Tag Archives: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Announces JumpStart Theatre Program Winners

TCTC_Jumpstart 2020

2019 JumpStart Showcase at the Taft Theatre. Each school wore a different color t-shirt: Aiken New Tech High School – Cherry Red, Finneytown Middle School – Lime green, Gamble Montessori High School – Purple, Dater High School – Gold, Felicity Franklin Middle School – Texas Orange, Holmes Middle School – Heliconia (Magenta), Clark Montessori High School – Kelly Green, Oyler School – Sapphire Blue. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

May 29, 2020, CINCINNATI:  After a months-long in-person and “virtual” selection process, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) has named the newest tri-state area schools that will partner with the JumpStart Theatre Program.  The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI) created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year scalable program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved schools that previously had none.

Bellevue Middle School in Bellevue, KY; St. Bernard Elmwood Place Schools in St. Bernard, OH; and Pleasant Ridge Montessori in Cincinnati, OH, were selected to be part of the three-year program beginning in the 2020-21 school year.  They join Hartwell Elementary, Liberty Bible Academy, and Summit Academy Cincinnati Community School who were selected last year. 

The selection process included a formal written application, site visits to the schools and interviews with administrators and the faculty who would be spearheading the program.

Kim Kern, Managing Director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati said, “After a rigorous application and interview process, we are thrilled to welcome Bellevue Middle School, St. Bernard Elmwood Place Schools and Pleasant Ridge Montessori to the JumpStart Theatre Program for the 20-21 school year.  All the schools that applied were wonderful candidates and will be invited to the boot camp trainings and to apply again for the 2021-22 school year.  We are so excited to see the continued momentum of this program, and to work alongside the Educational Theatre Foundation to continue the growth locally while they expand the reach and impact nationally.”

The selected schools are incredibly enthusiastic about beginning the process:

“The staff and students of St. Bernard are excited to have been chosen to work with Children’s Theatre to put on a school musical! This is an amazing opportunity for our students and community! We are extremely grateful!” — Erin Cupito, Teacher, St. Bernard Elmwood Place Schools

“We’re deeply grateful for this opportunity to provide options for our students to continue and explore new pathways of performance. We hope to use the transformative power of performance to enrich the lives of our students.” — Chris Wheeler, Band Director and Performing Arts, Bellevue Middle School

“It is a huge honor for Pleasant Ridge Montessori to be selected for this great opportunity.  Our students have always loved being involved in the arts and the JumpStart Theatre program will bring our school to the next level.  It aligns with our school goals of putting students at the center of all we do.  Not only will students be able to perform in a full-scale musical, but they will be able to participate in all aspects of the production.  This exposure to the arts not only will encourage our students, but also will give lasting memories and a life-long love of theatre.” — Maria Kitsinis, Music Specialist, Pleasant Ridge Montessori

Each selected school will receive services and materials valued at $12,000 in the form of training, mentoring, and production support for a show for their community. Students will be involved in every aspect of the production, and TCT and ETF will also host an annual JumpStart Theatre showcase, bringing all the participants together to share their work.

Three teachers from each participating school are taught the techniques and skills to develop and manage a musical theatre program (everything from casting, to rehearsal schedules, to staging/choreography and technical requirements, to cultivating parent/community engagement, to achieving economic sustainability) through a series of three, full-day professional development “boot camps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.

For questions about the JumpStart Theatre Program and application process, visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com or email mary.wright@tctcincinnati.com.

About The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT):

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is the oldest children’s theatre in the country.  Its mission is to educate, entertain and engage audiences of all ages through professional theatrical productions and arts education programming. Its vision is to awaken a lifelong love of theater in children and the young at heart. Today, the Children’s Theatre brings art to life for our audiences through three key programs:  TCT MainStage at the Taft Theatre, TCT on Tour (including Workshops) and TCT Academy. Each season TCT strives to reach more than 200,000 people in our region.  For more information visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com.

