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35 at 35

CCM Acting celebrates 35 years of training actors
by highlighting the careers and accomplishments
of 35 notable CCM Acting Alumni.

Man With A Plan

"There is simply an over abundance of competition in this business. I am convinced that CCM ACTING separates the men from the boys and prepares an actor with a strong, multi-leveled, balanced, professional foundation, giving a CCM Acting student the advantage in pursuing an acting career with  elite skill and a competitive edge."  
- Diana Maria Riva

Diana Maria Riva (CCM Acting 1995)

Diana is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2005 recipient of the first ever Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Diana is currently starring in the Matt LeBlanc comedy Man With A Plan.

Since 1996 Diana has been a regular on series television, appearing on some of the most popular television programs in America. Known for her comic timing and characterizations, Diana also brings searing intensity and passionate heartbreak to projects as needed. She has worked with the best in the business and is a sought after actress deep into her second decage of success in Hollywood. She most recently starred on the CBS sitcom ROB and on The Good Guys on FOX with Bradley Whitford and Collin Hanks. Film credits include What Women Want, LOVE and MERCY. Our Family Wedding, McFarland, U.S.A. and 17 Again. Television credits include Side Order of Life, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing, CSI, Everybody Loves Raymond, The X-Files, Castle, Ghost Whisperer, Reba, Luis, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Philly, The Drew Carey Show, Party of Five, Murder One, Common Law and NYPD Blue, among many, many others.

Diana Maria Riva
Bandstand- The New American Broadway Musical

"There is not one aspect of my professional, artistic, creative and personal life that is not shaped or informed by my years of study at CCM.  From the way I conduct to the way I compose to the way I relate to other people, I am employing as second nature the foundational principles of the craft of acting as specifically taught within the halls of CCM.  Once one learns the process of creating truth - truth in the imaginary circumstance or in the moment to moment living of life - one cannot un-lean it.  One cannot simply turn it off or fail to recognize it and be drawn to it (or conversely recognize falsehood and be repelled by it).  And it was in the rehearsal rooms, workshops and on the stages of CCM that truth and the methods by which it can (and must) be realized was given to me.  Although "given" is not quite accurate.  It was fought for.  It was wrestled with.  It was earned.  And it is my proudest achievement."   - Richard Oberacker 

Richard Oberacker (CCM Acting 1993)

Richard is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2006 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Richard's most recent project is the New American Broadway musical BANDSTAND, with music, lyrics, and book by Richard. It was nominated for two Tony awards, and stars Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, and Beth Leavel. Conductor, composer, lyricist and librettist Richard Oberacker is the musical director for Cirque du Soleil’s “KA” in Las Vegas. Prior engagements include those of conductor, arranger and contributing composer for Cirque’s world tour of DRALION, conductor of the national tours of Disney’s THE LION KING, Harold Prince’s revival of SHOW BOAT, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s symphonic concert tour  “MUSIC OF THE NIGHT”, and CATS. Broadway credits include MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE and MISS SAIGON. He has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Bolshoi Symphony in Moscow. As a composer and lyricist, Mr. Oberacker’s original musicals include A LITTLE THEATER (Aurelia Theater, 1993), IN THAT VALLEY (National Alliance for Musical Theater Festival of New Works, NYC, 1999), DRACULA (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2002), and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FISHMAN (Commissioned by Clear Channel Entertainment, Signature Theatre 2002). Mr. Oberacker has also created theatrical scores for dramas such as THE TROJAN WOMEN and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM as well as original works for the Nevada Ballet Theatre. 

With co-lyricist and co-author Robert Taylor, Mr. Oberacker has collaborated on several new musicals including ACE, originally commissioned by Clear Channel Entertainment, and presented as part of the 2005 National Alliance for Musical Theater New Works Festival in New York. The first full production of ACE premiered in 2006, touring to three major regional theaters; The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the TONY Award winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the TONY Award winning Old Globe Theater of San Diego. A new version of ACE premiered in 2008 at Washington DC’s TONY Award winning Signature Theater. Oberacker and Taylor’s musical JOURNEY TO THE WEST, based on the epic Ming Dynasty Chinese novel “Xi You Qi”, premiered in 2006 at the New York Musical Theater Festival. Their musical THE PARENTING PROJECT [formerly “Don’t Make Me Pull This Show Over”} was launched in 2008 at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, and went on to have its regional premiere in an expanded form at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Mr. Oberacker and Mr. Taylor have recently been commissioned by the Signature Theatre to create a new musical based on the writings of E.T.A. Hoffman entitled THE SANDMAN, which was presented in the 2013 NAMT Festival of New Works.

Richard Oberacker
Zlatomir Moldovanski in Romeo and Juliet- Stratford Festival, Canada

"You don't get a world-class faculty like this one just anywhere. They are dedicated, talented, invested in the students, and most importantly--their vastly different areas of expertise compliment each other in ways that truly shape a well-rounded and ready artist. The importance they place on ensemble is vital for the success of a young actor. We don't often graduate and play Hamlet right away. The journey of an actor isn't easy. Jove knows I've had some hiccups, both as a student and a professional. CCM gave me the best launch for that journey. It is worth it. Welcome it! Work!"

Zlatomir Moldovanski (CCM Acting 2011)

Zlatomir is a Chicago-based actor and theatre teacher who is currently a resident company member of the renowned Stratford Festival of Canada. In the 2017 Stratford season, he will play Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (pictured to the left), Hunter in a world-premiere adaptation of Treasure Island, and Carter in the world premiere of the indigenous play The Breathing Hole. His other theatre credits include Lookingglass Theatre, Profiles Theatre (as The Driver in the penultimate production of the 25-year-running Chicago favorite Hellcab), Creede Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Drilling Company, New Stage Collective, Carnegie Theatre, Plovdiv Drama Theatre, and Plovdiv Puppet Theatre. He is also a company member of the Chicago-based Level 11 Theatre. His Film/TV credits include 'Madam Secretary' for CBS. Zlatomir is originally from Bulgaria, whose rich theatrical tradition have shaped much of his individual work as a theatre artist. His one-man play Is It Feasible?, based on the short stories of Bulgarian satirist Chudomir, played to numerous sold-out houses in Florida and was an official selection of the 2014 United Solo Festival in New York. His work as a teacher revolves around the Demidov Organic Technique, originated by Nikolai Demidov in Moscow and brought to the United States by Prof. Andrei Malaev-Babel. Zlatomir has taught the Demidov technique as a guest teaching artist at CCM, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, the New College of Florida, and as an Adjunct Instructor of Acting at the Ringling College of Art and Design. He is a proud member of AEA and CAEA and is represented by Gray Talent Group in Chicago.

Zlatomir Moldovanski
Jonathan Silver

"Life as a citizen artist in society took an indelible turn once I entered and completed my training at CCM Acting. Even after my collegiate time in Cincinnati came to an end, the foundational education provided by such a searing faculty continues to have deeper meaning as I grow older, evolve, and strive for personal artistic excellence.  The result of the stumbles and struggles and successes and failures experienced alongside my colleagues while embraced by the professors helped mold the empathic, hungry, curious artist I am today and prepared me for this most challenging business."

