CCM Alumna Betsy Wolfe to Replace Sara Bareilles in Broadway’s ‘Waitress’

CCM Musical Theatre alumna Betsy Wolfe (BFA 2004) has made a name for herself by winning major roles, including Cordelia in the current Broadway revival of Falsettos, which was recently nominated for five Tony Awards. She will take on her next Broadway role as Jenna Hunterson in Waitress on June 13.

Waitress features music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles, who is currently playing Jenna on Broadway. Bareilles is leaving the show on June 11, and Wolfe will take her place.

The musical is about a waitress and excellent pie-maker (Jenna) who feels trapped in her loveless marriage and small town. A baking contest and the arrival of an attractive young doctor help her realize her dreams, giving her a chance at a fresh start. With a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, the musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.

Wolfe was recently awarded CCM’s 2017 Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award, which recognizes the outstanding professional achievements of young graduates of the college’s Musical Theatre program. She returned to CCM in March for the annual Musical Theatre Senior Showcase and spoke to students about her career.

Local audiences may remember Wolfe from the enormously successful semi-staged version of The Music Man, which she starred in with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in May 2015.

Since graduating from CCM, Wolfe has starred in 110 in the Shade, Everyday Rapture, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Bullets Over Broadway and Falsettos. She also starred in the off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years and in Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores. She’s been a hot commodity on the concert circuit as well, having soloed with the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops, New York City Ballet and more.

For more information about Wolfe visit broadwayworld.com/people/Betsy-Wolfe/.

For more information on Waitress visit waitressthemusical.com.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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2016-2017 Junior Musical Theatre Intensive Performance Troupe

CCM Prep Presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain Jr.’ Musical

Students in CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement’s Junior Musical Theatre Intensive showcase their talents in a 70-minute junior version of the classic 1952 movie musical Singin’ in the Rain.

Step into the fictional world of Monumental Pictures for CCM Prep’s junior version of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynold’s beloved musical Singin’ in the Rain. Directed by Dee Anne Bryll with musical direction from Rebecca Childs, Singin’ in the Rain Jr. runs Thursday, May 4, through Saturday, May 6 at CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

“This version was faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their original, award-winning screenplay,” Bryll said. “The snappy dialogue, great songs and hilarious situations will guarantee a great night at the theater for the entire family.”

Singin’ in the Rain Jr. is only 70 minutes but still includes all of the audiences’ favorite tunes like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Fit as a Fiddle,” “You Were Meant for Me,” “Broadway Melody” and “Moses Supposes.”

Students from CCM Prep’s Junior Musical Theatre Intensive (Jr. MTI) previously presented an excerpt of Singin’ in the Rain Jr. at the iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, where they earned an Excellence in Dance award. CCM’s Jr. MTI program has presented at this competition for four years and has achieved recognitions of excellence each year. The competition has also led to individual opportunities for students.

“Our students have won individual awards at the festival and have been chosen as Festival All Stars. We have had several students chosen to go New York during the summer and perform in the iTheatrics’ DVD series,” Bryll said.

CCM Prep’s Jr. MTI program provides real-world training to young musical theatre actors ages 9-15. The students receive instruction in audition preparation, vocal music, choreography and performance technique while working toward a full-scale musical production. Students also have the opportunity to work with guest artists throughout the year.

Come see the next generation of CCM’s “stars of tomorrow” as they take the stage for Singin’ in the Rain Jr. on May 4-6 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

For more information on CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement, visit ccm.uc.edu/prep.

Production Staff
Dee Anne Bryll, Director and Choreographer
Rebecca Childs, Musical Director
Becca Kloha Strand, Choreographers
Levi Kiess, Set Design
Elanor Eberhardt, Light Design
Mikaela Acton, Stage Manager

Performance Times
7 p.m. Thursday, May 4
7 p.m. Friday, May 5
3 & 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. are $15 general, 10 non-UC students, and FREE 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 now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes
Summer scenes on campus, CCM.

