'The Merry Widow' photography by Mark Lyons.

Discussing ‘The Merry Widow’ Costumes with Student Designer Greta Stokes

The Merry Widow Costume Designer Greta Stokes recently sat down with CCM Public Information Assistant and DMA student Charlotte Kies to discuss the work that went into this delightful new production of Franz Lehár’s most popular operetta.

Charlotte Kies: Hi Greta! What can you tell me about your inspiration for these costumes?

Juliana Rucker draped and built this charming blue dress for Valencienne. Photography by Steve Shin.

Juliana Rucker draped and built this charming blue dress for Valencienne. Photo by Steve Shin.

Greta Stokes: Although the opera was written right around the turn of the 20th century, we knew we wanted to create a more modern silhouette for the women’s garments, like the same kind of idea behind Dior’s new look of the 1950s.

But when we began working with the text and thinking about how the actors are interacting we kind of let go of the design being so strict. It became more 50s, 60s, 90s, now. It became looser and less of a period piece, because it’s not a stiff opera. It doesn’t need to be historical.

When I first got assigned this show I watched an old production of it, I looked at old stills and I got a feel for what the opera used to be. At this point we had already decided on the 50’s. If you look at my Pinterest board it starts with these beautiful black and white photos. And then you can see how after every conversation I had with [Merry Widow director] Professor Emma Griffin the board gets crazier and crazier, and brighter, and begins to include things that aren’t from the 50’s at all, like these modern fashion collections and this weird art. It started out very demure, with lots of little black dresses. And then it just got wild, and the cast is really into it. It has been a great kind of build up to that and I think that the result is really interesting and different and fun.

Greta Stokes' design concept for Hanna's dress.

Greta Stokes’ design concept for Hanna’s dress.

CK: So the costumes are not specific to one decade?

GS: They’re mid-century flavored. There are a lot of brighter colors, and we took a lot of inspiration from more modern fashion houses. There’s a lot of Prada and Dolce & Gabbana resort lines right now that are very colorful. Our costumes are those two ideas [vintage and modern] married together.

When people come in for a fitting for a period piece and they’re putting high-fitted pleated pants on you, they look great if you’re doing a strictly 50’s show. Even though they look great on stage, you can tell the actors are uncomfortable in them. So to have a modern cut with a vintage feel, I know my performers will go on stage feeling comfortable and good about how they look, and you can really see that in their movements.

CK: Can you tell me about your design process?

GS: We started looking at research in the middle of last semester before it was cast. All of the designers got together to discuss concepts, colors schemes and how we would interact with each other. We built research collages and talked about what inspired us. From there I decided what pieces needed to be built for the performers. Our lead character’s costume is getting built from scratch. We discussed how the characters are in this made-up country at an embassy in Paris and what that might look like. We got to decide what and where that country was. We decided on something eastern European, but I incorporated little bits of different European cultures into a made-up folk costume so you’ll see elements of that. There are two characters that are wearing kilts and one in lederhosen. There are little flavors of recognizable folk traditions scattered among the Petrovenians. It’s off the wall but still a little controlled. When I’m in the costume shop and all around me are flower crowns and lederhosen and kilts and a bunch of tuxedoes, I feel I should be telling people “I swear I’m not crazy, I promise this will make sense!” Fingers crossed!

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photography by Steve Shin.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

CK: Does Hanna have a costume change in the middle of the show?

GS: She kind of does, she has this outer shell made with beautiful pink dupioni. The shell comes off later in the opera as the acts and the parties go on. And there are so many crystals on that black skirt, it’s gonna be on fire.

CK: How are these costumes different from costumes you might see in another version?

GS: In the original versions there are HUGE choruses and they’re all wearing these crazy costumes that are all very expensive and lavish. Older productions were all about the costumes, and the performers just kind of walk around the stage going “lalala, look at my giant hat, lalalalala.”

Ours is a condensed, smaller cast. It’s still a lot of people, but because we have created more modern clothing, it has become really more about their movement. The idea is that they’re drinking, moving from one party to the next. They’re having a really good time.

