Department News (2-11-14)

The BYU Theatre 2014-15 Season has been announced. Click here to download the schedule.


Award-winning documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield came to BYU February 5 for the screening of her film The Queen of Versailles in the Varsity Theatre. About 150 students attended. After the screening, Brad Barber moderated the Q&A with Greenfield. The next day at the forum, Greenfield gave an hour-long presentation about her career in film and photography in the Nelke. Around 80 photography and media arts students attended. The faculty took Ms. Greenfield to dinner Wednesday night and a group of non-fiction students took her to breakfast Thursday morning. We appreciate Brad Barber’s arrangements for this special guest. Students and faculty enjoyed and learned much from the film, discussions, and the forum.


Acclaimed British Animator James Baxter was a special guest of Kelly Loosli and the Animation Program last Friday.  About 250 students, including animation and other majors met in the JKB for a 4-hour lecture and live demonstration of his line animation technique.  Kyle Stapley arranged for students to see his illustrations on the screen as he drew them.  He took suggestions from the audience and created scenes from their suggestions.  Baxter works in both CG and traditional line animation styles.  Baxter was first known for his work on several Walt Disney Animation Studios films, including various characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rafiki in The Lion King, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Shrek 2. He currently works for DreamWorks.


Last Saturday on February 8, the winners of the 2013 Divine Comedy’s Sketch Writing Contest were announced at their 9 o’ clock show.  Out of 66 entries, the first place award of $1,000 was given to Greg Belnap for his sketch “Neo Classical Modern Opera (NCMO)”, which opened the show. The second place award of $500 was given to Derek Flake for his sketch “Princess Bride Speed Dating,” which was also performed in the show. The third place award was given to Nick Kanios for his sketch “The Friendzone.” Congratulations to those three students for their sketches. The awards came from the Divine Comedy Endowment that is housed in the Theatre and Media Arts Department. Divine Comedy is part of the Theatre Writing Program headed by George Nelson. The group is advised by George Nelson and Elizabeth Funk.


 On Wednesday, February 26, Wade Hollingshaus will be presenting a Youtube live lecture. This lecture is the first in a series identified as “The Invisible College.” The series is sponsored by the Performance Philosophy international research network. As the discipline of Performance Philosophy begins to gain ground in academic circles, one idea that occupies the efforts of its advocates is that a given performance—of any stripe—initiates a set of conditions that delimits the possibilities of thought for all involved in the event, maybe even the very notion of what “thought” is. To some extent, this idea is comparable to the notion of “gesture” as discussed by a constellation of 20th- and 21st-century  thinkers—Agamben, Lyotard, and Adorno, to name only three. On the other hand, there may be differences, and those differences may also be telling. At least, such is the presumption that Wade Hollingshaus takes as the center of his YouTube Live presentation. By comparing and contrasting these two conceptualizations of performance, he hopes to refine our thinking about gesture and about the possibilities of Performance Philosophy.



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