Thank You: CCM Celebrates Faculty and Staff Retirements

As the academic year comes to a close, we celebrate the careers of nine retiring faculty and staff members who have given nearly 250 years of combined service to UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. These members of the CCM family have dedicated themselves to continuing the college’s legacy as a leading training center for the performing and media arts.

View photos of their time at CCM:

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Retiring Faculty Members Share Memories:

This year marks my 48th year of continuous work — 21 years as a singer/actress, and another 20 years as a college professor and theatre producer. In 2009 my husband and I retired to Cincinnati, where I received an unexpected invitation to return to CCM — my alma mater — to teach musical theatre voice as an adjunct professor. These past seven years have been a total joy. I call it simply “the gift I gave myself.” As an older professional, it means so much to continue to contribute and feel appreciated. I’ve been truly honored to work with wonderful colleagues, and to have been given the opportunity to teach and mentor my talented and remarkable students. A number of my students surprised me in New York with a champagne brunch on April 2 to celebrate my retirement. I have no words to express what that meant to me, and the joy I feel, seeing them claim their places on Broadway and other stages, following their dreams. I would like to thank UC for recognizing and honoring the work of adjunct faculty. It is rare for a university to recognize adjunct contributions, and I salute UC for doing so. I’ll be forever grateful that I have been able to come full circle, and share the training I received at CCM with another generation of students. CCM is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary. I look forward to continuing to serve on the CCMPower board, raising money for scholarships, and helping to ensure that CCM will be here for another 150 years, training and graduating outstanding music professionals. – Kimberly Daniel de Acha
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Some of my favorite times at CCM revolve around hearing and interacting with such a wonderful faculty, be it at their concerts, at committee meetings, or in day by day interaction. I feel honored to have worked with such stellar teachers and artists! – Mary Stucky
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When I started fall 1975, DVAC was the Schmidlapp Gymnasium, Memorial was a women’s dorm, the main way to the garage was from Calhoun down to CCM garage — the connector tunnel didn’t exist. Werner Hall and Starbucks weren’t here and CCM had about half of the students it does now. It was an exciting time for me, as I was starting in LaSalle Quartet. We did four concerts a year in Corbett and two to four international tours a year. I worked with so many wonderful colleagues over all these years, some are sadly no longer with us. Almost my whole professional life has been at CCM, more than four decades worth of experiences. – Lee Fiser
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In 1999, I received a call asking me to teach at CCM. Who would have thought that almost two decades later my passion for teaching has only increased because of the talented students and faculty that I have had the pleasure of working with! Thank you all so much! – Patti James
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There’s something a touch poetic for me about retiring along with Lee Fiser — the final retirement from the LaSalle String Quartet. I came to the CCM faculty as a quite young person. It was the Quartet who were instrumental in getting Percussion Group Cincinnati the appointment to CCM. Some of my strongest memories of that first decade here are the Quartet’s concerts on Corbett stage, and I endeavored to live up to the beautiful standards that they had set. I wanted a percussion group in the late 20th century to be able to function just as the greatest string quartets always had, and I am grateful to CCM for giving me and my colleagues that opportunity and support. – Allen Otte

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Cohen Studio

CCM’s Studio Musical Theatre Series Presents ‘Children of Eden’ March 30-April 2

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents Children of Eden, a two-act musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Caird, on Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. The production is directed and choreographed by Vince DeGeorge, with musical direction by Steve Goers.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Children of Eden is free, but tickets are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, March 27, and can be reserved by visiting the CCM Box Office or calling 513-556-4183.

Schwartz, known for his smash-hit musicals that include Wicked and Godspell, created Children of Eden in 1986 for Youth Sing Praise, a religious high school theatre camp in Illinois. It was originally shorter and titled Family Tree, but Schwartz later expanded and renamed it. The musical as it exists today was premiered in 1991 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End.

The musical’s two acts relate the story of Adam and Eve and their children, followed by the tale of Noah and his family. In the first act, Adam and Eve interact with the Father (God) in Eden and are ultimately banished from the garden after they consume the forbidden fruit. We follow the couple through their trials with their children, Cain and Abel, the former of whom ultimately kills the latter.

