Alums and Students in #TheatreCompany Premiere Short Film Starring Diane Kvapil

For the past two years, alumni and students from UC’s College-Conservatory of Music have worked to write and produce a new short film starring one of Cincinnati’s most beloved artists, Emeritus Professor Diane Kvapil. Presented by the #TheatreCompany, A Thankless Child premieres on Thursday, April 27, at UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center.

A Thankless Child is the story of a family haunted by a huge secret and the victims left in its wake. It is an absurdist take on the burdens and responsibilities of being a part of a family. This film was made possible by the generous contributions to the #thedianemovie crowd-funding campaign and CCMpower.

The film gives Kvapil an opportunity to get back in front of the arts community that she has fostered and loved for more than 40 years. Locally, Kvapil has performed at Playhouse in the Park, Edgecliffe Theatre and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in numerous productions since 1957. She was a treasured CCM Acting faculty member from 1977 until her retirement in 2015.

At CCM, Kvapil directed productions of Trojan Women (with original music by Richard Oberacker), Our Town, Three Sisters (Acclaim Award winner for Outstanding Ensemble) and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. In 2011 she was named Outstanding Theatre Educator by the ACCLAIM Awards in Cincinnati.

Diane Kvapil throughout her years in the performing arts.

A sample of Diane Kvapil’s work throughout her years in the performing arts.

“Diane is the definition of a passionate life-long artist and educator,” says #TheatreCompany co-founder AC Horton (BFA Acting, 2015). “She is moved by her immense love of the work and storytelling and her dedication to passing that love on to her students.”

The idea for A Thankless Child started with a joke made by CCM Acting student Katie Langham during a performance at Kvapil’s home in March 2015.

“The energy was palpable,” remembers Langham, co-founder of #TheatreCompany. “Just a moment in her home and you can feel the stories around you. I asked Diane if she would be open to making a short film in the home upon her retirement. Thinking that it was never going to happen, she half-jokingly said ‘yes.’ Unfortunately for her, I never half-joke.”

At the time, Langham and AC Horton were working with fellow students and alumni in the #TheatreCompany, a new company of young theatre professionals dedicated to creating honest, exciting and contemporary work. The company was born at CCM when Horton used #TheatreCompany to refer to the one-night-only shows she directed in classrooms. The company grew to produce an original piece, The Gospel of Fat Kathy, which was performed in New York City.

Langham, Horton and John Patrick Maddock (BFA Acting, 2014) wrote the script for A Thankless Child as they worked on The Gospel of Fat Kathy in New York. The entire cast, crew and creative team for A Thankless Child is made of former and current students from CCM’s Acting, Theatre Design and Production, E-Media and Commercial Music Production programs.

“When Katie first asked me to do it, I almost said no,” Horton recalls. “The idea was absolutely terrifying. But, I agreed that if she could get Diane to do it, I would do it. One thing I learned during my time at CCM is that you have to follow the fear.”

Kate Wilford in "A Thankless Child."

Kate Wilford in “A Thankless Child.”

Horton directs the film, which stars Kvapil and her daughter, Kate Wilford. It marks the first time the mother-daughter duo have acted together. Langham plays Kvapil’s estranged granddaughter and serves as the film’s Executive Producer.

“I would not have had the courage or faith in myself to lead a project of this size without the lessons taught to me by my CCM professors, specifically Richard Hess,” Langham says. “He has taught me how to find the heart of a project and how to be fearless and generous every step of the way. Without CCM I would not be the ‘woman in art’ I am today.”

“Working on this film has been an incredible, life-changing learning experience,” Langham says. “Not only did I get to act alongside my mentor, teacher and very good friend Diane Kvapil, but I worked with a crew that was gifted, patient and eager to be in the room.”

A Thankless Child premieres at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 at UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center. The UC Alumni Association will host a reception with light snacks and refreshments at 6:30 p.m.

The reception and premiere are free; please RSVP online at alumni.uc.edu/ccm/thedianemovie.

