CCM Musical Theatre shares Freshman Showcase

Titled “Wake Up,” the virtual showcase is set at arts organizations throughout Cincinnati

The Freshman Musical Theatre class at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music marked the conclusion of their first year in the BFA program with a virtual showcase titled "Wake Up." The performance features a variety of student-curated monologues and performances that were shot on location at Cincinnati theatres, parks and museums.

“Wake Up” is deeply personal to the students, and candidly shares the frustrations and struggles they’ve experienced and witnessed globally during the pandemic. The Showcase provided students with an open space for the critical and civil exchange of ideas and creativity. Monologues and performances include content that some may find triggering, including strong language and topics of racism and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

“Our class came to school after months of isolation, oppression, tension and uncertainty,” BFA Musical Theatre freshman Annalise Prentiss says. “We came to school during a time where our country seemed to become more divided every day. We came to school after a summer of protests, murders, racial injustice, political rallies, CDC reports, school closings and more. And in our freshman year alone, we would end up going through an entire global pandemic, hate crimes, a historic presidential election and COVID vaccine rollouts.”

“Our class came to school ready to finally have a chance to say something. We came ready for the opportunity to finally speak our minds and let go of everything that we’ve been holding in for so long.”

Produced and directed by CCM Professor Vincent DeGeorge, the Freshman Showcase features performances of “All I Really Want/Wake Up,” “Carry On,” “A Change Is Gonna Come/What’s Going On,” “Man In The Mirror,” “A New World/Our Time,” “No One Is Alone,” “ Stand Up,” and a Beatles Medley.

The showcase team wanted to showcase the students as well as local theater companies and arts organizations in Cincinnati, which have been closed due to the pandemic. It was shot on location at:

  • CCM
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
  • Memorial Hall
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Imperial Theater
  • Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
  • Washington Park

“This was a massive project,” DeGeorge says. “When we started our work together in August of 2020, no one had any idea how we would rehearse, or what form the final project would take. With the full talent and support of an incredible creative team — CCM Professor Steve Goers, Guest artist Raven Thomas (BFA Musical Theatre, ’16), Graduate student Aaron Harris Woodstein and myself — these amazing students rose to the challenge and embraced this new approach.”

Alumna and guest artist Raven Thomas served as a content advisor for the Showcase and says she loved working with the students throughout the project. She praised the students for their persistence through all of the “new” that the 2020-21 school year entailed: Zoom rehearsals, on-camera acting, few in-person meetings, singing and dancing with masks and a virtual showcase.

“These students are the lifeblood that is running through this showcase,” DeGeorge says. “Their honesty with themselves and each other; their desire to understand and be understood; their courage to stand up and to speak out; their generosity of spirit is present in everything you are about to see and hear. I have such deep respect for these students and for the way they have chosen to use their skills and talents. I look forward to their continued growth and development and to working with them on other projects over the next three years of their training at CCM.” 

Student-created showcases bookend the training experience for CCM’s Musical Theatre majors. A Freshman Showcase is traditionally presented in Cincinnati, while a Senior Showcase is presented for agents and casting directors in New York City. CCM curated the industry's first Senior Showcase in 1993, and was the first college to introduce a digital showcase experience in 2020. The 2021 Freshman and Senior Showcases are both being presented virtually in accordance with COVID Careful protocols.

“This year has been, by far, one of the most challenging years of my life,” says CCM Musical Theatre Chair Eric Santagata, who began his time at CCM at the start of fall 2020. “Navigating immense transition during such a difficult time in global and American history has been hard, for sure. That said, I have been so very lucky to be surrounded by students, faculty and staff who have supported me."

"We’ve had to figure out what theatre looks like without contact, connection or an audience. We’ve had to become tech wizards and editors, camera operators and health protocol experts," he adds. "We’ve had to adapt and pivot in so many ways and it is but for the strength of working together that I think we made it through this year with as much success as we did. There were bumps in the road but, overall, I’m very proud of us. Naturally, we can’t wait to being back on stage and in person, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career, it’s that the tough times are the ones that shape us.”