About the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF):
The Educational Theatre Foundation  was launched November, 2017, as the philanthropic arm of the Educational Theatre Association, which is the home of the International Thespian Society. ETF provides essential financial support to enhance excellence in theatre education and to expand access to school theatre programs for every child, putting them on a more positive life path. ETF is focused on three areas: JumpStart Theatre–to create sustainable musical theatre programs where there previously were none; need-based grants to schools–to provide teaching and performance resources and equipment in under-resourced schools; and, merit and need-based grants to individuals—to nurture the next generation of theatre teachers and artists.  In its first year ETF has awarded more than $650,000 in grants, directly impacting high school theatre programs in 50 cities, and enabling the development of musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools in six states.

The JumpStart Theatre program creates sustainable theatre arts programs in middle schools where there previously were none.  Participating schools are chosen through a rigorous application process and receive training, materials, and budget support to produce their first full-scale musical production. The support continues for three years until the program becomes self-sustaining.  Non-theatre teachers are equipped with skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of bootcamp style training and hands-on mentoring. The Educational Theatre Foundation operates JumpStart Theatre through a national network of regional theatre company partners who are selected based on their track-record of success in running educational programs for children.

As of 2019, JumpStart Theatre is being implemented in Cincinnati, OHSan Diego, CASt. Louis, MOAtlanta, GA; and Frostburg, MD.

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The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, CINCINNATI:   The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) is proud to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors:  Jeanette M. Altenau, Director of Community Relations for TriHealth; Toyia Montgomery, HR: Vendor Partnerships & Employment Branding at Kroger and Executive Director of Relate Marketing; Ryan L. Messer, Regional Business Director at Johnson & Johnson and Vice President of the Cincinnati School Board, and Paul Griscom, interim Chief Accounting Officer at Macy’s, Inc.

Kim Kern, TCT’s Managing Director and CEO, said: “We feel incredibly fortunate and honored that these talented community leaders have chosen to join our Board of Directors.  In these challenging times, positivity and forward momentum are not to be taken for granted, and we appreciate and celebrate all that these individuals we add to our mission and focus.”

About TCT’s New Board Members:

TCTC_Jeanette Altenau

Jeanette M. Altenau

Jeanette M. Altenau
Jeanette Altenau currently serves as the Director of Community Relations for TriHealth, one of Cincinnati’s largest healthcare organizations and the fourth largest employer within the city.  In this role, she has responsibility for all community collaborations and engagement across extensive geographic areas in which TriHealth physicians practice and their patients live, work and enjoy life.  Prior to her current role, she was Director of Strategic Community Initiatives for Local 12, WKRC Television in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the nation’s top CBS affiliates and #1 local station in the tri-state area.

Jeanette has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Dedication Award by the Northern Kentucky Branch of NAACP; the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau Spirit of Cincinnati Champion Award; and the Silver Crime Stopper Challenge Coin (the second highest award given by the organization) in recognition of her work with the non-profit organization.  She is also a two-time Emmy nominee and in 2012, she was recognized as one of the “100 Minds – Thought Leaders in the Greater Cincinnati Region”, recognizing individuals who excelled in thought leadership within their industry, their ideas/personality as an individual and/or their involvement within the community.  In 2019, she was named a Health Care Heroes finalist by the Cincinnati Business Courier. In 2018, she was honored by Healthy Moms and Babes for her commitment to pregnant women and their children. In 2017, she received the Ovarian Cancer Alliance Teal Power Caring Community Champion Award, recognizing an individual or group from the community who has stepped up to help in the fight against ovarian cancer.  In 2016, she was awarded the Friars Award in recognition of her leadership and assistance to the organization in an exceptional manner while exemplifying her life in the Franciscan tradition of service to others. In 2013, she received the Cincinnatus Award, in recognition of civic virtue, service to community, family values and ongoing support of the tri-state community.

TCTC_Toyia Montgomery

Toyia Montgomery

Toyia Montgomery
Toyia Montgomery has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University (OU), where she majored in advertising. In her sophomore year of college, she studied Sociology and Mass Communications at the University of Leicester in England. After graduation from OU, she earned her MBA and founded a non-profit organization called Relate Marketing while working for Cincinnati Public Schools. Relate Marketing was established to expose children from single parent homes to a world outside of their communities through educational trips and community events. Toyia has done work for several organizations including, but not limited to: Cintas, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, The E.W. Scripps Company, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce and most recently the Kroger Company. Additionally, she has taught marketing and sales courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Phoenix and Mount St. Joseph University.