CK: How much liberty do you have? Do you get to design whatever you want? Do you have any restrictions or guidelines?

In Act II, the party guests reconvene at Hanna Glawari’s house for a garden party. Brian Horton built these hats for the characters, who decide that Hanna’s garden is better suited for their outfits. Photography by Steve Shin.

In Act II, the party guests reconvene at Hanna Glawari’s house for a garden party. Brian Horton built these hats for the characters, who decide that Hanna’s garden is better suited for their outfits. Photo by Steve Shin.

GS: We operate under the guidance of Professor Dean Mogle, head of the Costume Design and Technology program at CCM. I would say we are restricted by what we are able to get. Obviously there are time restrictions, as well. I couldn’t ask them to build every single tuxedo, so we purchased tuxedos. I designed Hanna’s costume to look like a mix between Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith.

As for the dancers, I actually found these vintage dresses that we had in stock that were specifically dance dresses. Because we are not doing a traditional can-can we can use these really full, floofy skirts with all these sparkles and stuff. In Act II they’re all at Hanna’s house for a garden party and the women take these flowers off of the set and put them on their hats. They are completely ruining her garden, and she totally does not care.

Professor Griffin is incredible to work with. She is so great at letting designers have liberties, while still reining us in or pushing us forward. It is really nice to have all those liberties, to be able to create this world out of nothing and figure out what exists in it.

CK: Is it the same dress design for the two Hanna’s?

GS: Yes, but they are built to fit each performer. The design will be the same, but the fit will be different just because the bodies are.

CK: How much work are you doing outside of CCM while you’re also a student?

GS: Oh, not a lot, because I’m a little busy! I am working on The Little Prince right now for Cincinnati Chamber Opera as the costume designer/coordinator.

I also work for New Edgecliff Theatre. We just closed Frankie & Johnny in the Clare de Lune and we’ll be back in the spring with The Shape of Things.

CK: Have you enjoyed your time as a student at CCM?

GS: Of course yes! I am from Columbus, so I’m not too far from my family. This school is incredible. I love how hands-on it is and how we’re really working as a professional theatre would. We are learning to interact with each other and not just in our own little worlds.

CK: How did you get into costume design?

GS: I am a non-traditional student, so I ‘m quite a bit older. I did theatre in high school. I worked in the costume shop. I did a little acting, but I wasn’t very good! I stitched. I was friends with all of the theatre kids and I really liked it. My grandmother was a dress designer so I would always go play with her dressmaking tools and pocket a few of them. I continued to work in vintage stores for a long time doing alterations for vintage clothing.

I have always been working with clothing, and this made more sense than fashion. I have always really loved the theatre community and I feel like it has a really good turnover. It’s not like “oh, polka-dots are so in right now.” It’s a constant challenge.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

Maria Lenn built and draped this dashing red and black dress for Jessica Faselt (playing Hanna Glawari on Friday and Sunday) from Greta Stokes’ designs. Lenn is fitting Faselt while Stokes and her assistant, Sarah Red Redden look on as Stokes’ designs come to life. Photo by Steve Shin.

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Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow runs Nov. 19 – 22 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID. $12-$15 student rush tickets will become available one hour prior to each performance; limit two student rush tickets per 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/merry-widow.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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CCM Costume Design and Technology Celebrates the Work of Legendary Designer Jane Greenwood with Exhibit During USITT Conference Next Week

Next week, Cincinnati will welcome the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) to the Duke Energy Convention Center for its 55th annual Conference and Stage Expo. Running from March 18 – 21, this multidisciplinary showcase will draw performing arts industry leaders from throughout the world, as well as scores of current and former CCM students and faculty members.

Legendary costume designer Jane Greenwood will be honored with the USITT Costume Commission’s Distinguished Achievement Award during this year’s conference and CCM’s Costume Design and Technology Program will curate a costume exhibition during the event in honor of her achievements. Last year, Greenwood was awarded the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Organized by CCM Costume Design and Technology Professor and Program Head Dean Mogle, the exhibit will feature the magnificent costumes from Greenwood’s Broadway production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. CCM had the opportunity to purchase this extraordinary collection several years ago, as the national tour of The Scarlet Pimpernel came to an end.