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CCM Freshman Showcase

  • Produced and Directed by Vincent DeGeorge
  • Music Direction, Arrangements, and Production by Stephen Goers
  • Content Advisor: Raven Thomas
  • Amanda Bishop
  •  Jett Blackorby
  • Andrew Burke
  • Benjamin Chen
  • Jeffrey Cornelius
  • Nate Jones
  • Michael Lee Jr.
  • Eliza Levy
  • Madison Mosley
  • Peter Neureuther
  • Gracie Parker
  • Nick Pattarini
  • Annalise Prentiss
  • Stanislav Przedlacki
  • Jackson Reagin
  • Grace Rusnica
  • Julia Schick
  • Cynsere Stevens
  • Jamal Stone
  • Amanda Bishop
  • Jeffrey Cornelius
  • Nate Jones
  • Eliza Levy
  • Madison Mosley
  • Gracie Parker
  • Nick Pattarini
  • Annalise Prentiss
  • Grace Rusnica
  • Stanislav Przedlacki
  • Julia Schick
  • Jamal Stone
  • Camera Persons: August Bagg, Jeffrey Cornelius, Vincent DeGeorge, Nate Jones, Madison Mosley, Nick Pattarini
  • Drone: Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson
  • Vocals Recorded by Aaron Harris Woodstein
  • Supervising Producer: Nate Jones
  • Production Assistant: Cynsere Stevens
  • Logo Creation and Digital Imaging Technician: Madison Mosley
  • Editors:Nate Jones, Madison Mosley
  • Post-Production Team: Jeffrey Cornelius, Nate Jones, Madison Mosley, Annalise Prentiss
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park | Blake Robison, Suann Pollock, Veronica Bishop
  • Memorial Hall | Josh Steele
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | Christopher Miller, Andrea Howard, Richard Buller
  • The Imperial Theatre | Julie Fay, Marilyn Hyland, Marta Hyland, John Rice
  • Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati | D. Lynn Meyers, Matthew Hollstegge, Brian c. Mehring, Shannon Rae Lutz
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | Brian Phillips, Abbi Howson, Hannah Maggard
  • Know Theatre of Cincinnati | Andrew Hungerford, Henry Bateman

Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust
Scholarship and Resident Artist Sponsor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Patricia Kisker Foundation
CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Sponsors

The Corbett Endowment at CCM
Dance Department Sponsor
All-Steinway School Sponsor

H. Wayne Ferguson Family Foundation
Louise H. & David S. Ingalls Foundation, Inc.
Community Partners

The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel
Visiting Artists & Thinking About Music Sponsor

CCMpower: Friends and Alumni Fueling the Future of the Arts
ArtsWave: Funding Arts, Fueling Community
CCMONSTAGE ONLINE Broadcast Sponsors

Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer
CCMONSTAGE ONLINE Production Sponsors

Elizabeth C.B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld
Musical Theatre Showcase Sponsor

Genevieve Smith
Opera Production Sponsor

An Anonymous Donor
Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander
Mrs. William A. Friedlander
Dr. Randolph L. Wadsworth
Judith Schonbach Landgren and Peter Landgren
Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen
Elizabeth C.B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman
Dr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker
Mrs. Harry M. Hoffheimer
Ariel Quartet Sponsors

Jan Rogers
Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation
Choral Studies Sponsors

Robert & Debra Chavez
Three Arts Scholarship Fund
CCMpower Partners

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn
Orchestral Sponsor

Mr. & Mrs. James L. Miller
Musical Theatre Production Sponsor

Graeter’s Ice Cream
Greg Mathein
Musical Theatre Performance Sponsors

Louis and Susan Meisel
Piano Department Sponsors

CCMpower: Friends and Alumni Fueling the Future of the Arts
Richard E. Thornburgh
Jeff Thomas Catering
Trish and Rick Bryan
The Harmony Endowment Fund: Challenging Hate and Prejudice Through the Performing Arts
The Castleberry Family
Paula Boggs Muething and Brian Muething
Sandra and Stephen Joffe
Patti Myers and Alan Flaherty
Graeter’s Ice Cream
Al. Neyer
Taft Law
Truepoint Wealth Counsel
Kenton Shaw Interior Design

Waldman & Company, CPAs
Event Sponsors

Feature Image at the top: The CCM Musical Theatre Class of 2024.

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