Jonathan Silver (CCM Acting 2009)

Jonathan is an actor, voice over artist, producer, and teacher currently residing in Philadelphia, PA where he is now playing Stanley in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs.  Most recently, he performed in the rolling world-premier of White Guy on the Bus at Delaware Theatre Company and Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theatre.   

Regionally, Jonathan has been acting, directing, assistant directing, casting, and producing theatrical events with Arden Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Act II Playhouse, Delaware Theatre Company, Theatre Philadelphia, and Round Table Theatre.  He also continued his Suzuki/Viewpoints training in 2013 when he participated in the SITI Skidmore Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs, NY.

During the school year, he serves as the Acting Coach at Lower Merion High School for their program called PLAYERS - an after school, extracurricular activity where the students themselves (with guidance from professionals from the Greater Philadelphia theatrical community) run a 3-show season by choosing the productions they want to mount, interviewing and selecting an all-student management, design, marketing, and performing team, then producing each show with a high standard of excellence.

You may have even heard Jonathan voicing the recurring character Alain on the animated series Pokémon for 2 seasons.

Pictured on the left is Jonathan in the Off-Broadway production of White Guy on the Bus at 59E59 Theates in New York.

Jonathan Silver
Modern Family

"The faculty prepared me for life not just from the business side of things but as a person and an artist. I'm amazed everyday how their lessons are still unfolding and in some cases come full circle. As I grow and learn in my adult life sometimes i remember a line a teacher said to me over 6 years ago and it still resonates with me or a tool an acting teacher gave me that continues to help me in my auditions. Or how i still go back into my voice class when fleshing out a character. Each faculty member brings a different creative perspective that has truly shaped me into the well rounded arist I'm learning to be."  
- Amanda Perez

Amanda Perez (CCM Acting 2007)

Amanda's film credits include Summoned with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Don Jon with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza, A Moving Romance, and So Funny.

She appeared in The Little Dog Laughed (TheatreWorks Hartford) and in the Public Theatre production of Knives and Other Sharp Objects in New York. Some of her television credits include Modern Family, Gossip Girl, Don’t Trust the B----- in Apartment 23, Guiding Light and One Life to Live.

Amanda Perez
August: Osage County poster

"Perhaps the greatest strength of this drama program now, as it was fifteen years ago, is its committment to nurturing the individual path. This is no "cookie-cutter" department.  More than anything, I remember the great encouragement from faculty to develop our own identities and personalities as actors, to pursue projects and ideas that meant something special to us.  The great misconception in many programs is that idiosyncrasies must be stripped away, and only one method must be taught.  But in fact it is your very UNIQUENESS, coupled with an insistence to always tell the truth on stage, that is actually most sought after in the professional world.  There is no one technique, there is YOUR technique, one that will change and evolve as you do, and this is what CCM Acting teaches."  - Aaron Serotsky

Aaron Serotsky (CCM Acting 1997)

Aaron is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2008 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

His television credits include 'The Good Wife', 'Bull', 'Madame Secretary', 'Homeland', 'Sleepy Hollow', and 'Elementary'.

Aaron recently received rave reviews for his work in the Drama Desk nominated play FINKS Off-Broadway, as well as the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Poison at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.  Other New York credits include the Tony Award winning Broadway production of August: Osage County, and the Off-Broadway productions of Blue Flower (Second Stage) and Frankenstein (37 Arts).  He performed in the First National Tour of the musical Titanic as well as new play workshops for the Roundabout, NYTW, the Vineyard, Yale Rep, Sundance and others.  Regional credits include La Jolla, Denver (five seasons), Seattle Rep, Northlight (Jeff nomination), Goodspeed, Sacramento, Alliance, Arizona and others.  He's made international appearances at the English Theatres of Vienna and Frankfurt, and can be seen on television in episodes of “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order,” “The Unusuals,” “The Beautiful Life,” “Guiding Light,” and “All My Children,” as well as various commercials.

Aaron Serotsky
Keith-Pillow--Judging-Amy

“The CCM Acting program gave me an excellent and invaluable education. I got to work in every acting class and was involved in numerous productions and workshops. This preparation, along with a very dedicated, caring and honest faculty, allowed us to take risks and grow. There was such a respect for the history and the craft of acting.  It wasn’t about us; it was about the work.  We found joy in doing the work and doing good work becomes its own reward. This can help an actor keep his joy and confidence in a very difficult and highly subjective profession.  I am very fortunate to have gone there and think on my time there with much love.”

Keith Pillow (CCM Acting 1989)

Keith is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2015 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Keith Pillow has been seen in over 70 episodes of television with guest appearances on The Mentalist, Glee, The Goldbergs, Law & Order L.A., The Closer, Nip/Tuck, Hot in Cleveland, 24, CSI and Cold Case to name a few. He has had recurring roles on Judging Amy, The Shield, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Awkward and Pretty Little Liars. He has also appeared on The Young & The Restless, General Hospital, and The Bold & the Beautiful.

A classically trained singer and actor, Keith is very much at home on the stage. Among his credits are Show Boat (Broadway Touring Company), Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour), Hud in HAIR (European Tour), and Jim in Big River (National Tour). Keith was also featured at the prestigious Theater des Westens in Berlin as Jacob in La Cage aux Folles, and in productions of My Fair Lady, Anything Goes and Evita (Stuttgart).

Keith has appeared in over 20 National and Regional Commercials as well as numerous films.

Keith-Pillow-2015
Adrien Finkel-Popstar-Emma Stone

"CCM's teaching truly shaped me into the human being I am today.  Whether I am on set giving direction, in a creative meeting, or performing in front of the camera, I am constantly thriving to be more open, more grounded, and in tune with my environment. The tools CCM gave me to achieve that level of connection are priceless."

Adrien Finkel (CCM Acting 2008)

Adrien Finkel is a producer and development executive at Party Over Here in Los Angeles, CA.  The development company, run by SNL's The Lonely Island, produces independent films, as well as television for 20th Century Fox. As an actor, you can see Adrien in commercials for Nintendo and Wendy's.  She has appeared on '90210' (CW), 'Hard Times of RJ Berger' (MTV), and starred in the indie feature, 'Exodus Fall', opposite Rosanna Arquette. Adrien has been producing with The Lonely Island team for several years and is featured as an actor/voice over artist on their most recent comedy album and their latest Universal/Judd Apatow film, 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping', where she also served as Associate Producer.

