CCM's production of Green Day's 'American Idiot.' Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: Green Day’s American Idiot

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CCM’s Mainstage Series continues tonight through next Sunday, March 13, with a raucous production of Green Day’s hit rock opera, American Idiot.

Directed by Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Steve Goers, American Idiot portrays a disaffected generation’s search for meaning in a post-9/11 America.

  • Read Kirk Sheppard’s review of the show for The Sappy Critic here.
  • Read Rick Pender’s preview of the show for Cincinnati CityBeat here.
  • Listen to a preview of the production courtesy of WVXU here.
  • Check out our behind-the-scenes look at the set design for American Idiot here.

American Idiot contains mature subject matter, including references to drug use, sexual content and profanity. Tickets are still available for select performances. Learn more about the production here.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 4
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to American Idiot are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/american-idiot.

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

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com

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The set for CCM's Mainstage Series production of Green Day's 'American Idiot.' Photo by Ryan Strand.

A Discussion With ‘American Idiot’ Set Designer Thomas Umfrid

The curtain rises on CCM’s production of Green Day’s punk rock-opera American Idiot  at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, but the behind-the-scenes work has been going on for months. Much of the design process for a musical must be completed before actors even step into the rehearsal hall, but the work doesn’t end there. It continues all the way to opening night.

Thomas Umfrid, American Idiot set designer and Professor of Stage Design at CCM, is no stranger to the process. His career has taken him around the world, designing for opera, drama, musical theatre, dance and more. We were able to tear him away from his hectic schedule leading up to opening night to give us a little insight about his design.

Talk about the overall design for American Idiot and how you came up with it.

An image of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City.

An image from ground zero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack in New York City.

Director Aubrey Berg came up with the design concept, a lot of which is based on iconographic 9/11 imagery, which I then developed into the design.

This project has an overriding environmental conceit and isn’t supposed to be any particular time or place.  It’s a space that evokes a dark and pessimistic mood and serves the loosely episodic stage action.

The music and lyrics aren’t pretty or glamorous, they ’re down and dirty. So is the set.

How does the set help tell the story?

Although the story deals with events passing in time and inter-related characters, it doesn’t necessitate “in focus” scenic environments, time of day or symbolic references to actual places.

For example, the characters go to New York, but the city isn’t directly rendered in any particularly recognizable way. It could be any big western city where marginalized and drugged out suburban youth have fled to try and find themselves, and in so doing, get terribly lost in the process.

How close is the actual product on stage to the initial ideas?

There is always a natural, and expected, “page to stage” evolution of a set design from the scale model and mechanical drawings to the real thing sitting on stage.

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My student, staff and faculty colleagues have done an incredible job of developing and translating Aubrey’s and my ideas to the stage. When the cast moves into the theater and begins to explore the, at times, 28 foot high stage after weeks of rehearsal in a rather neutral and barrier free rehearsal hall, I’ll have a much better idea of how successful we’ve been in translating our ideas to the stage. This is always a crucial and exciting phase of any show.

What was most important to you to convey through the set?

I hope the audience will be subconsciously affected by the environment and, rather than notice anything in particular about the set, have a visceral reaction as they experience the show as a whole entity.
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American Idiot runs March 3 – 13 at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. This production contains mature subject matter, including references to drug use, sexual content and profanity. 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/american-idiot.

CCM's Mainstage Series production of Green Day's 'American Idiot' plays March 3 - 13, 2016.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ plays March 3 – 13, 2016.

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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

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | www.MTIShows.com

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From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Pushes Boundaries With Green Day’s Punk Rock Musical ‘American Idiot,’ March 3 – 13, 2016

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM’s production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents the first local production of Green Day‘s iconic musical American Idiot from March 3 – 13 in Patricia Corbett Theater. The through-sung rock opera is directed by Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Adjunct Instructor of Musical Theatre Steve Goers.

Although many think of Broadway musicals as saccharin sweet, there have been shows throughout the decades that have burst onto the scene, changing theatre forever and defining a generation.

“In 1944, Leonard Bernstein’s ‘On The Town’ brought fresh faces and a jazz-inflected score to Broadway. My generation grooved to the sound of ‘Hair.’ In the 90s there was ‘Rent’ by Jonathan Larson, and for the current generation, it is ‘American Idiot’,” says Berg.

A high octane adaptation of Green Day’s 2004 Grammy-winning concept album of the same name, American Idiot features a raucous and exhilarating punk rock score yet offers a simple, contemporary fable in the style of the Brothers Grimm. Three disaffected young men – Johnny, Will and Tunny – plan to flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions. Along the way they deal with drugs, lost love, war, inner turmoil and living in an America that is forever changed and roiled by dark events, including the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Iraq War.

