CCM Studio Acting Series Presents Premiere of THE EARTH IS FLAT

CCM_The Earth is Flat promoThis work by alumnus Todd Almond is a coming-of-age tale set at UC. Admission is free but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30.

CCM opens its Studio Acting Series with the premiere of Todd Almond’s THE EARTH IS FLAT at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. Directed by CCM Acting Professor and Department Chair Richard Hess, the play runs through Saturday, Nov. 4 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

THE EARTH IS FLAT follows the story of a UC freshman named Ethan and his journey to self-discovery. Set in a UC dormitory, the play explores the universal awkwardness of the American college experience. The search for identity by those least prepared with answers resonates with unexpected comedy in this new play, which was commissioned by CCM Acting as part of the Cincinnati Playwrights Conference in 2016.

“Ethan struggles to discover what it means to step into a new life far from home as he enters college, after a personal family tragedy almost derails his life,” Hess says. “This bittersweet comedy will make your heart smile.”

“This play is important to UC and CCM because it follows a student’s journey to discover truth in a world that has fallen flat,” says CCM Acting student Olivia Passafiume, who plays the role of Jennifer in THE EARTH IS FLAT. “It explores grief, and what it means to have the rug pulled from under you during some of the most formative years of your life.”

“Most importantly, Todd Almond’s words give hope that no matter what you may believe, the power of human connection is eternal,” she adds.

Almond (BM Vocal Performance, BFA Acting 1999) is a composer, performer, lyricist and playwright. He starred alongside Courtney Love in the rock opera Kansas City Choir Boy, for which he also wrote the original book, music and lyrics. His original theatrical works include Girlfriend, Melancholy Play and musical versions of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, among others. Since graduating, Almond has returned to CCM to hold master classes and participate in the annual Cincinnati Playwrights Conference. Learn more about Almond on his professional website:

THE EARTH IS FLAT runs Nov. 2-4 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Cast List

  • Jack Steiner as Ethan
  • Graham Lutes as Derek
  • Carissa Cardy/Meg Olson as Shelly
  • Olivia Passafiume/Madeleine Page-Schmit as Jennifer
  • Carter LaCava as Guy Who Looks Like Jeremy
  • Graham Rogers as Man Various
  • Paige Jordan as Woman Various

Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Studio Drama Series Sponsor: Ms. Margaret L. Straub & Mr. Neil R. Artman

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