Pictured left: Adrien and Emma Stone on the set of 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping'

 

Adrien Finkel
Michael Littig

"Everything I have ever done in my career as a theater artist can be traced back to my four years at CCM Acting. The training I received provided a foundation of imagination, technique, and the necessary questions to propel me as an artist.  The special thing about CCM Acting is the faculty, as they continue to provide inspiration to me years after I have graduated."  
- Michael Littig  

Michael Littig (CCM Acting 2005)

Michael is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2016 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Michael Littig is an actor, teacher, and arts activist. New York acting credits include Word to the Action (NYSF/Public Theater), Age of Innocence (Mint Theater), and Esther (NYC Opera). Regionally, he has appeared in Master Harold and the Boys (Portland Stage), As You Like ItTwelfth Night, Hamlet, Henry V, Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey), The Chosen, The Glass Menagerie (The Hippodrome) and Crowbar (Hangar Theatre), among others. As an associate artist with Theater Mitu, he has performed internationally in A Dreamplay (Abu Dhabi), HEARTPIECE (Mongolia), Juarez: A Documentary Mythology (Mexico/New York), and the upcoming Hamlet/ Ur Hamlet (Abu Dhabi).

As a teacher, Michael has served on faculty at the NYU Graduate Actor Training Program and Stella Adler Conservatory. Most recently, he served as a vocal coach for NYU-Abu Dhabi’s production of The Odyssey and as a teaching artist for the Shakespeare Society in New York. 

As a Fulbright Scholar in Drama, he conducted research investigating the relationship between a shaman and an actor in Mongolia.  There, in addition to his research, he engaged communities through theater workshops and produced his first play, Children’s Park, with Mongolian and American artists in Ulaanbaatar.  

He is the founder of The Great Globe Foundation (www.greatglobefoundation.org), an organization dedicated to increasing cultural exchange and empowering voices through the arts, and the proud co-founder of The Dadaab Theater Project. He has received grants in cultural diplomacy from the UNHCR (United Nations High Council for Refugees), US State Department, Save the Children, Filmaid International, Portland Stage Company, and CEC Arts Link.

Michael has trained extensively with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Mario Biagini and the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Italy, and his mentor, Patrick Page. He holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Michael Littig
Julianna Bloodgood in Kenya

“CCM Acting was my artistic birthplace. Not only was I given world class tools and skills to develop my craft as an actor but was nurtured and mentored to begin my path as an artist. CCM Acting required a rigor and strength of me that has since served me in more ways than I ever could have imagined, as an artist and as a human being. There, I began to ask myself questions that went beyond how I could become the best actor possible, to what it meant to be an artist in the world today and how I could become the best artist possible. From my extraordinary teachers I developed skills, I developed craft and I developed character.” – Julianna Bloodgood

Julianna Bloodgood (CCM Acting 2005)

Julianna is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2017 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Julianna holds an MA from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) in conjunction with Teatr Pieśń Kozła of Poland. She currently resides in Wrocław, Poland, working as a company member with the award-winning physical and music based theatre company, Teatr Pieśń Kozła (Song of the Goat), and is a founding member of the pedagogical and performance research ensemble Odra Ensemble. Ms. Bloodgood is an adjunct company member with Theater Mitu and has traveled and worked with Mitu in Thailand, India, Mexico, Abu Dhabi and New York.

Julianna’s work largely consists of community-based projects and artistic outreach as well as anthropological performance research and creating ensemble based original works. As a part of her performance research, Julianna has travelled to Spain studying “Gypsy Flamenco’ culture, the Rhodopi mountains of Bulgaria researching ritual and traditional music, to Thailand and South India studying traditional art forms and martial arts, to east Kenya interfacing with and learning from the cultures found in the Dadaab refugee camps and to the Hopi reservation of Arizona investigating ritual dances.  

She is a founding member of the Great Globe Foundation, an organization devoted to increasing cultural exchange and empowering voices through the arts, and is the proud co-founder of The Dadaab Theater Project, a youth based theater project in Dadaab, Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp. She has also worked extensively with True Body Project, an international non-profit committed to empowering women and girls to stay in their true bodies and grow and maintain their authentic voices and is a founding member of Jubilo, a Wrocław based organization using music, rhythm and movement as a vehicle for self-development and communication working with youth with mental handicaps as well as children of the Roma community living in Wrocław. Julianna has served as a faculty member at the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) and is a teacher of yoga and Pilates.

Julianna Bloodgood
Tales from the Tunnel

"I can say with absolute certainty that my time at CCM Drama prepared me for every aspect of show business and life: the highs, the lows, professionalism, preparation and craft versus tricks. Each person picks up tools on their journey, but the essentials needed to build a lasting career as a working artist, were earned during my time at CCM. Thanks to those four years, I can walk into any room or situation with confidence, not arrogance, expecting to succeed."   - Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones (CCM Acting 2003)

Pictured left is Brandon Jones in the Off-Broadway production of Tales From the Tunnel at the Bleecker Street Theatre. He is currently starring as Dizzy King in The Obeah Symphony at the Billie Holiday Theatre. This summer he will be originating the role of Harrison Wright in the musical SCANDUSICAL! based on the hit TV series Scandal. Recent theater credits include: You Can't Take It With You (TACT), Inside The Rain (Dixon Place),Vanguard, Fallujah, Show Me Yours and I'll Show You... (IMPACT 2012 Festival at Culture Project), Spoon River Anthology (Riverside Theater), ReEntry (International Tour/Actors Theater of Louisville/Round House Theater), The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile (Billie Holiday Theatre), Mush (FringeNYC/LaMama), Lobby Hero (Whalers' Warf Theater), Race Music (The Beckett Theater), and Tales From The Tunnel (Bleecker St Theater). Film credits include: Brothers Incorporated, Trust22, TAGGED!, Francis of Williamsburg, Mildred Richards and NTA. Voice Over: McDonald's, Pierre Foods, Kentucky Historical Society, Lebron James' marketing firm LMJ Marketing, Howcast.com and the United States Joint Services Wiring Action Group. Brandon is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Regionally he has been seen in Santa Fe in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot with the  Garson Theater and in his home-state of Kentucky as Othello in Othello, as Edgar in King Lear  Lexington Shakespeare Festival, as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream and as Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird all with Lexington Shakespeare Festival. His film credits include Francis of Brooklyn, Tagged Hood Scrapping, Mildred Richards, and Brothers Incorporated.

Check out www.brandonjonesonline.com for news and updates.

Brandon Jones
Across the Universe poster

"CCM Acting laid the foundation for my journey as an artist. The faculty pushed me to face my fears, but supported me so that I knew I could face those fears and come out as a strong, confident artist on the other side.  And I did.

CCM offered opportunities that opened up a whole new world that ultimately led to my current career as a stunt woman.  Talk about facing fears.  My skills as an actor were more helpful to me the the stunt arena than anyone can ever imagine.

It's amazing! CCM is an amazing place to grow, study and hone one's craft."   - Nicole Callender

Nicole Callender (CCM Acting 1992)

Nicole is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2011 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Nicole is a stunt woman as well as an actor, regionally and off Broadway. Most recently Nicole doubled Michelle Hurst in the TV show Orange is the New Black, and prior to that she was a pregenant stunt woman in the TV show Golden Boy. She is also the stunt double for Megan Goode in the TV series Deception. Other recent credits include a TV pilot called The Leftovers, as well as Birdman, Winter’s Tale, Campus The Dictator, with Sacha Baron Cohen, The Dark Night Rises, Bitter Pill, Now You See Me, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Several years ago she spent three weeks in Valdosta, Georgia being a stunt zombie in the feature film Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson. Other recent feature film stunt credits include, Tower Heist, Premium Rush, The Adjustment Bureau, Wall Street 2, The Sorcerers Apprentice, She’s Out of My League, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Precious, The International, Don’t Mess with the Zohan, College Road Trip, where she doubled Raven Symone, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I am Legend, American Gangster, Underdog, Spider Man-3, Enchanted, Across the Universe, The Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee, War of the Worlds, directed by you know who Strangers with Candy, and Ladder 49, to name a few.

