CCM Drama Presents Bittersweet Production of Eugene O’Neill’s Comedy ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ Feb. 10-14

CCM resumes its Mainstage Series with Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!: A Comedy of Recollection in Three Acts, playing Feb. 11-14 with a special preview performance on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The show also bids a fond farewell to its director, and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies, R. Terrell Finney as he retires from fulltime status at CCM.

Poster for CCM's February 2016 production of AH, WILDERNESS!The words “Eugene O’Neill” and “comedy” are rarely used in the same sentence unless that sentence is “Eugene O’Neill does NOT write comedy.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Long Day’s Journey into Night and Mourning Becomes Electra is primarily known for his semi-autobiographical plays about characters who struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into despair and disillusionment. Ah, Wilderness! is not one of those plays.

Set in an idyllic Connecticut town (presumably New London, O’Neill’s hometown) on the Fourth of July weekend of 1906, the play focuses on the Miller family and their 16-year-old son Richard, whose coming of age story offers a tender portrait of small town family values, teenage growing pains, and young love.

“It’s really quite the opposite of a typical O’Neill family story,” says director R. Terrell Finney. “The subtitle of the play is ‘A Comedy of Recollection,’ so my take on it is this is the family unit that O’Neill wishes he had.”

Even though it’s a comedy, the show still has plenty of the classic O’Neill depth-of-character for which he is known, “If it were written by a playwright of lesser skill, it could verge on the sentimental, but [O’Neill] brings elements that his other plays deal with: alcoholism, squandered love, intolerance and political strife. So, although it is a very loving and romantic portrait of a family, it has some depth as well,” explains Finney.

CCM’s production will be very true to the original look and feel of the play as written. “We’ve tried to create a world that’s going to let us live in 1906, so everything on stage is very period-specific,” says Finney. For example, it was important to obtain the exact music requested by O’Neill for various parts of the play, “I have to thank Dr. bruce mcclung from the Department of Musicology; he really helped us locate the music and source material so we could stay true to the original script,” Finney adds.

Ah! Wilderness!’s tender feel makes it a fitting farewell for it’s director, R. Terrell Finney. Finney’s tenure as a fulltime faculty member will come to an end this semester after 33 years of service as a member of the Department of Drama and head of CCM’s Division of Opera, Musical Theatre, Dramatic Arts and Arts Administration (now known as the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration, or TAPAA). Finney has most recently served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies at CCM.

R. Terrell Finney directs this beloved classic by Eugene O'Neill.

R. Terrell Finney directs this beloved classic by Eugene O’Neill.

Over his time at CCM, Finney’s approach to directing has changed, he says, for the better, “I’d like to think I’m more relaxed than when I started! Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches in the theater. I’ve also really come to respect and trust actor instinct. If a director can open a door to the creativity the actor can bring, he’s done his job.”

Finney says directing Ah Wilderness! has reinvigorated his love for the creative process and, even though he’s entering a much-deserved retirement, he hopes to stay involved in the future, “I’ve had a ball directing this show. It’s been six years since I’ve directed and it’s been so liberating. It’s amazing to be involved in the creative process, so if you had asked me, without having done this show, what I wanted to do in retirement I may have just said, ‘Oh, tend my garden,’ but now I would hope that I can continue to direct. I’m not quite ready to be put out to pasture!”

The Company

  • Jonah Sorscher as Tommy Miller
  • Olivia Passafiume as Mildred Miller
  • Owen Alderson as Arthur Miller
  • Katie Langham as Essie Miller
  • Rachel Baumgarten as Lily Miller
  • Devan Pruitt as Nat Miller
  • Andrew Iannacci as Sid Davis
  • Andrew Huyler Ramsey as Richard Miller
  • Spencer Lackey as David McComber
  • Mickey Tropeano as Norah
  • Isaac Hickox-Young as Went Selby
  • Annie Grove as Belle
  • James Egbert as Bartender
  • Ryan Garrett as Salesman
  • Emily Walton as Muriel McComber

The Creative Team

  • R. Terrell Finney, director
  • Thomas C. Umfrid and Whitney Glover, scenic designers
  • Adam Ditzel, lighting designer
  • Mathew D. Birchmeier, sound designer
  • Maria Lenn, costume designer
  • Missy White, wig & make-up designer
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Scott Slucher, stage manager

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Ah, Wilderness! are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Feb. 10 preview performance are just $15.

