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Alumnae Johna Rohn and Rebecca Bennett came back to campus to collaborate with performing arts alumna and CMU theatre marketing specialist Laura Bradley to create promotional materials for the upcoming theatre season. Rohn graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Directing and now owns and operates Indigo Studio Salon, specializing in haircuts and color. She is also a photographer and visual artist contributing conceptual images to a book cover agency. Bennett studied technical theatre at CMU and is now a colleague of Rohn’s in her studio, serving as a hair stylist and makeup artist.  

Together the trio of alumnae created a stellar set of promotional posters for the four big upcoming shows, each with lunar elements incorporated into the design. “This project was absolutely a great fit for my creative style. I love to create dramatic images that tell a story,” Rohn said. “Even though this project isn’t really using my degree, I suppose it is somewhat pivoting from that. We are indeed telling a story using elements of costume, make up, lighting, emotion and movement, even if it is in just one frame. Plus, the casting of the characters had to be spot on.” 

All agreed that the models for the shoots were perfect for their roles and Bennett’s makeup work was the cherry on top. For Guys and Dolls, alumnus Ryan Heinsheimer dips current student Cate Castelli, who was later cast in the show’s chorus. Castelli also modeled for the A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the New Horizons Dance Concert images. She will play the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and perform in the dance concert. Student Brendan Lowry posed for the Floyd Collins shoot, and he will play a lead role in both Floyd Collins and this fall's Guys and Dolls.  

“The mood was energetic, playful and focused. It was wonderful to work with actors. They are used to working hard while having fun. Every one of them had a great attitude,” Rohn said. “I was able to direct them in the photo shoot using certain terms we in the theatre know to bring out ideas and movements needed to tell the story. Actors are just willing to do and try almost anything. Their minds are more open to experimenting and play.” 

The theatre season opens with Guys and Dolls October 20-29, followed by the New Horizons Dance Concert February 16-18, Floyd Collins March 8-18 and finally A Midsummer Night’s Dream April 13-22.

“I don’t often get the chance to attend the theatre performances at CMU. When I do attend them I definitely enjoy the nostalgia of it all. I have some very wonderful memories that I keep close to my heart about my time both behind the scenes and on stage,” Rohn said. “Projects like this are always a collaboration of individuals who have their own specialties to contribute. Everybody made it so easy to do what we needed to get the job done! It was such a joy to have this combination of personalities to work with. I would do it again and again!”


Written by Hannah Odneal