PRODUCTION TEAM
Director/Writer – AC Horton (BFA Acting, 2015)
Executive Producer/Writer/Maddie Steele – Katie Langham* (CCM Acting)
Writer/Producer/Andy Steele – John Patrick Maddock (BFA Acting, 2014)
Genevieve Clark – Diane Kvapil
Cynthia Steele – Kate Wilford
V.O. David Steele – D’Arcy Smith, CCM Acting professor
Director of Photography – Zacharias Muller (BFA E-Media, 2015)
Camera 2 – Asa Featherstone IV (BA Communications, E-Media Minor, 2016)
Script Supervisor/Assistant Director – Danielle Kokochak* (E-Media Minor)
Lighting Designer – Josh Davenport (CCM Theatre Design and Production, 2014-2014)
Set Design/Props – Logan Greenwell* (CCM Theatre Design and Production)
Hair & Make-up – Danae Jimenez* (CCM Theatre Design and Production)
Production Assistant – Jacob Berry* (CCM E-Media)
Production Assistant – Clare Bradley Combest* (CCM Acting)
Audio Engineer – Haley Wolf (BFA E-Media, 2015)
Audio Engineer – Lauren Osinski (BFA E-Media, 2016)
Artistic Mentor – Shaun S. Sutton (BFA Acting, 2014)

POST PRODUCTION TEAM
Soundtrack – Jennifer Rowecamp (BFA Commercial Music Production, 2016)
Editor – Bradley Theodore Thompson* (CCM E-Media)
Editor – Sam Medert (BFA E-Media, 2016)
Audio Editor – Lindsey Singleton Ballou* (CCM E-Media)

*CCM student

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CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member Oscar Kosarin

CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

CCM Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin.

We are saddened to report the passing of Professor Emeritus Oscar Kosarin, who served as Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at CCM from 1971 through 1985. Kosarin passed away on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the age of 98. He is survived by his wife, Dianne, daughter, Carli, and sons Kim and Oscar.

Initially taught piano by his mother, Kosarin also studied harmony and counterpoint with Boris Levenson, studied composition with Anis Fuleihan and Isadore Freed, and attended Leon Barzin’s conducting classes.

Kosarin began playing piano professionally at the age of 19, first performing with dance bands in night clubs before making the move to Broadway, where he also gained experience as a conductor, arranger and vocal coach. On Broadway, he conducted musicals such as Happy Time with Robert Goulet, Oh, Captain with Tony Randall, Fade Out, Fade In with Carol Burnett and Mr. Wonderful with Sammy Davis, Jr.

Kosarin was named to CCM’s faculty in the fall of 1971 as part of the expansion of the school’s still-nascent musical theatre degree program. Kosarin inaugurated his time at CCM by conducting productions of Bye, Bye Birdie, Brigadoon and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum during the 1971-72 season. He cited Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and Sugar as three of his favorite musicals from his 14-year tenure at CCM.

Kosarin retired from CCM in the spring of 1985. During a farewell banquet held in his honor, CCM Drama Professor Diane Kvapil observed:

“He’s much loved by the students. He teaches them what’s special about them and how to use it. His colleagues will miss him because we worked well together.”

At the time of his retirement, Kosarin referred to his decision to teach at CCM as the smartest move he ever made, commenting:

“I had a great advantage in that [the students] were a group of people who really wanted to study. We had a wonderful relationship.”

In addition to his appointment at CCM, Kosarin also taught and directed musical theatre workshops at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts and coached opera and musical comedy privately. He composed the ballet music for A Tree Grows in BrooklynPal Joey, Hazel Flagg and Canterbury Tales. He also composed music for films, including Virginia—Pursuit of Happiness, which won first prize at the Virgin Islands International Film Festival in 1975. In 1983, Prentice Hall published his book The Singing Actor: How to Be a Success in Musical Theatre and Night Clubs.

CCM’s upcoming production of A Chorus Line will be dedicated to the loving memory of Professor Kosarin. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.

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CCM's Class of 2015 in Drama.

CCM Drama Holds Annual Senior Showcase and Dolly Awards on March 27

CCM’s Department of Drama presents its annual Senior Showcase at 2 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 27, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The 13th annual DOLLY Awards Ceremony follows the 7 p.m. showcase performance. These events are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

CCM's Class of 2015 in Drama.

CCM’s Class of 2015 in Drama.

The showcase performance will consist of a variety of scenes by graduating seniors in CCM’s Drama program, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the acting skills they have honed during their undergraduate training at CCM. The Senior Showcase will be the first presentation of a performance that the students will be taking on the road to exhibit their talent in New York and Los Angeles in April. You can learn more about the Drama Class of 2015 by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre/drama/seniorshowcase.

Hosted by Richard E. Hess, CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance, the Annual CCM Drama DOLLY Awards recognize outstanding achievement and performance by students in the Department of Drama. Awards are given for Excellence in Performance and Excellence in Ensemble Performance from the 2014-15 CCM Drama season, which included the productions TRANSMIGRATION 2014, Living Dead in DenmarkMacbethSpeech and Debate and The Heidi Chronicles.