In the second half of the show, Noah and his family are preparing for the great flood, including Noah’s son Japheth, who is determined to marry his family’s servant Yonah, a descendant of Cain. During the act, Noah laments the difficulty of being a good father, as does the omnipotent Father, who ultimately decides to grant his children the power of self-determination.

With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/did-you-know/how-to-studio-series.

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Cast List

Phillip Johnson as Father
Bryce Baxter as Adam
Ciara Harris as Eve
Zachary Triska as Cain
Edward Dohring as Abel
.Jordan Miller as Seth
Gabe Wrobel as Noah
Emily Meredith as Mama
Donelvan Thigpen as Shem
Dylan Dougal as Ham
Stavros Koumbaros as Japheth
Madelaine Vandenberg as Aysha
Kendall McCarthy as Aphra
Emily Royer as Yonah
Madison Deadman, Kylie Goldstein, Delaney Guyer, Jennifer Mollet, Andrew Alstat, Matthew Copley, Madison Hagler, William Jackson, Erich Schleck as Storytellers

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 30
8 p.m. Friday, March 31,
2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 1

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, March 27. 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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Musical Theatre Program Sponsor and Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM News Student Salutes
A screenshot from 'Standard Definition' featuring CCM Musical Theatre graduates Ben Biggers and Chris Collins-Pisano.

UC Student Film Accepted into Cleveland International Film Festival

Electronic Media majors Tim Young and Elliot Feltner filmed Standard Definition with their classmates for a school project last spring. Now it will be shown alongside 216 short films from around the world.

Last spring, former University of Cincinnati students Tim Young and Elliot Feltner created a short film for their capstone class that any aspiring filmmaker can relate to. The comedic story focuses on two Cincinnati-based film students who argue about the necessity of spending money on film projects — until they find a magical camera that makes everything it captures appear beautiful.

Nearly a year later, Young and Feltner’s Standard Definition is set to be screened at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“It is unreal that our film was chosen to be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival,” Young said. “When we first started shooting and cutting it together, we had no plans to enter it into any festivals. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and show to our friends and families.”

The 41-year-old film festival will screen 200 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries between March 29 and April 9. Standard Definition will play at the festival on April 6.

Roommates Young and Feltner were enrolled in the Electronic Media program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music when they filmed Standard Definition for Kevin Burke’s “Advanced Video Production” capstone course. They both graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in 2016.

They had to present Burke with a pre-production plan and a list of group members before the class began, which helped ease the filming process. “Once the class started in January, we had all of the tools necessary to start filming,” said Young, director and co-producer of Standard Definition.

The two film students enlisted help from fellow e-media majors Fritz Pape, Katie Laird and Yiyang Xu, and from other programs across CCM. Lead actors Chris Collins-Pisano, Ben Biggers and Raven Thomas are all 2016 graduates of the Musical Theatre program.

Young was the teaching assistant in Biggers and Collins-Pisano’s “Acting for the Camera” class, taught by Robert Pavlovich. The group applied the acting techniques they learned in class while working on the film, Young said.

From left to right: 'Standard Definition' filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

From left to right: ‘Standard Definition’ filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

“I couldn’t have made the film without the help of our other group members,” Young said. “This project was a collaborative effort, and the film would not exist without them. We had a small crew to make this film compared to others, but the people in our group are so skilled and multi-talented that we were able to pull it off.”

The short film debuted at Tangeman University Center’s MainStreet Cinema last spring and received an “incredible response from the audience,” Young said. They worked with Burke as well as professors Kristyn Benedyk and Matt Irvine from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative program to submit Standard Definition to a handful of festivals and will continue to do so throughout the coming months.

Not everything came easy for the filmmakers, though. In August 2016, Feltner was in a severe car crash on Interstate 75, caused by a man who was later indicted on a charge of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Feltner, who had been an avid amateur inline skater as well as a filmmaker, barely escaped the ordeal with his life. He was injured so badly that he technically died twice, and police were dispatched to his parents’ home to notify them of their son’s death. However, due to quick medical care from nurses who happened to witness the crash, Feltner was resuscitated and airlifted to a nearby hospital. He suffered brain trauma and multiple spinal cord injuries.

For months, he has been in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating spinal cord injuries. He recently returned to Cincinnati and will continue outpatient rehabilitation here.

Young said Feltner is getting better every day. Before the car crash, the roommates saw each other every day and worked on Standard Definition together. After the crash, they were separated as Feltner focused on rehabilitation.

“I basically wrote the film about the two of us, or film students just like us,” said Young, reflecting on how the crash impacted his perspective of the time they spent creating Standard Definition. “Every day after shooting we would come home and stay up late editing together rough cuts of the scenes. It was so exciting and rewarding to see all of our hard work turning into something tangible that we could be proud of.”

“After his accident I only saw Elliot a few times over the course of months as he dealt with his injuries. Going from spending every day and night together to not speaking for weeks at a time was really difficult and really made me appreciate how special our time making Standard Definition together really was.”

Standard Definition plays at the Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, April 6 at 9:35 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 230 West Huron Road in Cleveland.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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Binge watch for summer credit at CCM.

CCM Summer Electives Bring Arts Experiences to All

Do you need to fulfill your fine arts credits? Have you always wanted to learn to dance but couldn’t get over the stage fright? Do you have free time this summer to jam with a virtual band on your laptop or study the music of The Beatles, all while earning class credit?

This summer, you can complete your arts elective requirements on campus or online. UC’s College-Conservatory of Music offers more than 30 different general studies and fine arts elective courses during six different sessions this summer. These credit-granting courses cover a wide range of topics and are open to UC and non-UC students alike!

Learn the basics of modern dance or ballet in on campus or online classes designed for beginners or experienced dancers. Study the history of classic Hollywood films or learn about the modern evolution of Japanese Pop, anime and video game music in movie and media appreciation courses. You can also learn how to create your own videos or study entertainment culture at large.

CCM’s music appreciation courses cover genres from jazz and pop to rock ‘n’ roll, including the music of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Talking Heads. You can also turn your laptop into a musical instrument, or you can learn to play the piano with hands-on music performance classes.

On-Campus and Online arts courses are just a click away: visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/finearts to learn more!

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Slideshows: ‘Mack and Mabel’

Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel makes its CCM Mainstage debut at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in UC’s Corbett Auditorium. Directed by Aubrey Berg with choreography by Patti James and musical direction by CCM graduate student Evan Roider, the musical runs through Sunday, March 5. Tickets are available through the CCM Box Office.

Mack and Mabel is a star-crossed, bittersweet love story that explores both the lighter and the darker side of the Golden Age of Comedy. It focuses on the tumultuous relationship between legendary silent film director Mack Sennett and his greatest star, Mabel Normand.

“The CCM production of Mack and Mabel is a rare opportunity to see an all-but-forgotten work by one of the masters of Musical Theatre, Jerry Herman,” Berg says. “It is notable for its interesting concept and its melodic, memorable score, one that Herman cherishes as his personal favorite.”

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You can get a sneak peek of the production by viewing the photos in our slideshow. Read more about the Mack and Mabel in The News Record‘s interview with CCM Musical Theatre student Emily Fink, who plays Mabel in the show.

“People can expect, as always, a dazzling production quality,” Fink told The News Record. “The Technical Design and Production Department will amaze the audience with the magnitude and beauty of its set, costumes and lighting,” said Fink. ”People can also expect a whip-smart story with a lot of heart set in America’s booming film industry.”

To learn more about CCM’s production of Mack and Mabel, read our press release.
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MACK AND MABEL
Based on an idea by Leonard Spigelglass
Book by Michael Stewart
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 2
8 p.m. Friday, March 3
8 p.m. Saturday, March 4
2 p.m. Sunday, March 5

Location
Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Mack and Mabel are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 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/mack-and-mabel.html.

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. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

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

Mack and Mabel is presented by a special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

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