Nicole has also been seen as a stunt performer in such commercials as Barclay’s Bank, Wendys, Burger King, and Jackson Hewitt, and television shows such as Rescue Me, Law & Order (Criminal Intent & SVU), All My Children, Third Watch, It’s a Miracle, and Oz.

Some of her favorite NYC and Regional acting credits include Kat in All in the Miming, Anton in Show Business, Pride’s Crossing, Romaine and others in The Laramie Project, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Lily in Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, D’artagnan in Duelists, Doto in A Phoenix too Frequent, Lady McDuff, in Macbeth, Viola in Twelfth Night, Joan of Arc and Lady Bona in Henry VI Pts, I, II & III, Delta in Freeman and Lunatics, Joy in The Rights, and Bonita in The Good Times are Killing Me.

Nicole-Callender--2011
Parks and Recreation Poster

Cooper Thornton (CCM Acting 1992)

Cooper is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2007 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

For three seasons he has appeared as Dr. Harris on the hit comedy series PARKS AND RECREATION on NBC.

He recently finished shooting the feature film THE CONGRESS with Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, and Harvey Keitel. He also appeared in the Bruce Willis film A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, as well as guest starring on NCIS on CBS.

Film: Sully with Tom Hanks, Fracture, with Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn and Sir Anthony Hopkins, The House of Sand and Fog with Ben Kingsley, Flightplan with Jodie Foster.

Television: NCIS: New Orleans, My Name Is Earl, Hannah Montana, Cold Case, The Practice, Scrubs, Judging Amy, CSI, Las Vegas.

Cooper Thornton
Stephanie Brait in Golden Boy

Stephanie Brait (CCM Acting 2010)

Stephanie appeared as Natasha Radkovich on the drama series GOLDEN BOY on CBS this season. At CCM Stephanie was a Cincinnatus Scholar and a League of Cincinnati Theatre’s Rising Star. Last season she appeared on I Just Want My Pants Back on MTV.

She recently re-located to Los Angeles from New York, and finished filming the feature film Bastards of Young. She was also seen on television in Law and Order: SVU and Georgetown as well as in the films Meth and Run to Me Run From Me.

Stephanie Brait
I Am Not A Hipster- Dominic Bogart

"They didn't try to take the farm out of the boy and polish me into an entertainer.  Instead they allowed me to keep my uniqueness and gain self knowledge while provoking artistic growth and teaching me tools to yield creativity and honesty on the stage.  For myself, it was a privilege to have learned from the hard working faculty of formidable artists, and I continue to draw from that intensive study experience in my professional career."   - Dominic Bogart

Dominic Bogart (CCM Acting 2000)

Dominic is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2012 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

He recently stared in the critically acclaimed Sundance Film Festival selected feature, I Am Not A Hipster (www.iamnotahipster.com), and the upcoming SXSW Film Festival selected sci-fi thriller, Extracted. Television credits include HBO's The Chris Rock Show, a recurring role on ABC's FlashForward, and a lead in the PBS/Futurestates episode, The Dig.

Theatre:  Nick Massi in Jersey Boys (San Francisco/Chicago Company), Mark Cohen in Rent (National Tour), Jim in Soho Repertory Theatre's Obbie award winning Molly's Dream, Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at New Bedford Festival Theatre, Sacrificing Boundaries at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, and Bat Boy at Portland Center Stage and Human Race Theatre Company. 

Upcoming film releases include a supporting role opposite Malin Akerman in the punk culture historical film, CBGB, a supporting role opposite Norman Reedus in Hello Herman, leading roles in the SXSW Film Festival selected sci-fi drama, Extracted, and the mystery thriller, The Ghost and The Whale.  Dominic is currently filming a lead in the BCDF Pictures drama, Mahjong In The West.

Dominic Bogart
Lauren Ashley Carter

" I cannot say enough wonderful things about the training I received during my time at CCM. I became a more focused and giving performer, and gained a strong backbone from the experience. It ain't for sissies."  
- Lauren Ashley Carter

Lauren Ashley Carter (CCM Acting 2007)

Lauren is a sought after talent in the world of horror films. She has starred in such films as 'Imitation Girl', 'The Pod', 'Jugface', and 'The Woman'. On television Lauren has appeared on Law and Order SVU and in the film  Premium Rush with Joseph Gordon Levitt. Other film credits include The Prodigies and Rising Stars.

Her Off-Broadway credits include Night Sky, and Any Given Monday (59th e.59th st). Regionally she has been seen in Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch at the George St. Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, a role she reprised at the Well Fleet Harbor Theater in Cape Cod. She appeared in Miracle on South Division Street at the Human Race Theatre Co.

You may have seen her on television commercials for NY Lotto, Orbitz travel, and Google tablet.

Lauren Ashley Carter
The Lion King- Timon eye- Damian Baldet

"CCM gave me so much more than a set of tools.  They gave me a way of looking at life and a way of making art.  They taught me that the things that make a person whole are the same things that can make an artist.  I use what I learned every single day, both on stage and off.  They showed me that what we do in the theatre can be important, impactful and restorative - not just for audience and actor, but for the society they inhabit.

Additionally, Richard Hess taught me how to love a woman, shoot a gun and kill a man." – Damian Baldet

Damian Baldet (CCM Acting 1995)

Damian is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2013 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Damian has appeared in The Lion King since 2005 as Timon in the London, North American National Tour, and Mandalay Bay Las Vegas productions. He has sung Hakuna Matata in cities across the world including Cincinnati, San Jose, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Spokane, Austin, Las Vegas, and Taipei, Taiwan.

Other credits include appearing Off Broadway in Pugilist at the Barrow Street Theatre, and with the Obie Award winning company The Civilians in Gone Missing, Nobody's Lunch, Paris Commune, and Canard Canard Goose. He appeared in the La Jolla Playhouse productions of Hoover Comes Alive!, directed by Alex Timbers, Blood Wedding, and Sweet Bird of Youth. Other regional theatre productions include A Murder, A Mystery and a Marriage at Two River Theatre Company in New Jersey, Attempts On Her Life and Frankenstein at Soho Rep in New York, Hapless with the Joe Goode Performance Group in San Francisco, and locally in Poor Super Man at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.

After earning his BFA in Acting from CCM, Damian earned his MFA from the University of California at San Diego. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA/AEA. He is married to Alison Weller and has a beautiful daughter, Nola. 

