Alumni, Students Unite to Create Lovecraftian Halloween Experience, ‘The Other Rhine’

Each year CCM graduates thousands of students who go on to work across the country in all facets of the arts. But it sure is nice when our stars return home to share their craft.

The Other Rhine, a haunting theatrical collaboration by Know Theatre and Hit The Lights! Theater Co., features the work of CCM alumni and even some current students as they unite to create an intriguing Halloween spectacle that is unique to the Queen City.

CCM students and alumni in co-production of 'The Other Rhine' by Know Theatre and Hit The Lights.

CCM students and alumni in co-production of ‘The Other Rhine’ by Know Theatre and Hit The Lights.

Part walking tour and part haunted house, The Other Rhine guides audience members through The Mockabee and the Reliance Metal building in Cincinnati’s Brewery District to create an immersive theater experience. The show opened Friday night and runs though Halloween. It begins with an invitation:

Join us for the Bring Bellevue Brewery and Beerhall Back tour! Our Executive Director Scott Kaufman will lead you on a journey back into Cincinnati history to learn about brewing and the intriguing story of those who made beer at the old brewery.

With your help, we can bring the Bellevue Brewery back to its former glory!

“Audiences should expect to have fun, be thrilled, uncover some dark secrets of Cincinnati history and have nightmares,” said Mikayla Stanley (BFA Drama, 2011), of The Other Rhine.

Stanley founded Hit the Lights with Casey Scott Leach (BFA Drama ’10) and Kristopher Dean (BFA Drama ‘12) in 2013. The group also includes Claron Hayden (BFA Drama, 2012) and Carli Rhoades (BFA Drama, 2015). Hit The Lights’ productions typically center around shadow puppetry and use darkness and light to tell stories.

“We were interested in building an artistic agreement using the tools we learned at CCM, specifically those learned in Transmigration, the CCM student-led theatre festival held each winter that began while we were in school,” Stanley said.

After Hit the Lights’ production, “dungeon,” won Audience Pick at Know Theatre’s Cincy Fringe Festival in 2015, the two groups began to develop The Other Rhine. “The Know Theatre has created such an engaging and welcoming community atmosphere with their Fringe that we soon became friends and colleagues,” Stanley said.

Know’s Artistic Director, Andrew Hungerford (MFA Lighting Design and Technology, 2005), approached Hit the Lights with the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired concept for The Other Rhine. Neither group has done a show quite like it before.

“It’s an immersive theatrical experience that will really blur the lines between the world of the show and reality,” said Michaela Tropeano, a senior CCM Acting student involved with the show. “No two experiences at The Other Rhine will be alike. The audience is truly a piece of the puzzle.”

Like Hit the Lights, Know Theatre has several CCM alumni in its ranks including Hungerford, Design & Production Associate Sarah Beth Hall (BFA Scenic Design, 2014), Managing Director Alice Flanders (BFA Stage Management 2012) and Technical Director Nick Koehlke (CCM, 2007-12).

 There are also seven current CCM students that are cast in The Other Rhine: Tropeano and her fellow Acting majors Sarah Durham, Ryan Garrett, Spencer Lackey, Julia Netzer and Josh Reiter, as well as Musical Theatre major Marissa Hecker.

“Working with CCM students is always amazing, particularly since we all went through the same training and have the same theatrical vocabulary,” Stanley said. “The students, mainly due to the training given to them by powerhouse instructor Richard Hess, have an incredible work ethic and are game to try anything. This is especially important in a project like this, given that it is so experimental.”

Tropeano felt the same kinship with the CCM alumni that Stanley experienced with the current students.

“Our similar training and kindred dispositions make it all come together very organically,” she said. “Working with Hit the Lights has been an invaluable opportunity to see how these four years of training fare outside of CCM, and witnessing the brilliance of Hit the Lights makes me excited to know that this is only the start.”

You can see these CCM students and alumni in The Other Rhine through Halloween. For performance and ticket information, visit Know Theatre’s website at

Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Illustration of William Shakespeare.

CCM Celebrates the Music of the Bard at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 23

CCM’s Departments of Choral Studies and Dramatic Performance honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare‘s passing (April 23, 1616) with a special concert honoring the Music of the Bard on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Under the music direction of Earl Rivers and stage direction of D’Arcy Smith, the Music of the Bard is a 75-minute, one-act presentation of Shakespeare’s texts through choral music, scenes, monologues and sonnets.

Flyer for CCM's 'Music of the Bard IV' concert.This concert features the 30-voice Chamber Choir, CCM’s premiere choral ensemble, along with nine student actors. Featured students include conductors Daniel Blosser and Matthew Swanson, and actors Owen AldersonSydney AsheMafer Del RealJames EgbertAnnie GroveLaura McCarthyMeg OlsonJosh Reiter and Graham Rogers.

The program showcases texts from 18 Shakespeare plays and sonnets, highlighted with the premieres of three newly commissioned choral works by composers Judith BinghamDominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad. The music encompasses a range of styles from jazz arrangements by legendary jazz pianist George Shearing to modern a cappella classics, enhanced with violin, flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, and string bass as accompanying and obbligato instruments.

With this performance, CCM’s Department of Choral Studies completes The Shakespeare Quadricentenniala two-year commemoration of the playwright’s birth and death through choral music. The celebration commenced on Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on April 23, 2014.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has produced four all-Shakespeare programs since Sept. 21, 2014, which have featured CCM’s Chamber Choir and Chorale, the UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir and local guest choirs.

The Shakespeare Quadricentennial has fostered the commissioning of new works on Shakespeare texts by Dan Forrest (Cincinnati Children’s Choir), Daniel Elder (UC Men’s and Women’s Choruses), as well as those performed on April 23, 2016 by Judith Bingham, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.

Performance Time
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Knox Presbyterian Church
Michigan and Observatory Avenues,
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office!

Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Knox Church is located on the corner of Observatory and Michigan, at 3400 Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Hyde Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please refer to the interactive map found online at for details on Knox’s location and for directions to Knox Church.

Parking at Knox can be a bit challenging. The best advice is to arrive a little early for the event you are attending.

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Story by Curt Whitacre

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

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

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 for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit 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 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