Department News (1-6-14)

Pretty Darn Funny (PDF)the website comedy series which is produced by  Tinder Transmedia and directed by Jeff Parkin, has just received four nominations from the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) Awards:
• Best Comedy Series
• Best Writing (Comedy)
• Best Female Performance in a Comedy (Lisa Valentine Clark)
• Best Supplemental Content – “Footloose Parody”
Season two of PDF also involved a large number of current and former BYU TMA students in all aspects of the show. With only five nominees in each category, it’s a big deal to be nominated alongside shows from major TV and web networks including the CW and Maker Studios, high-powered producers (Lorne Michaels of SNL30 Rock), writers (Jane Espenson: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon A Time) and big stars (Jimmy Fallon, Julia Stiles, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Beals). And in these major categories. It’s even more notable considering Pretty Darn Funny lacks the kind of dicey content most other web series employ! You can read the details on the IAWTV Awards and nominations at


1309-34 420Congratulations to The Nightingale cast on an awesome semester — who are we kidding— year!! The show was directed by Julia Ashworth, and during their tour the cast performed for over 9,000 students, bringing them an aesthetically beautiful show and rich cultural experience. Young Company shows often give students their first taste of live theatre and start them on the path of becoming theatre lovers for life. The post-show workshops were wonderful and thought provoking; they taught  62 fourth grade classes. Their work with Chinese Immersion schools helped develop strong relationships and the benefits of their work with the sister-schools in China will continue indefinitely. Thanks to the Young Company for all their great work. Below are some comments from the schools.
  • Thank you for the performance. I enjoyed it very much and have heard wonderful feedback from the students and teachers!
  • I would say approximately there were about 450 students who attended and they were mesmerized. They loved it and the play kept they attention the whole time.  It was wonderful!!!
  • Thanks so much. The assembly was wonderful… worth every penny!
  • Thank you so much for coming. I know my class totally loved it and they loved the workshop. Your company was so cute with them.
  • It was fabulous and we loved it!


The Public Speaking Program ended the year with an amazing showcase that highlighted seven speech finalist in persuasive and informative speaking: Ellen Huish, Aaron Butler, Hayden Carter, Christopher Bailey, Tanner Johnston, Sarah Nielsen, and Jeff Parry. Each finalist received a cash award generously sponsored by our program donors, Donald Sloan, LaVar Bateman, and Marie Clegg Jones. Awards were personally given to the speakers by our donor families at the end of the showcase. The donors’ families, finalists, semi-finalists, faculty, and special guests were able to meet and mingle at a wonderful dinner before the showcase. Our biannual showcase is held the last day of classes both fall and winner semesters; all are welcome to attend. The next showcase will be April 15 at 7 pm in the Pardoe Theatre. For more information about the showcase or speech program visit


Congratulations to George Nelson who has received a grant from the Laycock Center to produce Trailer Trash, a musical he is writing with commercial music student Jordan Kamalu. The play will be done as the MDT workshop production the week of March 26, 2014.


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