Damian Baldet
Kelly McCormick in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

"Having CCM on my resume is shorthand for "prepared and professional" for anyone sitting behind the audition table -- which is just as important as "talented" for most creative teams.  I knew during my time at CCM Acting that I was growing every day, personally and professionally, and learning essential skills to be a successful working actor.  Yet it wasn't until a few years post-graduation, following the last note of an 8-show week of Children of Eden at Ford's Theatre, when my castmate Telly turned to me and said, "You have the best technique of anyone I've ever met" that it really sunk in.  Not that I don't still have things to learn -- but knowing my training was so solid and deeply ingrained meant I could stay grounded in spite of the curveballs this business has thrown at me." 
- Kelly McCormick

Kelly McCormick (CCM Acting 1998)

Kelly trained in both the Voice and Acting Departments at CCM, a singer who knew that to succeed in the business she needed to be an actress who sings. As a result, Kelly has played the greatest roles in the musical theatre repertoire across the country and on National Tours, where she appeared as Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and as Fantine in Les Miserables, a role she reprised in the regional premiere at Pioneer Theatre Company. She also toured with National Tour of The Sound of Music.

She appeared in Caroline or Change at Cape Fear Playhouse, Goodspeed’s Hello! My Baby (Frances); Arizona Theatre Company’s [title of show] (Heidi) and The Pajama Game (Babe); Pittsburgh CLO’s 1776 (Martha Jefferson) Prince Music Theatre’s Pal Joey (Linda), and Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. in Children of Eden.

She has also appeared as a featured soloist with the Omaha and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras.

Kelly McCormick
Samuel-Stricklen--Six-Degrees

"The faculty at CCM Acting are some of the most dedicated and talented people I’ve known. Throughout the year they work in professional theatre, participate in workshops, and immerse themselves in a variety of opportunities as artists. I will always be grateful that throughout my four years as a student at CCM Acting, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing faculty committed to continued learning and sharing."  
- Samuel Stricklen

Samuel Stricklen (CCM Acting 2003)

Samuel appeared in the Broadway production of Superior Donuts. Pictured at left is Samuel in the Old Globe production of Six Degrees of Separation with Tony Award winning actress Karen Ziemba.

His long association with Anne Bogart and the SITI Co, begun while he was a student in CCM Drama, has seen him appear in Louisville, New York, Canada, and Dublin in SITI Co. productions of Radio MacBeth, Under Construction, and bobrauschenbergamerica.

Recently, Samuel performed in the New Jersey premiere of Clybourne Park at Premiere Stages. Samuel is also a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Acting. Television: 'The Good Wife' , 'Law and Order', 'As the World Turns'.

His film credits include 'The Visit' and 'Landline'.

In addition, Samuel makes the world laugh in many, many commercial appearances.

Samuel Stricklen
Annie Hendy- The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity

 "My four years at CCM was the most exciting, passionate, and creative time of my life. Not only did I develop my craft but CCM gave me a work ethic and a sense of self as an artist that is invaluable. I would not be where I am today with out the love and support of the community at CCM."   - Annie Hendy

Annie Hendy (CCM Acting 2002)

Annie Hendy is an actress, playwright, screenwriter, and TV writer.

Television projects include the TV comedy pilot THE GEORGE CLOONEY MANIFESTO, which is in development at FOX network with Mark Waters (MEAN GIRLS) attached to direct.

She also recently completed the screenplay 50 DATES IN 50 STATES.

Annie is the creator of the long-running play, The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, which has been produced in theatres around the country for the past five years.  The play has won numerous awards and was recently produced by Garry Marshall at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. 

“Billed as sexy and irreverent, this play is a charming confection that uses good humor to point out obstacles on the path to love. This is a script with something for everyone.”   - Backstage West

 “Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park was proud to produce Annie Hendy’s THE CATHOLIC GIRL’S GUIDE TO LOSING YOUR VIRGINITY. The show proved to be a wonderful success—audiences being wildly entertained.  The show is certainly not limited to Catholics. Anyone who remembers the trials and tribulations of dating, anyone who likes to laugh…hell, anyone who breathes will love this show.”   Ed Stern, Artistic Director of The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

 

 

 

Annie Hendy
Philip Solomon at the White House

“My time at CCM was one of the most productive and prolific periods of artistic growth in my life, perhaps the first and most formative.  It laid the foundation for the unknown adventure of what was to come and set the stage for what would turn into my career.  This experience prepared me not only for a career as an actor, but as an artist and creator, giving me the template of skills to connect with who I am, and then, in turn, connect with others.”   - Philip Solomon

Philip Solomon (CCM Acting 1993)

Philip is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2010 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Established in 2002, Philip is the currently the President and Creative Director of Way 2 Much Entertainment, a premier live event production company specializing in the creation of inventive entertainment concepts. Way 2 Much Entertainment was a finalist for the prestigious Event Solutions’ Entertainment Company of the Year Award in 2011. As the Show Director/ Event producer Philip created private events for: President and Mrs. Obama-White House Halloween, Royal Family of Jakarta, Prime Minister of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Joan Dangerfield, Megan Mulally, and P. Diddy.

Philip serves as coordinator for Cirque Du Monde- Los Angeles. This program is part of the Social Action and Global Citizenship division of Cirque Du Soleil. Philip is also one of a select few international Social Circus Master Trainers for Cirque Du Soleil that conducts intensive workshops for socially based artists. Recent Trainings have taken Philip to Cape Town, South Africa, Melbourne Australia, and London, England.

Film: The Muppets, A Thousand Words, with Eddie Murphy, Rush Hour 3 Austin Powers- The Spy Who Shagged Me, Being John Malkovich, and In The Flesh.

Television: Late Show with David Letterman, American Music Awards (with Jennifer Lopez), General Hospital.

National commercials include Citibank, IHOP, Taco Bell, Tropicana and Radio Shack. Philip composes and produces original music for live performances. His original compositions have been performed on stages around the world and on HBO, MTV, CBS, ABC and FOX networks.

Philip Solomon
Torie Wiggins

"In my four years in the CCM Acting program, I walked right into myself - the self that is a professional, black female actress. At every audition, every rehearsal, and each class I teach, I am confident that I got the best training there is. I learned about the business, and who I am in it. I gained a "toolbox" of knowledge, and I reach into it every chance I get in the business of acting, and in life."   - Torie Wiggins

Torie Wiggins (CCM Acting 2002)

Torie is a noted Distinguished Alumnus and the 2014 recipient of the Julia Winter Cohen Career Excellence Award from CCM Acting.

Torie Wiggins is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Dramatic Performance.  She went on to create three one-woman shows – Everywhere You Look, Everywhere Else You Look, and Torie on Ice. She has co-adapted and performed another one woman show, Your Negro Tour Guide, at various venues in Cincinnati and across the country. She has appeared on All My Children, the feature film Love Me Through It and her voice can be heard on numerous national television and radio commercials for H&M, Home Depot, and Burger King, just to name a few. She recently performed as a Seasonal Resident Artist with the Know Theatre of Cincinnati, appearing in Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, Collapse, Afghan Women Writer's Project, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. She also appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and performed the title role in Black Pearl Sings! at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, both of which she was nominated for an LCT Award. She can be seen in the upcoming productions of Oliver Twist at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and The Mountaintop at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati this season.