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/ah-wilderness.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Ah, Wilderness!: A Comedy of Recollection in Three Acts is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
Photography from CCM's Nov. 2015 production of 'The Merry Widow' by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow

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CCM’s Mainstage Series resumes this evening through this Sunday, Nov. 22, with a delightful new production of Franz Lehár’s witty operetta The Merry Widow. Conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Emma Griffin, this production of The Merry Widow will be sung in English with a translation by renowned American lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Tickets are still available for select performances.

Featuring a score that Stage and Cinema describes as “a rich musical mix of Viennese waltzes, Hungarian folk dances and French insouciance,” The Merry Widow is a sparking romp in which farce, romance and jealousy abound. Join us for a fantastical Parisian bar crawl, as the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance!

Learn more about the creation of The Merry Widow‘s costumes by clicking here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov.19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow 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.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents Franz Lehár’s ‘The Merry Widow,’ Nov. 19-22

CCM’s Fall 2015 Mainstage Series comes to a witty and whimsical conclusion with Franz Lehár’s comic operetta The Merry Widow, playing Nov. 19 – 22 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Emma Griffin, this production of The Merry Widow will be sung in English with a translation by renowned American lyricist Sheldon Harnick.

'The Merry Widow' photography by Mark Lyons.

From left to right: Andrew G. Manea as Danilo and Nicolette Book as Hanna in CCM’s production of ‘The Merry Widow.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

A glorious early-20th century operetta and forerunner to the modern musical, The Merry Widow tells the fizzy tale of star-crossed lovers and political shenanigans in a glitzy and idealized version of Paris. Madame Hanna Glawari, the widow of the wealthiest man in Petrovenia, is in Paris for the first time following her elderly husband’s demise. Concerned by the widow’s many suitors, Petrovenian Ambassador Baron Zeta assumes the role of matchmaker to ensure that Hanna’s wealth remains within the country, rather than fall into foreign hands. To set his plan in motion, the baron sends his secretary to fetch Hanna’s old flame, Danilo, from another party. Unfortunately, the baron becomes so obsessed with his own schemes that he fails to notice the affair between his wife and rival party member Camille.

What begins as a pleasant, professional party at the Petrovenian Embassy rapidly devolves into a drunken debacle by the time Hanna and her entourage arrive at the famous nightclub, “Maxim’s,” in the early hours of the morning.

“In some ways, it’s a very simple idea,” explains Griffin, an assistant professor of opera at CCM. “The Merry Widow is about the sort of things that happen when you’re 25 years old and you go to three parties over the course of a single night. The opera is about these beautiful people, which doesn’t diminish the love stories at the heart of The Merry Widow. Instead, it instills the show with a feverish and heightened romantic atmosphere.”

Griffin read 18 different translations of The Merry Widow before settling on Harnick’s adaptation, which is written in a decidedly American vernacular.

“Our voice and opera majors don’t always get much experience performing in American English, so this is an opportunity for our students to exercise some different muscles,” she explains. Bursts of spoken dialogue also give The Merry Widow the charming feel of musical theatre.

The hybrid sensibilities of this operetta are even reflected in the production’s sizable cast, which features students from CCM’s departments of opera, musical theatre and drama. With choreography by Patti James, who promises a can’t-miss can-can number, CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Merry Widow is sure to be magical, colorful and – of course – delightfully merry.

Featuring a score that Stage and Cinema describes as “a rich musical mix of Viennese waltzes, Hungarian folk dances and French insouciance,” The Merry Widow is a sparkling romp in which farce, romance and jealousy abound. Join us for a fantastical Parisian bar crawl, as the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov.19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow 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.