Making sure CCM’s production reflects the style and temperament of the current generation was important to Berg. “American Idiot is a musical by the young, for the young,” he says. To keep the presentation authentic, Berg surrounded himself with a creative team of students. His associate director and choreographer, Tom Meglio and Samantha Pollino respectively, are both graduating seniors and are the perfect candidates to help shape this production.

American Idiot was one of our generation’s very first artistic expressions of events that are ever present in our consciousness because, for the very first time, our generation can say: we lived them,” Meglio and Pollino suggest.

CCM’s production is set three years before the release of the album in the aftermath of the events of 9/11. Meglio and Pollino explain, “We wanted to create an atmosphere of immediacy, to highlight the themes of the show as a response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and explore the period of upheaval that immediately followed.”

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Great theatre can delight and entertain, but it can also challenge audiences to confront their own closely held views and perceptions. American Idiot deals with potentially incendiary subjects. The show is loud, abrasive and confrontational. The language is raw and constant. There is simulated sex and simulated drug use. The musical presents an uncompromising view of a dystopian America, but it is also a foray into the psyche of a young generation struggling to make sense of its place in the world at a particular moment in time.

“In addition to ‘rocking out,’ we ask the audience to take a moment to connect with, reflect on and embrace this piece as a raw fragment of history presented with the utmost respect and many unanswered questions,” Meglio and Pollino conclude.

CCM’s production of American Idiot is not recommended for children or those easily offended.

Official logo for Green Day's 'American Idiot.'
Music by Green Day
Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer

The Company

  • Ben Biggers as Johnny
  • John Battagliese as St. Jimmy
  • Clara Cox as Whatsername
  • Chris Collins-Pisano as Will
  • Shauna Topian as Heather
  • Louis Griffin as Tunny
  • Cameron Anika Hill as Extraordinary Girl
  • with Kyra Christopher, EJ Dohring, Joel Flynn, Ciara Alyse Harris, Marissa Hecker, Tyler Jent, Phillip Johnson, Chris Kelley, Stavros Koumbaros, Jackson Matteck, Emily Ashton Meredith, Hamilton Moore, Anya Olsen, Alex Stone, Donelvan Thigpen, Madelaine Vandenberg and Keaton Whittaker.

The Creative Team

  • Aubrey Berg, director
  • Stephen Goers, musical director
  • Samantha Pollino, choreographer
  • Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
  • CJ Mellides, lighting designer
  • Kevin Semancik, sound designer
  • Jillian Coratti, costume designer
  • Jillian Floyd, wig & make-up designer
  • Tom Meglio, assistant director
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Jenny Rissover, stage manager
  • Tom Kitt, musical arrangements and orchestrations

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 4
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to American Idiot are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 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/american-idiot.

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

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | www.MTIShows.com

CCM News
From left to right: CCM graduating seniors Eric Geil, Nate Irvin, Thomas Knapp and Dallas Padoven rehearse “Holiday” from American Idiot. The song is featured in this year’s New York Musical Theatre Showcase. Photo by Dallas Padoven.

CCM Snags the Award-Winning Punk Rock Musical ‘American Idiot’ for An Exciting and Eclectic 2015-16 Mainstage Series

From left to right, CCM graduating seniors Eric Geil, Thomas Knapp, Dallas Padoven and Nate Irvin rehearsing “Holiday” from American Idiot. This song is also featured in CCM's New York Musical Theatre Showcase later on this semester.

From left to right, CCM graduating seniors Eric Geil, Thomas Knapp, Dallas Padoven and Nate Irvin rehearsing “Holiday” from American Idiot. This song is also featured in CCM’s New York Musical Theatre Showcase later on this semester.

CCM has secured the rights to present the Tony Award-winning musical blockbuster American Idiot as part of its 2015-16 Mainstage Series. Running March 3 – 13, 2016, in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, this will be the first local production of the acclaimed rock opera.

A critical smash on Broadway and in London, American Idiot is based on the Grammy Award-winning album of the same name by American punk rock band Green Day. The two-time Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of three disillusioned youths who are forced to choose between freedom and the safety of suburbia.

Inspired in part by such classic concept albums as The Who’s Tommy, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar, American Idiot premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009 and finished its most recent national tour in May 2014. With a raucous and exhilarating punk rock score, American Idiot boldly takes musical theatre where it has never gone before. For both the students and the faculty members at CCM, the boundary-pushing nature of this contemporary musical perfectly complements the college’s educational mission.

“Our production philosophy in the Musical Theatre program is simple,” explains Aubrey Berg, CCM’s Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre and the director of this upcoming production. “During the four years a student spends with us, they will be exposed to every kind of musical theatre work. In the last few years, we have undertaken shows as varied as the groundbreaking Oklahoma!, the fancy foot-work of Singin’ in the Rain, the moving spectacle of Les Misérables and the beloved childhood fantasy of Peter Pan. And that does not include our Studio Series, which features such cutting-edge works as Carrie and Blood Brothers. Forgotten musicals are also well represented in our Musicals Redux Series, which digs into the great storehouse of musical theatre history to find some lost gems.” Chairman of CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre since 1987, Berg received the League of Cincinnati Theatres Continuing Achievement Award and was inducted into the CEA Hall of Fame in 2010.

