Department News (11-17-14)

Our Town, directed Stephanie Breinholt, opens this weekend and runs from November 20 – December 11. Below is the trailer for the production.

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Congratulations to Jeff Parkin and Jared Cardon!  In April, NBC had a nationwide pitch competition for original half-hour comedy show concepts.  Jeff submitted two ideas withJared Cardon. NBC received several thousand entries. Three weeks ago, Jeff and Jaredwere informed that one of their concepts was chosen as one of the 30 semi-finalists. Of those 30, NBC will select 10 to turn into full-length, NBC-funded pilots.  The advisory board for the contest, who will help with the judging, include Amy Poehler, Jason Bateman, Mindy Kaling, Mike Schur and many others.  For more about the contest, go to https://www.nbcplayground.com/#/home

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Digital Storytelling: Engaging Youth through Arts and Technology:  This Friday, Nov. 21, Theatre Education will be hosting a 2-hour workshop in B-220 with Professor Megan Alrutz from the University of Texas at Austin.  There are 10 slots for students open.  Sign-ups are in the TMA office.  Rapid globalization and advances in media and technology continue to change the ways that students engage with and understand the world around us.  Moreover, as digital technologies become more accessible and central to every day life, educators face new challenges around bridging classroom expectations with students’ lived experiences. These shifts, and the challenges they present, require us to develop new approaches to engaging youth and communities. This interactive session introduces a practical approach to digital storytelling practices for the classroom. Through a devising process that includes personal narrative, digital photography, and basic performance techniques, we will explore how the process and products of digital storytelling can tap into students’ personal identities and respond to the experience and wisdom they bring to the classroom. The session will close with reflections on the role of digital media in 21st century education. Students are encouraged to dress comfortably and come ready to play!alrutz

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Last Tuesday, BYU’s Center for Animation hosted Chris Buck, who co-directed Frozen, the highest grossing animated movie of all time.  Chris has also worked on Disney’s Tarzan, Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid and co-directed Sony’s Surf’s Up. “Animated movies,” Buck said, “as much fun as we all have making them, and they are for the most part fun, there is still depth to the best ones that people relate to and a depth that can help people and give them hope.”  BYU’s news site observed that, Buck’s “message aligned directly with the emphasis that the BYU Center for Animation puts on creating good, clean, positive content. That emphasis has been well documented as animation students win national awards for their work year after year.”  For more about Chris Buck’s lecture, go to http://news.byu.edu/archive14-nov-frozen.aspx  [photo from news story)

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Divine Comedy’s second show of the semester, “Mitt-u-lese” took place over the weekend in the Varsity theatre.  All four shows were sold out the Wednesday before the performances.  Each show includes about fifteen short sketches plus a headliner. The headliner for this show was “Mitt-u-lese,” a parody of the cartoon Hercules, complete with musical numbers and a Greek chorus.  After the show, the audience votes for their favorite sketches and these return in the end of semester show, “The Best of Divine Comedy,”  which will play Dec. 5 & 6 in the JSB Auditorium.  If you need a break from the stress of the semester, there’s nothing like Divine Comedy to help you laugh at life!

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