Mogle explains, “I was particularly interested in acquiring this collection due to its exceptional attention to period design and detail, as well as the wide range of fabrics and costume crafts represented, from hats to shoes to hand-painted textiles.”

CCMJaneGreenwoodCollectionCollage

According to Mogle, this single production demonstrated the full range of Greenwood’s creative imagination, character work and mastery of her craft: from the lavish “Cupid” costumes and headpieces, to the elegant ball clothes, to the animal-inspired “Creation of Man” ensembles, to the beautifully hand-painted examples of lower class citizenry.

CCMJaneGreenwoodCollection6Not only did this collection add to CCM’s 25,000 piece costume stock inventory, it has also been used as a preeminent example of professional skill for the training of Mogle’s students in tailoring, dressmaking, millinery, crafts, and design.

Dubbed simply “Magnificent!”, this exhibit will also call attention to the expertise of the makers and crafts artisans from the studios of Eric Winterling, Parsons-Meares, John David Ridge and Lynne Mackey, among others, who were responsible for bringing Ms. Greenwood’s designs to life.

Mogle and his team are making final preparations this week and 30 costumes from Greenwood’s Broadway production of The Scarlet Pimpernel will then be transported to and installed in the Duke Energy Convention Center. Exhibition visitors will be able to appreciate up-close the beautiful fabrics, cut, construction, finish and craft details for which Greenwood and her collaborators are well known.

About Jane Greenwood
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Jane Greenwood is the legendary costumer designer of more than 125 Broadway shows,  including last season’s Act One, along with numerous productions for regional theaters, opera and ballet companies, television and film. She was honored with the Tony Awrd for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre in 2014.

Ms. Greenwood’s professional career began with training at Liverpool Art Academy and London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts. She learned from such influential historians, designers and crafts artisans as Norah Waugh, Janet Arnold, Tanya Moiseiwitsch and Desmond Heeley. This early training is reflected in her true understanding of period silhouettes, fabrics, trims and construction techniques.

Beyond these technical considerations, Jane Greenwood is ultimately respected for her impeccably detailed character work from principles to supernumeraries. All characters, no matter what their role or whether they speak or sing a word, have a story to tell. Ms. Greenwood’s designs always tell their story.

About the USITT
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is a place to network, exchange ideas and grow. Professionals and pre-professionals in design, production and technology for the performing arts have been keeping USITT vital and strong since 1960.

USITT provides learning opportunities and networking for over 3,800 members worldwide. From the architects who design the spaces to those who create and manage productions, USITT is the place where the performing arts community gathers. Learn more by visiting www.usitt.org.

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Scenes from CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photos by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Peter Pan – The Musical

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with the timeless fairytale musical Peter Pan, playing through Sunday, March 8, in Corbett Auditorium. See a complete list of performance times below.

Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan features spectacular flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.

Listen to cast member Tom Meglio give Cincinnati Public Radio’s Mark Perzel a preview of the high-flying musical by visiting wvxu.org/post/ccms-peter-pan.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 |http://www.MTIShows.com.

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A photo from CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan' from March of 2015. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2015-16 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance

CCM is pleased to announce details for its 2015-16 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions. Between Sept. 30, 2015, and April 24, 2016, CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow will present seven masterworks for the stage under the guidance of its internationally acclaimed faculty artists.

These works include David Edgar’s epic drama Pentecost, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Carousel, Franz Lehár’s comedic operetta The Merry Widow, Eugene O’Neill’s acclaimed coming-of-age story Ah, Wilderness!, Green Day’s iconic punk rock musical American Idiot, Janácek’s farcical opera The Cunning Little Vixen and Tchaikovsky’s beloved romantic ballet Swan Lake.

Production details are listed below. Details on subscription packages and single ticket sales will be announced this summer.

Visit ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.
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CCM 2015-16 MAINSTAGE SERIES
Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama, Dance

Pentecost
Written by David Edgar
Richard E. Hess, director

A play of politics and ideas, 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 refugees sets events spiraling toward an explosive climax. 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.

