A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

Accomplished Producer and Administrator Denton Yockey is Named Head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration

A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Denton Yockey to the position of Professor of Arts Administration and Head of the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA) at CCM. Yockey will arrive on campus this July to work with TAPAA’s Interim Division Head, Alan Yaffe, and his appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

In his new position, Yockey will oversee CCM’s Departments of Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera, and Theatre Design and Production. He will also serve as producer of CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series productions.

Yockey is one of the nation’s premier regional theatre producers and presenters of touring Broadway. During a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Yockey has produced or presented shows starring such luminaries as Jensen Ackles, Margaret Colin, Richard Kind, Jack Klugman, Lorenzo Lamas, Donna McKechnie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Tony Randall, Cathy Rigby, Sally Struthers, new Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones and Academy Award-winning June Squibb.

Yockey is currently the Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park, Florida. He is also a principal with A Rising Tide Theatrical Group, LLC, which independently produces theatrical entertainment and national tours while providing counsel for other projects.

Over the course of his career, Yockey has helmed four not-for-profit theatres including Lone Star Performing Arts Association in Galveston, Texas (Executive Director); Casa Mañana Theater in Fort Worth, TX (President and Executive Producer); and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (President and Executive Producer). Under his leadership, Starlight Theatre received the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Alliance of Venue Managers in the Performing Arts Centers category. Also in 2013, his mini-tour of Miss Saigon was cited in Playbill’s list of “Most Unforgettable Experiences.” During his tenure at Casa Mañana, the landmark theatre underwent its historic renovation and the theatre was the producer and presenter of all the Broadway shows at the newly opened Bass Performance Hall. Upon his departure from Casa Mañana, Yockey received the Silver Dome Award, the theatre’s highest award for meritorious individual accomplishment.  He is one of only three recipients in the 13-year history of the award.

Yockey received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University South Bend. He is a member of the Broadway League and a past Tony Awards voter for over 15 years. While in Texas he was a theatre panelist for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and board member of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Inc., and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

A native of Plymouth, Indiana, Yockey met his wife of 26 years, Gina, on stage in a production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. They are the proud parents of Gwyneth and Grayson Yockey, both whom are pursuing acting careers.

On the announcement of Yockey’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Yockey’s impressive background in producing, presenting and administration, coupled with his dedication to artistic success, positions him as the ideal head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Alan Yaffe and committee members Rebecca Bromels, Lydia Brown, Vince DeGeorge, Susan Felder, Qi Jiang and Stirling Shelton for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great division head.”

Please join us in welcoming Denton Yockey to the CCM family!

CCM News Faculty Fanfare
CCM faculty member Rocco Dal Vera.

In Memoriam: CCM Professor and Theatre Arts Division Head Rocco Dal Vera

It is with supreme sadness that we share news of the passing of Rocco Dal Vera, a cherished member of the CCM Family who most recently served as head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA).

Rocco died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, surrounded by close family and friends, after battling glioblastoma cancer. He was the loving husband to his wife of 27 years, Denise Mechelle Dal Vera, and devoted father to his daughter, Kendall Anne Dal Vera.  He is preceded in death by his father, Roger Dal Vera, and survived by his mother, Polly Dal Vera, and sister, Anne Dal Vera. Born July 10, 1956, he was 61 years old.

CCM TAPAA Division Head Rocco Dal Vera.

CCM faculty member Rocco Dal Vera.

Rocco was a world-renowned researcher, master teacher and pioneer of voice and speech training for theatrical and commercial film actors, voice-over specialists, public speakers and corporate leaders.

A faculty member in the Department of Acting (previously Drama) since 1998, Rocco became head of CCM’s TAPAA Division in June of 2015. In 2008, Rocco received UC’s George Barbour Award for Good Faculty-Student Relations. He was also on the faculties of UC’s College of Law, the Xavier Leadership Center (Williams College of Business) and Procter and Gamble’s clay street project.

