger.

The playwrights, including Almond, have rewritten and edited their works throughout the week to perfect them for the stage. Almond said the conference feels like a “Sundance retreat where you come every day with new pages.” Almond drew from his memories as a CCM student when writing and developing the play, he added:

“It’s about wrestling with identity when you go to college. There’s a bit of a tragedy early on that kind of derails the main character and he has to wrestle with getting back on track. The actors are helping me figure out what in that is honest and what in that feels forced. I think our process is making it more honest, we’re making this play actually feel real and not devised.”

The 10-Minute Play Festival is FREE and open to the public. Join us for an evening featuring all-new works by playwrights from across the country brought to life on stage with the talents of CCM student actors 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Photos and Video by Arielle Kruger

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CCM Welcomes Rachel Calin as Associate Professor of Double Bass

Rachel Calin

Rachel Calin

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Dean Peter Landgren has announced the addition of acclaimed double bassist Rachel Calin to the college’s roster of distinguished string performance faculty members. Calin’s appointment as Associate Professor of Double Bass becomes effective on August 15.

Celebrated for her proficiency as both a pedagogue and a performer, Calin has been called “a lyrical soloist in command of her instrument,” by the New York Times. In 1994 she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition, making her concerto debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra. Subsequently, she has made concerto appearances with the Burlington Ensemble, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and the Sejong Soloists.

Calin has dedicated herself to both teaching and chamber music. She is the longstanding sole bass faculty member at the Perlman Music Program, a program for exceptionally gifted pre-college aged musicians headed by Toby and Itzhak Perlman. She has also held faculty positions at Stony Brook University and the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University.

As a chamber musician, Calin has appeared in concert throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. She can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today, both in live and recorded broadcasts, and has collaborated with Myung-Wha Chung, Lawrence Dutton, Frank Huang, Ron Leonard, Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, among others.

She has performed frequently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and has made appearances at the Aspen Music Festival, Live from Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, and Ravinia. Calin can also be heard on numerous movie and commercial soundtracks, including The Departed and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. She has given the world premieres of works by composers such as Lera Auerbach and D. Edward Davis and has performed with many contemporary music ensembles including Sequitur, Composers Concordance and Metropolis Ensemble.

Calin received a BM and MM from the Juilliard School, where she studied with both Homer Mensch and Eugene Levinson. In addition to Juilliard, she also trained with Jeff Bradetich, Paul Ellison and Denise Searfoss. She was the recipient of an instrument loan from the Karr Foundation and currently performs on a double bass crafted by Carlo Giuseppe Testore in 1690.

While announcing her appointment, Landgren commented, “Ms. Calin is a perfect fit for CCM. Her prowess as a pedagogue will help us continue to prepare the next generation of performing artists for positions on the world’s stage. She is an ideal successor to Professor Albert Laszlo, who retires this fall after a highly successful tenure at CCM.”

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Story by Curt Whitacre

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Two CCM professors honored in UC Faculty Awards

Sixteen distinguished faculty members were awarded in UC’s university-wide Faculty Awards Celebration on Tuesday, April 19. Each year, the university pays tribute to outstanding faculty members who go above and beyond for their students. They were each nominated by students, staff or other faculty members in December and given awards during Tuesday’s ceremony in Tangeman University Center’s Great Hall.

Along with the other award winners, two CCM professors were saluted in this year’s celebration: Kimberly Daniel de Acha, adjunct associate professor of Musical Theatre/Voice, and Jonathan Kregor,  professor within the Department of Composition, Musicology & Theory.

Visit the UC Magazine website to read profiles on each of the 16 awarded faculty members.

Kimberly Daniel de Acha – Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

Kimberly Daniel de Acha

Kimberly Daniel de Acha, adjunct associate professor of musical theater and voice, in studio at CCM. Photo by Andrew Higley.

The extraordinary success of Kimberly Daniel de Acha, CCM’s accomplished adjunct associate professor of musical theatre voice, is exemplified in her former students by their leading and supporting roles on Broadway and touring Broadway shows, as Tony Award nominees and as working professionals in theaters nationally.

In addition to her own success as an award-winning performer and theater professional,
de Acha’s outstanding musical theatre voice pedagogy successfully edifies the significance of developing a positive self-image, which her students say is key for rising to one’s full potential in the theater.

According to student testimony, de Acha’s tough-love teaching style is really not so tough. Instead, it is wrapped in a nurturing understanding of each of her student’s unique talents, encouraging them to carve a niche for their own success.

