Collaborative storytelling during the pandemic
March of 2020 DeGeorge was rehearsing the role of The Deacon in final previews with the company
of Nickel Mines at ACT in Connecticut, when in
(what seemed like) a moment the world stopped.
He was hurried back to Cincinnati, learning Zoom and remote teaching (seemingly instantaneously) and...
some magic happened along the way.
The first pandemic project DeGeorge embarked on
was with Katy Pfaffl in June of 2020. They reimagined the Point of No Return as a layered video project
and as a response to the unrest.
Point of No Return, written by Pfaffl, was originally
staged as a live performance piece by DeGeorge, Pfaffl and CCM MT students Janary of 2020. DeGeorge previously workshopped the piece with the
Beijing Dance Academy December 2019.
Next... in collaboration with his CCM colleagues and students DeGeorge embarked on storytelling with
students he had never met in person.
What they came up with, together, was quite extraordinary.
Musical Theatre Faculty Advisor
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
- Ohio Valley Chapter
“What was so fantastic about working in the CCM Idea Lab is that we started each project with a question," DeGeorge says. "Without a clear end-goal in sight we brought this question to the entire Idea Lab group and began the brainstorming process together. This type of cross-disciplinary collaboration and experimentation was a completely new experience for the Musical Theatre freshmen who were members of the lab. I watch as our students went from being confused and overwhelmed to being excited and fully invested in the entire creative process. What an incredible educational experience this has been for all our students.”
The UC College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Idea Lab is a collaborative cross disciplinary class involving students and faculty from Theatre Design and Production (Sound, Lighting and Technical Direction), Acting, Musical Theatre, Voice and Electronic Media. The lab creates short projects exploring technical, artistic and philosophical questions.
“Gold” started with a conversation around engagement and connection. We are used to having an audience to engage with and the loss is palpable. The production team wanted to explore creating an environment where that connection could be explored in different ways — by seeing the connection between musicians, by using a 360 camera to put a viewer in the middle of the performance, and by creating an enclosed environment that was like a bubble of connectedness with a small group.
The production team wanted to create an immersive experience for an audience on the other side of a screen, to allow them to sit in the middle of a cozy, warm circle of musicians and feel connected. They enclosed the circle of the Cohen Family Studio Theatre by building replicas of the existing columns and by hanging golden lighting in a circle above the performers' heads. "Gold" has two versions; a VR experience and a multi-camera shoot with a curated point-of-view. The performance features Fergus O'Farrell's "Gold” from Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's musical Once.
Director / Producer
Each Spring, the Freshman Musical Theatre class at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music marks the conclusion of their first year in the BFA program with a showcase. Spring 2021, the MT class of 2024 and their professors (Vincent DeGeorge and Stephen Goers) took a hard and successful pivot and created a virtual showcase titled “Wake Up.” The performance features monologues written by the students and curated by DeGeorge, coupled with songs chosen intentionally and in agreement by everyone involved.
DeGeorge arranged for segments of CCM's Musical Theatre Freshman Showcase to be recorded at iconic locations throughout the city in collaboration with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Imperial Theatre Mohawk Arts Center, Memorial Hall, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Washington Park.
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.
A true collaboration: CCM's Musical Theatre Freshman Showcase was produced and directed by Associate Professor Vincent DeGeorge, with music direction, arrangements, orchestration, mix and production by Assistant Professor Stephen Goers. Music recording was provided by CCM student Aaron Harris Woodstein. CCM alum Raven Thomas served as content advisor. CCM students Nate Jones and Madison Mosley provided editing and digital imaging. Camera work was provided by students Jeffery Cornelius, Nate Jones, Madison Mosley, Nick Pattarini and August Bagg.
In the works...
The Andrée Expedition
by Dominick Argento
Cincinnati Song Initiative: Winter Song Festival
Edward Nelson: Baritone
Marie-France Lefebvre: Pianist
Vincent DeGeorge: Director
Samuel Martin: Producer
Natalia Carlson: Lighting Designer
Andree’s arctic expedition of 1897 was an effort to reach the North Pole in a balloon. All three member of the Swedish expedition – Salomon Andrée, Knut Frænkel, and Nils Strindberg – perished. In 1982 American composer Dominick Argento composed this
45-minute tour de force song cycle depicting the harrowing journey. This exciting and challenging collaboration is being brought to life in a staged version for one night only at ARCO, Cincinnati’s newest performing arts and event venue.
Sunday in the Park with George
music and lyrics by
book by James Lapine
CCM Musical Theatre
A Dream Play by August Strindberg
CCM Acting Department