Torie Wiggins
Tom Korbee

"The most important thing you can learn as an actor and a functioning adult is the ability to know YOUR truth, live in you your truth, share your truth and be available to accept the truths of others. That is what I learned in Acting at CCM. The Acting faculty are all very unique, challenging and encouraging. They have a special way of bringing out the best in you that you won't find anywhere else and the talent you are in class with on a daily basis is unparalleled. This school prepares you to enter into a life of extreme challenges and rewards and if I had the chance to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. I found my wife here. I found my life here. I found truth here."  
- Tom Korbee

Tom Korbee (CCM Acting 2002)

Tom is most widely known for his work as a recording artist, record producer and actor. His current project, KORBEE, the pop rock duo formed by Tom and his wife, CCM Musical Theatre Alum ('02) Jenn Korbee, released their debut EP, Better Life, in 2012 and are releasing their second record in early fall of 2013. They have played The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and have sold out famous venues like LA's Hotel Cafe, Room 5 and many more. The Better Life EP was produced by KORBEE along with a team of notable producers: Jim McGorman (Avril Lavigne, Poison, Cher, Brett Michaels, Marc Broussard) and Robb Vallier (Jon Bon Jovi, Gin Blossoms, Richie Sambora).

Before forming KORBEE, Tom was also part of the songwriting team/band KORBEE JONES, comprised of Tom, Jenn, and mulit-platinum hit maker Daniel Jones of Savage Garden. In 2011/2012 Tom produced, engineered the record and single, Whattaya Say, by Jacob Saylor, which was featured prominently in the blockbuster film "New Year's Eve."

As an actor, Tom originated the role of the "young man" and worked very closely with Jerry Herman in the world premiere of Showtune, The Jerry Herman Songbook Off Broadway and is heard in the cast recording, and featured in the PBS film Words and Music: Jerry Herman alongside broadway vets like Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, Donna McKechnie, Martin Vidnovic, Michael Feinstein etc. He also starred in and originated the lead role of Tinker in the world premiere musical Pilgrim at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in LA.

Tom also started TCKPHOTO.COM and has become a very well known photographer in LA / NY. His shots have been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Mashable, Playbill.com, Broadway World.com, Seventeen Magazine, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The Producer's Guild Awards (opening image of the 2012 program) and many more. He's shot Natalie Cole, DeRay Davis, Dr. Phil, Tony Bennet, Kevin Sorbo, Magic Johnson, and many other famous faces. For more info, go to: korbeemusic.com  

Tom Korbee
Sara Gaare

"At CCM, I learned to think outside of the box. Before my studies there, I thought I had to fit a mold or “type” so I could be cast in other people’s work. CCM taught me to break the mold and create my own art.  The entire faculty supported and nurtured me even when my art turned out to be mostly fart jokes. Good thing Richard Hess loves a good fart joke."   - Sara Gaare

Sara Gaare (CCM Acting 2006)

Sara Gaare has lived in Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. While in LA for her Senior Showcase she saw Melissa McCarthy performing at The Groundlings and said, “I want to do what she is doing!” And so her ventures into comedy and moving around began.  In LA, she studied at The Groundlings, Second City, and IO West. She studied comedy writing and wrote for PopCO, a sketch show at IO West, and performed improv at Second City under the direction of Dave Razowsky.  In Atlanta, she performed regularly at Relapse Theater and began performing a one woman show, Simply Sara.  She took her solo show to IO West and performed to sold out crowds. The Muffins: A Pop Music/Sketch Comedy Extravaganza was an Atlanta based show she wrote and directed for herself and two other comedic actresses. Now based in Chicago, Sara performs regularly on the Harold team, Bass Mountain at IO. She has also performed at ComedySportz for two years and wrote and performed in numerous shows at Second City. She performs weekly inTwo Bitches From Arkansas at The Playground Theater as Nina. She can be seen at various venues performing with MRS., a four woman comedy sketch troupe. Currently, she is writing an untitled two woman sketch show with her famous friend, Katie Featherston, star of the Paranormal Activity franchise, set to premiere at IO in the fall. www.saragaare.com.

Sara Gaare
Jake Jones

“ “We are not making well-rounded people here, we’re making actors.”  A CCM professor stated this when going over the curriculum for the Acting program at my entrance auditions. The phrase has stuck with me all these years and looking back I realize the truth and error in the statement. The very nature of the Conservatory BFA is intensely focused on the art of theater and acting, which was exactly what I wanted. After going through the program you truly come out of it as an Actor. But the approach of the faculty has the amazing side effect of creating a well-rounded person. They supply you with numerous methods and techniques, allowing you to find what works best for you, and through that you truly discover who you are as an individual and a performer. The self-discovery of who I am as an actor and a person began at CCM and continues in my work and life today.”   - Jake Jones

Jake Jones (CCM Acting 2008)

Jake Jones currently resides in Chicago working as an actor and performer in all manner of theater. Recently he spent a month in the Southern Illinois region with Stone Soup Shakespeare, touring The Tempest to small communities who often have no access to theater. The previous summer he worked in Rockford, Illinois at Artists’ Ensemble Theater in the Equity production Jeeves Takes a Bow.  Theater credits in Chicago include Love’s Labour’s Lost (Oak Park Festival Theater), The Man Who Came To Dinner (Circle Theatre), Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (Chase Park Theater), The Thin Man (City Lit Theatre) and They Fight! The Greatest Hits of Shakespeare and Marlowe (Suitcase Shakespeare).

He also appeared twice in Commedia Beauregard’s cult hit A Klingon Christmas Carol. The show, which is performed completely in the Klingon language, is so unique it was used for jokes in both Jimmy Fallon’s and Conan O’Brien’s opening monologues.  It also earned Jake a mention in the Star Trek Vault book, securing his spot in the Trekkie universe for all time.

Regionally, Jake has worked with CATCO in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio and The Shakespere Theater of New Jersey.

While in Chicago, Jake has also developed a deep love for children’s theater, working with numerous companies performing a wide range of shows, from social issues theater, to fairy tales, to interactive improv. Coming from a family of teachers, in the past years he has begun teaching acting and improv for children.

Jake Jones
APB on Fox

Ty Olwin (CCM Acting 2013)

Ty Olwin has appeared in Chicago with Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ in The Burials and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Previous Chicago credits include Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976 (Goodman Theatre); Brilliant Adventures (Steep Theatre); Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago); Vieux Carre (Raven Theatre); and Living Newspaper Festival 2013, 2016 (Jackalope Theatre Company). Television credits include 'Crisis' 'Chicago Fire', 'Patriot' and 'APB'. Film credits include 'Personal Shopper'.Ty is a proud graduate of CCM Acting and the School at Steppenwolf 2012.

He will next appear in Hir with Amy Morton and Francis Guinan and in The Rembrandt at Steppenwolf.