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.

____

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'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

Location
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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/pentecost.

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows
TRANSMIGRATION, CCM Drama's festival of student-created new works.

CCM Drama Students Present New Works in TRANSMIGRATION Festival This Week

CCM’s Drama students flex their writing, editing, designing and directing muscles to produce the 2015 TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works taking place March 11-13 in non-traditional performances spaces throughout CCM Village. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama and producer of this year’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival describes how the students begin their projects. “The groups are chosen at random at the beginning of each school year. The only thing we do is make sure that there is representation from each grade level in every group.”

The students are given freedom to explore what they want to do for their productions, and the instructors typically don’t see the pieces until about a week before opening night.

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Because of the intense schedule of productions in the fall, the student groups meet after UC’s winter break and come up with concepts. Senior AC Horton says that this year her group “sat down and created a list of things we want to have in the play or the process: a fantastical element, poetic language, to begin the production by moving and not sitting down. On the don’t-wants list we had things like domestic violence and drugs. We like to establish values at the top of the process.” The final idea “shows up one day at rehearsal,” she says, describing the process as very organic.

“Each group has a different way they like to work. Figuring out the needs of each group is the most difficult part, but it’s also the best part. We rehearse every day by doing a song with choreography. We pull open the mirrors and sing and do cartwheels. It’s our own process,” laughs Horton.

These unique methods have helped all of the students grow as artists. Junior Colleen Ladrick says, “you learn where you’re needed. I saw a need and was able to bring that to a collaborative situation… and it lifted a pressure off of the other people in my group.” This year Ladrick took on a lot of the scripting; something she had never considered doing previously. “You discover your tack as a result of filling a necessity,” adds Russell.

Horton recalls filling the role of TRANSMIGRATION electrician. “You have 85 extension cords, two power strips and a half an hour to set up, perform and tear down. It’s my goal to short out a TRANSMIGRATION classroom,” she jokes.

Ladrick agrees that “the process never stops. The challenges keep happening and you have to keep improvising. There’s never enough time to get comfortable. That’s what makes it so fun. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Russell feels that TRANSMIGRATION is an important activity for CCM drama students. “It would be very irresponsible [for this program] to turn out students who did not know how to produce their own work. We want to create actors who are technically proficient and also have something to say. Transmigration empowers them.”

After all of the insanity and fun surrounding TRANSMIGRATION has come to a close, each of the participants will be required to turn in a paper. This is still school, after all.

TRANSMIGRATION 2015 will feature the original works Coulter Cliffs Inn, Neutral and Non-Partisan, [cult]ured, A Fool’s Paradise, Seven Feet Under and Mandatory Fun. Audience members will have the opportunity to customize their evening of theater experiences by choosing to watch as many as four different productions, which are performed simultaneously in non-traditional spaces throughout CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

Performance Times

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11
  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12
  • 7 p.m. Friday, March 13

Locations
Various locations throughout CCM Village, including:

  • Room 3705, Corbett Center for the Performing Arts
  • Room 4735, Corbett Center for the Performing Arts
  • Room 4755, Corbett Center for the Performing Arts

Festival Schedule

7 p.m.

  • Coulter Cliffs Inn, Room 4755
  • Seven Feet Under, Room 4735
  • Neutral and Nonpartisan, Room 3705

7:45 p.m.

  • Coulter Cliffs Inn, Room 4755
  • cult[ured], Room 4735
  • Mandatory Fun, Room 3705

  8:30 p.m.

  • A Fool’s Paradise, Room 4755
  • cult[ured], Room 4735
  • Neutral and Nonpartisan, Room 3705

 9:15 p.m.

  • A Fool’s Paradise, Room 4755
  • Seven Feet Under, Room 4735
  • Mandatory Fun, Room 3705

Reserving Tickets
Admission to TRANSMIGRATION is free, but reservations are required. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 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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TRANSMIGRATION 2015 PRODUCTION SYNOPSES AND CAST LISTS


Coulter Cliffs Inn

There are no secrets that time does not reveal.

