Department News (1-25-16)

Ruth Bott, one of our awesome front desk girls, just opened her mission call this weekend. She will be serving in the Buenos Aries West mission in Argentina and will leave May 11. Good luck, Ruth!

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OFF THE MAP, BYU’s third annual international theatre festival, took place in the HFAC Jan. 19-23. Canada-based Y2D Productions brought the show Leo, while Denmark’s Out of Balanz brought Next Door. The festival included nine performances, seven workshops, and a forum with TMA students. Truly an international festival, the individual guest artists who came to BYU with the two companies make their homes in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, and the United States. The guests enjoyed working with the students in the various workshops throughout the week. Positive word of mouth following the opening night performances of the festival on Thursday night led to near-capacity audiences for the performances on Friday and Saturday. Jeff Martin produces and programs the festival. He found the two shows from this year’s festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2013 and knew they would be well received here at BYU.

 

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Congratulations to adjunct faculty member Janine Sobeck who married Nathan Stayner Knighton this past Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in the Bountiful Temple.

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Kyle Stapley recently received a special service award from the University, which included an honorarium. This award is designated for BYU Employees who have made extraordinary contributions and outstanding performance. Well deserved, Kyle!  You bless all our lives with your technical expertise, good humor, and tremendous support to both sides of the department!  In addition, Kyle anticipates graduating in August with a Masters degree in Public Administration from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.

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Rodger Sorensen’s goal with this year’s Microburst Theatre Festival was to include as many students as possible in every part of the process.   He began by calling for scripts, of which they received 36, ranging from 3-11 minutes in length.  Rodger then invited students on a selection committee to help choose the scripts that would be included in the festival.  They ended up choosing 10 students’ scripts plus three faculty members’ scripts. With scripts in hand, the company then expanded dramatically with 6 student directors, 5 student designers, a student dramaturg, and after auditions, 13 student actors. The scripts went though an intensive writers/directors/dramaturg workshop for one week where the playwrights workshopped their scripts and the company gave feedback them.  Then during the rehearsal phase of the project, Dillon Durrant, the student stage manager, scheduled rehearsals for three different scripts every night.  The student company created and cued all sound and music, supervised by TMA alum Mari Toronto.  At times, the sound was provided by an online audio track played by a computer in front of a mic.  Rodger says, “This is my favorite kind of theatre to do.  With limited resources, we had to find solutions that were creative and imaginative, and our students really stepped up to the challenge.”

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January 14-16 the Utah Theatre Association Conference (UTA) was held at the University of Utah. BYU faculty members Rory Scanlon and Nathan Balser, TMA Grad studentsChrist Hults and Haley Flanders and undergraduate students Rebecca McDonnelland Camilla Hodgsen, as well as a number of BYU alumni presented workshops at the conference. Stephanie Breinholt, Rory Scanlon and Michael Kraczek attended scholarship-screening presentations in Acting and Theatre Arts, and Lindsi Nielson andLauren Hanson provided a great new booth for recruiting potential students. Theatre Education students were also in attendance. The annual UTA conference brings together 2000+ high school and middle school students from around the state of Utah as well theatre professionals and University and College representatives from Utah and surrounding states for workshops and performances in a celebration of theatre.

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