This past week in The Daily Herald, Lisa Kane wrote an article titled, “Utah Valley Filmmakers improve on a rich history with fresh talent and new technology.” The article gives a very brief overview of film in Utah, from “big Hollywood productions [that] continue to use Utah’s rare landscapes, such as the Oscar-nominated 127 Hours and Oscar winning Gravity,” to ”local independent filmmakers [who] have been able to create a space for themselves due to multiple factors: Three major universities, the echoing influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the community and family support of young creators.” The article quotes TMA alums Kohl Glass, Scott Winn, and Jacob Hoehne, among others and mentions several other works and people associated with the BYU film program. Click here to read the whole article.
This past weekend was the closing of the production A Man for All Seasons, directed by David Morgan, and featuring Ben Hopkin as Thomas More and Stephanie Breinholt as Alice More. Each of the cast members gave strong performances. Of special note was Ben Isaacs who played various characters including the “Common Man” and the narrator. The last few weeks of the show were virtually sold out. TMA invited two outside reviewers in to review the show, Diane Timmerman from Butler University and Bob Nelson from the University of Utah. The concept of this strong production mixed historic elements with contemporary ones to show how a plot set in the 1500′s is still relevant today. The design and technical crew included Crysta Powell, production stage manager; Eric Fielding, scenic designer; Amy Veronin and Angela Asay, costume designers; Graham Whipple, lighting designer; Doug Olsen, sound designer; Marissa Pack, makeup and hair designer; James Lyon, properties designer; Travis Coyne, technical director; Amy Castro, assistant director; Kirsten King and Mandee Wilcox, assistant stage managers;Lauren Chung-Hoon and Sarah Stewart, assistant costume designers; Valeri Day, assistant makeup designer; Brooklynne Bell and Sarah Stewart, dressers; Mckenzie Ottley, light board operator and Adam White, dramaturge.
BYU’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, adapted by Melissa Leilani Larsen and directed by Barta Heiner, opened in the Pardoe. There are a few seats left, but the show is close to being sold out. The cast includes Marvin Payne as Mr. Bennet, Laura Wardle as Mrs. Bennet, Aubrey Reynolds as Jane Bennet, Karli Hall as Elizabeth Bennet, Pearl Corry as Mary Bennet, Cosette Hatch as Kitty Bennet, Lindsay Clark as Lydia Bennet, Amanda Nelson as Charlotte Lucas, Austin Jensen as Charles Bingley, Kristin Perkins as Caroline Bingley, Ted Bushman as Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jacob Swain as William Collins, Matt Kranz as George Wickham, Hillary Straga as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Logan Hayden as Colonel Fitzwilliam, Becky Maskell as Anne de Bourgh and Allyson Thaxton as Georgiana Darcy. The production staff includes Barta Heiner as director, Rory Scanlon as scenic designer,Michael Kraczek as lighting designer, Melanie Lamb as costume designer, Julie Adams and Shannon Hensley as makeup designers, Michelle Ohumukini as sound designer, Hannah Richardson as stage manager, Travis Coyne as technical director, Janine Sobeck as dramaturg and Anne Flinders as dramaturg.
Congratulations to Utah Valley University’s Theatre Department who earned top honors at the regional Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for two years in a row. This year, their production of Next to Normal, directed by BYU alum David Tinney received the Outstanding Production of a Musical as well as the Outstanding Director of a Musical. Our own department won several awards for Microburst Theatre Festival for new works, including Distinguished Productions of a New Work, Distinguished Director of a New Work (George Nelson), and Distinguished Achievement in Performance and Ensemble Work. In addition, BYU’s BFA Program has sent about a dozen actors from the regional Irene Ryan competition to the National Irene Ryan Acting competition in Washington D.C. since 1991. The national KCACT Festival takes place in April of each year. In 2012, Becca Ingramwon the National Irene Ryan Competition, the seventh BYU student to do so since 1991. This year, another BYU student, Jacob Swain, won the regional Irene Ryan Competition and will go to Washington D.C. to compete nationally in April. Theatre students have also competed nationally in design, dramaturgy, and playwriting. For example in 2012, Shelby Luke won the National Partners Design Award and a trip to Korea. In 2013, Ariel Mitchell won the Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award at KCACTF for A Second Birth.