Established in 1852 by the Jospeh L. Coulter family, the Coulter Cliffs In has been revered for its antique charm and timeless atmosphere. Nestled in the misty cliffs of Northern Maine, the Coulter Cliffs Inn has attracted a diverse array of curious travelers for generations. Let us take you back to a simpler time with our cozy rooms, full bar and nighttime entertainment. But be advised, once you step foot into your new serene home, you may never want to leave.

Cast: 
Trey Wright, Alison Sluiter, Colin Edgar, Clare Combest, Annie Grove, Kenzie Clark and Rupert Spraul
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Neutral and Non-Partisan
Capture their minds, and hearts and souls will follow.

Operation [BLANK] has been compromised. Indoctrination tactics, regarding GREY PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS (PSYOP), implemented to “Leave it to Beaver” have been breached. Target [BLANK] detected an abnormality resulting in an imminent threat of exposure. Joint staffer, [BLANK], has declined to give a statement in order to maintain plausible deniability for the US government. Sector [BLANK] running operation [BLANK] sanctioned “the six” to fabricate authenticity in order to enhance productivity to the effect of [BLANK], which would dissolve variables concerning gross domestic product and quality of life. It is advised, and therefore essential, to dispose all records of incrimination and proceed by code [BLANK].

Cast: Connor Lawrence, Rachel Baumgarten, Laura McCarthy, Ryan Garrett, Katie McDonald, Lauren Carter and Meg Olson
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[cult]ured

Fresh yogurt. Fresh ideas.

An unsuspecting reporter serendipitously stumbles upon a mystical frozen yogurt stand in rural Oregon. The charming characters that populate the stand catalyze a spritiual journey and raise more questions than expected. What does it mean to be part of a community? The reporter is forced to confrontsocial norms and societal constraints, and is left forever wondering: Are we all homogenized, or are we… cultured?

Cast: Anna Stapleton, Carli Rhoades, Keisha Kemper, Alice Skok, Sydney Ashe, Christian Thomason, Landon Hawkins, Mafer Del Real and Andrew Ramsey
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A Fool’s Paradise

Death was never more full of life.

When the Boca Raton Community Theatre Players notice their subscriptions taking a drastic drop, Peaches Montgomery and her cast of actors ban together to mount one of Shakespeare’s classic tales, directed at her least subscribed audience – urban youth.

Cast: Spencer House, Fabiola Rodriguez, Devan Pruitt, Spencer Lackey, Katie Langham, Isaac Hickox-Young and Olivia Passfiume
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Seven Feet Under

How low would you go before you’re buried alive?

This twisted depression-era fairy tale follows an eccentric family of seven miners as they pursue a legendary treasure for their mistress. In a story of adventure, obsession and greed, they must figure out how low they are willing to go to attain a better life.

Cast: Arielle De Versterre, Bartley Booz, Emily Walton, Owen Alderson, Nicholas Heffelfinger, Eliza Lore and Joshua Reiter
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Mandatory Fun
A good time is required.

In a futuristic dystopia where robots hold all the cards, six humans are forced to participate in “Mandatory Fun.” This gameshow pits contestants against each other to provide entertainment for humans and robots alike. Integrity, Alliances and Plot Structure will be tested – but who will take home The Grand Prize?

Cast:
 AC Horton, Colleen Ladrick, Andrew Iannacci, Julia Netzer, Michaela, Tropeano, James Egbert and Carissa Cardy

____________________

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes
CCM Summer Playrights Conference

CCM Slideshows: Macbeth

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series opens with a dynamic new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, playing tonight through Sunday, Oct. 5, in Patricia Corbett Theater.

In the dark and twisted landscape of 11th century Scotland, Macbeth will go to any means necessary to prove that he’s a man (even if this Macbeth is played by a woman). With the help of his wife, and pushed by a trio of gnarly creatures (witches who were women once), Macbeth schemes to take the throne and eliminate anyone standing in his way.