Awarded the title of Distinguished Member by the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the highest honor given by the Association, Rocco was the founding editor of the journal Voice and Speech Review for VASTA, and edited the first three books of that series. He lectured internationally on vocal violence and the effects of emotion on the voice and was a Level 5 Master Teacher of the Alba Method for Emotions, having studied and taught the subject for over 20 years.

Rocco was the author and editor of six books, several of which have been translated extensively and received international acclaim, influencing the curricular design in several disciplines. His book, Voice: Onstage and Off (co-authored with Robert Barton), was nominated as the Best New Theatre Publication by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and is in use by over 600 college and university theatre programs. His latest book, Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course, (co-authored with Joe Deer) is in its second edition. For three years Deer and Dal Vera had a monthly column, “Acting in Musical Theatre,” in Dramatics Magazine and were frequent contributors to the journal Teaching Theatre.

Before joining the faculty at UC, Rocco was head of the BFA Professional Actor and Musical Theatre Training Programs at Wright State University, taught at the National Theatre Conservatory, Willamette University, United States International University, served on the Advisory Board for the Relativity School, and was chair of the Voice and Speech Department at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. For 16 seasons, he was the resident vocal coach for the Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. He was a resident artist at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, and worked as a voice and speech coach at numerous theatres around the US including, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Human Race Theatre Company, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Long Beach Civic Light Opera and the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Prior to entering academic life, Rocco had a rich professional career onstage and in Hollywood. His voice can be heard on numerous commercials and over 500 films and television shows including L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, THIRTYsomething, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Gods Must Be Crazy. He was the co-host and assistant producer of the public television series, Healthward Bound: A Lifelong Journey, which won the prize for Best Series at the American Medical Association’s International Film Awards.

With his wife, Denise, and friend Annie Fitzpatrick, he founded the company IWA Strategies LLC, whose client list includes Cincinnati Bell, Procter and Gamble, clay street project and the Xavier Leadership Center. Their company’s mission is to teach “how to influence by inspiring and recognizing the genius in others and creating practical applications.” This mission demonstrates how Rocco married an active professional life with an inspirational philosophy that recognized others’ potential. Revered for a generosity of spirit and graceful eloquence, he will be remembered as not only the “smartest man in the room,” but also the kindest. His thoughtfulness, artistry and caring contributed to the achievement of countless artists, teachers and professionals worldwide. Rocco was considered a “teacher’s teacher,” an “actor’s coach,” and a tireless ally to the many students and colleagues he served alongside and led in a career that spanned four decades. Beyond his exceptional professional skill, Rocco will probably best be remembered for his generosity of spirit and profoundly supportive nature. No student, colleague or acquaintance was ever turned away from his office without receiving Rocco’s full attention and support.

Later in his life, Rocco became a crusader against Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and his daughter Kendall’s lifelong battle with the debilitating disease. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been established in Kendall’s name; you can learn more by visiting www.posthope.org/rocco/journal/214305/how-to-give-back-to-rocco.

Rocco was a member of Actors’ Equity Association, American Association of University Professors, SAG-AFTRA, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance-International, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and the Voice Foundation.

A Memorial Service will be held in the Great Hall of UC’s Tangeman University Center at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30.  More information about the memorial can be found at www.posthope.org/roccoProspective attendees are encouraged to RSVP at https://events.blackbirdrsvp.com/rocco-s-celebration-of-life.

Please join us in sending your thoughts or prayers and condolences to the entire Dal Vera family. Rocco was an inspiring force to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.

CCM News

‘The Hollywood Reporter’ Names CCM One of the Top Undergraduate Drama Programs in the World

Earlier this month, the Hollywood Reporter released its list of the “Top 25 Undergraduate Drama Schools,” and CCM was ranked at number 12! You can view the entire list here.

Backstage also recently named CCM one of the top six college programs in the nation for actors on a budget.

