Department News (2-2-15)

Candidates for the media arts position are on campus this week and next. The three candidates are: Scott Christopherson, Brandon Arnold, and Christian Jensen. Below are the schedules. All full-time faculty are invited to attend where possible.
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 The very successful run of The Count of Monte Cristo, directed by Tim Threlfall, closed this weekend.  Congratulations to all those involved.  Excerpts from the review in Broadway World follow.  For the full review, go to http://www.broadwayworld.com/salt-lake-city/article/BWW-Reviews-BYUs-Impressive-US-Premiere-of-THE-COUNT-OF-MONTE-CRISTO-Shows-Great-Potential-20150130.  Below are some behind the scenes photos Lindsi Neilson took back stage at the performance on Thursday evening. The biggest stars of this production are the scenic design by Rory Scanlon and projection design by Daniel Fine (art by Kristi Harmon). The projections are a feast for the eyes and keep the action moving fluidly across the many settings. The large, movable set pieces perfectly compliment the projections in every scene, adding scale and spectacle. With automation (and the simplification of a few overly busy projections), this scenic and projection design would be perfectly at home in a Broadway house. The costume design by Lara Beene is striking and historically accurate, and it is paired well with the makeup and hair design by Mary Beth Bosen and Celena Kurogi Peterson. The exceptional choreography by Nathan Balser (who has performed on Broadway in a number of original casts, including 9 TO 5 and LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL) is fitting and enjoyable no matter the required style. The performers, who are almost all BYU students, do great work under the guidance of director Tim Threlfall and music director Gayle LockwoodPreston Yates is astounding in the role of Edmund Dantes. The maturity of his vocal presence is far beyond his years, and his acting is up to the same standards. He is one of Utah’s best musical theatre performers. Shae Robins as Mercedes also has a beautiful singing voice and is up to the task of creating a Wildhorn heroine. A clear audience favorite is professional actor Brian Clark as Dantes’ fellow inmate Abbe Faria, who is flawless in the role and makes a huge impact, even in his brief time onstage.
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We congratulate Dean Duncan on the submission of his book manuscript, The Evolution of the Language of Childhood: Books and Films on the Nature of Children, to MacFarland a few weeks ago.  Dean says that the book, which will probably come out in Fall, 2015, “is about the evolution of the language of childhood, books and films on the nature of children.”

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In addition, we congratulate Megan Sanborn Jones on her appointment as the Theatre Topics Book Review Editor.  Theatre Topics, published by the John Hopkins University Press, is an official publication of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), devoted to issues of concern to practitioners,Theatre Topics focuses on performance studies, dramaturgy, and theatre pedagogy.   Megan will serve a two-year term beginning in Aug. 2015 and ending in Aug. 2017. The Book Review Editor’s Responsibilities include: commissioning reviews of current books relating to theatre practice and pedagogy that emphasizes intersections of theory and practice; editing reviews; and establishing and maintaining relationships with book publishers.

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After the special Sundance screening of TMA alum Greg Whiteley’s  documentary “Most Likely to Succeed,” Brad and several non-fiction area students, plus Greg’s cousin Gary Groth and his wife April (also a TMA student), took Greg to lunch in Provo.  Greg was very generous with his time and talked extensively with  each student about what they were interested in, why they chose film, etc. He also offered to let any of them call him with any questions about anything, including working with him.

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