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‘The Hollywood Reporter’ Names CCM One of the Top Undergraduate Drama Programs in the World

Earlier this month, the Hollywood Reporter released its list of the “Top 25 Undergraduate Drama Schools,” and CCM was ranked at number 12! You can view the entire list here.

Backstage also recently named CCM one of the top six college programs in the nation for actors on a budget.

Few schools offer more comprehensive training programs for actors, designers, technicians, musical theatre performers, opera singers, coaches, directors and arts managers than CCM.

Utilizing a superb faculty of professional artist-teachers, CCM’s programs in drama, musical theatre, opera, dance, arts administration and theatre design and production attract remarkably talented students from around the world.

You can learn more about CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre.

Watch a brief introduction to CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance below.

The University of Cincinnati is a member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).

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James Franco, co-producer of the new film 'Goat,' currently filming in Cincinnati.

CCM Drama Students and Faculty Cast in James Franco Produced Feature Film ‘Goat’

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We are thrilled to report that four current students and one faculty member from CCM’s Department of Drama have been cast in Goat, a feature film currently shooting in Cincinnati. The Andrew Neel directed film stars Virginia Gardner, Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer.

James Franco, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Vince Jolivette and David Gordon Green produce in association with Killer Films and Rabbit Bandini Productions.

Goat is the story of two brothers, the younger of whom, after he suffers an assault that leaves him physically and mentally wounded, pledges the same fraternity as his brother.

CCM Drama adjunct faculty member Denise Dal Vera will play the mother of Nick Jonas. Current students Clare Combest and Annie Grove booked speaking roles, and Ryan Garrett and Spencer Lackey booked recurring extra roles in the fraternity.

Casting Director d. Lynn Meyers teaches audition techniques for students in CCM Drama, and helped the four Class of 2017 students be seen for the film. “They did great,” remarked Meyers, who also serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

CCM Drama embarked on a new film initiative this year, adding film experiences to the curriculum. All Drama students will participate in an annual 48-Hour Film Festival, and the department will produce its first co-produced film with CCM E-Media next year. You can learn more about that new collaboration here.

“CCM Drama students are in demand for film and television roles nationally, and we’re excited to see that trend continue in Cincinnati,” says CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard E. Hess.

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CCM Drama and E-Media film collaboration.

CCM Drama and E-Media Announce New Film Collaboration

We are thrilled to announce that CCM’s Department of Drama and Division of Electronic Media have launched a new collaborative project, which will bring original scripted films to CCM’s performance season beginning next spring!

Utilizing the expertise and resources of both programs, students will receive hands-on experience in the development of a new film by serving as screenwriters, actors, directors, cinematographers and film editors, as well as location scouts, prop masters, costume designers and more.

“This exciting new film project will allow CCM students to collaborate across departments in the creation of a new and original film,” explains CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard Hess. “Our students have artistic voices and artistic visions that they need to practice articulating. What a fantastic opportunity.”

Scripts for this project’s inaugural film were solicited from students in January and February of 2015, with submissions coming from not only CCM Drama and E-Media students, but also from students in McMicken College and UC Clermont.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

This year’s winning submission – entitled Binary – was written by sophomore drama major Owen Alderson.

A coming of age tale set in a private boarding school in Massachusetts, Binary is the story of a character named Emmett as he begins to transition to his true self, Julia.

Binary will be cast, rehearsed and filmed in the fall of 2015. The film will be edited in the spring of 2016 and will have a special showing in April of 2016 at UC’s MainStreet Cinema.

Stay tuned to The Village News for more information on Binary‘s production.

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CCM presents 'You're Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays),' running April 23 - 25, 2015.

CCM’s Studio Series Comes to a Close With the Debate Society’s ‘You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays),’ Running April 23 – 25

CCM’s Studio Series concludes with a production of Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler’s You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays), running April 23 – 25 in the intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available through the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, April 20.

First produced by Bos, Thureen and Butler’s Brooklyn-based theatre company, the Debate Society, You’re Welcome makes its CCM debut under the direction of Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell, who also performs in the play. This marks the first time that Russell has both directed and acted in a production.

Russell explains that You’re Welcome is loosely about why people pursue theatre and why we love it. He says it’s a “raucous comedy and a damning critique of theatre as an art form.”

Comprised of five short plays, including a farce, an anti-drunk driving PSA, a staged reading of a play called “Monsters Trucks,” a 15-minute improvised piece and a “wheels come off” piece, You’re Welcome is theatre at its best, making fun of itself while maintaining its truthfulness.

Amidst the comedy and silliness, there are also moments of emotional honesty. Russell recently directed CCM’s Mainstage Drama Macbeth this past October and wanted to do something different. He chose You’re Welcome because he wanted to find the “smartest, stupidest thing… a play that was self-effacing, intelligent but not heady, goofy but with integrity.”

With a cast of only nine composed mostly of juniors and a few sophomores, the students have been able to work closely together. Recently, the members of the Debate Society came to CCM for a workshop and got the students into teams for writing and acting exercises.

Junior Drama major Alison Sluiter says she plays herself in this production. She explains, “There’s a lot of give and take amongst my fellow cast mates. Creativity is in the air constantly whenever we are in the space, especially during a scene where we have incorporated improvisation. It has been both challenging and joyous during these rehearsals, pushing my scene partners without breaking character. When working with people you’ve known in the past three years, we know each others’ buttons and it’s fun to play and explore possibilities.”

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 23
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 24
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, April 25

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays) is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 20. 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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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation 

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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

CCM E-Media Students Receive Top Honors at National Broadcasting Society Convention

CCM alumnus Tim Neumann.

CCM alumnus Tim Neumann.

Frequent readers of The Village News are likely already familiar with the work of alumnus Tim Neumann (BFA Electronic Media, 2014), as Neumann produced several memorable promotional videos for CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Dramas with his colleague Dan Marque (BFA Electronic Media, 2014), including a stunning “trailer” for CCM’s 2013 production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (which you can view here).

We are delighted to report that Neumann won a grand prize in the “Video Instructional/ Industrial/ Promotional Production” category at last month’s National Broadcasting Society national convention in Atlanta for a promotional video he created about CCM Drama! You can watch his award winning video below.

Current E-Media major Josh Hamester also took home a top award within the category of “Video Sports Segment” at the convention! Congrats, Tim and Josh!

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

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

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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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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

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

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

Community Partner: ArtsWave

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