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

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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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'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s Opera d’arte Series Presents Tragic Tale ‘Maria Stuarda,’ March 11-13

'Maria Stuarda' crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

‘Maria Stuarda’ crown illustration by DAAP student Marcus McDowell.

CCM’s acclaimed Opera d’arte series returns this week with a new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s tragic Maria Stuarda, which runs March 11-13 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. The opera, which showcases the talent of CCM’s undergraduate performers, features music direction by Associate Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott and stage direction by Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson. Admission to this production is free, but reservations are required through the CCM Box Office.

In this dramatic adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s play Maria Stuart, Donizetti and librettist Giuseppe Bardari tell a fictional tale of the rivalry between Queen Elizabeth of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Seeking refuge in England after her kingdom is overthrown, Mary finds herself imprisoned by her calculating cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who fears Mary’s claims to the English throne. Jealous beyond reason, Elizabeth fears the foreign queen has stolen the heart of her beloved Roberto, Earl of Leicester.

Fighting for her life, Mary implores Roberto for an audience with Elizabeth to plead her innocence. Blinded by her insecurities, Elizabeth is only further enraged by Roberto’s advocacy on Mary’s behalf. In a tragic conclusion, Elizabeth is tasked with granting or denying mercy for the defenseless Mary.

CCM Opera d'art anniversary logo.“The Department of Voice Performance has an exceptional talent pool this year,” says director Amy Johnson. “This opera was chosen to suit our students’ needs and our pedagogical goals. The production will teach our cast about bel canto style and performance practice.”

Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw serves as producer for this opera and has guided the Opera d’arte Series for many years. He is particularly excited about the program’s collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and Professor Brian Schumacher, as well as with CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production. “Our student-designed set reflects our collaborators’ expertise and standard of excellence,” he says.

Maria Stuarda is by far the most advanced project we’ve tackled to date,” says Shaw, “and it is a testament to the quality of our students that we are able to produce this opera and even double cast it with undergraduate singers.”

CCM is proud to present this classic tale of a fight for love, life and country.

Principal Cast for March 11 and 13

  • Sarah Vautour as Maria Stuarda
  • Elizabeth Gorrie as Elizabeth I
  • Stephanie Rampton as Anne Kennedy
  • John Humphrey as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Daniel Illig as Lord Cecil
  • Bernard Khalil as Talbot

Principal Cast for March 12

  • Madeline Jentsch as Maria Stuarda
  • Page Michels as Elizabeth I
  • Brianna Bragg as Anne Kennedy
  • TJ Capobianco as the Earl of Leicester*
  • Olusola Fadiran as Lord Cecil
  • Tyler Resto as Talbot

Chorus

  • Christina Bilz
  • Sophie Blatt
  • Dara Brown
  • Desiree Dawson
  • Clayton Edwards
  • Rebecca Finkelshteyn
  • Charlotte Green
  • Grant Jackson
  • Mackenzie Jacquemin
  • Vidita Kannikeswaran
  • Shannon Keegan
  • Jake Kolesar
  • Sam Krausz
  • Hayley Maloney
  • Maria Miller
  • Gregory Miller
  • Holly Reckers
  • Jared Slothower
  • Elena Villalon

* denotes masters student

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Please contact the CCM Box Office at 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 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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

 

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