The evening will also include tributes to CCM faculty members Diane Kvapil and R. Terrell Finney, both of whom will retire at the end of the semester. A faculty member since 1977, Professor Kvapil received the Acclaim Award for Outstanding Theatre Educator in 2011. A faculty member since 1983, Professor Finney currently serves as CCM’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies. He is also currently serving as president of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

CCM alumnus Keith Pillow.

CCM alumnus Keith Pillow.

The highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of the 2015 Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award to a graduate of CCM Drama. This year’s honoree is Keith Pillow, CCM Drama class of 1989. An accomplished film and television actor, Pillow has had recurring roles on Judging AmyThe ShieldThe Sarah Connor ChroniclesAwkward and Pretty Little Liars. He has made guest appearances on The MentalistGleeThe GoldbergsLaw & Order L.A.TheCloserNip/TuckHot in Cleveland24CSICold CaseThe Young and the RestlessGeneral Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful, to name but a few. A classically trained singer and actor, Pillow is also very much at home on the stage. His credits include the Broadway touring company of Show Boat, the role of Pontius Pilate in the European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, the role of Hud in the European tour of Hair and the role of Jim in the national tour of Big River. He was also featured at the prestigious Theater des Westens in Berlin as Jacob in La Cage aux Folles, and in productions of My Fair LadyAnything Goes and Evita. In addition to his television and stage credits, Pillow has appeared in over 20 national and regional commercials and numerous films.

About Diane Kvapil

CCM Associate Professor of Drama Diane Kvapil.

CCM Associate Professor of Drama Diane Kvapil.

Diane L. Kvapil studied at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City with Sanford Meisner. She joined CCM’s faculty in 1977 and currently serves as Associate Professor of Drama. Kvapil has directed several notable productions during her time at CCM, including Trojan Woman (with original music by Richard Oberacker), Our TownThree Sisters (which won the Acclaim Award for Outstanding Ensemble) and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. In 2011, she received the Acclaim Award for Outstanding Theatre Educator.

Featured in numerous regional and national touring productions as well as WNET and NBC telecasts, Kvapil has also performed with National Players in Japan, Korea, Canada, North Africa and Bermuda. She is in demand for on-camera commercial work as well as voice overs for radio and television. As a writer, Kvapil has had a teleplay produced for NBC’s Young People’s Specials. She studied with American actor and acting teacher Eric Morris during the summer of 1987.

About R. Terrell Finney

CCM Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Drama Terrell Finney.

CCM Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Drama Terrell Finney.

R. Terrell Finney, Jr. is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Graduate Studies and a Professor of Drama at CCM. A faculty member since 1983, his recent directing credits include Charley’s AuntFloyd CollinsDancing at LughnasaThe DivinersMyths and HymnsAs You Like It,Lend Me A TenorChekhov in YaltaBlithe Spirit and the world premiere of Clever Dick for CCM/Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, among others. He has also served as a faculty member at Birmingham-Southern College and the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Finney is a former artistic director of the Showboat Majestic where selected productions included Crimes of the Heart and They’re Playing Our Song. He also directed The Importance of Being Earnest for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. Acting credits include Nurse Nanny Fanny in ETC’s Snow White, Hysterium in the Hot Summer Nights production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Argon in CCM’sThe Imaginary Invalid. He has also served as narrator for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

A graduate of the MFA directing program at Boston University, he spent the summers of 1992 and 1995 in training programs with the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain. A past president of the Ohio Theatre Alliance, Finney previously served as the head of the Division of Opera, Musical Theatere, Drama and Arts Administration at CCM and acted as producer of CCM’s acclaimed Hot Summer Nights from 1998 to 2002. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, he is currently serving as President of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and frequently serves as a consultant to theatre programs across the United States.

Although Finney is retiring this spring, he will make a return to CCM’s Mainstage Series to direct Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! in February of 2016. You can learn more about this production, and the rest of CCM’s upcoming season, by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/mainstage-series-2015-2016.

Performance Times
2 & 7 p.m., Friday, March 27

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission Details
Admission to the CCM Drama Senior Showcase and DOLLY Awards Ceremony is FREE and open to the general public. Reservations are not required.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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CCM’s Studio Series Production of ‘Speech and Debate’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

League of Cincinnati TheatresWe are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Speech and Debate with a 4.5 star recommendation.

