CCM Acting Students Devise New Work for International Fringe Festival

H2O: A Play about Water will debut in Cincinnati on April 19, 2018, as part of CCM Acting’s Studio Series.

H2O: A Play about Water will debut in Cincinnati on April 19, 2018, as part of CCM Acting’s Studio Series. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 16 through the CCM Box Office. 

CCM students have devised a new work to be presented this summer at Scotland’s Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Before the production travels overseas, H2O: A Play about Water will premiere in Cincinnati as the final installment of CCM’s 2017-18 Studio Series on April 19-21 in Cohen Family Studio Theater.

The play is an original 60-minute piece of theatre that was created by 30 students from the Acting, Musical Theatre and Technical Production Departments at CCM. Admission to the CCM performances is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 16 through the CCM Box Office.

CCM Acting Department Chair Richard Hess conceived the show and directed the students as they crafted the new work. The play is a theatrical collage of scenes that explore the abundance, scarcity and restorative powers of water.

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“Water is life,” Hess says. “Seventy-one percent of our planet is water. Oceans rise. Droughts kill. Water soothes and water heals. H2O is an epic theatrical journey. Are you thirsty? Come have a drink of H2O.”

Faculty and students will travel to Scotland to present H2O: A Play about Water in four performances at the 71st Edinburgh International Fringe Festival on August 4-8, 2018. This is the first time CCM Acting students have presented an original work in the most prestigious Fringe Festival in the world.

“Some dreams can last 37 years, and when they come true, they are more vivid and more magical than expected,” says Hess about this opportunity. “In 1981 when I was a junior in college, I traveled to Scotland for a study abroad experience and stayed for the year studying drama and English at the University of Glasgow. I have dreamed of taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since I first set foot in Scotland 37 years ago. Taking 30 CCM students to Scotland is a dream come true.”

You can see the Cincinnati premiere of H2O: A Play about Water in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater from April 19-21. Visit CCM’s guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.
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Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 20
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 16. 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 information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the 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

Acting Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
TRANSMIGRATION, CCM Drama's festival of student-created new works.

CCM Drama Students Present Original Works at Annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival

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This week, CCM proudly presents its TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works. Students from CCM’s Department of Drama are assigned to teams and given full creative license in this annual festival, which runs March 10 – 12 in CCM Village. Admission is FREE, but reservations are required.

The TRANSMIGRATION Festival offers the opportunity for CCM Drama students to flex their writing, producing, designing and directing muscles while building 25-minute original plays from the ground up.

“The creative teams are chosen totally at random,” says producer and Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell. “Essentially everyone gets together on the first day of the semester and counts off one through six.”

The student groups are then left to their own devices to figure out a theme, assign roles and produce an entirely new piece of theater. Russell explains, “Department Chair Richard Hess and I are the producers, so we help them coordinate the festival, but we are fairly hands off… and that is on purpose, pedagogically speaking. We guide our students and nudge them one way or the other and give feedback, but they really build it.”

“In the contemporary theatre landscape, it would be irresponsible of us to turn out brilliant actors who only know how to wait by the phone for an audition and don’t know how to create their own work,” Russell suggests.

One of the goals of TRANSMIGRATION is to assist the students in finding their artistic voice. “Every voice is unique and every voice is so clearly articulated in these pieces,” says Russell. One of those voices is senior Bartley Booz whose group has chosen an unorthodox subject to write about: bees.

“Bees are an intrinsic and beautiful part of our environment,” Booz observes while explaining his team’s new play, Colony Collapse Disorder. “However, these bees are not immune to danger. Spores from a parasitic fungus called cordyceps may infiltrate their bodies and their minds,” he suggests. Although bees and their maladies are not usually fodder for new plays, one of the unique and exciting aspects of this festival is that students are given free reign to create, which means that unconventional ideas are not only tolerated, they are encouraged and are often the most enjoyable for the audience. When asked about the motivations to write his piece, Booz offers: “Desperation. Isolation. Bees.” Now that’s a unique voice.

