A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Scenic Design of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Amy Shackleton, Toronto-based gravity artist, demonstrating her technique to CCM students.

Amy Shackleton, Toronto-based gravity artist, demonstrating her technique to CCM students.

To ignite its 2012-13 Mainstage Season, CCM will be presenting one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from Oct. 3 (preview) – 7 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The play takes us on a wistful journey with four lovers and a weaver as they interact with some Puck-ish pranks in the wood. Director Michael Burnham and fellow designers add a spin to this version of the show as we find ourselves in the summer of 1963, right before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Learn more about how this spin influenced the show’s costume design here.

As previously reported, international artist Amy Shackleton joins the design team of CCM’s  A Midsummer Night’s Dream to engage in a unique collaboration, creating an original piece of art. Amy’s process was documented and will set the backdrop for this production.

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Discussing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Costumes with Student Designer Brittany McManus

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Brittany McManus is a third-year master’s degree student in costume design. Along with the production’s scenic designer, lighting designer, sound designer and wig & make-up designer (all of whom are third-year graduate students at CCM), McManus’ work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is serving as her thesis project.

McManus’ unique costume design concepts for this production draw inspiration from the 1960s. “We are doing three different groups of people,” she explains. “The 60s are when the countercultures really emerge, so you start to see these different facets of society in a way that you may have seen before… but not to this extent.”

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CCM Drama Opens Mainstage Season with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Megan Marshall as Hippolyta and Trey Wright as Nick Bottom in CCM's Mainstage Production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'

Megan Marshall as Hippolyta and Trey Wright as Nick Bottom in CCM’s Mainstage Production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) will present a nostalgic new take on the Bard of Avon’s adored and enduring A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Oct. 3 (preview) through 7 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This comedic dalliance of magic and young love will be presented with a wistful and unprecedented 1960s concept, and will also feature an original work of art by renowned Canadian visual artist Amy Shackleton.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream explores the adventures of a quartet of Athenian lovers, a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) and their encounters with the fairies who control and manipulate them, including Puck, one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated characters. The setting of 1963 presents a new concept organically and creatively orchestrated by director Michael Burnham and costume designer Brittany McManus.

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Rick Pender Hails CCM’s ‘Into the Woods’ As ‘The Season’s Best Musical’

Rick Pender takes a look back at Cincinnati’s 2011-12 theatre season in the current issue of CityBeat and singles out CCM’s Into the Woods as “the season’s best musical.” Congratulations to everyone involved with this production, which also received a record number of awards from the League of Cincinnati Theatres!

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CCM’s ‘Into the Woods’ Receives a Record Nine League of Cincinnati Theatres Awards

CCM presents INTO THE WOODS, Feb. 23 - March 4, 2012. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM presents INTO THE WOODS, Feb. 23 - March 4, 2012. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods has earned nine awards from the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)! The fairytale adventure turns traditional stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and others upside down, examining the “after” in these happily-ever-after tales.

LCT panelists praised nearly every aspect of the production, which was described as “fitting CCM like the golden slipper on Cinderella’s foot.” Awards were given in the following categories:

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CCM Slideshows: Into the Woods

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The reviews are in and CityBeat‘s Rick Pender calls Into the Woods a “remarkably mature and thoroughly entertaining production,” while the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Jackie Demaline writes: “Delights include first-rate work from graduating seniors and a show of great promise from freshmen in the wonderful storybook world created by the design team.”

Find out for yourself what happens after “happily ever after” when CCM presents Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning Into the Woods, running this Thursday through Sunday, March 4, 2012 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

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Discussing ‘Into the Woods’ Wigs and Make-Up with Student Designer Kaitlyn Adams

Kaitlyn Adams with INTO THE WOODS' Witch, played by Victoria Cook.

Kaitlyn Adams with INTO THE WOODS' Witch, played by Victoria Cook.

Into the Woods Wig & Make-Up Designer Kaitlyn Adams recently sat down with CCM Public Information Assistant and Arts Administration student Jenifer Thomas to discuss the work that went into this monumental production. Kaitlyn is handling wig and make-up design for this production alongside CCM faculty member Kelly Yurko.

Jenifer Thomas: Hi Kaitie! Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Kaitlyn Adams: I’m a Senior from Cincinnati. I went to high school at Seton on the West side.

JT: Local girl, huh? So what got you into wigs and make-up?

KA: My mom is actually a wig master and make-up artist, so I’ve grown up with it.

JT: And why’d you choose CCM?

KA: There are only two schools in the country that teach wigs and make-up. The other school focuses primarily on wigs and make-up for film, and that wasn’t where I was interested. I want to do stage work.

JT: So when you found out you were assigned to design Into the Woods, what did you do?

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CCM Musical Theatre Celebrates Distinguished Chair with Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’

Chris Blem, Victoria Cook and Michelle Rombola in CCM's Mainstage Production of 'Into the Woods.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

Chris Blem, Victoria Cook and Michelle Rombola in CCM's Mainstage Production of 'Into the Woods.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, CCM’s Mainstage Musical Theatre Series continues its 2011-2012 season with Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. The award-winning pairing of new and existing fairy-tales with Sondheim’s witty music and lyrics runs February 23-26 and March 1-4 in Patricia Corbett Theater in CCM Village.

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