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June 5, 2020
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The Acting Department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM Acting) proudly presents its first Virtual Senior Showcase. Although the COVID-19 novel coronavirus prevented CCM Acting from holding its customary Senior Showcases for agents and casting directors in New York and Los Angeles this spring, the program’s new Virtual Senior Showcase allows industry insiders and the general public to see this year’s seniors in action.
The Virtual Showcase includes five video scenes and voice-over demos showcasing the talents of CCM Acting’s Class of 2020. Directed by Professor D’Arcy Smith, the A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair in Acting at CCM, the video scenes feature students performing excerpts from TV programs, films and plays including “227,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Pysch” and “Embers” along with an excerpt of "My So-Called Gay Life" written by CCM Acting student Abby Palen. A collaboration with CCM’s Electronic Media program, the CCM Acting Virtual Senior Showcase features the work of E-Media majors Caleb Smiley and Carlos Herriott II. Viewer discretion is advised; this video features strong language and mature content.
The voice-over demos from each student are available in the student bios below and online at CCM's SoundCloud.
“Although we’ve transitioned to remote operations, we remain committed to our ongoing academic and artistic missions,” says Smith. “Our senior Acting students have put in countless hours preparing for their industry debuts in this year’s Senior Showcase and they deserve to have their time in the spotlight. They should be very proud of everything that they have accomplished, and we are happy to present this video snapshot of their talent for the entire world to enjoy.”
Get to know the graduating seniors by reading their professional summaries below!
Chandler Bates is a recent graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Acting. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she has a rich background in singing and musical theatre. While at CCM, she has found great passion for Shakespeare, directing, improv and stage combat. Some of her favorite roles include, John in Cock, Heather in American Idiot, Jessica Goldman in This Is Our Youth, Meg Long and Reverend Johnson in Our Country’s Good and Hospital Director in The Government Inspector. Driven to explore female aggression, anger and passion on stage, Chandler’s stage combat training includes certifications in unarmed, rapier and dagger and single sword. Outside of performance, Chandler enjoys graphic design, painting and baking for her friends. For more information, check out Bates’ professional website.
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Jabari Carter (he/him/his) is an Atlanta native and recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Acting program. He sees acting as a tool that allows him to stretch his empathy and understanding of the human condition. It is an art that fills him with hope and helps him become a better person. His recent stage and film works include: The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime (Christopher), Our Country’s Good (Captain Phillip) The Tempest (Caliban), Romeo and Juliet (Rosencrantz), Woodrow (CCM 48-Hour Film Festival), Anymore and Grey films produced by Pajama Island Productions. For more information, visit Carter’s professional website.
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Zoe Cotzias is a recent graduate of The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music’s BFA Acting Program (CCM). While at CCM, she played Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan, Marya in The Government Inspector and originated the role of Amber in the world premiere of MJ Kaufman’s Association of Controlled Dreamers. Outside of CCM, her credits include: Hall in Men on Boats (Cincinnati’s Liberty Exhibition Hall), and Julie in Oblivion (Richmond, Virginia’s TheatreLAB). Some of her favorite film credits include Highsock productions’ The Tinder Date and award-winning Casper, along with CCM E-Media’s Want. She is a trained actor-combatant and has certificates from the SAFD in Unarmed stage combat and Rapier and Dagger. When not acting, Zoe loves singing, songwriting, guitar playing, directing, knitting and spending time with friends. Learn more on Cotzias’ professional website.
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After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Matt Patrick Fox is eager to make his way in the world. Originally from Cleveland, Matt takes his profession very seriously, unlike himself. After studying singing and improvisation since the age of 12 at Baldwin Wallace University and Something Dada Cleveland Improv respectively, Matt was ready to expand his acting training. In Cincinnati, Matt has booked commercial and print work with Kroger, Giant Eagle and the Concussion Legacy Foundation as well as a supporting role in the indie comedy, Our Scripted Life, which is currently racking up awards on the festival circuit. Matt has a pronounced passion for comedy and improvisation. While in school, Matt was the youngest member of three professional Cincinnati improv troupes simultaneously, including Cin City Comedy, Improv Cincinnati and Hot Mic Musical Improv. For more information, visit Fox’s professional website.