Brant Russell directs this iconic tragedy in his Mainstage Series debut!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Macbeth are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. Customizable subscription packages are also available.

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/macbeth-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.

____

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
CCM Drama major Laura McCarthy as Macbeth.

CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series Opens This October With a Gender-Bending Production of ‘Macbeth’

CCM student Laura McCarthy as Macbeth. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM student Laura McCarthy as Macbeth. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM opens its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with William Shakespeare’s dark and twisted tragedy Macbeth. Under the direction of Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama, Macbeth will make its CCM debut Oct. 2 through 5 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, with a preview performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Russell’s unique take on this classic features third-year female drama student Laura McCarthy in the title role.

Macbeth is the tale of a man, hungry to claim the throne and fulfill a prophesy that named him king. Cajoled by his wife, he achieves his ambitions through treachery and murder, only to find that victory isn’t as sweet as it seemed. “I wanted to explore transgendered identity and how it translates into masculinity, and in turn how that would be a part of the character dynamic,” says Russell on his decision to cast a woman as Macbeth. In addition, there are several other traditionally male roles that will be played by women, including Banquo, Angus and Cathness.

McCarthy has been preparing for the role of Macbeth since she was cast last spring. She’s given up her vegetarian diet and taken up a weight-training regimen. “I’m more conscious of when I’m being feminine or when I’m being masculine,” says McCarthy.

Watch McCarthy begin her transformation into Macbeth in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, shot and edited by CCM Electronic Media major Dan Marque:

To complete the transformation, McCarthy decided to shave her head. In addition to rehearsing the substantial Shakespearian material, she talks about the personal aspects of her metamorphosis: “The CCM community has been very vocal in their support, which has been very important to me. I pass people in the hallway and they will say ‘you look great’ or something to that effect. It has given me the confidence that I need in an otherwise vulnerable position.”

Overall, though, McCarthy describes the general public’s interactions with her now as “cautious.” “It is as if… [the people around me] are trying to place me but can’t and therefore are on edge. It is the lack of identifiable gender that sets them off I think. I live in the unknown grey area now.” McCarthy explains that Russell is the perfect conduit for this performance. “He gives just the right amount of freedom to all the artists involved to make it their own… Through conversation and exploration he humbly lights our way to finding our own interpretation of the text.” This powerful directorial style lends an important gravity to each individual’s personal performance. Audiences can expect a genuine experience, profound in its honesty.

Despite being Shakespeare’s most popular play, Macbeth is making its first appearance on the CCM stage with this production. In addition, this drama marks Russell’s inaugural Mainstage production. Russell’s transition to the Mainstage is a natural progression, considering his success last year directing Boeing Boeing, a collaboration with the Carnegie’s Theatre Series in Covington. Russell also received critical acclaim this summer for his production and direction of the World’s Fair Play Festival at the Queens Theater in the Park, which received a coveted New York Times ‘Critic’s Pick.’ Read more about Russell’s Queens Theater success by visiting NYTimes.com.

About Brant Russell
Brant Russell is a graduate of Kenyon College (BA, political science) and Northwestern University (MFA, stage direction). He is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, an associate member of SDC and has worked on the staffs of Writers’ Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Steppenwolf. He has worked as a producer and/or director for Theater Seven, Steep Theater, Steppenwolf, Collaboraction, MoonPie Productions, Next Theater, Victory Gardens, the Side Project and Around the Coyote, among others. Collaboraction and American Blues Theater have produced his short plays. Russell has appeared onstage in productions and readings for Next, Theater-Hikes, Steep / Naked Angels and Strawdog Theater. He has taught at Northwestern University, Kenyon College and Steppenwolf.

