Romeo and Juliet preview photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Opens 2016-17 Mainstage Series with a Retelling of “Romeo and Juliet”

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music opens its 2016-17 Mainstage Series with a preview performance of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday, Sept. 28 in Patricia Corbett Theater.  With this modern production of the Bard’s beloved tragedy, director Brant Russell aims to preserve Shakespeare’s intentions and give CCM students the opportunity to bring these iconic roles to life.

CCM’s retelling of Romeo and Juliet weaves the familiar story of ill-fated young love with a modern comedic twist. “It’s a comedy…until it’s not,” said Assistant Professor of Acting Brant Russell.

“What I’m hoping the audience will take away from this is everything that CCM does so well; lavish production values and excellent young actors coming together to tell a story that means something to everyone,” Russell said. “Everything an audience has come to expect from CCM and its eye-popping productions will be present in this show.”

Romeo & Juliet

Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Acting seniors Spencer Lackey and Katie McDonald play the title roles — an experience that would be a dream come true for many young actors. Russell is happy to showcase fresh faces, which is what the script actually calls for. According to the play’s text, Juliet is almost 14 years old and Romeo’s age is never explicitly mentioned.

“This production puts the beauty and eloquence of Shakespeare’s language front and center, but, in the mouths of these young actors, you’ll hear the language like you’ve never heard it before,” Russell said.

Romeo and Juliet opens on Wednesday, Sept. 28 (preview) and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2 at the CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.
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Creative Team
• Brant Russell, director
• Whitney Glover, scenic designer*
• Nick Saiki, lighting designer*
• Jeremy Lee, sound designer
• Sean K. Tingle, sound designer*
• Raphael Regan, costume designer*
• Erin Schwob, wig and make-up designer*
• Hope Rice, dramaturg*
• Brianna Latrash, choreographer*
• Hamilton Moore, choreographer*
• k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
• Andi Radujkovic, stage manager*
* CCM student

Cast List
Owen Alderson as Capulet
• Carissa Cardy as Montague
• Jabari Carter as Gregory
• Clare Combest as Lady Capulet
• Jacqueline Daaleman as Lady Montague/ Chorus 1
• Gabriella Divincenzo as Friar Lawrence’s Assistant/ Watchman
• Sarah Durham as Watchwoman
• James Egbert as Friar Lawrence
• Ryan Garrett as Paris
• Annie Grove as Mercutio
• Landon Hawkins as Tybalt
• Carter La Cava as Sampson/ Watchman
• Spencer Lackey as Romeo
• Katie Langham as Nurse/ Actor
• Katie McDonald as Juliet
• Julia Netzer as Abraham/ Apothecary/ Watchman
• Josh Reiter as Balthasar
• Mickey Tropeano as Benvolio
• Emily Walton as Prince

Performance Times
• 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 (preview)
• 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29
• 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
• 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Romeo and Juliet are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Sept. 28 preview performance are just $15.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/romeo-and-juliet.

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 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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News
From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Pushes Boundaries With Green Day’s Punk Rock Musical ‘American Idiot,’ March 3 – 13, 2016

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM’s production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents the first local production of Green Day‘s iconic musical American Idiot from March 3 – 13 in Patricia Corbett Theater. The through-sung rock opera is directed by Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Adjunct Instructor of Musical Theatre Steve Goers.

Although many think of Broadway musicals as saccharin sweet, there have been shows throughout the decades that have burst onto the scene, changing theatre forever and defining a generation.

“In 1944, Leonard Bernstein’s ‘On The Town’ brought fresh faces and a jazz-inflected score to Broadway. My generation grooved to the sound of ‘Hair.’ In the 90s there was ‘Rent’ by Jonathan Larson, and for the current generation, it is ‘American Idiot’,” says Berg.

A high octane adaptation of Green Day’s 2004 Grammy-winning concept album of the same name, American Idiot features a raucous and exhilarating punk rock score yet offers a simple, contemporary fable in the style of the Brothers Grimm. Three disaffected young men – Johnny, Will and Tunny – plan to flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions. Along the way they deal with drugs, lost love, war, inner turmoil and living in an America that is forever changed and roiled by dark events, including the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Iraq War.

Making sure CCM’s production reflects the style and temperament of the current generation was important to Berg. “American Idiot is a musical by the young, for the young,” he says. To keep the presentation authentic, Berg surrounded himself with a creative team of students. His associate director and choreographer, Tom Meglio and Samantha Pollino respectively, are both graduating seniors and are the perfect candidates to help shape this production.