De Acha’s “claim what is yours” teaching mantra has fueled the passion in each of her students to build on their unique abilities, and to claim their place on the professional stage. By exemplifying this herself, she inspires this in her students.

De Acha sits on the CCM Power Board and co-directs and underwrites the costs of “Music for All Seasons at Historic Peterloon,” an annual four-concert music series that features CCM students, faculty and area professionals, and helps to bring community awareness to CCM. All proceeds are donated for student scholarships.

In de Acha’s 46th year as a performer and teacher, she refers to teaching at CCM as “the gift she gives herself.” And, her students and colleagues are unanimous in their praise for her unwavering commitment to community outreach and charitable efforts, but especially for her keen ability to recognize and enhance the distinctive best in each one of her students — which changes their lives forever.

Jonathan Kregor – George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works

Jonathon Kregor

Jonathan Kregor, professor of the department of composition, musicology and theory at CCM, leads an in-class discussion. Photo by Andrew Higley.

In moving from assistant to full professor of musicology in only eight short years, Jonathan Kregor’s career has followed a trajectory that might be referred to in musical terms as prestissimo.

Since coming to the College-Conservatory of Music in 2007, he has produced extensive publications and given numerous invited talks in North America and Europe that have brilliantly opened visual and acoustic windows into the lives, politics and musical activities and works of 19th-century classical composers — most particularly into the complex and fascinating life of the Hungarian composer-pianist Franz Liszt.

While Liszt’s own compositions form a central — albeit still controversial — part of today’s musical canon, Kregor has focused in depth on an overlooked part of Liszt’s musical activities: his transcriptions of other composers’ works. By detailing the significance of Liszt’s reproductions for the piano of orchestral and large-scale vocal compositions by Wagner, Mozart, Berlioz, Beethoven and others, Kregor’s scholarship sheds a unique light on the impact that Liszt and his contemporaries all had on the broader intellectual context of 19th-century Europe. And Dr. Kregor’s expertise as the leading Liszt scholar of his generation has also evolved into him becoming an equally respected authority on 19th-century program music.

Through his vast array of scholarly publications that include monographs, articles and essays and critically edited music, Kregor has helped shape the understanding of 19th-century music by skillfully inviting everyone to reconsider assumptions about classical creativity and the compositional process.

Owing to frequent testimony, Jonathan Kregor continues to enrich the lives of his students, collaborators and colleagues as a beacon in the field of historical musicology: not only through his distinguished scholarship, but also — as a student of a student of a student of Liszt himself — by transforming its results into musical practice.

 

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Rehearsals for CCM's April 2016 production of SWAN LAKE.

Building a Ballet: E-Media students give inside look at CCM’s ‘Swan Lake’

CCM Electronic Media and UC journalism students take us behind-the-scenes with a look at the rehearsals for next week’s production of Swan Lake. The video series chronicles all of the work and dedication students, faculty and staff put into the lavish new production of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet.

Students within the News Writing and Reporting class, taught by Assistant Professor of E-Media Hagit Limor and Journalism Professor Bob Jonason, created the videos, which star faculty and students within CCM’s Dance Department.

In the video above, Dance Department chair and Swan Lake co-director Jiang Qi discusses the work that goes into presenting such an iconic ballet. He explains:

Swan Lake is one of the top classical ballets in the repertoire. It’s almost textbook. You learn Swan Lake and then you get much stronger. This is an art form that requires a lot of physical and mental endurance to get through.”

The videos and photos, created by students Brevin Couch, Mark D’Andrea, Tyler Dunn, Daniel Honerkamp, Ailish Masterston and Andrew Wilkins, can be viewed on the Building a Ballet website. Visit the website to view interviews with dance students Madison Holschuh (Odette), Sam Jones (Prince Siegfried), and Kiahna Saneshige (Odile). The package was recently featured in Cincinnati Magazine.

Swan Lake is only the second story ballet ever presented as part of CCM’s Mainstage Series. The production runs April 22 – 24 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Co-directed by Jiang and Professor Deirdre Carberry, the production features students from CCM’s BFA Ballet program, which Dance Magazine has hailed as one of the country’s “top programs to consider.”

The lavishly staged spectacle features accompaniment by CCM’s lauded Concert Orchestra under the direction of Professor Aik Khai Pung.

This production marks the first time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a dance production has featured brand new costumes designed and built in-house. You can learn more about the work that went into costuming Swan Lake here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Swan Lake are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.