TCTC_Ryan Messer

Ryan L. Messer

Ryan L. Messer
Ryan Messer is a Region Business Director with Johnson & Johnson leading sales in the Midwest. He is known at J&J for leading diverse, high-performing teams as well as his strategic mindset and his ability to work collaboratively throughout the organization over the past 23 years. Throughout his career, he has had access to some of the best training available in the business world in areas such as financial management, strategic planning and organizational development.

Ryan is a graduate of Purdue University. He currently serves at the Vice President of the Cincinnati School Board and also is a member of the Cincinnati Opera Board. In the past, Ryan served as a two-term president of the Over-the-Rhine Community Council, a Board member of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a founder of the Cincinnati Human Rights Campaign and is a graduate of C-Change and Leadership Cincinnati through the Chamber of Commerce. Ryan & husband Jimmy are residents of North Avondale and they have four children who all love The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

TCTC_Paul Griscom

Paul Griscom

Paul Griscom
Paul is currently the interim Chief Accounting Officer at Macy’s, Inc. and previously led the company’s financial reporting, accounting services and capital administrative teams.  Prior to joining Macy’s, Inc. in 2016, Paul worked at a small boutique accounting advisory firm, GAAP Dynamics, where he advised public companies and smaller accounting firms on the economic and financial reporting impact of significant corporate activity and transactions.  Paul began his career at KPMG LLP in their financial services audit practice after graduating with a B.B.A in Accounting from Chicago’s Loyola University.

A Cincinnati transplant, Paul currently lives in Madeira with his wife and three children.  He began working with TCT in 2019 as a member of the Audit Committee and got a first-hand look at the importance of Cincinnati’s art organizations when chairing Macy’s 2019 ArtsWave Workplace Giving Campaign and co-chairing their 2018 campaign.  He is a committee member on the Board of Managers of Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and previously served on the 3CDC Board of Managers’ Investment Committee.

TCTC_exterior of building with masks (1)About The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati:
For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

In March of 2020, in response to COVID-19 and school closures, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati launched TCT EVERYWHERE  — an online resource for parents, teachers and students featuring crafts, acting and vocal exercises and contests from the professional artistic staff of TCT Academy; along with study guides, podcasts, videos of past productions, and more.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE

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Sixteen Children’s Theatres Honor Frontline Workers with National Tribute Song

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is proud to participate

TCTC_So Many Heroes

Friday, May 22, 2020, CINCINNATI:   Amid the global pandemic which has forced the temporary closure of many performing arts venues, 16 youth-serving theatres across the country have come together to share a national tribute, performed by children within each community, to honor frontline workers, including five students from the Greater Cincinnati area representing The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT). These young Cincinnati artists include:

  • Brinley Culver
  • Celia D’Ascenzo
  • Diana Hutchinson
  • Annabelle Price
  • Nyla Thomas
  • Kavan Vadivelu

Bios can be found below.

Led by Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Interim Artistic Director Kathryn Van Meter, the project titled So Many Heroes empowers and amplifies the voices of young people during this time.

“We will be forever changed by our current events, and forever connected and bound together by our shared experience of isolation. As we begin to redefine what it is to share space, there is hope in our future because we are resilient…just like the young people in our communities,” said Van Meter.

Jeff Revels, Artistic Director of Orlando Repertory Theatre and writer for the nationally televised Memorial Day parade, presented the idea knowing that the network of theatres for young audiences could mobilize this tremendous effort. Together, Revels, Van Meter and Rich Gray, songwriter of So Many Heroes, began collaborating on what the national tribute could be.

“We have heard from the doctors and politicians, but not much from the kids of America. Writing musicals for young audiences has taught me how observant kids are. They see everything and absorb it all. They have been processing this like crazy, so, when asked to write this tribute, I knew it had to be in the direct, honest language that kids use,” said Gray, emphasizing the importance of hearing from young people during this time.

