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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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.”

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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 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.

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CCM Slideshows: The Crucible

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CCM’s highly anticipated 2013-14 Mainstage Series opens this week with a bold new production of the American classic The Crucible, running tonight through Sunday, Oct. 6, in Patricia Corbett Theater.

You can enjoy a preview of the Tony Award-winning play, courtesy of photographer Mark Lyons. Tickets and subscription packages are on sale now.

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CCM’s 2013-14 Mainstage Series Opens Next Week With ‘The Crucible’

Joe Markesbery is "John Proctor" and Laura McCarthy is "Abigail Williams" in CCM's 'The Crucible.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Joe Markesbery is “John Proctor” and Laura McCarthy is “Abigail Williams” in CCM’s ‘The Crucible.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM opens its 2013-14 Mainstage Series with an intensely physical retelling of the American classic The Crucible. This epic drama of morality and justice runs Oct. 3 through 6 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, with a preview performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Under the direction of Richard Hess, Professor and Chair of CCM’s Department of Drama, this production of The Crucible “is a post-modern expression” of the world we live in, says Hess. “There’s no fanciness; it doesn’t need to be tampered with. The Crucible was powerful when it was presented in a time and place where it resonated beyond the Salem witch trials.”

Audience members will be surprised by the amount of physicality on stage. “This Crucible will not be stuffy people standing and talking and arguing. They’re going to be running, tearing at each other, moving. It’s pretty down and dirty,” explains Hess. The physicality of the characters embodies the conflicts and moral dilemmas that they face. “It’s not a pretty costume drama.” Even the recognizable setting of Salem may feel different. The scenic design by Dana Hall, second-year scenic design graduate student, will be stark and very clean with a three-story motorized wall that moves throughout the performance.

Joe Markesbery, senior, plays the role of John Proctor, while Abigail Williams is brought to life by sophomore Laura McCarthy. Anna Stapleton plays Elizabeth Proctor. “What I love so much about Richard’s direction of this show is that one really gets a sense of the hysteria, betrayal and selfish ambition that John Proctor fights so hard against,” says Markesbery of his portrayal of John Proctor. “Proctor is a man who, because of his affair with Abigail, truly isn’t sure if he is good or evil. Ultimately, every action he commits in the play is to defend the truth and bring evil to the light, but still he thinks himself a fraud. From peace and simplicity to betrayal and the destruction of a man and his good name: there’s the tragedy for me.”

View the official trailer for CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Crucible here.

CCM News

CCM Video: The Mainstage Series Presents Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ (Official Trailer)

Next month, CCM’s Mainstage Series proudly presents the original American horror story: Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning The Crucible.

CCM E-Media seniors Dan Marque and TIm Neumann collaborated with CCM Drama Chair Richard E. Hess and the cast and crew of The Crucible to produce a chilling trailer for this new production. Marque and Neumann are both National Broadcasting Society grand prize-winners in the categories of “Live Music Video” and “60 Second Promotional Video.”

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LCT Awards ‘S.L.U.T.’ Top Prize in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION Series

transmigrationSLUT

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized S.L.U.T. as the best production at CCM’s 2013 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, the Drama department’s annual presentation of student written and produced work. Panelists awarded second place to Sentenced, and honorable mentions to 2122 Michigan Avenue and The Sherwin Williams Effect. Congratulations to all involved!

The fifth-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. “TRANSMIGRATION teaches our actors to be entrepreneurs,” says Richard Hess, chair of CCM’s Drama Department and director of the TRANSMIGRATION Festival. “There are absolutely no holds barred, with the exception of the thirty-minute time limit, allowing our students to learn to express from within.”

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The 2013 TRANSMIGRATION Festival’s New Works

Running March 7 – 9, this year’s TRANSMIGRATION festival will feature student-created new works 2122 MICHIGAN AVENUE, The Opening, Sentenced, The Sherwin Williams Effect, S.L.U.T. and Void.

Audience members will have the opportunity to customize their theater-going experience by choosing to watch up to four different productions, which are performed simultaneously and in non-traditional spaces throughout CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more about each of these new, student-created works after the jump!

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