The company of "Cats". Production photo by Matthew Murphy. http://www.broadway.com/shows/cats-broadway/photos/

CCM Alumni in Broadway’s “Cats” and “Hamilton”

We are thrilled to report that ten CCM alumni are involved in Broadway productions this season!

Christine Cornish Smith (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) makes her Broadway debut this fall as Bombalurina in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. The Broadway revival of the Tony Award-winning musical opened at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York on July 31. Other alums in the production are: Kristen Blodgette (BM, 1976), Cats musical supervisor/director; Aaron J. Albano (CCM, 2001-2003), chorus; and  Jessica Hendy (BFA Musical Theatre, 1993), chorus and Grizabella understudy. Hailei Call, who earned a BFA from CCM’s Theatre Production and Design program in 2011, is working on the creative team in Cats.

According to Hendy’s interview with WCPO, this is her second time performing in the feline production. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of the Cats chorus and as understudy for Grizabella, belting the character’s iconic ballad “Memory” in 1999.

Recent CCM graduate Samantha Pollino (BFA Musical Theatre, 2016) returns to Broadway in the Chicago cast of Hamilton. Performances begin Sept. 27 at the PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago. Two other CCM musical theatre alums, Andrew Chappelle (BFA, 2009) and Alysha Deslorieux (BFA, 2012) are members of the original Hamilton cast, which earned 11 Tony awards at the 2016 ceremony.

CCM also has alums in Something Rotten, produced by Kevin McCollum (BFA, 1984). Leslie Kritzer (BFA Musical Theatre, 1999) plays Bea in the musical. Musical theatre alums Max Clayton (BFA, 2014) and Eric Sciotto (BFA, 1997) are in the ensemble.

The 2016 Tony Awards included six productions that had CCM alums as cast or crew members. You can read more about their work here.

Are you a CCM Alumnus with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

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Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

Cats production photo by Matthew Murphy

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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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CCM Welcomes Electronic Musician and DJ Orville Kline for Public Lecture and Master Class on Thursday, April 10

Ableton University Tour

CCM welcomes notable electronic musician, DJ and audio engineer Orville Kline for a public presentation and performance beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Mary Emery Hall Room 3250.

As part of the Ableton music software company’s University Tour, Kline will provide a commercial electronic music and audio production master class for CCM students and faculty (invitation only) from 1-4 p.m.

This class will be followed by a presentation and performance at 6:30 p.m., which is free and open to the public.

Kline’s unique style of heavy electronic music and minimal techno music helped him break into Chicago’s cutthroat DJ scene.

CCM News

Getting to Know Wesley Fay Yount, CCM Graduating Senior and Stage Management Major

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

This December, Wesley Fay Yount of Centerville, Ohio will graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from CCM’s highly selective stage management program. At the age of 20, Yount will be the youngest recipient of a bachelor’s degree in UC’s Fall Commencement Ceremony. Thanks to CCM’s immersive stage management program, she has already gained a wealth of professional experience in her field of choice.

Yount was first drawn to the performing arts through Centerville High School’s theatre program and she found the role of the stage manager particularly intriguing. “Stage management always appealed to me because I saw it as the perfect blend between the artistic and the technical,” she says.

“The stage manger’s task is to take care of the details so that the director, designers and cast can be free to develop the art of the production,” explains CCM Professor of Stage Management Michele Kay. In many ways, the stage manager serves as the logistical nexus for complex productions and is often called upon to think and react quickly in critical situations.

In short, Yount characterizes a stage manager as “a leader, confidant, facilitator, conductor, puzzle-solver, handyman and encyclopedia.”

Coming to UC was an easy choice for Yount. “When I discovered in my college search that one of the top technical theatre schools in the country was less than an hour from my hometown, it was a no-brainer,” she says. “The faculty’s real-world experience and connections, the resources available to students and the scale and sheer number of productions set CCM apart from other BFA programs.”

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM’s Amy Dennison Receives 2013 National Guild Milestone Certificate of Appreciation

Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild, with CCM Assistant Dean Amy Dennison.

Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of the National Guild, with CCM Assistant Dean Amy Dennison.

We are delighted to report that Amy Dennison, Assistant Dean and Director of CCM’s Preparatory Department, has received the 2013 Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education for her long-standing, exceptional service to the field! Dennison is one of seven community arts education leaders to receive this honor.

The goal of the Milestone program—now in its second year— is to recognize executive directors or divisional directors at Guild member organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting and advancing community arts education for more than 20 years. Certificates were presented at the Guild’s Annual Meeting at the Conference for Community Arts Education in Chicago last Friday, Nov. 1.

“The National Guild is thrilled to recognize these exceptional leaders for their vision and dedication to community arts education,” said Jonathan Herman, executive director of the National Guild. “Through their decades-long work with communities and their service to the field, this year’s Milestone recipients have each made a powerful contribution to increasing access to arts education for all.”

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

‘Theatre Reviews Limited’ Profiles CCM Chair of Musical Theatre Aubrey Berg

Theatre Reviews Limited has published a profile of CCM’s Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre Aubrey Berg.

Berg discusses his career at length with Rafael de Acha and provides a preview of what audiences can expect from CCM Musical Theatre during the 2013-14 performance season!

Read the feature-length profile here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM E-Media Division Head Marjorie Fox Retires

Electronic Media Division Head Marjorie Fox joined the faculty in 1988. She retires this summer.

Electronic Media Division Head Marjorie Fox joined the faculty in 1988. She retires this summer.

CCM Electronic Media Division Head Marjorie Fox has announced that she will retire this June. Fox joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati in 1988 as an adjunct instructor.

After getting her start as a TV reporter in Peoria, Illinois, Fox spent the early part of her career in television with the Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV, working as a writer, field producer, newscast producer, assignment editor and eventually executive producer.

Although she did not have plans to become a professor initially, Fox became acquainted with longtime E-Media Division Head Manfred Wolfram through their mutual friend the late Henry Meyer, who was himself a distinguished professor of violin at CCM and founding member of the world-renowned LaSalle Quartet.

Fox explains, “I met with Dr. Wolfram and he arranged for me to teach a journalism class as an adjunct and I loved it. I felt that this is what I should be doing.” Fox soon became a visiting assistant professor and was hired for a tenure-track position in 1990.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare