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

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

Introducing the 2016 TRANSMIGRATION Festival’s New Works

Running March 10-12, this year’s TRANSMIGRATION festival will feature six original dramas: A Brief Eternity, Colony Collapse Disorder, The Elephant in the Room, Vices, Elliot Popkin and The Home.

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.

____

A Brief Eternity, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

A Brief Eternity, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

A BRIEF ETERNITY
History repeats itself. History repeats. History.
Highly dangerous and experimental technology has provided us (and you) the opportunity of a lifetime: to visit the past, future and perhaps even the alternate present. From the comfort of our transporter you’ll be able to safely observe dinosaurs, historical events happening in the flesh and perhaps even your own birth. Why wonder, when you can see it with your own eyes? You’re sure to lose your senses and you just might find yourself along the way. Warning: possible side effects include dizziness, time radiation and general incidents. Must be at least 40 inches tall to ride.
Featuring: Ethan Finder, Alison Sluiter, Madeleine Page-Schmit, Isaac Hickox-Young, Rupert Spraul, Ryan Garrett, Michaela Tropeano, Colleen Ladrick
Location: Corbett Center 4735

____

Colony Collapse Disorder, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

Colony Collapse Disorder, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER
Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Bees are an intrinsic and beautiful part of our environment. However, these bees are not immune to danger. Spores from a parasitic fungus called cordyceps may infiltrate their bodies, and their minds. It’s infected brain directs the bee back to the hive to spread the infection further. Those afflicted, if they’re discovered by the worker bees, are quickly taken and dumped far away from the hive. It may seem extreme, but if they are unable to stop the infected bee, the hive may collapse.
Featuring: Sarah Durham, Jacqueline Daaleman, Landon Hawkins, James Egbert, Clare Combest, Sydney Ashe, Hannah Kornfeld, Bartley Booz, and Devan Pruitt.
Location: Corbett Center 4735

____

The Elephant in the Room, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

The Elephant in the Room, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
It’s a play about an elephant ghost.
A young, bright-eyed actor trying to make it in the big city—Milwaukee is the big city—has booked the dream job of a part on long-running local children’s show, Oofa Moobooz. Entering the jungle-themed studio with nervous excitement, he joins an endearing cast of local stars, all with their own funny quirks… and secrets.
Featuring: Colin Edgar, Andrew Iannacci, Spencer Lackey, Katie McDonald, Andrew Ramsey, Joshua Reiter, Graham Rogers, Sara Haverty
Location: Corbett Center 3705

____ 

Vices, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

Vices, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

VICES
The freaks come out at night.
Cocaine. Neon. Drag. Rum. A dirty women’s bathroom and a crime gone wrong. Welcome to 1990 South Beach, Miami, where the days are full of sun and sand, and the nights are full of energy and excess. Another day, another deal, but what happens when “just another night out” could be your last?
Featuring: Rachel Baumgarten, Arielle de Versterre, Emily Walton, Julia Netzer, Carissa Cardy, Mafer Del Real, Derek Kastner, Jabari Carter
Location: Corbett Center 3705

____

Elliot Popkin, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

Elliot Popkin, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

ELLIOT POPKIN
The best friends I never had
An 8-year-old boy has some classmates over for a play date. When it comes to third graders, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Featuring: Alice Skok, Keisha Kemper, Katie Langham, Olivia Passafiume, Nicholas Heffelfinger, Meg Olson, Gabriella DiVincenzo
Location: Corbett Center 4755

____

The Home, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

The Home, TRANSMIGRATION 2016.

THE HOME
Who wants it more?
When Tod and Karen Fazzari learn of their grandfather’s sudden death, they each see a promising opportunity to change their fate. But conflict arises when the siblings realize they aren’t alone in their endeavors. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, the Fazzari kids have a difficult choice to make. Sure, family is great, but diamonds are forever.
Featuring: Lauren Carter, Laura McCarthy, Kenzie Clark, Owen Alderson, Carter LaCava, and Sydney Martin, Annie Grove
Location: Corbett Center 4755

____

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.