Few schools offer more comprehensive training programs for actors, designers, technicians, musical theatre performers, opera singers, coaches, directors and arts managers than CCM.

Utilizing a superb faculty of professional artist-teachers, CCM’s programs in drama, musical theatre, opera, dance, arts administration and theatre design and production attract remarkably talented students from around the world.

You can learn more about CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration by visiting ccm.uc.edu/theatre.

Watch a brief introduction to CCM’s Department of Dramatic Performance below.

The University of Cincinnati is a member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).

CCM News
A photo from CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Peter Pan' from March of 2015. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Announces 2015-16 Mainstage Series of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance

CCM is pleased to announce details for its 2015-16 Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions. Between Sept. 30, 2015, and April 24, 2016, CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow will present seven masterworks for the stage under the guidance of its internationally acclaimed faculty artists.

These works include David Edgar’s epic drama Pentecost, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Carousel, Franz Lehár’s comedic operetta The Merry Widow, Eugene O’Neill’s acclaimed coming-of-age story Ah, Wilderness!, Green Day’s iconic punk rock musical American Idiot, Janácek’s farcical opera The Cunning Little Vixen and Tchaikovsky’s beloved romantic ballet Swan Lake.

Production details are listed below. 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.

Additional Information
Titles and dates are subject to change—rights pending. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.
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CCM 2015-16 MAINSTAGE SERIES
Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama, Dance

Pentecost
Written by David Edgar
Richard E. Hess, director

A play of politics and ideas, 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 refugees sets events spiraling toward an explosive climax. 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.

Performance Dates: Sept. 30 (preview), Oct. 1–4, 2015
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Carousel
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar
As Adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
Diane Lala, director

Set in a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, Carousel is the story of carefree carnival barker Billy Bigelow and his reckless adventures with women, gambling and the wrong side of the law. Billy loses his job just as he learns that his wife is pregnant and, desperate to provide a decent life for his family, is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent “up there.” 15 years later, Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day and encounters the daughter he never knew. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love. Declared “Best Musical of the Century” by Time Magazine in 1999, it’s easy to understand why Carousel became Rodgers and Hammerstein’s personal favorite.

Performance Dates: Oct. 29–Nov. 1, 2015
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe)
Music by Franz Lehár
Libretto by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein
Emma Griffin, director

A 20th century opera molded in the tradition of the great opera seria of the 1700s, The Merry Widow tells a dizzying tale of star-crossed lovers and political intrigue in Paris. Baron Zeta of Pontevedro must prevent the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari from marrying a foreigner; if she does, all of her wealth will leave Pontevedro, thus bankrupting the country. Zeta urges Hanna’s former fiancée Count Danilovich (who pretends to not care for her anymore) to marry her, but Zeta’s wife pushes the flirtatious Camille de Rosillon to go after Hanna instead. Farcical confusion, romance and jealousy abound in this light-hearted romp. Sung in English.

Performance Dates: Nov. 19–22, 2015
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Ah, Wilderness!
Written by Eugene O’Neill
R. Terrell Finney, director

Set in an idyllic Connecticut town during the Fourth of July weekend of 1906, Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! offers a tender portrait of small town family values, teenage growing pains and young love. Described as “a breath of fresh air” and “vividly alive” by the New York Post and nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival in both 1989 and 1998, this charming comedy is directed by CCM Professor Emeritus R. Terrell Finney.

Performance Dates: Feb. 10 (preview), Feb. 11–14, 2016
Location:
 Patricia Corbett Theater
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American Idiot
Book and lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Michael Mayer
Music and lyrics by Green Day
Aubrey Berg, director

The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical American Idiot, based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album of the same name, boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. Johnny, Tunny and Will struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths diverge when Tunny enters the armed forces, Michael is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship. An energy-fueled rock opera, American Idiot features minimal dialogue and instead relies on the lyrics from Green Day’s groundbreaking album to execute the story line.