The tribute, which will be released today, Friday May 22, can be viewed on the participating theatre’s Facebook pages (including The Children’s Theatre’s page) at 6 a.m. (HST), 9 a.m. (PST), 11 a.m. (CT) or 12 p.m. (EST):

Adventure Theatre MTC (Glen Echo, MD)

Childsplay Theatre (Tempe, AZ)

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

Dallas Children’s Theater (Dallas, TX)

First Stage (Milwaukee, WI)

Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ),

Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI)

Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD),

Lexington Children’s Theatre (Lexington, KY)

Northwest Children’s Theater & School (Portland, OR)

Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland, OR)

Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando, FL

Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA).

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

Trike Theatre (Bentonville, Arkansas)

Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston, MA)

TCT’s Producing Artistic Director, Roderick Justice, said: “On behalf of everyone at TCT, we are forever thankful to the heroes who keeps us safe, happy and healthy in a time where we can’t physically come together to entertain our audiences. Through this collaboration with the Nation’s leading children’s theatres, we deliver a powerful and unified voice of gratitude. These heroes keeping us safe will also keep our mission alive for another 100 years.”

About The Artists:

Brinley Culver
Brinley appeared as Precious in TCT’s October 2019 production of Casper the Friendly Musical. She appeared as Little Girl in TCT’s Cinderella. Some of her favorite shows include: Seussical (JoJo), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Flounder), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Chip), and Disney’s Frozen (Middle Anna). During the last three summers, Brinley has participated in TCT’s STAR Intensive NKU program, and last year in TCT’s STAR ALL STARS. Brinley just completed seventh grade at Liberty Junior School. Off stage, she loves producing her own movies, dancing, and watching Master Chef.

Celia Joy D’Ascenzo
Celia made her TCT MainStage debut earlier this year in Annie JR. as Molly. In addition to being an avid singer, dancer, actress, pianist, and tumbler, Celia is a passionate storyteller. Other credits include: Awaited, Disney’s Cinderella KIDS (Fairy Godmother), Seussical (Young Kangaroo), and Disney’s High School Musical JR. (Cheerleader). Celia loves her homeschool community at HELP and CC and dances at Just Off Broadway. She enjoys spending time with her sisters, creating their own shows.

Diana Hutchinson
Diana was proud to make her theatre debut with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in the title role of TCT’s production of Annie JR.. Diana was born and raised in Cincinnati. She is currently heading into her sophomore year at Walnut Hills High School. Diana enjoys dancing, singing, and spending time with her family and friends. She is excited about sharing her love for the arts as she continues her performing career.

Annabelle Price
Annabelle is a recent eighth grade graduate of Summit View Academy in Northern Kentucky. She is an avid fan of TCT and has participated in their summer camp programs and other special events. Annabelle has performed in numerous school and community theatre projects including the role of Piggie in a pilot production of Elephant and Piggie – We are in a Play.  She is passionate about the arts and hopes to continue in high school and beyond. Other credits include: Disney’s Lion King JR (Zazu), Alice in Wonderland JR (White Rabbit) and Madagascar JR. (Marty). Annabelle studies voice, acting and dance at Moss Performing Arts Academy and looks forward to more TCT opportunities in the future.

Nyla Thomas
Nyla is a recent eighth grade graduate of Crossroads Middle School in Fairfield, where she sings in the choir. She appeared in TCT’s 2020 production of Annie JR. and the 2019 production of Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS (Shanti). Nyla has a background in competitive hip-hop dancing and studies in voice. She was a TCT STAR Program participant from 2017 to 2019 and a TCT STAR All Stars participant in 2018 and 2019. Nyla received the TCT STAR Program “Rising Star” Award in 2018.

Kavan Vadivelu
Kavan is headed into the eighth grade at The Seven Hills School. In addition to theater, Kavan enjoys dancing and playing soccer for his club team. His previous credits include TCT’s 2019 production of Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS (Mowgli), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Charlie), and Disney’s Aladdin KIDS (Aladdin).

