Department News (7-6-15)

In the coming weeks Amy Jensen will end her second term as chair of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. We are grateful for her dedicated efforts to further the work of the department. During her tenure she has overseen the department’s process for long-term strategic planning, collaboration and teamwork within TMA areas, intra/inter-departmental student mentored projects, retooling of curricular offerings, increased funding for student scholarships and internships, encouraged and supported faculty scholarship, and prepared for and successfully completed university reviews. We offer our deepest appreciation for the countless hours she has devoted to the Department of Theatre and Media Arts and welcome her into the Dean’s Office.

Wade Hollingshaus has accepted the position as chair in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. His three-year term will begin on July 15, 2015. Dr. Wade Hollingshausreceived his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and is an associate professor. He has served in various area leadership positions, and for the past three years has led the assessment efforts of the department, where he worked to integrate the Aims of a BYU Education into TMA’s assessment measures and outcomes. He has served three years on the college curriculum committee and has been integrally involved in the department’s preparation for the NAST accreditation and site visit that will occur in 2017. He is also an affiliated faculty with BYU’s Scandinavian Studies program.  His service to the profession is becoming a recognized national leader in his field.   He is a member of the Performance Philosophy research network, and he currently serves as American Society for Theatre Research’s liaison with the Theatre Library Association. His work has been published in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, Review: The Journal of Dramaturgy, Scandinavian Studies, and The Journal of Finnish Studies.


We are also pleased to announce that Rory R. Scanlon, professor of theatre and media arts, has been appointed to serve a second term as associate dean in the College of Fine Arts and Communications.  He received his MFA in costume design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1984 and has been a member of the BYU faculty for 31 years.  His area of focus is design technology. He is the past president of the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association, was the Utah representative to RMTA for four years, sat on the Provo City Arts Council for three years and is a regularly invited presenter for the Utah Theatre Association.  His design work in costumes, sets and lights includes work with Disney, Hasbro and university/professional productions throughout the United States.  He was professionally involved in a redesign of the 1500 costumes for the Hill Cumorah Pageant for six summers and has worked with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on several other historical costume recreation projects in Salt Lake City, Mesa and Far West.  His first book with Costume Fashion Press in New York, “Costume Design Graphics,” was released in 2001.  He has previously served as associate dean of Fine Arts and Communications from 2004-2010, as an associate dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the BYU Honors Program from 2010-2012, executive producer in the college and associate chair in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. His responsibilities will include Arts Production and Performing Arts Council.



Last week Darl Larsen was interviewed by Radiowest for the 40th Anniversary of Monty Python and the Holy Grail to discuss and analyze the film. They talk about how in crafting their 1975 cult-classic film, the “Pythons drew from Arthurian legend, the Medieval period, and the hard times of 1970s Great Britain.” To listen to the interview, visit



We express condolences to the Shawnda and Bradley Moss family.Shawnda’s mother, Virginia V-Ann Ludlow, passed away last week. Funeral Services will beTuesday, July 7, 2015, at 11am at the Sharon Park 2nd Ward (250 East and 200 North) in Orem, Utah. There will be a viewing on Monday, July 6th at the same location from 6:30pm – 8:30pm and also just before the funeral service on Tuesday starting at 9:00am.  For more information about V-Ann, go to!/Obituary.


Tim Threlfall and Gayle Lockwood from the Music Dance Theatre (MDT) program made a presentation entitled, FROM STAGED READING TO FULLY STAGED:Models for Academic Production of New Works at the international conference of the Music Theatre Educator’s Alliance in Perth, Australia two weeks ago. The presentation outlined five models of production for staging new works in an educational theatre environment.  Using specific examples from BYU’s involvement with new musicals, the Writers, Dramaturgs, Actors (WDA) course was highlighted along with the Emmy winning television film musical BERLIN, George Nelson’s award winning new musical SINGLE-WIDE and the American premiere of Frank Wildhorn’s THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO staged at BYU in January of this year.   The workshop/presentation also included a clip from therecent Media Arts capstone project LOVESTRUCK.  Tim reported the workshop was very well received and with much thanks to Kyle Stapley and Don Powell, the multi-media presentation worked flawlessly.  There were also live performances during the presentation from recent MDT graduate Preston Yates and his wife Megan who traveled to Australia with the faculty.  Preston played both the Phantom in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and the Count in MONTE CRISTO AT BYU. Threlfall commented, “By the end of the conference, BYU was being referred to as ‘the new works school’ and that was terrific!  The presentation achieved all it set out to achieve in raising awareness of what BYU is doing with new works in front of an international audience. Delegates from nine different nations were represented at the conference.”



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