Performance Dates: March 3–13, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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The Cunning Little Vixen (Príhody lišky Bystroušky)
Composed by Leoš Janácek
Libretto by Leoš Janácek (after Rudolf Tesnohlídek)
Vince DeGeorge, director

Based on a famous 1920s Czech comic strip, Janácek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen humorously explores the universal longing for youth. The three main characters – all older men – attempt to connect to their younger days through various means: one longs for a village girl, one obsesses over a childhood indiscretion and one chases a young vixen through the countryside. Will they continue to cling to their delusions? Or will their experiences help them come to terms with the inevitability of time? Sung in English.

Performance Dates: April 8–10, 2016
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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Swan Lake
Composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Jiang Qi, director

Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet about love and magic returns to CCM in a fully-staged spectacle! The young Prince Siegfried, disinterested in the potential wives that his mother has picked for him, heads into the woods to hunt one night and comes across a beautiful swan…who then turns into the maiden Odette! She tells him of the curse she and others have been placed under by the evil knight Rothbart, forcing them to become swans by day and human by night. Siegfried instantly falls in love, but will he and Odette be able to overcome the curse, or will Rothbart succeed in keeping his enchantment intact?

Performance Dates: April 22–24, 2016
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2015-16 CCM Mainstage Series of opera, musical theatre and drama productions includes subscription packages for six-show, four-show and three-show combinations. Subscribers also have the ability to add the Mainstage Series production of Swan Lake to any subscription package “a la carte.”

Full details on subscription packages and single ticket sales will be announced this summer. CCM’s customizable subscription packages range in price from $84 – $180. Current subscribers will get priority access to next season’s subscription packages.

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.
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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
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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—rights pending. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

CCM News

Getting to Know Wesley Fay Yount, CCM Graduating Senior and Stage Management Major

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

Graduating senior Wesley Fay Yount.

This December, Wesley Fay Yount of Centerville, Ohio will graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from CCM’s highly selective stage management program. At the age of 20, Yount will be the youngest recipient of a bachelor’s degree in UC’s Fall Commencement Ceremony. Thanks to CCM’s immersive stage management program, she has already gained a wealth of professional experience in her field of choice.

Yount was first drawn to the performing arts through Centerville High School’s theatre program and she found the role of the stage manager particularly intriguing. “Stage management always appealed to me because I saw it as the perfect blend between the artistic and the technical,” she says.

“The stage manger’s task is to take care of the details so that the director, designers and cast can be free to develop the art of the production,” explains CCM Professor of Stage Management Michele Kay. In many ways, the stage manager serves as the logistical nexus for complex productions and is often called upon to think and react quickly in critical situations.

In short, Yount characterizes a stage manager as “a leader, confidant, facilitator, conductor, puzzle-solver, handyman and encyclopedia.”

Coming to UC was an easy choice for Yount. “When I discovered in my college search that one of the top technical theatre schools in the country was less than an hour from my hometown, it was a no-brainer,” she says. “The faculty’s real-world experience and connections, the resources available to students and the scale and sheer number of productions set CCM apart from other BFA programs.”

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch Nominated For Fourth Primetime Emmy

CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch with the first two Emmys he won.

CCM Alumnus Travis Hagenbuch with the first two Emmys he won.

CCM alumnus Travis Hagenbuch (BFA, 2007) was nominated for his fourth primetime Emmy award this year (ceremonies were held on Sept. 22).

Nominated in the category of “Lighting Design,” Hagenbuch has designed lighting for such live televised events as the Olympics, President Obama’s inaugural celebration, a Super Bowl halftime show with Tom Petty, the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, BET Awards, as well as TV specials for Lionel Richie, Betty White’s 90th birthday and Celine Dion.

The three Emmys has won to date are for the Vancouver Olympics’ opening ceremony in 2010 and for two Grammy ceremonies in 2011 and 2012.

You can learn more about Travis Hagenbuch courtesy of UC Magazine.

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