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/swan-lake.

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

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s

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Story by Curt Whitacre

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Scenes from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo by UC Production Master Class.

Student Documentary, ‘The Making of Expedition Alaska,’ Accepted into U.S. Drone Film Festival

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A student-produced documentary that chronicles an adventure race through “Alaska’s Playground” was recently accepted into the U.S. Drone Film Festival. The behind-the-scenes documentary, The Making of Expedition Alaska was created by the University of Cincinnati Production Master Class and focuses on the process that went into filming a 350-mile, seven-day adventure race in the Kenai Peninsula.

Students also created a documentary series titled Expedition Alaska which features the grueling race and beautiful Alaskan landscape. Two episodes of the series will premiere at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 27.

As previously reported, seven UC students traveled to Alaska in the summer of 2015 to work with two UC professors and a cadre of media professionals to film the documentaries. The Making of Expedition Alaska was nominated for Best News/Documentary in the New York City Drone Film Festival earlier this year and was recently accepted into the U.S. Drone Film Festival, where it will be screened April 30.

The UC Production Master Class used drones to film and chronicle the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race through the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

The UC Production Master Class used drones to film and chronicle the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race through the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Featuring the pristine wilderness of the Kenai Peninsula, Expedition Alaska captures stunning scenery of ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race — a qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series. The race pits four-person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, against each other as they navigate by map and compass through the remote and beautiful terrain.

The UC Production Master Class crew gets wet while whitewater rafting during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

The UC Production Master Class crew gets wet while whitewater rafting during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Expedition Alaska‘s premiere at Esquire Theatre is a FREE event and open to the general public. It is sponsored and supported by the UC Office of the President, Center for Film and Media Students, UC Forward Initiative, College-Conservatory of Music’s Electronic Media Division, and UC Alumni Association.

The Production Master Class is a collaborative, experiential learning initiative that involves students, faculty and alumni from CCM’s Electronic Media Division, the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning’s School of Design and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Communication.

UC students, professors, and a cadre of media professionals traveled to film "Expedition Alaska." Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

UC students, professors, and a cadre of media professionals traveled to film “Expedition Alaska.” Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Since its inception in 2012, the PMC has provided a transformative “hands-on” experience for more than 100 students from nine different academic programs at UC, taking them out of the classroom to connect with nationally recognized professionals from the film and television industry.

“The idea was to totally re-invent the college classroom,” notes UC President Santa Ono, “focusing interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on real world projects.”

NBC’s Universal Sports Network nationally broadcast the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary series, produced by the PMC from 2012-15. Focusing on a grueling 275-mile adventure race through the California wilderness, the documentary was nominated by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award in the professional category of Best Documentary. Additionally, the student design team was recognized with a Silver Award at the prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual 2015, an international student design competition.

Join us for the FREE premiere of Expedition Alaska at the Esquire Theatre Wednesday, April 27, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.!

Racers from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race trek up a glacier in the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Racers from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race trek up a glacier in the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

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Background on the Production Master Class
The PMC is an interdisciplinary collaboration at the UC. It involves CCM Professors Kevin Burke and Lorin Parker, DAAP Professor Yoshiko Burke and Brian J. Leitten, UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer. The initiative was originally made possible by a grant from the UC Forward Collaborative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. In 2015, the PMC received additional support from the Office of the President and the Center for Film and Media Studies at UC, and external sponsorship by Switch Sunglasses. The PMC is offered as a class through the Electronic Media Division and School of Design; both programs provide the facilities and staff support.

During the production, students take on the roles of supervising producers, story producers, editors, scriptwriters, music supervisors and narrators. Electronic Media Professor Kevin Burke and Brian Leitten serve as Executive Producers on the documentary, advising and managing the project while providing professional guidance and feedback during all phases of the film’s development. Leitten joins Professor Burke for each class session via video conferencing from New York, where he serves as Director of Production at VEVO. Communication Design Professor Yoshiko Burke supervises students in the creation of all motion and graphic design content, and Electronic Media Professor Lorin Parker provides guidance and expertise to students regarding the audio mix and sound design. At each stage of the project, the students are held to the standards and expectations of professionals in their discipline, providing them with invaluable industry experience.

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CCM Village in the spring of 2014. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM Welcomes Susan Felder to Drama/Acting Faculty

Susan Felder

Susan Felder will join CCM faculty as an assistant professor on August 15, 2016.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren is proud to announce a new addition to the Drama/Acting program’s faculty, Susan Felder.