American Idiot was one of our generation’s very first artistic expressions of events that are ever present in our consciousness because, for the very first time, our generation can say: we lived them,” Meglio and Pollino suggest.

CCM’s production is set three years before the release of the album in the aftermath of the events of 9/11. Meglio and Pollino explain, “We wanted to create an atmosphere of immediacy, to highlight the themes of the show as a response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and explore the period of upheaval that immediately followed.”

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Great theatre can delight and entertain, but it can also challenge audiences to confront their own closely held views and perceptions. American Idiot deals with potentially incendiary subjects. The show is loud, abrasive and confrontational. The language is raw and constant. There is simulated sex and simulated drug use. The musical presents an uncompromising view of a dystopian America, but it is also a foray into the psyche of a young generation struggling to make sense of its place in the world at a particular moment in time.

“In addition to ‘rocking out,’ we ask the audience to take a moment to connect with, reflect on and embrace this piece as a raw fragment of history presented with the utmost respect and many unanswered questions,” Meglio and Pollino conclude.

CCM’s production of American Idiot is not recommended for children or those easily offended.

Official logo for Green Day's 'American Idiot.'
Music by Green Day
Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer

The Company

  • Ben Biggers as Johnny
  • John Battagliese as St. Jimmy
  • Clara Cox as Whatsername
  • Chris Collins-Pisano as Will
  • Shauna Topian as Heather
  • Louis Griffin as Tunny
  • Cameron Anika Hill as Extraordinary Girl
  • with Kyra Christopher, EJ Dohring, Joel Flynn, Ciara Alyse Harris, Marissa Hecker, Tyler Jent, Phillip Johnson, Chris Kelley, Stavros Koumbaros, Jackson Matteck, Emily Ashton Meredith, Hamilton Moore, Anya Olsen, Alex Stone, Donelvan Thigpen, Madelaine Vandenberg and Keaton Whittaker.

The Creative Team

  • Aubrey Berg, director
  • Stephen Goers, musical director
  • Samantha Pollino, choreographer
  • Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
  • CJ Mellides, lighting designer
  • Kevin Semancik, sound designer
  • Jillian Coratti, costume designer
  • Jillian Floyd, wig & make-up designer
  • Tom Meglio, assistant director
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Jenny Rissover, stage manager
  • Tom Kitt, musical arrangements and orchestrations

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 4
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to American Idiot are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 for 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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/american-idiot.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | www.MTIShows.com

CCM News
Andrew Huyler Ramsey and Emily Walton in CCM's production of 'Ah, Wilderness!' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Drama Presents Bittersweet Production of Eugene O’Neill’s Comedy ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ Feb. 10-14

CCM resumes its Mainstage Series with Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!: A Comedy of Recollection in Three Acts, playing Feb. 11-14 with a special preview performance on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The show also bids a fond farewell to its director, and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies, R. Terrell Finney as he retires from fulltime status at CCM.

Poster for CCM's February 2016 production of AH, WILDERNESS!The words “Eugene O’Neill” and “comedy” are rarely used in the same sentence unless that sentence is “Eugene O’Neill does NOT write comedy.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Long Day’s Journey into Night and Mourning Becomes Electra is primarily known for his semi-autobiographical plays about characters who struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into despair and disillusionment. Ah, Wilderness! is not one of those plays.

Set in an idyllic Connecticut town (presumably New London, O’Neill’s hometown) on the Fourth of July weekend of 1906, the play focuses on the Miller family and their 16-year-old son Richard, whose coming of age story offers a tender portrait of small town family values, teenage growing pains, and young love.

“It’s really quite the opposite of a typical O’Neill family story,” says director R. Terrell Finney. “The subtitle of the play is ‘A Comedy of Recollection,’ so my take on it is this is the family unit that O’Neill wishes he had.”

Even though it’s a comedy, the show still has plenty of the classic O’Neill depth-of-character for which he is known, “If it were written by a playwright of lesser skill, it could verge on the sentimental, but [O’Neill] brings elements that his other plays deal with: alcoholism, squandered love, intolerance and political strife. So, although it is a very loving and romantic portrait of a family, it has some depth as well,” explains Finney.

CCM’s production will be very true to the original look and feel of the play as written. “We’ve tried to create a world that’s going to let us live in 1906, so everything on stage is very period-specific,” says Finney. For example, it was important to obtain the exact music requested by O’Neill for various parts of the play, “I have to thank Dr. bruce mcclung from the Department of Musicology; he really helped us locate the music and source material so we could stay true to the original script,” Finney adds.

Ah! Wilderness!’s tender feel makes it a fitting farewell for it’s director, R. Terrell Finney. Finney’s tenure as a fulltime faculty member will come to an end this semester after 33 years of service as a member of the Department of Drama and head of CCM’s Division of Opera, Musical Theatre, Dramatic Arts and Arts Administration (now known as the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration, or TAPAA). Finney has most recently served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies at CCM.

R. Terrell Finney directs this beloved classic by Eugene O'Neill.

R. Terrell Finney directs this beloved classic by Eugene O’Neill.

Over his time at CCM, Finney’s approach to directing has changed, he says, for the better, “I’d like to think I’m more relaxed than when I started! Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches in the theater. I’ve also really come to respect and trust actor instinct. If a director can open a door to the creativity the actor can bring, he’s done his job.”

Finney says directing Ah Wilderness! has reinvigorated his love for the creative process and, even though he’s entering a much-deserved retirement, he hopes to stay involved in the future, “I’ve had a ball directing this show. It’s been six years since I’ve directed and it’s been so liberating. It’s amazing to be involved in the creative process, so if you had asked me, without having done this show, what I wanted to do in retirement I may have just said, ‘Oh, tend my garden,’ but now I would hope that I can continue to direct. I’m not quite ready to be put out to pasture!”

The Company

  • Jonah Sorscher as Tommy Miller
  • Olivia Passafiume as Mildred Miller
  • Owen Alderson as Arthur Miller
  • Katie Langham as Essie Miller
  • Rachel Baumgarten as Lily Miller
  • Devan Pruitt as Nat Miller
  • Andrew Iannacci as Sid Davis
  • Andrew Huyler Ramsey as Richard Miller
  • Spencer Lackey as David McComber
  • Mickey Tropeano as Norah
  • Isaac Hickox-Young as Went Selby
  • Annie Grove as Belle
  • James Egbert as Bartender
  • Ryan Garrett as Salesman
  • Emily Walton as Muriel McComber

The Creative Team

  • R. Terrell Finney, director
  • Thomas C. Umfrid and Whitney Glover, scenic designers
  • Adam Ditzel, lighting designer
  • Mathew D. Birchmeier, sound designer
  • Maria Lenn, costume designer
  • Missy White, wig & make-up designer
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Scott Slucher, stage manager

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 (preview)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Ah, Wilderness! are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Feb. 10 preview performance are just $15.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/ah-wilderness.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Ah, Wilderness!: A Comedy of Recollection in Three Acts is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Timeless ‘CAROUSEL’ Oct. 29 – Nov. 1

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series continues this fall with a moving production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Directed and choreographed by Diane Lala with musical direction by Roger GrodskyCarousel runs Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are on sale now.

Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.Based on the 1909 play LiliomCarousel tells a story of tragedy, forgiveness and timeless love through the turbulent relationship of Julie Jordan, a quiet, naïve millworker, and Billy Bigelow, a swaggering, carefree carnival barker.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala directs and choreographs the show, which was hailed as the “best musical of the 20th century” by Time Magazine. Fittingly, Lala’s approach to the show is to let the material speak for itself. “Carousel is such a classic piece of musical theatre,” she explains. “My goal is to present the show the way the writers intended it.”

Lala is no stranger to the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, having previously helmed CCM’s 2011 production of Oklahoma!. Lala notes that although the two musicals were written back to back, they are quite different. “A lot of the uplifting spirit in Oklahoma! comes from the feeling of community around making Oklahoma a state. In Carousel we deal with the much darker issue of a marriage between two people who are completely different but who have this captivating and enduring love for each other.”

Richard Rodgers portrays the love story gloriously in his sweeping score, which he maintained was his personal favorite of all the shows he wrote.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky and second-year graduate student Danny White will co-conduct the 39-piece orchestra for this production. The duo will honor Rodgers by utilizing a restored version of the original 1945 orchestrations. “The restoration process began in 2003 and there are literally hundreds of parts that have been reinstated or corrected,” says Grodsky. “People may be surprised to hear that that the correct lyric for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is: ‘When you walk through a storm, KEEP YOUR CHIN up high’ not ‘hold your head’!”

Carousel‘s timeless score also includes such standards as “If I Loved You” and Billy’s powerful seven-minute solo “Soliloquy.”

In addition to the full orchestra, the technical elements of the show will be quite grand. However, Lala notes that the juxtaposition of these elements with the intimacy of the story is what makes this production special. “In the beginning of the show, we transform from a bare stage to a full amusement park including a big carousel, so the set and musical numbers are really big and elaborate but then the scenes are so dramatic and simple. There’s a wonderful contrast all within the same show.”

