Department News (5-18-15)

Congratulations to Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson who announced a distribution deal on Wednesday, May 13.  Peace Officer will be in theatres this fall and on Independent Lens (PBS) next spring.  From The Hollywood Reporter:

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American distribution rights to Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber’s documentary “Peace Officer.” The non-fiction feature premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year and won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Documentary. It was also selected as an Indiewire Project of the Day this past February.

“Peace Officer” is a timely documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William “Dub” Lawrence, a former Utah sheriff who established his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Since his consequent retirement, Lawrence has used his own investigation skills to uncover the truth behind his son’s death and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community.

“‘Peace Officer’ could not be more timely and is evocative of how one person can be a catalyst for nationwide thought and change,” said said Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures. “We are thrilled to work with directors Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber, producer David Lawrence and the Submarine Deluxe team to raise the theatrical and VOD awareness for this powerful film.”

For more information, go to the following links:  or

brad barber

During the weekend of May 7-9, Wade Hollingshaus traveled to Ohio State University to attend the annual conference for the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. He presented research he is doing on Finnish philosopher/scientist/artist Erkki Kurenniemi. Wade’s paper was titled “Art into Life: Erkki Kurenniemi and Performance Philosophy.”


The Theatre Education area (Julia Ashworth, Amy Jensen, and Shawnda Moss) has announced that all four theatre education graduates have lined up jobs this fall.  The following 2014-2015 Theatre Education grads accepted theatre teaching jobs at these schools:

Ashlyn Anderson – Fremont High in Brigham City


Ellen Williams – West Jordan High


Kirsten King – American Fork Junior High



Carson Wright – Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, Arizona.



Theatre History Project:  Last year,  TMA and Arts Production donated theatre programs, slides and archival videos of theatre productions to the university archives housed in the  Harold B. Lee Library.   The library is in the process of scanning in these artifacts, and they can be accessed through special permission of the department chair,  Amy P. Jensen.  At the suggestion of one of our former chairs and retired faculty members, Eric Feilding, we are in the process of expanding the theatre history information found on the TMA website, using the scanned images from the university archives.  Over the summer, student secretary Lauren Hanson will be adding these onto our online Theatre Production History,  which goes from 1898 to the current season.  To see examples of the photos from the archives which are being added to the history, go to


The 2015 Writers Conference will take place June 4-6, 2015.  Organized by Tom Russell, over sixty students will join media arts faculty and special guests at the Timpanogos Lodge at Sundance for screenings, presentations, discussions, and great food.  Besides participating media arts faculty, special guests include Studio C writers; Karen Kirkland, Vice President of Talent Development at Nickleodeon; Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio,writers of Despicable Me; Caroll Ballard, director of The Black Stallion, and Terryl and Fiona Givens,  authors of The Crucible of Doubt.  Faculty and students are encouraged to read The Crucible of Doubt in advance of the conference. Copies are available at the TMA front desk.  All TMA faculty are welcome to attend whenever they are available.  The schedule for the conference is available here.



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