Department News (1-19-15)

Congratulations to media arts alum Christian Jensen whose recent documentary, White Earth, (currently playing at Sundance), is now on the short, short list in the Documentary Short Subject category  nominated for Oscars. The 20-minute film has won numerous awards at other festivals, and a recent article at quotes  Christian as saying, “’I knew I’d been short listed, which was honestly amazing in and of itself, but I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it past this date,’ he said. ‘In fact, I didn’t even wake up in the morning to see the announcement because I was so convinced I wouldn’t. Fortunately my father did wake up and he called and was probably more excited than I have ever heard him.’ ”  The article goes on to explain that  “Jensen, who studied at Brigham Young University and now lectures at Stanford University, credits his father for the idea behind the documentary. Jensen grew up in St. George and said he observed how the housing market was hit hard in 2008. Soon he heard stories of people moving to North Dakota looking for work.”  To read the whole article, go to   A trailer for the film is included below.  The official list of films nominated for Oscars can be found at   The Academy Awards Ceremony will be on February 22, 2015.


Last Saturday, on Jan. 17, Divine Comedy celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reunion show with many alumni members.  The three alumni shows were performed in the Joseph Smith Building Auditorium.  All performances were sold out, and audience members included many families as well as BYU students.  Alumni members, which included most of the cast of Studio C, partnered with the current cast of Divine Comedy and performed vintage favorite sketches such as “Duckpond,”  “Nephite Math,” “Little MIAmaid,” “Harry Potter:The One Where Dumbledore Dies,” and “Les Mormonables.”  All proceeds from the shows will go toward purchasing new sound equipment for Divine Comedy.  


We express heartfelt condolences to Jeffry and Stacey Martin whose young son, Jack Jeffrey Martin passed away last Monday, Jan.12,  during surgery. Jack’s services were held last Friday in Springville.  His obituary can be found at  Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.40.09 AM


The Pardoe Green Room got a facelift over Christmas break!  The remodeled area has new carpet, new paint on the walls, and new wood panels.  The room retains the iconic theatre masks that were imbedded in the middle of the linoleum, but all else has been upgraded, and the only “green” is now in the linoleum art.


This ThursdayFriday, and Saturday, BYU will host the Utah Theatre Association (UTA), where over 1500 junior high and high school theatre students and their teachers will come to campus.  UTA serves the Utah Educational Theatre Community.  Frank Wildhorn will be a special guest at the conference.  Attendees also have the opportunity of seeing the premiere of The Count of Monte Christo, as one of several theatrical offerings at the conference.  Our own Rodger Sorensen will be receiving the Dedicated Service to College/University Education Award.  Many of our theatre full-time and adjunct faculty members will be presenting workshops, including Julia Ashworth, Nathan Balser, Bridget Benton, Stephanie Breinholt, La Beene, Doug Ellis, Mary Farahnakian, Haley Flanders, Jenine Hollingshaus, Wade Hollingshaus, Megan Sanborn Jones, George Nelson, Stephen Purdy, Jennifer Reed, and Rory Scanlon.  Amy Jensen will be welcoming conference attendees.  There will even be performances by Divine Comedy and films from 2014 Final Cut as well.  The conference workshops will be held on campus on Thursday and Saturday, and at the Provo Marriott Hotel on Friday.  Much appreciation to Shawnda Moss for her efforts in organizing the conference each year as well as to Michael Kraczek who served as BYU’s liaison to UTA this year.  For a conference program, to

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