Department News (4-8-14)

Last week The Playbill magazine announced that Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy’smusical drama The Count of Monte Cristo will make its U.S. debut on January 22-31, 2015 in the de Jong Concert Hall. The BYU workshop marks the musical’s first production in the United States and will feature a cast of students from our BFA musical theatre and acting programs. Tim Threlfall will helm the workshop, and Jeffrey Martin serves as creative producer. Additional members of the production team include choreographer Nathan Balser (Legally Blonde; Promises, Promises), musical director Gayle Lockwood, costume designer Lara Beene, set designer Rory R. Scanlon, lighting designerMichael Kraczek, sound designer Jeff Carter, production manager Jennifer Reedand stage manager Crysta May Powell. “The show has enjoyed incredible success in Europe and Asia, and I wanted to establish the piece there before bringing the piece to American audiences,” said Wildhorn in a statement. “Now that we have done that, I felt the time was right. I thought it would be a fun way to get it started here in the U.S. with my great relationship with BYU, and I’m excited to see what will happen now.” Click here to read the complete article in The Playbill.


This Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, is the BYU Final Cut Film Festival 2014 in the Pardoe Theatre. This includes screenings of the best fiction films, documentaries, commercials, and animations that students create here at BYU. The purpose of this festival is to encourage students to create and watch meaningful and creative media. Festival submissions are open to all current BYU students. Tickets are $5 for one screening or $8 for both programs and can be purchased at

Program A                                   Program B

Friday- 6:30 pm                             Friday- 8:30 pm
Saturday- 8:30 pm                        Saturday- 6:30 pm

Belfast and Furious                       Ice Hotel “Arrows”

The World is Our Campus            Our Community

Christmas in L.A.                           Wilhelm Scream

Headliner                                       Ice Hotels “Arrows” Behind the Scenes

Turn to Stone                                 Weeping

Beehive Stories: Morgan County   Historical Fencing: Franco Belgium

Brita Spec Ad                                Beehive Stories: Kane County

Not Kabob                                     Adopt a Cat

Bothered                                        Wyrm Laerd

Brainsaver                                     Your Cocoon and You

Christmas in L.A.: Behind the        Sides of a Camera

Scenes                                          Owned

Harmonica                                    A Sticky Situation

Good Luck                                   Ghosts on the Mountain

Don’t Wake up with a Hook

For a Hand

Without a Rope


This past weekend, Brad Barber attended the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, as a guest of TMA alum Christian Jensen.  Full Frame is one of the top national documentary film festivals.  He was able to see eleven non-fiction films and attended five panels where he was able to learn things he’s already incorporating into his classes.  He also attended several networking meetings. He was able to verify that TMA  students can apply for the Film Fellows program for select documentary film students.  In addition, the Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short was given to White Earth, directed by Christian Jensen. The film, which also received an award this year at Slamdance, is described as follows:  “Against the backdrop of an ethereal North Dakota winter, three children and their immigrant mother describe scenes of isolation and exertion — the impact of the oil boom to their everyday lives.”  Jury members Brian McGinn, Rick Prelinger, and Toby Shimin stated: “Short filmmaking is the art of working within the constraints of limited resources. For its elegant images of an environmentally precarious practice, its enigmatic and often surprising characters, and its vivid depiction of a place undergoing rapid transition, we recognize White Earth with the Jury Award for Best Short.”  Kudos to Christian!


Graham WhippleMichelle OhumukiniM’Lisa Hansen, and Mike Kraczek attended the USITT Stage Conference and Expo in Fort Worth Texas March 26-29.  They participated in a conference session and workshops in all areas of theatre design.  Eric Fielding’s book World Scenography 1975-1990 received the 2014 Golden Pen Award this past week at USITT.  Eric is still in the process of writing the second book in the series.  We congratulate him on this outstanding honor.  The recipient of this award, first given in 1986, is the author of an outstanding, major, recent publication in the field of design and production for the performing arts. The winning works are significant in the field of performing arts and are outstanding examples of one or more of the following:

  • Scholarly research and critical thinking;
  • Presentation of the work and methodology of exceptional practitioners for theatrical arts and/or crafts;
  • Description of the methods, skills, and technology involved in creating works of theatre and/or crafts.

Recipients are honored during the Annual Conference & Stage Expo where an autograph session is generally held. USITT members can nominate books for this award by using the online nomination form  which  contains the specific criteria by clicking here.



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