About The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati:
For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

In March of 2020, in response to COVID-19 and school closures, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati launched TCT EVERYWHERE  — an online resource for parents, teachers and students featuring crafts, acting and vocal exercises and contests from the professional artistic staff of TCT Academy; along with study guides, podcasts, videos of past productions, and more.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE

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The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Virtual Summer Camps

TCTC_new logoAct, Sing, Dance, and Create with us this summer from the comfort and safety of your own home!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, CINCINNATI:   Due to COVID-19 and in the interest of social-distancing and keeping the health and safety of all local families in mind, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has moved all One-Week Summer Camps to an online platform for June & July 2020.

TCT is now offering week-long Musical Theatre Intensive Virtual Camps for three different age groups:

  • 6 to 7 years old: Featuring Disney’s 101 Dalmatians
  • 8 to 10 years old: Featuring: Disney’s Descendants
  • 11 to 14 years old: Featuring The Addams Family

The deadline to register for June Camps is THIS FRIDAY, May 22 at 12 noon. (No exceptions due to TCT prep time required.)

TCT’s Virtual Camps are designed to be fun!  Here’s what Campers can expect:

  • 3 hours of activities daily Monday-Friday
  • A balance of on-screen instruction and off-screen projects
  • Small class sizes
  • A bag full of supplies and activities to keep at home
  • Live theatre arts training from TCT Professionals
  • Pre-recorded tutorials
  • Fun & memorable experiences 

Tuition is just $100 for the week. with a choice of a morning half-day camp, or an afternoon half-day camp. Each half-day session will be three hours long, Monday-Friday. 

Only a limited number of spots are available. Sign up today for these exclusive online camps and add a little structure to your child’s summer at home.

Visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com/camps for more information or to register.

For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE

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The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Ready, Set Auction!

Bid on unique experiences, trips and items
while furthering the mission of TCT!

TCT_Ready Set Auction benefits TCT

The cast of ANNIE. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Monday, May 11,, 2020, CINCINNATI:   Starting this Wednesday May 13, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) will be auctioning a number of fun and unique items and experiences to raise funds to sustain its mission of educating, entertaining and engaging audiences of all ages through professional theatrical productions and arts education programming.

TCT’s Ready, Set, Auction! is ready for launch with a robust, nationwide, online auction through the Bidding for Good platform. It will be open from Wednesday, May 13 at 12 noon until Sunday, May 24 at 11:59 PM, with a goal of $30,000.  All proceeds will benefit The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

There are 59 fabulous items and unique experiences to bid on, including:

  • Cincinnati Fire Department 31 – Oakley Station – Dinner at the Firehouse for up to four (4) people.  Enjoy a homemade firehouse dinner with the firefighters in Oakley.  Also includes a tour of the fire station.
  • TCT_Grand Teton Adventure 2Full-day guided Grand Teton Wildlife Safari with gourmet picnic lunch for two (2) on guided scenic Snake River float and lunch for two (2) with a 3-night stay in a standard guest room at the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa, The Lodge at Jackson Hole, The Wort Hotel, or similar venue in Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Cincinnati Date Night Package with Food, Relaxation and Fun! — Take your special someone and enjoy time together across Cincinnati and beautiful flowers too!  Your package includes dinners out at amazing local Cincinnati restaurants like Sotto, Salazar, Balance Café, Montgomery Inn and more, plus a Cincinnati Pedal Wagon and Mural Tour for two (2), a spa package from Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa, flowers from Adrian Durban Florist, and much, much more!
  • TCT _Family Holiday Photo

    Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

    With the help of the TCT costume shop, dress your family in iconic holiday attire and have your photo taken with a holiday backdrop. Session will last 1 hour in total and you are welcome to include grandparents, grandchildren, parents, children and up to 2 dogs if desired.

Preview the items as you plot your bidding strategy.

For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE

In March of 2020, in response to COVID-19 and school closures, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati launched TCT EVERYWHERE  — an online resource for parents, teachers and students featuring crafts, acting and vocal exercises and contests from the professional artistic staff of TCT Academy; along with study guides, podcasts, videos of past productions, and more.

The TCT Ready, Set, Auction! is designed to raise funds for TCT so that the nonprofit organization may continue to create online programming and plan for the time when we are able to gather again and benefit from the magic of live theatre.

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