'Middletown' runs in CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

CCM’s Studio Series Continues Oct. 20-22: Welcome to ‘Middletown’

In the next installment of UC College-Conservatory of Music’s 2016-17 Studio Series, the Acting Department introduces audiences to the residents of a small town as they search for life’s meaning. Directed by CCM Acting Professor and Department Chair Richard Hess, Will Eno’s Middletown runs Thursday, Oct. 20- Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

'Middletown' runs in CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

‘Middletown’ runs in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater Oct. 20-22.

Middletown, which won the 2010 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, was praised by the New York Times for its “tart, funny, gorgeous little comments on the big things: the need for love and forgiveness, the search for meaning in life, the long lonely ache of disappointment.”

Will Eno veers toward the avant-garde with his approach to stark realism in Middletown. His influences include playwrights Samuel Beckett and Don DeLillo, and the recently deceased Edward Albee was a mentor to him. The play was inspired by Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, which was last seen on CCM’s Mainstage in April 2011.

One of the central characters in Our Town is the local milkman, while Middletown gives the spotlight to the town’s celebrity, an astronaut in orbit around Earth. Both plays concern the passing seasons of life and are unapologetically frank and sentimental, according to Hess.

Middletown is about nothing except life and death and everything in between,” Hess says. “With a wry and unexpectedly profound touch, Will Eno has written one of the wisest plays I have ever worked on. Its simplicity is monumental.”

The show will be presented in thrust theater configuration, with set design by CCM student Theron Wineinger. Audience members will be seated close to the action of the play in this intimate setting.

Middletown might make the audience both laugh and cry,” Hess says. “It will hit home for everyone in a deeply personal way. Its wisdom is universal, and, in our crazy world, human to human contact that is sane, rational and open might be a welcome tonic.”

Admission is free for Middletown, but tickets are required. Tickets become available through the CCM Box Office on Monday, Oct. 17. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.

Cast List
Sydney Ashe as Mary Swanson
Lauren Carter as Tour Guide/Aunt/Female Doctor
Kenzie Clark as Tourist/Woman on Date/Attendant 2
Mafer Del Real as Librarian
Nick Heffelfinger as Tourist/Astronaut Greg/Freelancer/Male Doctor
Isaac Hickox Young as Cop
Meg Olson as Public Speaker/Cop’s Radio Voice/Ground Control/Hospital Intercom Voice/Science Radio Host/Music Radio Host
Maddie Page-Schmit as Sweetheart
Andrew Ramsey as Mechanic
Graham Rogers as Landscaper/Man on Date/Hospital Attendant
Rupert Spraul as John Dodge

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21
  • 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 17. 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 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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM News
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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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
TRANSMIGRATION, CCM Drama's festival of student-created new works.

CCM Drama Students Present Original Works at Annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival

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This week, CCM proudly presents its TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works. Students from CCM’s Department of Drama are assigned to teams and given full creative license in this annual festival, which runs March 10 – 12 in CCM Village. Admission is FREE, but reservations are required.

The TRANSMIGRATION Festival offers the opportunity for CCM Drama students to flex their writing, producing, designing and directing muscles while building 25-minute original plays from the ground up.

“The creative teams are chosen totally at random,” says producer and Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell. “Essentially everyone gets together on the first day of the semester and counts off one through six.”

The student groups are then left to their own devices to figure out a theme, assign roles and produce an entirely new piece of theater. Russell explains, “Department Chair Richard Hess and I are the producers, so we help them coordinate the festival, but we are fairly hands off… and that is on purpose, pedagogically speaking. We guide our students and nudge them one way or the other and give feedback, but they really build it.”

“In the contemporary theatre landscape, it would be irresponsible of us to turn out brilliant actors who only know how to wait by the phone for an audition and don’t know how to create their own work,” Russell suggests.

One of the goals of TRANSMIGRATION is to assist the students in finding their artistic voice. “Every voice is unique and every voice is so clearly articulated in these pieces,” says Russell. One of those voices is senior Bartley Booz whose group has chosen an unorthodox subject to write about: bees.

“Bees are an intrinsic and beautiful part of our environment,” Booz observes while explaining his team’s new play, Colony Collapse Disorder. “However, these bees are not immune to danger. Spores from a parasitic fungus called cordyceps may infiltrate their bodies and their minds,” he suggests. Although bees and their maladies are not usually fodder for new plays, one of the unique and exciting aspects of this festival is that students are given free reign to create, which means that unconventional ideas are not only tolerated, they are encouraged and are often the most enjoyable for the audience. When asked about the motivations to write his piece, Booz offers: “Desperation. Isolation. Bees.” Now that’s a unique voice.

Also on the docket for this year’s festival is The Home, a slightly more traditional show from sophomore Lauren Carter and her team. Carter describes the play as being about two siblings and their friends who sneak into a morgue to recover their grandfather’s valuable ring before his funeral. “Conflict arises when the siblings realize they aren’t alone in their endeavors,” she says, “and the stakes are raised when they discover they’re stuck inside the funeral home.”

The Home was actually idea number two for Carter and her group; Carter explains, “We decided on a concept very early on, then this past week we realized the direction we were headed wasn’t right. We put that idea aside and decided we would take aspects of it and turn it into the show we are currently working on. TRANSMIGRATION is a great opportunity to learn when to say yes and when to say no if it just isn’t working.”

Each of the six groups has their own story of creation and will present vastly different and daring plays at the end of the process. According to Russell, this is a point of pride for he and the faculty.

“My favorite part of this whole thing is that you get to see work from students that you never suspected would come out of their mouths, it’s so cool, their personalities emerge,” Russell says.

Audience members will have the opportunity to customize their evening of theatre 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. 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 Student Salutes
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

Location
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 ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/pentecost.

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

CCM News CCM Slideshows
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.

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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.
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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
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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
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[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
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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
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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
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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

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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