Also on the docket for this year’s festival is The Home, a slightly more traditional show from sophomore Lauren Carter and her team. Carter describes the play as being about two siblings and their friends who sneak into a morgue to recover their grandfather’s valuable ring before his funeral. “Conflict arises when the siblings realize they aren’t alone in their endeavors,” she says, “and the stakes are raised when they discover they’re stuck inside the funeral home.”

The Home was actually idea number two for Carter and her group; Carter explains, “We decided on a concept very early on, then this past week we realized the direction we were headed wasn’t right. We put that idea aside and decided we would take aspects of it and turn it into the show we are currently working on. TRANSMIGRATION is a great opportunity to learn when to say yes and when to say no if it just isn’t working.”

Each of the six groups has their own story of creation and will present vastly different and daring plays at the end of the process. According to Russell, this is a point of pride for he and the faculty.

“My favorite part of this whole thing is that you get to see work from students that you never suspected would come out of their mouths, it’s so cool, their personalities emerge,” Russell says.

Audience members will have the opportunity to customize their evening of theatre 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. Thursday, March 10
  • • 7 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • • 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12

Location
Various locations around CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to CCM’s  TRANSMIGRATION Festival is free, but reservations are required. 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 and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Drama Studio Series Sponsors: Neil Artman & Margaret Straub

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Alumna Profiled by ‘Opera News’ Magazine

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Composer (and CCM alumna) Jennifer Jolley.

Congratulations to CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (DMA, 2012) on her profile in the August issue of Opera News.

Classical music critic Kyle MacMillan interviewed Jolley about the North American New Opera Workshop, or NANOWorks, which she co-founded last year.

NANOWorks is based in Cincinnati, MacMillan observes, “partly because Jolley and her collaborators live there and partly because of the rich pool of vocal talent there, due to the presence of the respected University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”

You can read the entire article online here.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM Professor of Drama Michael Burnham Retires

CCM Professor of Drama Michael Burnham joined the faculty in 1984. He retires later this month.

CCM Professor of Drama Michael Burnham joined the faculty in 1984. He retires later this month.

CCM Professor Michael Burnham has been a faculty member since 1984 and when asked about his many years of work for CCM, he muses, simply, “I liked all of them.” He will retire this month, following the conclusion of the school year and his work as director for CCM’s upcoming production of Execution of Justice, which runs April 18-20 as part of this year’s Studio Series.

“Professor Michael Burnham has been the artistic thorn in the side of every student who has entered CCM Drama for the past 29 years,” says Richard E. Hess, CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Drama Department Chair. “He digs into the mind of each and every new student, causing disruption, chaos and sometimes a little irritation, all in service of deeper thinking, harder questioning, more creativity and expansion of possibilities. Michael’s wonderful mind has touched the hearts of every student lucky enough to work with him.”

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Drama Continues Studio Series With UC Alumna Alison Vodnoy Wolf’s Daring Adaptation of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’

Shaun Sutton as Leopold Bloom, Mary Malloy as Molly Bloom and Ian Weber as Stephen Dedalus in CCM's 'Ulysses.'

Shaun Sutton as Leopold Bloom, Mary Malloy as Molly Bloom and Ian Weber as Stephen Dedalus in CCM's 'Ulysses.'

CCM will present the world premiere of CCM alumna Alison Vodnoy Wolf’s (BFA ’09) adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses as the next installment of its 2011-12 Studio Series. The drama runs April 26-28 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus. Tickets to Ulysses are free, but reservations are required.

Note: This production features adult themes and situations and is intended for mature audiences.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

Cincinnati Fringe Festival Lineup Includes Concert by CCM Students

The upcoming Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which runs from May 31-June 11, will feature a media-driven concert by CCM doctoral candidate in composition Paul Schuette called Music for Newspapers and Radios. The concert includes musical compositions that use newspapers or radios as the generating source of musical sounds, ideas and forms. The Frequency String Quartet, which is comprised of CCM students, are also a part of Schuette’s performance.

CCM News