Department News (9-22-14)

The TMA Department hosted two special outside guests last week, Kathy Garver and Bill Draper.

  • Kathy Garver, who played “Missy” in Family Affair in the 60s and also voiced “Firestar” in the animated series of Spiderman and His Amazing Friends in the 80’s, did an interview with Anne Sward-Hansen at a theatre forum last Thursday.  (Family Affair is still in syndication and the Spiderman series is available on Nelflix.)  Kathy is still very active in voice over work, recording audio books, commercials and appearing on stage. Kathy worked extensively in getting the Coogan Act passed which helps protect the earnings of child actors.   Her book about the pitfalls of being a child actor/celebrity will be coming out next year.  About 150 students attended the forum in the Nelke.  Much appreciation to Scott Boyter who hostedMs. Garver.  Kathy
  • Bill Draper, media arts alum and current head of production at Warner Brothers, gave a special forum last Friday afternoon to about 150 media arts students in F-201.  Bill reviewed his life decisions in how he came to BYU and decided to major in film.   He talked through the steps he took when he went to LA and became active in the industry. Draper pointed out that he got to where he has by being prepared, hard work, and luck, being at the right place at the right time.He is currently responsible for about  10-20 feature films per year at Warner Bros.  That has definitely impacted his life style, and he wanted students to be aware of the emotional, psychological, and spiritual challenges he faces every day in working in the film industry.  Gary Groth appreciated the idea that, “No one is going to give you anything, and you need to work for everything you get.  Bill was amazing. It’s not all glamour and fun; it’s hard work.”  Cassie Hiatt felt one of his main messages was that,”It’s important to have a dream, but you have to work hard for it.”  Jordan Petersen appreciated Bill’s “five-year plan:” Give yourself five-years to chase your dream.  Re-evaluate at the end of that period.  Are you close, or do you need a different dream?  



Wade Hollingshaus gave the first of three lectures in the Beckham Lecture Series last week in the HBLL Auditorium.  His lecture was entitled “Gestures of Media: From Dylan to Twitter.”  The lecture was recorded, and we will send out a link when it becomes available.


Both Theatre and Media Arts held opening socials this past week.  Theatre’s party was held on Thursday, Sept. 18, in George and Leslie Nelson’s beautiful back yard.  About 100 people, including faculty, adjunct faculty, and students attended.  Special kudos to the Nelsons for hosting the event and the Student Theatre Association and TMA 101 students, particularly Logan Hayden, for their help in setting up and taking down the tables and chairs. The  media arts party was held in Tom and Courtney Russell’s stunning backyard on Friday, Sept. 19.  They also had about 100 faculty and students in attendance.  We appreciated support from Jordan Petersen, Gary Groth, Cassie Hiatt and Willam Kapenhaut in setting everything up and taking it down, as well as the Russell’s generous hosting.  Both events served SLAB pizza, which quickly disappeared.  Students at both parties were tasked with coming up with an animal that best represents their side of the department.  Theatre decided on a cougar holding a cougar skull; media arts decided on a kraken, a giant mythical monster with tentacles.  Benjamin Thevenen will combine these two elements in designing this year’s TMA T-shirts.  We all had a great time!!


Janine Sobeck was recently published in the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. Her chapter is entitled “Reimagining the Literary Office: designing a department that fulfills your purpose” and is based on her time working as the Artistic Associate Literary at Washington DC’s Arena Stage.  She worked with the editor of the book, Magda Romanska, who is a professor at Emerson College. The book is filled with chapters from the leaders in the field of dramaturgy and literary managers around the world.  Janine’s proposal was accepted for inclusion in the book in December 2012, with her first draft due on March 31, 2013. After several rounds of edits, the book was officially published in July 2014.  Janine says, “The whole process was really interesting because I know many of the dramaturgs who are published in the book. To hear about all the different topic ideas and the things that were going to be included made me appreciate even more the vastness of the dramaturgical field. It was wonderful to revisit many of my experiences at Arena and try to explain them in a way that would be beneficial to the field. It’s also very exciting to see my name in print next to one of my first mentors.”  Here is a link to the book:


 Kyle and Laura Stapley welcomed their second baby boy on Thursday, Sept. 18, at about 6:07 pm. Benson William Stapley, 8 lbs. 14 oz., and mom Laura are doing great!  Older brother Daken is completely fascinated and excited by the new arrival.  Kyle is very happy, but also currently very sleep deprived.bbBenson


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