As full-time assistant professor of acting and movement, Felder’s appointment at CCM will begin on August 15, 2016. With 12 years of university-level teaching experience, Felder is a professional actor and director, produced playwright and a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association.

She holds a BA in theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA in acting from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. For the past two years, Felder has taught movement, period styles and multi-level acting courses at Bradley University.

Felder has previously taught acting and movement at Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame and graduate-level courses at Oklahoma State University and Montana State University.

With more than 20 years experience as a professional actor, Felder has performed in numerous roles with The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Indiana Repertory, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Northlight Theatre, Boarshead Theatre and the Attic Theatre among others.

Felder received a Thespie Award for Best Supporting Actress as Wendy in Mother’s Day at Boarshead Theatre. She also received the Joseph Jefferson Award and After Dark Award for Best Ensemble in The Laramie Project at Next Theatre.

Felder holds two certificates of achievement from the Linklater Voice Center in Scotland, where she studied under world-renowned vocal coach Kristin Linklater.

As a verse and language direction coach, Felder has worked with actors and directors to help them better understand Shakespearean language at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Montana Shakespeare, Writer’s Theatre, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Shakespeare and Loyola University Chicago.

Her extensive directing credits range from the classical repertoire to more contemporary work. At Montana Shakespeare, Felder directed Macbeth, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Other directing credits include The Quiet Man Tales at The Chicago Theatre, A Love Lost Life – The Marlon Brando Story at the Theatre Building Chicago, Waiting for Godot, the American premiere of The Blue Hour, A Son at the Front, and House of Butterflies at Loyola University Chicago and Beyond Therapy at Oklahoma State University.  Most recently, Felder directed The Seagull, Mountaintop, and Our Country’s Good for Bradley University.

As a playwright, Felder’s original work has seen much success. Her play Wasteland received a critically acclaimed world premiere at Chicago’s Timeline Theatre. The Chicago Tribune said the show was “involving and strikingly emotional.” Her other works include Swimming with Van Gogh, which was chosen for the 2012 Arkansas New Play Festival and Milky Way and Main, which was chosen for the Judith Karman Hospice Play Festival. Most recently was the world premiere of Felder’s play Temple Spirit at Echo Theatre Dallas.

In his announcement of Felder’s appointment, Landgren observed:

“As she continues to successfully develop original work across the nation, we are fortunate that Ms. Felder has decided to make Cincinnati her home and CCM’s acting students the focus of her talents.”

Join us in welcoming Susan Felder to the CCM family!
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Dean Mogle holds the white and black swan design sketches for CCM's production of Swan Lake.

From Sketch to Stage: The Making of CCM’s ‘Swan Lake’ Costumes

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There is a shortage of tutu makers in the world, said CCM Professor and Head of the Costume Design and Technology Program Dean Mogle, who faced the daunting task of designing costumes for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet.

CCM is working to fix that shortage by training the next generation of costume designers and technicians, whose work will debut on stage in the conservatory’s first ballet production to have costumes designed and built in-house.

A timeless tale of love, magic and mystery, Swan Lake will grace the Corbett Auditorium stage from April 22-24, marking the second time in CCM’s nearly 150-year history that a full-length story ballet has been included in the Mainstage Series.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Staff and students within the Costume Design and Technology program have worked on the ‘Swan Lake’ costumes for the past 18 months.

Presented by CCM’s Department of Dance, the ballet uses three different casts and the principal roles are all double cast ­— which is challenging for the costume shop students and staff responsible for ensuring the pieces fit each dancer correctly.

“You have to understand what dancers go through—what they need,” Mogle said. “Balance becomes really important.”

Costume designers and technicians must consider the weight of the fabrics and headpieces so the dancer can retain their natural balance. There is also limited “real estate” on the costume for artistic expression or characterization, Mogle said. If a female dancer needs to be lifted, safety dictates the fabric around her waist can’t be too slick and can’t get caught on anything.

“The ballet world is a totally different beast.”

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Newly designed costumes for the Hungarian Czardas in Act III of ‘Swan Lake,’ made by costume students and staff. To the far right is Prince Siegfried’s jacket, made by Jessica Barksdale.

Mogle, with a team of students and faculty within the Costume Design and Technology program, has worked on the Swan Lake costumes for the past 18 months. They’ve borrowed and modified some costumes from a previous CCM performance of Brigadoon and the Broadway production of Cyrano, The Musical. Costumes for the principal and specialty roles in the ballet are newly designed and made.