CCM Adjunct Instructor Stephen Goers will join Berg as musical director for this production. The two have frequently collaborated on such musical productions as Into the Woods, Carrie and, most recently, Les Misérables. Over the years, their work together has garnered a large number of local arts awards, including Best Direction, Best Musical Direction and Best Musical.

Taking on a 21st century musical is already proving to be an exciting prospect for students at CCM, many of whom grew up with the original American Idiot concept album, which was released in 2004.

“I think it’s so special to be part of a program that embraces new musicals as well as the classics, in order to provide the most well rounded education possible for its students,” says third-year musical theatre major Tom Meglio. “American Idiot already has everyone in CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts rocking out and ready for some Junior High nostalgia!”

Classmate Taylor Alexander agrees: “The original Green Day album was a groundbreaking staple to our generation with its unique view on youth in America. The whole campus is going to be pumped to hear music we all grew up listening to!”

Described by the New York Times as “invigorating, moving and thrilling… a true rock opera,” American Idiot features a book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong and music by the band Green Day. The score features the hits “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and the iconic title track.

CCM will announce its entire 2015-16 Mainstage Series lineup in March of 2015. Running from October of 2015 through April of 2016, the series will include two operas, two musicals, two dramas and one story ballet.

Details on subscription packages and single ticket sales will be announced this summer. Visit ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/subscribe to register for CCM’s mailing list, and the Box Office will provide you with additional information on this year’s subscription options.

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

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com
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A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

Titles and dates are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM Alumni Featured on Stage and Behind the Scenes of Eight Tony Nominated Productions

Tony Awards LogoNominations for the 2014 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards were announced earlier this week and more than a dozen CCM alumni are involved in this year’s nominated productions!

Composer Stephen Flaherty (BM, 1982) scored the musical adaptation of Rocky, which received four nominations this year.

Josh Prince (BFA, 1996) choreographed Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which also features alumni Alysha Deslorieux (BFA, 2012), Daniel Torres (BFA, 2001), Sara Sheperd (BFA, 2008) and Melvin Tunstall III (BFA, 1998) in the cast.

Pamela Bob (BFA, 1999) is in the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which leads the Tony nominations with 10 nods.

Alums Eric Santagata (BFA, 2004), Betsy Wolfe (BFA, 2004) and Preston Boyd (BFA, 2008) are all in the cast of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, which received six nominations.

Alumnus Damian Baldet (BFA, 1995) is featured in the cast of Machinal, which received four nominations.

The revival of Les Misérables features Max Quinlan (BFA, 2008) and Adam Monley (BFA, 2000) in its cast.

Katie Klaus (BFA, 2006) is in the cast of The Bridges of Madison County and Leeds Hill (BFA, 2011) is in the cast of Cabaret, where he recently filled in for Alan Cumming in the iconic role of the Emcee.

The 68th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 8, on CBS. Hugh Jackman returns to host this year’s ceremony. Find out more by visiting www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees.

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CCM Alumni Perform National Anthem Tour at NFL Games

CCM alumni Tom and Jenn Korbee.

CCM alumni Tom and Jenn Korbee.

CCM alumni Tom Korbee (BFA in Drama, 2002) and Jenn Korbee (née Peterson-Hind; BFA in Musical Theatre, 2002) are in the midst of a National Anthem tour as the musical duo KORBEE.

Their first stop on Oct. 27 was at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with the Eagles playing the New York Giants! The duo’s tour will next take them to Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Nov. 10, where the Packers will play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tom and Jenn Korbee were seen on American Idol Season 8, where they were the first married couple to become finalists.

You can listen to KORBEE’s latest EP, Great Escape, by visiting korbeemusic.com or download the album on iTunes here.

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CCM Slideshows: Don Carlos

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CCM’s 2013-14 Concert Series opened in grand fashion this past Sunday with the American premiere of the uncut 1867 Paris Opera version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos.

In her review for ConcertoNet: The Classical Music Network, Mary Ellyn Hutton called the performance “an amazing accomplishment” and remarked that “the voices were uniformly outstanding.”

In his review for Seen and Heard International, Rafael de Acha observed, “The CCM orchestra and choruses do top-notch work in this challenging and lengthy assignment, playing passionately and when needed providing grounding accompaniment for the singers.”

Our Concert Series continues this week with an “Anniversary” themed performance by the CCM Wind Orchestra on Friday, Sept. 27, and a CCM Jazz tribute to the Rolling Stones on Sunday, Sept. 29.

For a complete calendar of events or to view CCM’s 2013-14 season brochure, visit ccm.uc.edu.

UC’s College Conservatory of Music – Define Your Inspiration

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