With its timeless story, glorious score, and stunning visuals, CCM’s production of Carousel is sure to delight audiences and create a memorable evening of theater.

Special thanks to Carol Ann’s Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/carousel.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Carousel Production Sponsor: The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News
Scenes from CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photos by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Peter Pan – The Musical

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with the timeless fairytale musical Peter Pan, playing through Sunday, March 8, in Corbett Auditorium. See a complete list of performance times below.

Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan features spectacular flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.

Listen to cast member Tom Meglio give Cincinnati Public Radio’s Mark Perzel a preview of the high-flying musical by visiting wvxu.org/post/ccms-peter-pan.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 |http://www.MTIShows.com.

CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes
Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Proudly Presents Broadway’s Timeless Musical ‘Peter Pan’ March 5-8, 2015

CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series with the classic fairytale musical Peter Pan. Directed and choreographed by guest artist Joe Locarro, with musical direction by CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky, this production promises to whisk audiences away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up! Peter Pan makes its CCM debut at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in Corbett Auditorium and plays through March 8, 2015. Tickets are on sale now.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Hannah Zazzaro as Peter Pan and Nathaniel Irvin as Captain Hook in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of ‘Peter Pan.’ Photography by Mark Lyons.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years.

Peter Pan’s enduring status comes as no surprise to Locarro, who brings years of Broadway experience to CCM’s production. In addition to providing perspective on the end of the Victorian Era, Locarro explains that Barrie’s fairy tale is also “a story of longing and the continuum of life. Although Peter Pan is the catalyst, it is really Wendy’s journey through adolescence and subsequently the journey of her daughter Jane and Jane’s daughter after that. Having a 20-year-old daughter of my own, I too see the importance of this journey for all of our children and understand why Peter Pan is popular to this day.”

While CCM is widely known for its remarkable stage productions, audiences can expect something truly remarkable for this production of Peter Pan. This is thanks to Locarro’s unique vision and also to an exciting collaboration between CCM’s faculty, student and staff talent and the expertise of theatrical flying effects and equipment industry leaders, ZFX, Inc. CCM Professor of Drama and Peter Pan fight choreographer k. Jenny Jones explains, “ZFX Flying Effects and I are creating sword fights with aerial dynamics that have never been tried before. Several years ago, I commissioned ZFX for a study of the variables of fighting while flying, and how flying may enhance the action of staged combat. The duel between Peter and Hook in this production is a perfect representation of this research and it will make CCM’s Peter Pan quite special.”

ZFX is one of the many professional industry leaders in theatre technology that will be in Cincinnati for the 55th annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo, which comes to the Duke Energy Convention Center March 18-21, 2015. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to visit CCM Village to see Peter Pan‘s groundbreaking flying effects set up for themselves even after the production has closed.

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Hannah Zazzaro, a senior from Clearwater, Florida, is one of two CCM students playing the demanding part of Peter Pan. She shares the role with junior musical theatre major Clara Cox. The role of Peter Pan will alternate between Cox (March 6; March 7 matinee) and Zazzaro (March 5; March 7; March 8 matinee).

Download Peter Pan‘s cast list here.

Zazzaro’s preparation began back in November when she read and re-read the script and watched every version of Peter Pan that she could find. Her goal was to understand her part in the storytelling and to know the text forward and backward. “Peter Pan is a demanding role in every way,” says Zazzaro. “I have to run, jump, fly, dance, sing while flying, do cartwheels, and sword fight both in the air and on the ground. I started a 60-day physical training program called ‘Insanity’ that I will continue to do regularly through the end of the show… and maybe even after because I like it so much!”

In addition to her copious musical theatre experience, Zazzaro is a classically trained singer, which makes her a perfect choice for this role. “My favorite part of the show is when Peter Pan turns into a ‘lady’ and sings a short aria with Captain Hook. This show has given me the opportunity to finally show off my low notes, my high belt and my high soprano! It’s so much fun,” she says enthusiastically.

Under Jones’ guidance, Zazzaro has also learned to sword fight. “Three things that I know I have to focus on are: trusting my wrists and allowing my sword to swing rather than forcing it to, having a spacial understanding with whomever I’m swinging at, and communicating with them through body language in order to be successful and safe,” Zazzaro explains. Mastering all of these things at once has been challenging, but Zazzaro states it’s been “completely worth it.”

