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NKU Professor Named Director of New Theatre Training Institute

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati announced this week the launch of the new Theatre Training Institute, which will be directed by Northern Kentucky University theatre professor Ken Jones.

The program will operate at TCT's Red Bank Road location in Cincinnati. It is designed to serve as a bridge between performing arts, university of conservatory-level training, and the professional theatre and film industry.

TTI will offer a professional environment with classes taught by master's level teachers and working professionals.

“Today’s professional theatre field is extremely competitive, saturated with many different options and extreme challenges. Recent graduates from performing arts, university, or conservatory programs interested in a professional career in stage or screen, often do not know how to move beyond the limits of their hometown to the competitive markets of the larger cities which tend to be the centers of the dramatic arts,” Jones said. “Our vision is to be a game-changer, helping those enrolled to focus the process, build confidence and understand how to manage the business.”

“We are excited to create and host the Theatre Training Institute at our facility on Red Bank Road,” said Kim Kern, managing director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. “The addition is a natural next step for our TCT Academy that currently provides performing arts instruction for children ages 2-18 and shares a common goal of helping our next generation of artists reach their full potential.  Where can a young person go to find answers and help in preparing for the next step? Where can a person learn how to apply their arts training into real-world application? Where can an emerging artist learn the business of the ‘show business’? Where can a person gain the confidence needed to win the audition before they move to New York or Los Angeles?  With TTI, now they have that place.”

There are a very limited number of programs that provide such specialized training in the nation, and most are located on the coasts. Not only will TCT's Theatre Training Institute give Acting Fellows a solid foundation, but also provide them with a bridge to either a professional career or further education, meeting a geographic need for such programming in the Midwest, a news release said.

The Theatre Training Institute features multi-faceted programs, including: Comprehensive, Summer Intensive, and Performing Arts Audition and Application Seminar.

The TTI Comprehensive Program begins in September 2018.  Jones and staff are currently scouting talent to enroll 12-16 students in this exclusive program.

Faculty and Guest Artists

Through his experience and industry network, Ken Jones has already secured commitments from the following individuals to serve as faculty and guest artists for TTI (list subject to change):

Jamey Strawn, (Musical Theatre) University of Pennsylvania, College Conservatory of Music- UC- Pianist for National Broadway Shows, Composer with nine musicals and over 50 productions.

Christine Jones, (Acting) Florida State University, University of Virginia. National Stage, film and television. Lyricist with nine musicals and over 50 productions.

Stephanie Brummer (Dance) Northern Kentucky University, St. Mary’s College of California. Professional dancer and choreographer. 

Dee Ann Bryll, (Musical Theatre/Dance) Baldwin-Wallace College, Kent State University. Nationally-recognized Arts Educator. Director and Choreographer.

Corrie Danieley, (Alexander Technique) Hannibal-Lagrange College, Illinois State university. Certified Master Teacher for Alexander Technique. Actress in Motion Pictures.

Guest Artists:

Allan Knee - Broadway Playwright, Shows Written - Little Women, Syncopation and Finding Neverland

Aaron Lavigne - Broadway Actor, Shows - Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Rent, Civil Wars

Dale Brown - Broadway Casting Director, Shows Cast - Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, A Little Night Music, Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar

Suzanne Fitzpatrick- Screenwriter/Supervising Producer - Shows- 7th Heaven, The Nanny, Heavens to Betsy, For the People

Maggie Murphy - Television/Movie Director, Shows & Movies - The Deuce, Smash, The Bourne Legacy, Enchanted, Mad Men, Zoolander, Runaway Bride

-Staff report
Photo: Ken Jones (provided)