Performance Dates: Sept. 30 (preview), Oct. 1–4, 2015
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Carousel
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar
As Adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
Diane Lala, director

Set in a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, Carousel is the story of carefree carnival barker Billy Bigelow and his reckless adventures with women, gambling and the wrong side of the law. Billy loses his job just as he learns that his wife is pregnant and, desperate to provide a decent life for his family, is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent “up there.” 15 years later, Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day and encounters the daughter he never knew. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love. Declared “Best Musical of the Century” by Time Magazine in 1999, it’s easy to understand why Carousel became Rodgers and Hammerstein’s personal favorite.

Performance Dates: Oct. 29–Nov. 1, 2015
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe)
Music by Franz Lehár
Libretto by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein
Emma Griffin, director

A 20th century opera molded in the tradition of the great opera seria of the 1700s, The Merry Widow tells a dizzying tale of star-crossed lovers and political intrigue in Paris. Baron Zeta of Pontevedro must prevent the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari from marrying a foreigner; if she does, all of her wealth will leave Pontevedro, thus bankrupting the country. Zeta urges Hanna’s former fiancée Count Danilovich (who pretends to not care for her anymore) to marry her, but Zeta’s wife pushes the flirtatious Camille de Rosillon to go after Hanna instead. Farcical confusion, romance and jealousy abound in this light-hearted romp. Sung in English.

Performance Dates: Nov. 19–22, 2015
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Ah, Wilderness!
Written by Eugene O’Neill
R. Terrell Finney, director

Set in an idyllic Connecticut town during the Fourth of July weekend of 1906, Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! offers a tender portrait of small town family values, teenage growing pains and young love. Described as “a breath of fresh air” and “vividly alive” by the New York Post and nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival in both 1989 and 1998, this charming comedy is directed by CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney.

Performance Dates: Feb. 10 (preview), Feb. 11–14, 2016
Location:
 Patricia Corbett Theater
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American Idiot
Book and lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Michael Mayer
Music and lyrics by Green Day
Aubrey Berg, director

The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical American Idiot, based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album of the same name, boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. Johnny, Tunny and Will struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths diverge when Tunny enters the armed forces, Michael is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship. An energy-fueled rock opera, American Idiot features minimal dialogue and instead relies on the lyrics from Green Day’s groundbreaking album to execute the story line.

Performance Dates: March 3–13, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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The Cunning Little Vixen (Príhody lišky Bystroušky)
Composed by Leoš Janácek
Libretto by Leoš Janácek (after Rudolf Tesnohlídek)
Vince DeGeorge, director

Based on a famous 1920s Czech comic strip, Janácek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen humorously explores the universal longing for youth. The three main characters – all older men – attempt to connect to their younger days through various means: one longs for a village girl, one obsesses over a childhood indiscretion and one chases a young vixen through the countryside. Will they continue to cling to their delusions? Or will their experiences help them come to terms with the inevitability of time? Sung in English.

Performance Dates: April 8–10, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Swan Lake
Composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Jiang Qi, director

Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet about love and magic returns to CCM in a fully-staged spectacle! The young Prince Siegfried, disinterested in the potential wives that his mother has picked for him, heads into the woods to hunt one night and comes across a beautiful swan…who then turns into the maiden Odette! She tells him of the curse she and others have been placed under by the evil knight Rothbart, forcing them to become swans by day and human by night. Siegfried instantly falls in love, but will he and Odette be able to overcome the curse, or will Rothbart succeed in keeping his enchantment intact?

Performance Dates: April 22–24, 2016
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2015-16 CCM Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions includes subscription packages for six-show, four-show and three-show combinations. Subscribers also have the ability to add the Mainstage Series production of Swan Lake to any subscription package “a la carte.”

Full details on subscription packages and single ticket sales will be announced this summer. CCM’s customizable subscription packages range in price from $84 – $180. Current subscribers will get priority access to next season’s subscription packages.

Visit ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.
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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
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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News
Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents Broadway’s Timeless Musical ‘Peter Pan’ March 5-8, 2015

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with the classic fairytale musical Peter Pan. Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan makes its CCM debut at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in Corbett Auditorium and plays through March 8, 2015. Tickets are on sale now.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years.

Peter Pan’s enduring status comes as no surprise to Locarro, who brings years of Broadway experience to CCM’s production. In addition to providing perspective on the end of the Victorian Era, Locarro explains that Barrie’s fairy tale is also “a story of longing and the continuum of life. Although Peter Pan is the catalyst, it is really Wendy’s journey through adolescence and subsequently the journey of her daughter Jane and Jane’s daughter after that. Having a 20-year-old daughter of my own, I too see the importance of this journey for all of our children and understand why Peter Pan is popular to this day.”

While CCM is widely known for its remarkable stage productions, audiences can expect something truly remarkable for this production of Peter Pan. This is thanks to Locarro’s unique vision and also to an exciting collaboration between CCM’s faculty, student and staff talent and the expertise of theatrical flying effects and equipment industry leaders, ZFX, Inc. CCM Professor of Drama and Peter Pan fight choreographer k. Jenny Jones explains, “ZFX Flying Effects and I are creating sword fights with aerial dynamics that have never been tried before. Several years ago, I commissioned ZFX for a study of the variables of fighting while flying, and how flying may enhance the action of staged combat. The duel between Peter and Hook in this production is a perfect representation of this research and it will make CCM’s Peter Pan quite special.”

ZFX is one of the many professional industry leaders in theatre technology that will be in Cincinnati for the 55th annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo, which comes to the Duke Energy Convention Center March 18-21, 2015. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to visit CCM Village to see Peter Pan‘s groundbreaking flying effects set up for themselves even after the production has closed.

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Hannah Zazzaro, a senior from Clearwater, Florida, is one of two CCM students playing the demanding part of Peter Pan. She shares the role with junior musical theatre major Clara Cox. The role of Peter Pan will alternate between Cox (March 6; March 7 matinee) and Zazzaro (March 5; March 7; March 8 matinee).

Download Peter Pan‘s cast list here.

Zazzaro’s preparation began back in November when she read and re-read the script and watched every version of Peter Pan that she could find. Her goal was to understand her part in the storytelling and to know the text forward and backward. “Peter Pan is a demanding role in every way,” says Zazzaro. “I have to run, jump, fly, dance, sing while flying, do cartwheels, and sword fight both in the air and on the ground. I started a 60-day physical training program called ‘Insanity’ that I will continue to do regularly through the end of the show… and maybe even after because I like it so much!”

In addition to her copious musical theatre experience, Zazzaro is a classically trained singer, which makes her a perfect choice for this role. “My favorite part of the show is when Peter Pan turns into a ‘lady’ and sings a short aria with Captain Hook. This show has given me the opportunity to finally show off my low notes, my high belt and my high soprano! It’s so much fun,” she says enthusiastically.

Under Jones’ guidance, Zazzaro has also learned to sword fight. “Three things that I know I have to focus on are: trusting my wrists and allowing my sword to swing rather than forcing it to, having a spacial understanding with whomever I’m swinging at, and communicating with them through body language in order to be successful and safe,” Zazzaro explains. Mastering all of these things at once has been challenging, but Zazzaro states it’s been “completely worth it.”

Senior Dallas Padoven plays the role of Cecco the pirate alongside Zazzaro, but he faces his own unique challenges. Padoven is also Captain Hook’s understudy, meaning he has to be prepared to take on the iconic villain’s role on short notice. “Preparing for two characters is extremely interesting,” says Padoven. “I have to be on my toes while working at all times. While I am learning the pirate role, I also have to keep one eye on Hook to make sure I know what he is doing. I am in the same scenes as two different characters.”

Both Zazzaro and Padoven agree that working with Locarro has been wonderful. “He has a lot of experience in the field,” says Padoven. “While we are working with him we are figuring out our blocking and choreography but he also tells us about various shows he’s been in. He really teaches through personal stories, so we’ve learned a lot, especially things like what to do and not to do in audition and rehearsal situations.”

Zazzaro particularly appreciates Locarro’s attention to detail. “One of the hardest things is the Corbett Auditorium. The stage is huge, but it has seemed almost effortless for Joe to create pictures that fill out the entire stage.”

CCM’s production of Peter Pan also features scenic design by Mark Halpin, costume design by Dean Mogle and Rebecca Senske, lighting design by Chris Carter, sound design by Jeremy Lee and wig and make-up design by Kelly Yurko. With the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.

About Joe Locarro
Joe Locarro is a director, choreographer and producer who has directed for stage, film and television. His film Finding Billy was nominated for two New York Emmy Awards (for best direction and best documentary) and was an official selection of the 2012 Dance on Camera Festival. Finding Billy has also been broadcast nationally on PBS for the past five years.

Locarro’s recent directing credits include two seasons of the PBS National series Intelligence Squared Debates, productions of Les Misérables for the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department (April 2014) and Music Theatre of Wichita (August 2013), and the PBS series Vine Talk starring Stanley Tucci. Some of his PBS specials include Remember Me with Parsons Dance Co & The East Village Opera Company, A Tale of Two Cities in Concert and three specials with Deepak Chopra.

Locarro specializes in filming and editing dance, theatre and music and is currently guest director for the live web broadcasts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. He has also directed numerous stage productions including regional productions of Ragtime and Les Misérables.

Locarro began his career as a dancer and choreographer, dancing with the Boston, Joffrey and Hartford Ballet Companies creating and choreographing 30 works for dance companies across the U.S. After a career in ballet, he went on to perform on Broadway and first national tours in six musicals including the role of ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (both on Broadway and in the first national tour), the original Broadway companies of Ragtime, Goodbye Girl and Merlin as well as the role of Munkstrap in Cats and West Side Story.

Locarro brings his many years of performance experience to his work with artists and arts organizations. He continues to film and edit for dance companies around the world, as well as create promotional videos and documentaries for arts organizations and individual artists.

About ZFX, Inc.
Founded in 1994, ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for Flying Effects. They don’t just handle the rigging or flying harnesses. They’re not just skilled at automation, choreography and flying design. ZFX covers every aspect of flying possibilities. From high schools to Broadway, churches to special events, ZFX zealously pursues its goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry. Their infectious enthusiasm comes at no additional charge. They don’t wake up and put their pants on one leg at a time like the other guys. They wrap themselves in kilts and stride boldly out into the world. ZFX offers performer flying, high speed hoists, flying of props, automated systems, stunt gags, truss equipment mounting, aerial acts, manually operated systems, corporate shows and events, custom harnesses, spectacle flying and safety consultation. Learn more by visiting www.zfxflying.com.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

CCM News CCM Slideshows
'Metamorphoses,' from CCM's acclaimed 2013-14 Mainstage Series.

Announcing CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre and Drama

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is pleased to announce initial details for its 2014-15 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions.

The 2014-15 Mainstage Series features a dazzling collection of both classic and contemporary masterworks, including a gender-bending new production of Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy Macbeth, an extended run of the high-energy romantic-comedy Legally Blonde – The Musical and a magical production of the opera Hänsel and Gretel.

In early 2015, CCM’s student and faculty artists will also present Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and zeitgeist-dominating The Heidi Chronicles and a soaring musical production of Peter Pan. Mozart’s Così fan tutte will close out the series, with a new production directed by Robin Guarino, who recently staged this masterpiece at the Metropolitan Opera.

This year’s must-see Mainstage Series features six fully staged works guaranteed to fill audiences with delight, with performances scheduled from Oct. 1, 2014, through April 12, 2015. All performances take place in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Production and ticketing details are below. Priority subscription packages go on sale May 2014. Single tickets become available in August, but subscribing is the only way to guarantee your seats for these must-see shows!

Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183. For additional information, visit ccm.uc.edu, email boxoff@uc.edu or call the Box Office.
CCM News

CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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