Senior Dallas Padoven plays the role of Cecco the pirate alongside Zazzaro, but he faces his own unique challenges. Padoven is also Captain Hook’s understudy, meaning he has to be prepared to take on the iconic villain’s role on short notice. “Preparing for two characters is extremely interesting,” says Padoven. “I have to be on my toes while working at all times. While I am learning the pirate role, I also have to keep one eye on Hook to make sure I know what he is doing. I am in the same scenes as two different characters.”

Both Zazzaro and Padoven agree that working with Locarro has been wonderful. “He has a lot of experience in the field,” says Padoven. “While we are working with him we are figuring out our blocking and choreography but he also tells us about various shows he’s been in. He really teaches through personal stories, so we’ve learned a lot, especially things like what to do and not to do in audition and rehearsal situations.”

Zazzaro particularly appreciates Locarro’s attention to detail. “One of the hardest things is the Corbett Auditorium. The stage is huge, but it has seemed almost effortless for Joe to create pictures that fill out the entire stage.”

CCM’s production of Peter Pan also features scenic design by Mark Halpin, costume design by Dean Mogle and Rebecca Senske, lighting design by Chris Carter, sound design by Jeremy Lee and wig and make-up design by Kelly Yurko. With the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land,” and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.

About Joe Locarro
Joe Locarro is a director, choreographer and producer who has directed for stage, film and television. His film Finding Billy was nominated for two New York Emmy Awards (for best direction and best documentary) and was an official selection of the 2012 Dance on Camera Festival. Finding Billy has also been broadcast nationally on PBS for the past five years.

Locarro’s recent directing credits include two seasons of the PBS National series Intelligence Squared Debates, productions of Les Misérables for the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department (April 2014) and Music Theatre of Wichita (August 2013), and the PBS series Vine Talk starring Stanley Tucci. Some of his PBS specials include Remember Me with Parsons Dance Co & The East Village Opera Company, A Tale of Two Cities in Concert and three specials with Deepak Chopra.

Locarro specializes in filming and editing dance, theatre and music and is currently guest director for the live web broadcasts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. He has also directed numerous stage productions including regional productions of Ragtime and Les Misérables.

Locarro began his career as a dancer and choreographer, dancing with the Boston, Joffrey and Hartford Ballet Companies creating and choreographing 30 works for dance companies across the U.S. After a career in ballet, he went on to perform on Broadway and first national tours in six musicals including the role of ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (both on Broadway and in the first national tour), the original Broadway companies of Ragtime, Goodbye Girl and Merlin as well as the role of Munkstrap in Cats and West Side Story.

Locarro brings his many years of performance experience to his work with artists and arts organizations. He continues to film and edit for dance companies around the world, as well as create promotional videos and documentaries for arts organizations and individual artists.

About ZFX, Inc.
Founded in 1994, ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for Flying Effects. They don’t just handle the rigging or flying harnesses. They’re not just skilled at automation, choreography and flying design. ZFX covers every aspect of flying possibilities. From high schools to Broadway, churches to special events, ZFX zealously pursues its goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry. Their infectious enthusiasm comes at no additional charge. They don’t wake up and put their pants on one leg at a time like the other guys. They wrap themselves in kilts and stride boldly out into the world. ZFX offers performer flying, high speed hoists, flying of props, automated systems, stunt gags, truss equipment mounting, aerial acts, manually operated systems, corporate shows and events, custom harnesses, spectacle flying and safety consultation. Learn more by visiting www.zfxflying.com.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Peter Pan are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/peter-pan-mainstage.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Peter Pan is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

CCM News CCM Slideshows
Scenes from CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'The Heidi Chronicles.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: The Heidi Chronicles

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CCM’s 2014-15 Mainstage Series continues TONIGHT with Wendy Wasserstein’s groundbreaking comedy The Heidi Chronicles, playing through Sunday, Feb. 15, in Patricia Corbett Theater. See a complete list of performance times below.

Winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, The Heidi Chronicles is directed by CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard Hess.

Rick Pender takes a closer look at The Heidi Chronicles and the legacy of playwright Wendy Wasserstein for CityBeat. Read the story online here.

David Lyman previews the production for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Read the story online here.

Sexuality, feminism, education, gender equality, marriage, women’s rights – there’s no hot-button issue the play doesn’t touch. Learn more about this poignant comedy here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets to The Heidi Chronicles are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.

Saturday matinee student rush discount tickets are available beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14 and are $12-15.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/heidi-chronicles-mainstage.

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.
____

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