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.
- • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10
- • 7 p.m. Friday, March 11
- • 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12
Various locations around CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
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