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Paige Lindsay Jordan was born in a box of glitter, and has been shining ever since. She hails from the South Side of Chicago and is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Throughout her career, some of her favorite roles include Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray, as well as Mrs. Dickson in Intimate Apparel. Credits at CCM include Svetsunov in The Government Inspector, as well as originating the role of Vera in The Association of Controlled Dreamers. Random things that make her happy? Glitter, fitness, poetry and sassing around to Beyoncé. She would like to thank her family and friends, for they have paved the way to let her flourish! Want more? Follow her on Instagram @paigestellamars and visit her professional website.
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Born and raised in Henderson, Nevada, Briley Oakley is an artist who is fiercely passionate about people and human connection. Her desire to create with like-minded individuals led her to continue her studies as a BFA Acting Major at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her recent credits at CCM are Lady Plymdale in Lady Windermere’s Fan and Social Media in the world premiere of Association of Controlled Dreamers. Some of her film credits include: Award-Winning Short Integration with Highsock Productions and Bad Dates with Pajama Island Productions. Briley also works her magic behind the camera as a Director and Producer on many film projects. Her latest short Glimpses was a selection for the 2019 Cindependent Film Festival. Briley is a strong leader with a big heart, and she is excited for you to join her on this journey! Learn more on Oakley’s professional website.
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Abby Palen is a recent graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, earning a BFA in Acting. They believe in pursuing the “secret joys behind the hard truths”, and have done so with many artistic endeavors. Highlights include Moving the Mountain (An original one person show headed on a national tour in May 2020), The Aesthetics of Joy Gallery (an inclusive endeavor involving 10 artists, 15 musicians and five aesthetics of joy) and Clifton Fallfest (an underground D.I.Y music festival). Acting credits include Our Country’s Good (Liz) at CCM, Clybourne Park (Bev) at CCM, Crossing the Horizon (Lou) at Ensemble Theatre, The Secret Life of Bros (Trish) at the Cincinnati LAB Theatre and Black and White (Protestor) at the Cincy Fringe Festival. Directing credits including Moving the Mountain (Theatre), The Aliens (Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre) and Woodrow (Film). “To connect with our vulnerability is to find power, to find humanity.” For more information, visit Palen’s professional website.
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Madison Pullman is a fiery, creative and passionate actor from Chicago. Growing up, she worked with A Red Orchid Theater, Piven Theater, American Theater Company, among others. Madison recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Acting. Some recent credits include: Eurydice in Eurydice, Lindsey in Clybourne Park, Bernadette in Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, among others. She has a love for improv, acting on stage and on camera, stage combat and voice over work. When she's not acting, she enjoys traveling, listening to live music and spending time outdoors. Madison has a genuine love for others and can’t wait to share this new chapter of her life with everyone. Learn more on Pullman’s professional website.
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[School bell rings]. She was like, “What?,” and I was like, “Yeah,” and she was like, “When?,” and I was like “Last week," and then she was like, “Where?,” and I was like, “Where else?, Urban Outfitters." [Tone: conversational].
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Jack Steiner is a hilarious ball of creativity who recently graduated with a BFA in Acting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is more than ready to dive into the wide artistic world and continue to put his education to work. Some of his favorite and most notable roles include Ralph in Our Country's Good, Edmund in King Lear, Ethan Jeffery in the world premier of The Earth Is Flat, and Lee in True West. His second love is travel and exploration, and has done well to put as much travel into his education as possible, flying to Europe for four consecutive summers to study Shakespearean and other classical acting techniques from some of the best teachers in the world. Programs such as the British American Drama Academy (Oxford, England) and The Berridge Conservatory (Normandy, France) have shown him the power of broadening your horizons and letting the world fill you with new knowledge and perspectives. Jack is also passionate about the art of film acting, improv and stage combat. He is certified in unarmed stage combat as well as rapier dagger, and has been “Fight Captain” for two mainstage productions at CCM. Outside of the world of acting, Jack enjoys painting and hiking in his beautiful home town of Olympia, Washington. For more information, visit Steiner’s professional website.
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[Sounds of people talking at a restuarant]. New date? Nothing wrong with being a little nervous, until you start sweating through your shirt. [Upbeat music]. When life starts to heat up, you need something to keep you cool. Don't sweat it. [Tone: conversational].
[Police sirens and outside noises]. Hello? Dad? Yeah, Im okay ... I'm sorry about the car. It’s a good thing we have insurance. Love you too. [Tone: heartwarming].
Dude, you forgot to get groceries again! All that's left is... [Gasp] Totino's Pizza Rolls! [Tone: comedic].
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Theatre Arts Program Manager, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
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