Iconic white tutus, bodices, vibrant dresses and rich fabrics have taken over their workshop. The costumes are designed in the traditional style typically associated with the classic ballet. CCM plans to reuse and rent out some of them after the performance.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Jessica Barksdale is building Mogle’s design for Prince Siegfried’s costume, which will be worn in Acts III and IV.

Mogle, who previously designed costumes for the Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker, watched five or six different productions of Swan Lake to prepare for his costume designs. The pieces are still evolving on a daily basis, he said.

“Since we are making the production to last about 30 or 40 years, we don’t ever want to get too wild and crazy with the concept because it is pretty traditional,” Mogle said. “The things that really change in a traditional ballet like this are going to be the specialty characters.”

Those include the newly designed and made pieces that will be worn at the ball in Act III, where the Queen invites potential wives from Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Naples and Poland to match with her son, Prince Siegfried.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

A sketch and sleeve of Von Rothbart’s Act III costume, made by Erin Winslow.

At the ball, Prince Siegfried will wear a newly designed black and gold jacket made by Jessica Barksdale, first-year costume technology graduate student. Rothbart, the evil sorcerer who cursed the prince’s love Odette, will wear an intricately detailed costume made by senior costume technology student, Erin Winslow, as part of her capstone project.

Barskdale and Winslow are also making the iconic white and black swan costumes for leading female characters Odette and Odile. Associate Professor of Costume Technology Regina Truhart is managing all costume production for the ballet.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

The in-progress white and black swan costumes for characters Odette and Odile are being made by Jessica Barksdale and Erin Winslow, respectively.

After 27 years at CCM, Mogle is familiar with the 30,000 costume pieces the conservatory has in stock. Luckily, the costume department was able to pull pieces from past performances of Brigadoon and Cyrano to modify them for courtier and peasant costumes in Swan Lake.

The costume department dyed some of the costumes in bright jewel tones and added details such as sashes, sleeves, aprons and hats. Net petticoats were used to make the costumes lighter and easier to dance in.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Costumes from the CCM production of ‘Brigadoon’ are being modified for the female peasants in Act I of ‘Swan Lake.’

“Every time we do [Swan Lake], we’ll add more to it and rely less on our costume stock,” Mogle said, adding that when the ballet is performed again in 6 years they will likely build new peasant costumes.

“That’s how some companies do it anyway. They’ll use tutus from many kinds of shows. Pulling together a show like this from all of these different places is a great exercise.”

Acquiring materials is one hurdle but then, of course, the costumes must actually fit.

It helps that musical theatre bodies and dancer bodies are similar in stature, Mogle said. It would cost around $5,000 to reproduce one of the Cyrano costumes today.

Costuming for CCM's 'Swan Lake.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

Costume technicians included three clasp sizes on the ‘Swan Lake’ bodices so they can be adjusted for different dancers.

With three different casts, and double-cast principals, it was important to make the costumes interchangeable for different dancers. The technicians included three clasp sizes for the bodices to make them more adjustable and, in some cases, built extra costumes.

The process and pieces are evolving daily, with more adjustments expected after fittings and the dress rehearsals. A beautiful design can look perfect on a mannequin but flawed when put on a body that needs to breathe, dance and kick. That is why it’s important for the costuming students to learn each step in the creative process, said Mogle.

 “The whole focus of our program is teaching design and technology so designers know how to make stuff and makers know how to design stuff. So they all have the same sensibility as to how things should look and how they should be handled. If the knowledge base in those two roles isn’t strong then things fall apart.”

After the designs are sketched, the appropriate fabrics need to be found, Mogle said of the costuming process. Then there’s making the patterns and cutting them out of the cloth and stitching them together. There’s also fabric painting and dying and mask and jewelry making.

“Each one of those is a profession in itself,” Mogle said. “The more skills you have as a technician and the more kinds of plays and operas and ballets that you can design as a designer, your job market opens up. It’s a good part of training and real life experience.”

Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Associate Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry, the Mainstage Series production features students from CCM’s BFA Ballet program. The lavishly staged spectacle features accompaniment by CCM’s lauded Concert Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung.

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Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake runs April. 22 – 24 in Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID.

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/swan-lake.

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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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Production Sponsors: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, Teri Jory & Seth Geiger and Graeter’s
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Story by Rebecca Butts

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