A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Scenic Design of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Amy Shackleton, Toronto-based gravity artist, demonstrating her technique to CCM students.

Amy Shackleton, Toronto-based gravity artist, demonstrating her technique to CCM students.

To ignite its 2012-13 Mainstage Season, CCM will be presenting one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from Oct. 3 (preview) – 7 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The play takes us on a wistful journey with four lovers and a weaver as they interact with some Puck-ish pranks in the wood. Director Michael Burnham and fellow designers add a spin to this version of the show as we find ourselves in the summer of 1963, right before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Learn more about how this spin influenced the show’s costume design here.

As previously reported, international artist Amy Shackleton joins the design team of CCM’s  A Midsummer Night’s Dream to engage in a unique collaboration, creating an original piece of art. Amy’s process was documented and will set the backdrop for this production.

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Discussing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Costumes with Student Designer Brittany McManus

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Brittany McManus is a third-year master’s degree student in costume design. Along with the production’s scenic designer, lighting designer, sound designer and wig & make-up designer (all of whom are third-year graduate students at CCM), McManus’ work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is serving as her thesis project.

McManus’ unique costume design concepts for this production draw inspiration from the 1960s. “We are doing three different groups of people,” she explains. “The 60s are when the countercultures really emerge, so you start to see these different facets of society in a way that you may have seen before… but not to this extent.”

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CCM Drama Opens Mainstage Season with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Megan Marshall as Hippolyta and Trey Wright as Nick Bottom in CCM's Mainstage Production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'

Megan Marshall as Hippolyta and Trey Wright as Nick Bottom in CCM’s Mainstage Production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) will present a nostalgic new take on the Bard of Avon’s adored and enduring A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Oct. 3 (preview) through 7 in Patricia Corbett Theater. This comedic dalliance of magic and young love will be presented with a wistful and unprecedented 1960s concept, and will also feature an original work of art by renowned Canadian visual artist Amy Shackleton.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream explores the adventures of a quartet of Athenian lovers, a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) and their encounters with the fairies who control and manipulate them, including Puck, one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated characters. The setting of 1963 presents a new concept organically and creatively orchestrated by director Michael Burnham and costume designer Brittany McManus.

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CCM Video: Mainstage Season-Opener Features Collaboration with Artist Amy Shackleton

CCM’s Mainstage Series opens next month with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The innovative new production will feature a collaboration with Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton (in fact, this is Shackleton’s first-ever theatrical collaboration)!

You can view her unique process in the time-lapse video above. Shackleton is working with CCM’s Department of Theatre Design & Production to develop an all new time-lapse video for the show!

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CCM Musical Theatre Students Give a Lesson in History Through Song

Dave Clemmons (center) and the cast of CCM's Studio Series production of 'The Civil War.'

Dave Clemmons (center) and the cast of CCM’s Studio Series production of ‘The Civil War.’

Take a trip back in time with the CCM Studio Series production of Frank Wildhorn’s unique musical The Civil War. Premiering on Broadway in 1999, this musical tells the story of the American Civil War through the viewpoints of all involved – Confederate, Union and slave alike – by way of musical numbers spanning the gamut of genres from gospel, folk and country to R&B and rock.

Directed by Jason Podplesky with musical direction by Ryan Shirar, The Civil War runs May 10 – 12 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater on the University of Cincinnati campus. Tickets to The Civil War are free, but reservations are required.

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The 2012 TRANSMIGRATION Festival’s New Works

Running Feb. 16 – 18, this year’s TRANSMIGRATION festival will feature student-created new works Booth, Eddie Shanahan, forget me not, Knock Knock and Y2012K.

Audience members will have the opportunity to customize their theater-going experience by choosing to watch up to four different productions, which are performed simultaneously and in non-traditional spaces throughout CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more about each of these new, student-created works after the jump!

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CCM Drama Students Present Original Works During 2012 TRANSMIGRATION Festival

The 2012 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, running Feb. 16-18 at UC's College-Conservatory of Music.

The 2012 TRANSMIGRATION Festival, running Feb. 16-18 at UC's College-Conservatory of Music.

CCM Drama students continue to learn what it takes to produce their own theatre pieces as they prepare for the 2012 TRANSMIGRATION Festival of Student-Created New Works taking place Feb. 16-18 throughout CCM Village.

The fourth-annual festival allows the audience to sample half-hour works produced by small groups of drama majors, who create all aspects of their productions from start to finish. Admission to the festival is free, but reservations are required.

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