Department News (3-8-16)

We are pleased to announce that Adam Houghton has accepted a full-time faculty position in the BFA Acting program.  Adam will officially join the TMA faculty in Fall 2016. Adam J. Houghton graduated from Brigham Young University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts studies: Acting Emphasis. He received his MFA in directing from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He is currently Department Chair and an Associate Professor of acting for the Theatre Department at St Benedict and St John’s University (CSBSJU).   In addition to his MFA, Adam has pursued diverse acting trainingthat includes traditional western approaches as well as the Noh Training Project, Alba emoting studies, and mask making and performance.  Adam is currently building puppets and masks for the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s The Story of the Crow Boy.  He has a keen interest in mask work and sees the mask’s primary function in communication as revealing more than it conceals.  Last summer he performed in Strindberg’s Pariah, which was described by The Star Tribune as “rivetingly understated.”  We look forward to working with Adam!

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University Communications recently ran a great article on the media arts program, highlighting Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson’s Peace Officer, and student projects Beyond (produced by Matt Siemers and directed by Hunter Phillips) and The Surface (directed by Willem Kampenhout).  In the article, our chair Wade Hollingshausstates:  “The TMA media faculty are dedicated to fostering filmmaker artists, those that have something to say and also the expert skill by which to say it.  I’m always impressed with the degree to which the media faculty work with students to integrate critical thinking into their production work.”
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The Taste of Sunrise, by Susan L. Zeder and directed by Julia Ashworth, is opening this week in the Margetts and will be performed March 10-March 26. The play is presented in American Sign Language and spoken English. BYU News wrote an article about the cast’s deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing actors. Here is what they said: “The lead role of Tuc – a man struggling to navigate the path of loss, love and language in his silent world – is played by Ben FeatherstoneFeathersone is deaf, but wears a cochlear implant so that he can read lips and hear vibrations. Two other cast members are also hard of hearing: David Hampton (who plays Dr. Grindly Mann and other characters) and Jason Keeler (who plays Roscoe). Many of the cast members are fluent in ASL or have taken ASL classes at BYU.” Read the rest of the article here. You can also visit 4th Wall Dramaturgy – Taste of Sunrise to read what Haley Flanders, the play’s dramaturg, has written about ASL and how it is used in this performance as well as other theatre performances. She also talks about the Ware Trilogy from which The Taste of Sunrise developed.

Here is a list of the Taste of Sunrise production staff:
Assistant Director, Jessica Stevenson; Production Stage Manager, Heather Richardson; Assistant Stage Manager, Jean Bingham and Taylor Finnell; Technical Director, Travis Coyne; Props Designer, Scott Jackson and Taylor Robinson; Lighting Designer, Michael Kraczek; Assistant Lighting Designer, Kalea Burke; Costume Designer, Mary Farahnakian; Assistant Costume Designer, Isabelle Anderson; Makeup Designer, Kirsten Watkins; Assistant Makeup Designer, Jacey Gardner; Sound Designer, Emilee Knell; Dramaturg, Haley Flanders.

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The TMA make-up program participated in another Mock Disaster Simulation with the EMS Students and the College of Nursing this past Saturday  March 5. Most of our Intermediate and Advanced Makeup students participated as artists. We did makeup on 100 ‘victims’ in 3 hours, and many of our TMA students participated as victims. Sarah Bult, one of our advanced makeup students, help coordinate the makeup application and research. Photos are available on the BYU College of Nursing Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153653338523141.1073741832.55320393140&type=3.

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Last Friday, March 4, was the Theatre and Media Arts Department Assessment Day, where programs in the department meet to assess student artifacts.  In the assessment process, faculty that support the different areas—  Theatre Arts Studies, Theatre Education, BFA Acting, and Media Arts — also determine if students are fulfilling the learning outcomes for their areas.  The day opened with a breakfast buffet in the East Conference room of the Hinckley Center and then the faculty divided out and began their assessments.   At noon, we enjoyed lunch from Tucahnos.  We appreciate the efforts ofBrad Barber, our TLC chair in organizing  this annual event.

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