____

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

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.

____

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
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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.
____________________

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
____

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
____

[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
____

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
____

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
____

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

____________________

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

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News CCM Slideshows Student Salutes

CCM Slideshows: The Heidi Chronicles

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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
Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM's Mainstage Series production of THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. Photography by Jay Yocis.

CCM’s Mainstage Series Presents the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-Winning ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ Next Week

Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM's THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. photography by Mark Lyons.

Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland in CCM’s THE HEIDI CHRONICLES. photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s Department of Drama opens its spring Mainstage Series with its debut of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, running Feb. 11 through Feb. 15, in the Patricia Corbett Theater.

An examination of feminism and its evolution from the 1960s through the late 1980s, The Heidi Chronicles follows Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, who tries to find her true self in a rapidly changing world as the roles of women were being redefined.

Students and audience members alike will get the chance to witness a piece of history on stage as director Richard E. Hess, A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance, attempts to make connections between a generation who lived through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and students who are now products of this age.

Hess asks a thought-provoking and timely question: “What would Wendy think of life in America in 2015, where we still must deeply question this country’s commitment to racial and gender equality?”

Wasserstein was the first woman playwright to receive a Tony Award for Best Play for The Heidi Chronicles. Her work also earned her prestigious awards including the 1989 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award, among others.

Hess says that Wasserstein liked to create characters “who struggled with the shifting demands and definitions of self, unique to a time and place.” This struggle rings true even today.

Second-year Theater Design and Production graduate student Jillian Coratti serves as costume designer for this production. She talked with Hess at the beginning of rehearsals about his vision for the look and feel of the production. “The hardest part about this production was making it look real,” she explains. “This show is dramatic and thoughtful, but very rarely flashy. The characters are real and contemporary, so I didn’t want to make anything come across as overly theatrical.”

Coratti did a great deal of research in magazines and blogs, even pulling out older family photo albums. Her uncles grew up as members of the “baby boomer” generation, so she was able to find looks from the 70s and 80s in their wedding albums. Since each scene in The Heidi Chronicles is set in a new time period, there are a lot of quick costume changes. Heidi alone has 13 changes!

But the easiest and most rewarding part has been the fittings. Coratti says, “The actors are so eager and willing to see their costumes because they can connect with these clothes. They’re very similar to what we wear everyday, yet some come from our parents closets.”

  • Richard E. Hess, director
  • Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
  • Jillian Coratti, costume designer
  • Taylor Malott, wig & make-up designer
  • Joe Beumer, lighting designer
  • Corbin Wescott, sound designer
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Susan Stephenson, stage manager

The Heidi Chronicles Cast List:

  • Sarah Davenport as Heidi Holland
  • Clare Combest as Susan Johnston
  • Colin Edgar as Peter Patron
  • Connor Lawrence as Scoop Rosenbaum
  • Ryan Garrett as Chris Boxer/Steve/Waiter
  • Katie McDonald as Jill/Sandra Zucker-Hall
  • AC Horton as Fran
  • Julia Netzer as Becky
  • Rachel Baumgarten as Debbie
  • Owen Alderson as 1968 Hippie/Mark/Dr. Ray
  • Michaela Tropeano as Molly McBride/Clara
  • Alice Skok as Lisa
  • Carli Rhoades as Betsy
  • Sydney Ashe as Denise
  • Katie Langham as April

About The Heidi Chronicles
After its initial opening in November 1988 Off-Broadway, The Heidi Chronicles was praised by the New York Daily News as “witty, hilarious…not just a funny play, but a wise one… I doubt we’ll see a better play this season.” Even Variety raved, “Not many plays manage Heidi’s feat of inducing almost continuous laughter while forcing the audience to examine its preconceptions.” In March of 1989, The Heidi Chronicles was transferred to Broadway and became a long-running success with an impressive 622 performances when it closed in September of 1990.

Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance.

Read Rick Pender’s thoughts on the legacy of Wendy Wasserstein and the importance of The Heidi Chronicles, courtesy of CityBeat.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 (preview)
  • 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 to the Feb. 11 preview performance are just $12.

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’s Studio Series Production of ‘Speech and Debate’ Receives a 4.5 Star Rating from the League of Cincinnati Theatres

League of Cincinnati TheatresWe are delighted to report that panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized CCM’s Studio Series production of Speech and Debate with a 4.5 star recommendation.

Written by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Stephen Karam, Speech and Debate feels ripped from today’s headlines. What begins as a story of on-line stalking quickly snowballs into a play that is part mystery, part coming-of-age story; a smart comedy and an insightful reflection of what it means to be young in America today.

Panelists called Speech and Debate “a wonderful production… contemporary, real and sometimes raw.” They were unanimous in praising CCM Drama Chair Richard Hess’ direction: “tight and economical, allowing his actors to bond together in their awkwardness while slowly revealing their secrets.”

The ensemble in the show “couldn’t be better… they worked marvelously together as a seamless unit.” Panelists singled out actress Katie Langham’s performance as Diwata: “brilliant, quick-delivery, comic in the truest sense.”

Critics have heaped praise on this production, with David Lyman calling the show “glorious to watch” in his review for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kirk Sheppard observed that Langham is “on track to be a major comedic star” in his review for The Sappy Critic.

In his review for Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, Rob Bucher wrote that, “The show features excellent direction by Richard E. Hess, and is extremely well-cast with a committed and fearless leading trio.”

MacKenzie Bower concluded that Speech and Debate was “a lovable show for all” in her review for The News Record.

CCM Drama will next present a free play reading series from Nov. 17 – 20, focusing on dramatic treatments of war and aggression. From England to Vietnam to Africa and beyond, this series will allow CCM’s Dramatic Performance majors to consider global and historical conflicts through the lens created by the playwright. All readings will begin at 7 p.m. in room 4735 of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. The schedule includes:

  • Monday, Nov. 17: Shirley Lauro’s A Piece of My Heart, directed by k. Jenny Jones
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18: Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, directed by Richard E. Hess.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Diane Kvapil
  • Thursday, Nov. 20: Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville, directed by Brant Russell

CCM’s Drama Season then resumes Feb. 11 – 15 with a Mainstage Series production of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, directed by Richard E. Hess. Tickets are on sale now.

About the League of Cincinnati Theatres
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was founded in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote Cincinnati’s theatre community. LCT provides its member companies and individual members with education, resources and services to enhance the quality and exposure of the theatre community in Cincinnati and increase community awareness, attendance and involvement. Learn more about the LCT here.

Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
Ryan Garrett, Katie Langham and Owen Alderson in CCM's 'Speech and Debate' Photo by Richard E. Hess.

CCM’s Studio Series Presents the Dark Comedy ‘Speech and Debate’ Nov. 6-8

Owen Alderson, Ryan Garrett and Katie Langham in CCM's production of 'Speech and Debate.' Photo by Richard E. Hess.

Owen Alderson, Ryan Garrett and Katie Langham in CCM’s production of ‘Speech and Debate.’ Photo by Richard E. Hess.

CCM’s Department of Drama presents the regional premiere of Pulitzer Prize nominee Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate as part of this fall’s Studio Series. Directed by CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard E. Hess, the production opens Thursday, Nov. 6, and plays through Saturday, Nov. 8.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Speech and Debate is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Nov. 3. This production features adult themes and is recommended for mature audiences.

According to Hess, Speech and Debate is “a 90 minute intermission-less romp through high school experienced by three socially awkward misfits. The play is a cry to be noticed from students on the fringe.”

“Both gender and sexual identity play a large role in this play.  [It’s] a recipe for comedy in dark and disturbing moments of angst,” Hess explains.

Sophomore Katie Langham discusses her experience playing the irreverent Diwata, a young woman who envisions her future on Broadway but can’t seem to get a part in the school play: “She keeps me on my toes and constantly surprises me. Playing this character is delightfully freeing because she’s so experimental in her own artistic life.”

“Each rehearsal is a time to play and explore, maybe regress back to the days of high school and re-discover adolescent feelings of precociousness, uncertainty and insecurity,” says Langham. It’s this attitude of discovery that makes the characters of Speech and Debate so authentic and engaging.

The play will take advantage of technology to enhance the storytelling. “A crucial plot element in the play is revealed in the very first scene,” Hess explains, “A computer conversation told entirely through projections when an 18 year old high school senior begins cruising on a gay chat line. This event sets the play in motion.”

About Richard E. Hess
Richard E. Hess has been the Chair of CCM Drama for the past 20 years. Recent directing credits at CCM include The CrucibleThe Laramie ProjectCoram BoyRENTYou Can’t Take It With You (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding University Play), Anon(ymous) (ACCLAIM Award winner Outstanding Play), Brigadoon (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Outstanding Musical) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in AmericaPart One: Millennium Approaches (Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Ensemble Acting).

He made his New York directing debut at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street directing AN EVENING OF (Mostly) TRUE SONGS (with Andrea Burns), a new incarnation of Don’t Look Down, the music and lyrics of Adam Wagner, first seen in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Favorite directing credits at the Human Race Theatre Co., where he has been a resident artist since 1996, include RaceRedDoubtProofI Am My Own Wife and A Delicate Balance. He directed Miracle on South Division Street for the Human Race in September 2014.

Other credits include the Los Angeles staging of the one-woman show Besame MuchoO.K. That’s Enough (with Diana Maria Riva) and the smash hits The Pages of My Diary I’d Rather Not Read and The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, both of which enjoyed sold out runs at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For five years Hess was the artistic director of Hot Summer Nights in Cincinnati, where he directed Violet (with Ashley Brown), Hello, Dolly! (with Pamela Myers), Godspell (with Shoshana Bean and Leslie Kritzer) and the premiere of We Tell The Story: The Songs of Ahrens and Flaherty, in collaboration with Stephen Flaherty.

He studied with the internationally acclaimed director Anne Bogart and members of the Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI Co.) in New York and Los Angeles for the past decade. He has worked with the KNOW Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Chautauqua Institution, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops and Cincinnati Opera Education. He is proud of fostering the new work of playwrights and has directed first productions of Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor’s Don’t Make Me Pull This Show Over: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Parenting, Mark Halpin’s The Kid in the Dark, Ben Magnuson’s Four Minutes and Tom Korbee’s Will It Ever Stop Raining?

He made his debut as a playwright/creator in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival with (UN)Natural Disaster created with 13 actors and performed in an abandoned building in Over-the-Rhine. (UN)Natural Disaster was named the Producer’s Pick of the Fringe and subsequently re-mounted on the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival.

In June of 2011, Hess directed The Collapsible Space Between Us with the Dadaab Theater Project, comprised of five CCM Drama students, which was presented with eight refugees from the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya for World Refugee Day sponsored by the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya. He returned to Kenya as a Fulbright Scholar in 2014 and taught acting and directing at Kenyatta University in Nairobi and researched the creation of original works by creating KUMI NA MBILI (12), a stage show and a short film.

Hess was named Ernest Glover Outstanding Teacher at UC in 1999 and again in 2012 and was also named the ACCLAIM Award Theatre Trailblazer in 2009. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

Cast List

Ryan Garrett as Howie
Owen Alderson as Solomon
Katie Langham as Diwata
Sarah Davenport as Teacher and others
Colleen Ladrick as Reporter and others

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, November 3. 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.
____

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

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman & Margaret Straub

CCM News