Ty-Olwin--2013
Sarah Stephens

"My journey with CCM Acting truly gave me a solid foundation for my journey as an actress. Through my experiences and lessons there and thereafter, I've transformed my lifestyle to a place where those lessons influence my life in strikingly positive and remarkable ways. Plus they gave me a home. You can't beat a good home."   - Sarah Stephens

Sarah Stephens (CCM Acting 2008)

Sarah Ellen Stephens starred in the world premiere of Adam Rapp's Classic Kitchen Timer at the Flea Theater, landing her the cover of the L.A. Times Arts section, handing her the keys to New York's downtown theatre scene.

Other world premiere's include Take Her to See the Maco Lights by, and in collaboration with Bekah Brunstetter. Also Playing with Fire directed by Labyrinth Theater Co.'s John Gould Rubin. She's starred in the webseries American MD and appeared in the webseries Finding Me. One of her favorite productions to date is still Doubt, A Parable directed by Richard Hess with the Human Race Theatre Co.

She's recently wrapped the indie feature Straight Outta Tompkins as well as the short Gray Dog written by playwright John Kolvenbach, headed for SXSW. She also will be featured in Why Now?! directed by Adam Rapp starring Sam Rockwell and Marisa Tomei.

Sarah Stephens
The Satori Group

“At CCM, my transformation from inspired and idealistic youth to dedicated and intentional artist was nurtured and pruned, not molded or manipulated.  My personal, professional and artistic study at CCM gifted me the techniques and tools to be an actor and new works maker, but more importantly, showed me the trailhead to becoming an artist in the world.  In the end though, it comes down to people.  The CCM faculty is what makes the difference.  Go meet them, you’ll see what I mean.”   -Adam Standley

Adam Standley (CCM Acting 2007)

Adam Standley has rooted in the Seattle as a co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of the new-works company, the Satori Group (www.satori-group.com).  With the Satori Group, Adam has become a theatre maker, producer, and educator.

Satori Credits include: reWilding (creator/performer), Linedry (creator), Microdramas (creator/performer), The Making of a Monster (director/creator/performer),  Winky (performer),  Tradedy: a tragedy (director), The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador (performer), Never Swim Alone (performer), Hello, Again (performer) and iLove: (creator/performer).

His work in educating has led him to the east coast and up and down the west coast, teaching at Williams College, in Williamstown Mass, University of Washington, in San Francisco, and Seattle.

Regional credits include:  Hamlet, Anthony and Cleopatra (Seattle Shakespeare Company) Trouble in Mind, We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Stu for Silverton (Intiman) Crash (Seattle Childrens Theatre) Titus, Love Horse (Washington Ensemble Theatre), Hamlet, Christmas Yet to Come (Know Theatre of Cincinnati) and Radiant Baby (New Stage Collective).

He continued study of movement, imagination and generation with master teachers and peers: Frank Oz Theatre (Australia), Pig Iron Theatre, Gob Squad (Germany/England), SITI Company, and, truly, the Satori Group.

Adam Standley
Maria Kelly

"During my four years at CCM, I was exposed to a variety of acting, voice, and movement methods, techniques, and styles, and encouraged by an extraordinary team of teachers to create my own unique approach to, or individual craft within the art form.  I am exceedingly grateful for this expansive toolbox and the continued mentorship, as it allows me to unconsciously use my training to confidently and easily adapt to any situation, whether on or off stage.  Furthermore, it has inspired me to challenge convention and make work at unlikely crossroads, which keeps the often difficult journey fresh and meaningful."   - Maria Kelly

Maria Kelly (CCM Acting 2002)

Maria Portman Kelly is an actor and arts advocacy administrator.  She has performed with Superhero Clubhouse, for which she worked as Producing Managing Director for three seasons, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Theater at Monmouth, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Public Theatre of Maine, The Culture Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and was granted the sole female Acting Fellowship by Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC, during the 2006-2007 season.  Maria is General Manager of The Bushwick Starr, an Obie Award-winning theater in Brooklyn, and a co-founding teaching artist for Big Green Theater, their Environmental Education Initiative.  Additionally, Maria serves as Programs Manager for Brooklyn Parkinson Group, a nonprofit organization that offers free community-based arts, education, and support services for all those effected by Parkinson's Disease, and acts as Program Coordinator for Dance for PD®, their joint effort with Mark Morris Dance Group.  She is currently developing a theater class for persons with Parkinson's in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Maria Kelly
Mikhail-Roberts--Opus

"The training at CCM Acting is second to none. It's not just a great acting program, it is the best there is. Their aggressive curriculum churns raw talent into focused, skilled, professionals-- ready for show-business."  
- Mikhail Roberts

 

Mikhail Roberts (CCM Acting 2008)

Mikhail Roberts is President of Two Tims Entertainment, LLC--an indie production house specializing in content-creation, filming, and editing music, video and film projects of all shapes and sizes. He's also starred in several feature films in Los Angeles, including 'OPUS', 'A BETTER PLACE', and 'SAKI THE KILLER', and frequently takes the stage as both a live-musician and as an actor.  His band Released their first album in 2011 their second in 2012, and is currently in production of a third. He spent two years in Japan in a live combat show at Universal Studios.

Mikhail Roberts
Paul Miller

"CCM held me artistically accountable as well as challenged me as whole person.  I believe conservatory training is the only reason I have made my living as an artist.  While a student I didn't always appreciate the "opportunities" or mandatory classes but as a producing artist the hours spent in the costume, prop and make-up shops  have saved the day on many levels.   If my kids want to make a life in the arts the conservatory approach would be my choice."   - Paul Miller

Paul Miller (CCM Acting 1998)

Every culture has the jester, the medicine man or the clown. Paul Hallinan Miller has assumed the archetypal role of the clown with gusto. After initially being rejected from the prestigious Ringling Bros. Clown College, a year later he successfully auditioned, gained admission and earned a contract. He accepted the contract with Ringling Bros. and dropped out of college his senior year to tour with what is trademarked “the greatest show on earth.” Miller returned to college to graduate with a degree in Dramatic Performance from CCM Drama. After graduating, he performed as a clown in casinos. He then moved to NYC and landed many roles on soap operas and performed off-off Broadway at the Tribeca Playhouse and with The Free Style Repertory Company. In 2001 he moved to Chicago, where he taught Comedy and Character at Roosevelt University and created CircEsteem.

Next Miller bought a former movie theatre built in 1946 in Ludlow, KY, now the home of Circus Mojo, an organization Miller created which uses circus for pure entertainment as well as positive social change. Under Miller’s direction, Circus Mojo offers circus classes, corporate team buildings and special events and adapts the circus to unique environments such as nursing homes, juvenile detention centers, and hospitals and psychiatric facilities. Some of Circus Mojo’s national clients include the University of Minnesota and Texas Children’s Hospital and local clients include Proctor & Gamble, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the third leading children’s hospital in the nation.

