CCM Acting Class of 2020 Presents Virtual Senior Showcase

Watch a collection of five scenes showcasing the talents of CCM Acting’s Class of 2020

The Acting Department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM Acting) proudly presents its first Virtual Senior Showcase. Although the COVID-19 novel coronavirus prevented CCM Acting from holding its customary Senior Showcases for agents and casting directors in New York and Los Angeles this spring, the program’s new Virtual Senior Showcase allows industry insiders and the general public to see this year’s seniors in action.

The video showcase includes five scenes showcasing the talents of CCM Acting’s Class of 2020. Directed by Professor D’Arcy Smith, the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair in Acting at CCM, the showcase features students performing excerpts from TV programs, films and plays including “227,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Pysch” and “Embers” along with an excerpt of “My So-Called Gay Life” written by CCM Acting student Abby Palen. A collaboration with CCM’s Electronic Media program, the CCM Acting Virtual Senior Showcase features the work of E-Media majors Caleb Smiley and Carlos Herriott II. Viewer discretion is advised; this video features strong language and mature content.

“Although we’ve transitioned to remote operations, we remain committed to our ongoing academic and artistic missions,” says Smith. “Our senior Acting students have put in countless hours preparing for their industry debuts in this year’s Senior Showcase and they deserve to have their time in the spotlight. They should be very proud of everything that they have accomplished, and we are happy to present this video snapshot of their talent for the entire world to enjoy.”

Get to know the graduating seniors by reading their professional summaries!

CCM News CCMONSTAGE Student Salutes

CCM Acting Seniors Take Over Arnold’s Bar for a Shakespearean Treat

CCM Acting Class of 2017.

CCM Acting Class of 2017.

Cincinnati’s oldest tavern will offer more than just food and beverages this weekend. Eleven senior CCM Acting students will take over part of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, located at 210 East Eighth St., to present Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The production is part of a class project under CCM associate professor D’Arcy Smith — but Smith isn’t directing the show. In fact, Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream has no director and the students only rehearse the show once before the free, one-night-only performance.

This new approach to Shakespeare is based on the Back Room Shakespeare project, a Chicago-based initiative created by actor Samuel Taylor. Thanks to CCMpower, the students were able to receive guidance from Taylor, whose vision is to bring Shakespeare to the masses, without all of the frills and formality that usually accompany the Bard’s works.

“We’re not trying to re-create Elizabethan London,” according to the Back Room Shakespeare project’s website. “We’re trying make a space where Shakespeare’s beautiful, bawdy and bloody plays feel at home. Where actors can be responsible for their own creative work. We’re looking for a party. A riot! A hoot! We try to turn people on, and turn nothing off — not even the cellphone. It’s storytime, not judgement day.”

Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the first Back Room Shakespeare Project production in Cincinnati. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show kicks off at 7 p.m. After the performance, the actors will accept donations for CCMpower. Visit the Facebook event for more details.

Performance Time
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Arnold’s Bar and Grill, 210 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Admission is free, reservations are not required.


Student Salutes
Illustration of William Shakespeare.

CCM Celebrates the Music of the Bard at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 23

CCM’s Departments of Choral Studies and Dramatic Performance honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s passing (April 23, 1616) with a special concert honoring the Music of the Bard on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Under the music direction of Earl Rivers and stage direction of D’Arcy Smith, the Music of the Bard is a 75-minute, one-act presentation of Shakespeare’s texts through choral music, scenes, monologues and sonnets.

Flyer for CCM's 'Music of the Bard IV' concert.This concert features the 30-voice Chamber Choir, CCM’s premiere choral ensemble, along with nine student actors. Featured students include conductors Daniel Blosser and Matthew Swanson, and actors Owen AldersonSydney AsheMafer Del RealJames EgbertAnnie GroveLaura McCarthyMeg OlsonJosh Reiter and Graham Rogers.

The program showcases texts from 18 Shakespeare plays and sonnets, highlighted with the premieres of three newly commissioned choral works by composers Judith BinghamDominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad. The music encompasses a range of styles from jazz arrangements by legendary jazz pianist George Shearing to modern a cappella classics, enhanced with violin, flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, and string bass as accompanying and obbligato instruments.

With this performance, CCM’s Department of Choral Studies completes The Shakespeare Quadricentenniala two-year commemoration of the playwright’s birth and death through choral music. The celebration commenced on Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has produced four all-Shakespeare programs since Sept. 21, 2014, which have featured CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chorale, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir and local guest choirs.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has fostered the commissioning of new works on Shakespeare texts by Dan Forrest (Cincinnati Children’s Choir), Daniel Elder (UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses), as well as those performed on April 23, 2016 by Judith Bingham, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Knox Presbyterian Church
Michigan and Observatory Avenues,
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office!

Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Knox Church is located on the corner of Observatory and Michigan, at 3400 Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Hyde Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please refer to the interactive map found online at for details on Knox’s location and for directions to Knox Church.

Parking at Knox can be a bit challenging. The best advice is to arrive a little early for the event you are attending.

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Story by Curt Whitacre

CCM News
CCM's Mainstage Series presents David Edgar's PENTECOST. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Pentecost

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CCM’s Mainstage Series opens this week with a powerful production of David Edgar’s Pentecost.

Declared an “important opportunity to be ‘taken in’ by theater” by Rick Pender in his CityBeat preview story, Pentecost details the discovery of a painting stunningly similar to Giotto di Bondone’s The Lamentation in an abandoned church in Eastern Europe. If proven to pre-date the master’s work, the fresco will revolutionize Western Art.

A dramatic power struggle ensues, as representatives from the worlds of art history, religion and politics stake their claims for the ultimate prize. The unexpected arrival of 12 asylum seekers sets events spiraling toward an explosive climax. Richard E. Hess directs.

Described by the Daily Telegraph as “funny, frightening and deeply moving,” this powerful play by the Tony Award-winning adapter of Nicholas Nickleby and author of numerous plays won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of 1995. This production contains mature subject matter.

Special Seating Available
Witness Pentecost up close and personal in the best seats in the house. Ticket holders may seat themselves in any black on-stage seat unclaimed by a program for any performance of Pentecost. Access to on-stage seating can be found at the ends of aisles 1 and 5.

Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intimately experience David Edgar’s “funny, frightening and deeply moving” masterpiece.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4

Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Pentecost 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

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 for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit 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 Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows