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.


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 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

Story by Rebecca Butts

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The set for CCM's Mainstage Series production of Green Day's 'American Idiot.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

A Discussion With ‘American Idiot’ Set Designer Thomas Umfrid

The curtain rises on CCM’s production of Green Day’s punk rock-opera American Idiot  at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, but the behind-the-scenes work has been going on for months. Much of the design process for a musical must be completed before actors even step into the rehearsal hall, but the work doesn’t end there. It continues all the way to opening night.

Thomas Umfrid, American Idiot set designer and Professor of Stage Design at CCM, is no stranger to the process. His career has taken him around the world, designing for opera, drama, musical theatre, dance and more. We were able to tear him away from his hectic schedule leading up to opening night to give us a little insight about his design.

Talk about the overall design for American Idiot and how you came up with it.

An image of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City.

An image from ground zero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack in New York City.

Director Aubrey Berg came up with the design concept, a lot of which is based on iconographic 9/11 imagery, which I then developed into the design.

This project has an overriding environmental conceit and isn’t supposed to be any particular time or place.  It’s a space that evokes a dark and pessimistic mood and serves the loosely episodic stage action.

The music and lyrics aren’t pretty or glamorous, they ’re down and dirty. So is the set.

How does the set help tell the story?

Although the story deals with events passing in time and inter-related characters, it doesn’t necessitate “in focus” scenic environments, time of day or symbolic references to actual places.

For example, the characters go to New York, but the city isn’t directly rendered in any particularly recognizable way. It could be any big western city where marginalized and drugged out suburban youth have fled to try and find themselves, and in so doing, get terribly lost in the process.

How close is the actual product on stage to the initial ideas?

There is always a natural, and expected, “page to stage” evolution of a set design from the scale model and mechanical drawings to the real thing sitting on stage.

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My student, staff and faculty colleagues have done an incredible job of developing and translating Aubrey’s and my ideas to the stage. When the cast moves into the theater and begins to explore the, at times, 28 foot high stage after weeks of rehearsal in a rather neutral and barrier free rehearsal hall, I’ll have a much better idea of how successful we’ve been in translating our ideas to the stage. This is always a crucial and exciting phase of any show.

What was most important to you to convey through the set?

I hope the audience will be subconsciously affected by the environment and, rather than notice anything in particular about the set, have a visceral reaction as they experience the show as a whole entity.

American Idiot runs March 3 – 13 at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. This production contains mature subject matter, including references to drug use, sexual content and profanity. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at

CCM's Mainstage Series production of Green Day's 'American Idiot' plays March 3 - 13, 2016.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ plays March 3 – 13, 2016.


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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

American Idiot 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 |

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'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.


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 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.”


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
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

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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 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

Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama, Dance

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

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

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

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
 Patricia Corbett Theater

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

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

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

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 to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

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CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater.

CCM Lighting Design Majors Show Off Their Skills With Help From Vincent Lighting Systems

LightingDesign0226The stars-of-tomorrow in CCM’s Lighting Design and Technology program will have the chance to shine brighter than ever this week thanks to the generosity of Vincent Lighting Systems.

Each year, students in CCM’s course on “Moving Light Programming” get an opportunity to show off their mastery of the art and science of lighting design in a dazzling class presentation entitled “BAMM!”

Students spend weeks planning for this capstone event and are then given only a few days to execute their plans, programming complex lighting on a rig of various fixtures – each with different attributes and abilities – in CCM’s versatile Cohen Family Studio Theater.

This year, long-time CCM supporter Vincent Lighting Systems has donated equipment to the event, allowing students to install and work with some of the most advanced gear available in the lighting industry.

This unique experience puts these students on the forefront of lighting education, reinforcing CCM’s reputation as the finest training program for lighting professionals in the country.

CCM’s faculty, staff and students would like to thank UC alumni Paul Vincent and Adam Hayward, along with the rest of the Vincent Lighting Team, for making this experience possible.

CCM Lighting Design and Technology presents BAMM! at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16. This is an open class presentation, however seating is limited.

Learn more about CCM’s Lighting Design and Technology program by visiting

Learn more about Vincent Lighting Systems by visiting

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CCM Video: The Make-Up and Wig Design Program Illustrates How to Paint a Bearcat Face

The University of Cincinnati “Bearcats” name officially turns 100 years old this month!

To help celebrate the enduring legacy of the Bearcat, CCM Assistant Professor of Make-Up Kelly Yurko and Make-Up and Wig Design major Una Lin present a one minute demonstration on how to paint a Bearcat face. View the full video below!

The Bearcat moniker was born on Oct. 31, 1914, during a home football game against the Kentucky Wildcats. UC will celebrate the 100th birthday of the name with a variety of special activities next Friday, Oct. 31!

Learn the complete history of the Bearcat by visiting

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