Written by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Stephen Karam, Speech and Debate feels ripped from today’s headlines. What begins as a story of on-line stalking quickly snowballs into a play that is part mystery, part coming-of-age story; a smart comedy and an insightful reflection of what it means to be young in America today.

Panelists called Speech and Debate “a wonderful production… contemporary, real and sometimes raw.” They were unanimous in praising CCM Drama Chair Richard Hess’ direction: “tight and economical, allowing his actors to bond together in their awkwardness while slowly revealing their secrets.”

The ensemble in the show “couldn’t be better… they worked marvelously together as a seamless unit.” Panelists singled out actress Katie Langham’s performance as Diwata: “brilliant, quick-delivery, comic in the truest sense.”

Critics have heaped praise on this production, with David Lyman calling the show “glorious to watch” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kirk Sheppard observed that Langham is “on track to be a major comedic star” in his review for The Sappy Critic.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher wrote that, “The show features excellent direction by Richard E. Hess, and is extremely well-cast with a committed and fearless leading trio.”

MacKenzie Bower concluded that Speech and Debate was “a lovable show for all” in her review for The News Record.

CCM Drama will next present a free play reading series from Nov. 17 – 20, focusing on dramatic treatments of war and aggression. From England to Vietnam to Africa and beyond, this series will allow CCM’s Dramatic Performance majors to consider global and historical conflicts through the lens created by the playwright. All readings will begin at 7 p.m. in room 4735 of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The schedule includes:

  • Monday, Nov. 17: Shirley Lauro’s A Piece of My Heart, directed by k. Jenny Jones
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18: Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, directed by Richard E. Hess.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Diane Kvapil
  • Thursday, Nov. 20: Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville, directed by Brant Russell

CCM’s Drama Season then resumes Feb. 11 – 15 with a Mainstage Series production of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, directed by Richard E. Hess. Tickets are on sale now.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

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CCM Video: Imagine the Possibilities with CCM Drama

Graduating CCM E-Media student Tim Neumann (BFA, 2014) has created a stunning video exploration of CCM’s acclaimed Department of Drama.

Described by Backstage magazine as a “first-rate BFA program in acting, ” CCM Drama creates graduates who go on to careers in theatre, film, television and national media. Watch the video above and imagine the possibilities.

With programs like E-Media and Drama living side-by-side, it’s easy to see why CCM is considered a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts!

Learn more about CCM’s Department of Drama by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre/drama.

Learn more about CCM’s Division of Electronic Media by visiting ccm.uc.edu/emedia.

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CCM Drama Holds Annual Senior Showcase and Dolly Awards on March 14

CCM's Class of 2014 in Drama.

CCM’s Class of 2014 in Drama.

CCM’s Department of Drama presents its annual Senior Showcase at 2 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 14, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The 12th annual DOLLY Awards Ceremony follows the 7 p.m. showcase performance. These events are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

The showcase performance will consist of a variety of scenes by graduating seniors in CCM’s Drama program, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the acting skills they have honed during their undergraduate training at CCM.

The Senior Showcase will be the first presentation of a performance that the students will be taking on the road to exhibit their talent in New York and Los Angeles in April. You can learn more about the Drama Class of 2014 at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/drama/seniorshowcase.

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CCM’s ‘The Time of Your Life’ Earns Two LCT Nominations

CCM presents 'The Time of Your Life.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM presents ‘The Time of Your Life.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Time of Your Life with two LCT nominations, for Ensemble in a Play and for scenic design (Mark Halpin). Congratulations to everyone involved with this production!

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CCM Slideshows: The Time of Your Life

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CCM proudly presents William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics’ Circle Award-winning drama The Time of Your Life, running tonight through Sunday in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

You can read the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s preview of the show here and learn more about the production here.

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CCM’s Mainstage Series Offers ‘The Time of Your Life’ This February

An early look at the set for 'The Time of Your Life' by Scenic Designer Mark Halpin.

An early look at the set for ‘The Time of Your Life’ by Scenic Designer Mark Halpin.

CCM proudly presents a sprawling, elegant production of American playwright William Saroyan’s award-winning five-act play The Time of Your Life, running Feb. 6 (preview) – 10 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Set in a run-down waterfront dive bar on the docks of San Francisco (“Nick’s Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant and Entertainment Palace”) in October of 1939, The Time of Your Life is filled with colorful characters, love and the follies of humanity. CCM Associate Professor of Drama Diane Kvapil directs.

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