Paul Miller
Bite Me- with Justin Giddings

“I can’t tell you how many times I said a little prayer of gratitude to myself for choosing to get my BFA from CCM. Confidence and tenacity will only get you so far and at the end of the day, being a trained professional actor has been the main element I can point to that has allowed me to have a dynamic career that I’m proud of. Let’s not kid ourselves - spending 40+ hours a week bettering myself as an actor under the tutelage of peerless professors DEFINITELY matters when it comes time to deliver the goods in a room with 12 cranky TV producers who are about to commit hari kiri because they’ve heard the same read from the twenty guys before you. Stay in school, kids.”   - Justin Giddings

Justin Giddings (CCM Acting 2007)

Since graduating from CCM and making the great migration West, Justin Giddings has been seen acting in over two dozen projects. He starred in Machinima/Lionsgate’s hit zombie-comedy web series BITE ME (40+ million views on YouTube alone), national commercials for Kenmore and Axe Body Spray, and television shows such as ABC Family’s PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and FOX’s WOLFPACK OF RESEDA. He also stars in the upcoming Bigfoot feature film STOMPING GROUND. Besides acting, Justin is now writing professionally and just shot his directorial debut THIS IS NORMAL, the controversial indie film that explores the many challenges of the Deaf community. www.JustinGiddings.com

Justin Giddings
Ryann Turner

"At CCM, I learned how to become more of myself, both as an individual and as an artist. Because the faculty is so wonderfully diverse (both in terms of their personalities and approach), I was able to gather from a wide variety of techniques and then build my own process that was suited perfectly for me as an individual. Having the ability to be facile and adaptable has allowed me to flourish in the world of professional acting."   - Ryann Turner

Ryann Turner (CCM Acting 2006)

Based in Los Angeles, Ryann Turner continues to work both the stage and screen. On stage, Ryann’s resume spans from NY to LA with starring roles in works such as WHISKEY GIRL, THE ALTRUISTS (opposite Broadway’s Finn Wittrock), and STEEL MAGNOLIAS. She has been seen on ABC’s UP ALL NIGHT opposite Maya Rudolph and worked with SNL’s Kevin Nealon for two episodes of Showtime’s hit show WEEDS. She starred in the pilot for Sony Entertainment’s THE UNKOWN directed by Martha Coolidge (Real Genius, Valley Girl, Lost In Yonkers). Ryann is also making a name for herself in indie films such as GLOW and THIS IS NORMAL. She is the co-founder of Giddy Welshman Productions. www.RyannTurner.com

Ryann Turner
Drew DiCostanzo

 “The four years I spent studying at CCM were filled with incredible growth - not just as an artist but also as a person. The multifaceted training that CCM provides created an extraordinary base for the diverse theatrical career I have enjoyed. In my current role as Producer/Director/Writer of PIN UP in Las Vegas, I have had the privilege to work with an incredibly talented team of performers, designers and technicians. CCM provided me with the creative vocabulary and theatrical experience to work with each member of the cast, crew and design team effectively. CCM taught me to create with an artistic vision and then provided the skillset to make that vision a reality.” – Drew DiCostanzo

Drew DiCostanzo   (CCM Acting 1995)

Drew DiCostanzo is the Producer/Director/Writer for the Stratosphere’s new show PIN UP in Las Vegas.

Drew was also the Producer/Director/Writer of the immersive and eccentric DR. HAVOCK’S SIDESHOW OF CURIOSITIES which premiered at the Stratosphere in 2012 which placed #2 in Where Magazine’s Top 10 Haunts in Las Vegas.  Drew was part of the production team and provided original direction for FRANKIE MORENO Live at Stratosphere which received “Best Strip Headliner” and “Best All-Around Performer” awards in 2012. Drew is married to Angela DiCostanzo and has a wonderful son, Dylan. Drew and Angela spent nearly twelve years headlining their creative, fun and unique brand of magical entertainment around the world - on land and at sea - for such gaming and leisure icons as Caesars Palace, Monte Carlo (with Lance Burton), Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. Established in 2003, Drew is the President and Creative Director of DV8 Reality Magic which has produced original entertainment for companies such as Diageo, Novartis, State Farm, Bayer Crop Science, Procter & Gamble, ALCOA, DHL Airways and Pre-Paid Legal to name just a few.

Additional illusionary design and direction credits include the10-part PBS pilot series DOOLEY, water conservation show at the Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, VA, and OPERACADABRA (with CCM alum Brian Robertson) for the Cincinnati Opera.

Drew DiCostanzo
Scott Ackerman

"When I first moved to Stockholm, I was faced with an entirely foreign theater business model and the specter of esoteric European performance art. I assumed I would have to throw out everything I learned at CCM Acting. But on the contrary, every Swedish employer I've worked with has remarked on the professionalism instilled in me by CCM--from the initial presentation of a portfolio, through the work ethic during rehearsals, to the consistency required by lengthy runs.

The adage taught at CCM, 'It's about the work', cannot be overemphasized. That work ethic combined with the openness and sense of adventure fostered at CCM has given me the courage and confidence to tackle Shakespeare in Swedish on a national stage as well as off-the-wall theatrical experiments in Stockholm basements."   - Scott Ackerman

Scott Ackerman   (CCM Acting 1997)

In 2000, Scott moved to Stockholm, Sweden. Long story, but basically he met his future wife at the Roy Hart Centre, which has a very nice chateau in France. In Sweden, Scott has appeared in far more commercials than he ever would have thought artistically acceptable as a CCM freshman. Besides several underground theater productions, Scott has worked with some of Swedish theater's luminaries. With director Lars Rudolfsson (Kristina från Duvemåla, Chess), Scott appeared in Brecht's The Bakery with live music from the Flesh Quartet, and in the box office hit Whose Little Hat Flies, written by the beloved children's author Barbro Lindgren. Scott has also appeared as Laertes, Rosencrantz (or was it Guildenstern?), the Player Queen, Fortinbras, and Marcellus in Lars Norén's production of Hamlet with the Swedish National Touring Theater. Our premiere was in HelsingØr Castle, Denmark. Hamlet's Castle! That was fun!

In 2009, Scott moved with his wife and children back to his hometown Cleveland for a two-year visit. In 2011, after moving back to Stockholm, Scott promptly gave up acting, theatre, headshots and CVs {European for resumès}. All of it. Slut! {Swedish for "over"}. But his retirement was cut short. He was cast as the lead in The Game, a children's program on the Swedish Educational Television Broadcasting Company Network. And then, despite his best efforts to leave acting behind him, he was cast as an American journalist hot on the trail of something or other having to do with the assassinated Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, in the TV thriller En Pilgrims Död, or Death of a Pilgrim . Scott's self-imposed exile was further shortened when he was cast in a small comedic role in the movie Hur Många Kramar Finns Det i Världen.

During this timeout from acting, Scott did voice-over work for mobile app-based children's stories and collaborated with the Royal Institute of Technology to provide voice-overs for animated online lectures and dabbled in theater--The Lucifer Effect at Theater Guillotine with the Bulgarian performance artist, Tana Maneva.

Scott is currently considering giving up acting again.

Scott Ackerman

CCM ACTING  .  .  .

.  .  .  IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES