Very Dumb Kids

CCM Presents Free Workshop Production of Gracie Gardner’s ‘Very Dumb Kids’

Gracie Gardner

New York playwright Gracie Gardner, commissioned to write ‘Very Dumb Kids.’

CCM’s Studio Series comes to a dramatic conclusion with a workshop production of Very Dumb Kids (formerly titled The Great Majority) by rising New York playwright Gracie Gardner. We invite you to join us Thursday, April 21 – Saturday, April 23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater for a sneak-peek at this developing drama, which is part of CCM’s new play commissioning initiative. Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell directs.

One of the perks of producing a work-in-progress play is observing it evolve over time. Since its genesis, the title of this play has changed from The Great Majority to Very Dumb Kids. According to Gardner, she referred to the production as “the play about the very dumb kids” for quite some time, so this title change was a natural result of the creative process.

This action-packed drama tells the tale of an adventurous woman named Sarah who is tragically murdered while working as a correspondent in New Delhi. While Sarah was busy confronting the world, her college friends sat calmly at home in the U.S., streaming TV shows on the internet and peddling their esoteric skill sets. One year after her funeral, Sarah’s friends meet for their annual Fourth of July reunion.

The play explores entitlement and its effects are on the disenfranchised as well as the privileged in the millennial era. How can we live responsibly in an irresponsible universe?

Very Dumb Kids is the inaugural production of CCM Drama’s new play-commissioning initiative, which focuses on plays that speak to the unique experience of being young in America. The plays, written for and about our students, will enrapture a new generation of artists and audiences. They will go on to be produced by educational institutions and professional theatre companies all over the country to expand CCM’s reach and reputation as a preeminent institution for the performing arts. And you will be able to say you were there when it all started!

We invite you to join us April 21-23 for the workshop production of Very Dumb Kids and ask you to return next year for the full production!

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 22
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to Very Dumb Kids is free but reservations are required.

Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 18. 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/park 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 & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

____________________

Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

CCM News

CCM’s Studio Series Comes to a Close With the Debate Society’s ‘You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays),’ Running April 23 – 25

CCM’s Studio Series concludes with a production of Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler’s You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays), running April 23 – 25 in the intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available through the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, April 20.

First produced by Bos, Thureen and Butler’s Brooklyn-based theatre company, the Debate Society, You’re Welcome makes its CCM debut under the direction of Assistant Professor of Drama Brant Russell, who also performs in the play. This marks the first time that Russell has both directed and acted in a production.

Russell explains that You’re Welcome is loosely about why people pursue theatre and why we love it. He says it’s a “raucous comedy and a damning critique of theatre as an art form.”

Comprised of five short plays, including a farce, an anti-drunk driving PSA, a staged reading of a play called “Monsters Trucks,” a 15-minute improvised piece and a “wheels come off” piece, You’re Welcome is theatre at its best, making fun of itself while maintaining its truthfulness.

Amidst the comedy and silliness, there are also moments of emotional honesty. Russell recently directed CCM’s Mainstage Drama Macbeth this past October and wanted to do something different. He chose You’re Welcome because he wanted to find the “smartest, stupidest thing… a play that was self-effacing, intelligent but not heady, goofy but with integrity.”

With a cast of only nine composed mostly of juniors and a few sophomores, the students have been able to work closely together. Recently, the members of the Debate Society came to CCM for a workshop and got the students into teams for writing and acting exercises.

Junior Drama major Alison Sluiter says she plays herself in this production. She explains, “There’s a lot of give and take amongst my fellow cast mates. Creativity is in the air constantly whenever we are in the space, especially during a scene where we have incorporated improvisation. It has been both challenging and joyous during these rehearsals, pushing my scene partners without breaking character. When working with people you’ve known in the past three years, we know each others’ buttons and it’s fun to play and explore possibilities.”

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 23
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 24
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, April 25

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Admission to You’re Welcome (A Cycle of Bad Plays) is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 20. 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.

____

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

Drama Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman and Margaret Straub

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News
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.
____________________

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
____

[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
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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

CCM’s 2013-14 Studio Series Concludes This Week With Zombie Drama ‘Living Dead in Denmark’

Something wicked this way comes... as CCM presents 'Living Dead in Denmark' April 17-19, 2014! Photography by Una Lin.

Something wicked this way comes… as CCM presents ‘Living Dead in Denmark’ April 17-19, 2014! Photography by Una Lin.

CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series comes to a dramatic conclusion with a thrilling production of the irreverent Shakespearean zombie mash-up Living Dead in Denmark, playing April 17-19 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. CCM’s very own resident Fight Director and Professor of Drama k. Jenny Jones directs this can’t-miss production, which is intended for mature audiences.

Written by Qui Nyguen, a founding father of the OBIE Award-winning “geek theatre” company the Vampire Cowboys, Living Dead in Denmark is described as the “perfect storm of horror and geek obsessions” by Time Out New York. The action of the play is set five years after the tragic events of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as a resurrected Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth must save Denmark from an overwhelming zombie horde.

First staged in 2006, the play has been hailed by the New York Times as “a crazy quilt of pop reference, dueling blades and scattershot anachronisms,” with figures from both Shakespeare’s canon and the 21st century pop cultural zeitgeist making appearances. This entertaining and comical zombie drama is sure to be the perfect antidote to exam week blues!

CCM News

LCT Awards ‘PO 11259: Sincerely Yours’ Top Prize in CCM’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Six teams of student actors craft and perform original 30-minute shows during the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival.

Panelists for the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) have recognized PO 11259: Sincerely Yours as the best production at CCM’s 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, CCM Drama’s annual presentation of student written and produced work. Congratulations to that show’s creative team of Jaclyn Chantel, Hannah Halvorson, Spencer Lackey, Laura McCarthy, Fabiola Rodriguez and Anna Stapleton!

Panelists awarded second place to The 17th Annual Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival, and honorable mentions to Dreams R Us: Tonight’s Answers to Tomorrow’s Questions and Complex: A Structure of Sound, An Organism of Vibrations.

The sixth-annual festival allows the audience to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of Drama majors, who create and design all aspects of their productions from start to finish. The festival is an exciting event for both guests and the presenters, as audiences get the opportunity to see up to four very different pieces of new theatre in a single night and the students premiere works that are entirely their own. This year, six shows were presented.

PO 11259 was praised for being “funny and poignant” and “a cool concept,”while The Snipes, Arkansas, Harvest Festival allowed its actors to show “a lot of dimensions in a short play.”

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Drama Students Present New Works in Sixth Annual TRANSMIGRATION Festival This Week

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

CCM TRANSMIGRATION 2014 logo.

Students in CCM’s Department of Drama flex their writing, editing, designing, directing and acting muscles with the 2014 TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works, taking place March 6-8 throughout CCM Village. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

The sixth-annual festival allows audiences to experience half-hour works produced by small groups of drama majors, who create all aspects of their productions from start to finish.

“As a faculty member, I’m making an active effort to stay out of their way,” says Brant Russell, Assistant Professor of Drama and producer of this year’s TRANSMIGRATION Festival. “The audience will get a real sense of what our students are reacting to in their world, and we want that rawness to come through in each show.”

TRANSMIGRATION came into being in response to the dynamic careers of today’s professional actors. “There are two very important lessons TRANSMIGRATION gives us the opportunity to learn,” asserts Shaun Sutton, senior drama major from Overland Park, Kansas. “First, we don’t choose our groups – they’re assigned. It’s important for us to learn how to negotiate and work with new people in a medium we’re all so passionate about. Second, in the world of YouTube and Vine where anyone can be an actor, we need to develop our skills to tell a more powerful story. TRANSMIGRATION is our time to play with an unprecedented lack of structure in an intense professional training program.”

Each year, TRANSMIGRATION is different. This year’s shows include a soundscape in a dark room, a piece about dream creation, the story of a cosmic post office box and a work about community and sticking to your roots. See below for more information on this year’s original works.

CCM News

CCM Announces Spring 2014 Calendar of Major Events

Download CCM's Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet today.

Download CCM’s Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet today.

UPDATED March 7, 2014: CCM is delighted to announce its spring 2014 schedule of major events. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents nearly 150 major public performances from Jan. 12 through May 18, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

Highlights of CCM’s spring concert series include the return of Cincinnati’s premiere fundraiser “A Moveable Feast” on Jan. 17, the Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle running Jan. 23 – March 29, a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle by guest artists Gerald Finley and Julius Drake on Feb. 5, the fifth annual Bearcat Piano Festival running Feb. 6 – 11, the 17th annual PRISM concert on Feb. 23, a performance of John Adams’ El Niño on March 2 and a celebration of the music of jazz legend Thelonius Monk on March 9.

CCM’s Mainstage Series also continues in early 2014 with a production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers, running Feb. 5 – 9; the CCM debut of the iconic musical Les Misérables, running Feb. 27 – March 9;  Donizett’s comedic opera Don Pasquale, running April 3–6; and the quintessential romantic ballet Giselle, running April 17–19.

Learn more about these and dozens of other performing and media-arts events by referring to the list below. You can also view a digital copy of CCM’s Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet here.

CCM News

CCM Announces Fall 2013 Calendar of Major Events

Download a copy of CCM's Fall 2013 Calendar Booklet today!

Download a copy of CCM’s Fall 2013 Calendar Booklet today!

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is delighted to announce its fall schedule of major events. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents more than 120 major public performances from Sept. 4 through Dec. 14, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

View a digital copy of CCM’s Fall 2013 Calendar Booklet today by visiting on.uc.edu/CCMFall2013. Refer to the listings below for more details.

Event Information
All events listed here will take place in CCM Village on the University of Cincinnati campus unless otherwise indicated. Admission is free to many CCM performances, although some events do require purchased tickets or reservations. Please see individual event information for details and ordering information.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu  or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

CCM News

CCM Drama Presents Touchstones of the American Gay Canon of Dramatic Literature This Fall

CCM alumnus and symposium moderator Dr. Rick Coons.

CCM alumnus and symposium moderator Dr. Rick Coons.

Later this fall, CCM’s Studio Series proudly presents The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. As a lead-in to this powerful production, CCM’s Department of Drama will also host a unique play reading series and symposium from Oct. 15–19, exploring other cultural touchstones of the American gay canon of dramatic literature. These events are intended for mature audiences.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

CCM Announces Winter 2012 Calendar of Major Events

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) presents nearly 1,000 public events throughout the year and offers free admission to many of its performances. Unless otherwise indicated, all events listed here take place on the CCM campus and are free. Some events require paid admission; please see individual event information for details and ordering information.

Tickets and Additional Information:
Please visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

Parking:
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 ccm.uc.edu for directions.

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