In January 2015, Russell will direct the American premiere of Brett Neveu’s RED BUD at Signal Ensemble in Chicago. He will also direct a CCM Studio Series production in the spring entitled You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays) and produce the 2015 installment of the popular TRANSMIGRATION Festival. At CCM, he teaches Artist in Society, Script Analysis, History of Directing and graduate courses including Intro to Dramaturgy and Collaboration Techniques. He has taught independent studies in Absurdist Theater, Politics in Drama and Performance Art.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Macbeth are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. Tickets to the Oct. 1 preview performance are just $12.

Customizable subscription packages are also available.

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/macbeth-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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News

LCT Awards ‘PO 11259: Sincerely Yours’ Top Prize in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized PO 11259: Sincerely Yours as the best production at CCM’s 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, CCM Drama’s annual presentation of student written and produced work. Congratulations to that show’s creative team of Jaclyn Chantel, Hannah Halvorson, Spencer Lackey, Laura McCarthy, Fabiola Rodriguez and Anna Stapleton!

Panelists awarded second place to The 17th Annual Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival, and honorable mentions to Dreams R Us: Tonight’s Answers to Tomorrow’s Questions and Complex: A Structure of Sound, An Organism of Vibrations.

The sixth-annual festival allows the audience to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of Drama majors, who create and design all aspects of their productions from start to finish. The festival is an exciting event for both guests and the presenters, as audiences get the opportunity to see up to four very different pieces of new theatre in a single night and the students premiere works that are entirely their own. This year, six shows were presented.

PO 11259 was praised for being “funny and poignant” and “a cool concept,”while The Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival allowed its actors to show “a lot of dimensions in a short play.”

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Drama Students Present New Works in Sixth Annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival This Week

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

Students in CCM’s Department of Drama flex their writing, editing, designing, directing and acting muscles with the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works, taking place March 6-8 throughout CCM Village. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The sixth-annual festival allows audiences to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of drama majors, who create all aspects of their productions from start to finish.

“As a faculty member, I’m making an active effort to stay out of their way,” says Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama and producer of this year’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival. “The audience will get a real sense of what our students are reacting to in their world, and we want that rawness to come through in each show.”

TRANSMIGRATION came into being in response to the dynamic careers of today’s professional actors. “There are two very important lessons TRANSMIGRATION gives us the opportunity to learn,” asserts Shaun Sutton, senior drama major from Overland Park, Kansas. “First, we don’t choose our groups – they’re assigned. It’s important for us to learn how to negotiate and work with new people in a medium we’re all so passionate about. Second, in the world of YouTube and Vine where anyone can be an actor, we need to develop our skills to tell a more powerful story. TRANSMIGRATION is our time to play with an unprecedented lack of structure in an intense professional training program.”

Each year, TRANSMIGRATION is different. This year’s shows include a soundscape in a dark room, a piece about dream creation, the story of a cosmic post office box and a work about community and sticking to your roots. See below for more information on this year’s original works.

CCM News

CCM’s ‘The Crucible’ Earns Four Star Rating by the League of Cincinnati Theatres

CCM's proudly presents Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible,' running through Sunday, Oct. 6. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s proudly presents Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible,’ running through Sunday, Oct. 6. Photography by Mark Lyons.

We are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with a four star rating!

Written in 1953  as a parable for McCarthyism by American playwright Arthur Miller, The Crucible tells a story of hysteria and witchcraft in colonial Salem.

Panelists praised The Crucible as “a skillful, intense, heartfelt, and nearly perfect production of The Crucible. I truly watched in wonder as the story unfolded.”

“The ensemble acting was terrific…this cast was admirable in its portrayal of a wide range of ages, young to middle-age to elderly.”

As one panelist noted: “I would recommend the production because it is a classic play that still resonates today.”

League of Cincinnati Theatre panelists evaluate productions on a five star scale and recommend shows at either a four star or five star level. Nominations for LCT awards will be determined and announced at the end of the season and winners awarded at the annual LCT gala in the spring. Learn more about The Crucible‘s four star rating here.

CCM’s 2013-14 Mainstage Series resumes at the end of this month with a joyous, graceful stage adaptation of the classic film musical Singin’ in the Rain! Learn more about that production and the rest of our current season here.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes