Department News (6-13-16)

Charlotte’s Web closed this past weekend to a very successful run.  Shawnda was especially pleased that despite the stylized set and costumes and having the animals played by humans, audience members of all ages got the message of the play.  In fact, she realized these choices actually seemed to enhance audience engagement.  One ofShawnda and Bradley’s favorite things about the play were the spontaneous outbursts of children in the audience engaging with the play.  At one point, a child, blurted out to Wilbur, “Charlotte’s up there!”  Whenever Charlotte spun, thanks to the set, lighting, and costume designs, the audience got very quiet as they watched Charlotte spin on the silks.  The audience, especially the children, loved meeting the cast in the gallery after the show.  Shawnda points out that except for Charlotte, none of the other actors had been in a main stage show, so this was a cast of newbies!  She felt that each one of them were kind, gracious and lovely to work with.  She especially wanted to thank the collaboration of the design team on the show-  from costumes that realized their concept of animals to the words appearing in Charlotte’s web, the play successful engaged our audiences, both adults and children.
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Wade Hollingshaus,
TMA Department Chair, announced additional responsibilities for TMA’s new Associate Chairs, Megan Sanborn Jones and Darl Larsen.  Megan will continue to serve as the Director of Graduate Studies and will also serve as the Artistic Director for the TMA Theatre Season.  Megan has a wealth of experience directing and mentoring productions in years of TMA seasons; she will bring great leadership and vision to our future seasons.  Darl Larsen will continue as the chair of the TMA R&S committee and will also now serve as the chair of the newly formed Media Arts Resource Committee (MARC).  MARC is charged with fielding and balancing all requests on media arts production resources: equipment, student labor, faculty mentoring, etc. The intention is to give Darl and this committee as much autonomy as possible to support our curriculum and other opportunities.  Wade, Darl, and Megan are working on a set of guiding principles for each of these  new roles relative to theatre and media production.  They will continue to represent theatre and media respectively on the Executive Committee, and they will continue to counsel along with the entire committee on all matters.

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We congratulate media arts graduate Merritt Mecham who has accepted the invitation to represent her graduating class and the TMA department in the August College Convocation.  Merritt will be preparing a 5-minute speech with Darl Larsen serving as her faculty mentor.

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Stephanie Breinholt will be directing Music Man this summer, July 21-August 13 at the Sundance Mountain resort. Performances will be held Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m and a barbecue will be held each night at 6 p.m. prior to the performance. Tickets are likely to sell out, so get yours at sundanceresort.com/summer-theatre-en. The Daily Universe quoted Stephanie’s remarks about the play: “‘I love the thought that if you believe in the good of others and act upon it, magic can happen. I’ve seen that happen in my own life, and it happens in the show — theatrically and thematically. The show is a great representation that ordinary life can be full of extraordinary things. I actually love every part of the show — the singing, the dancing, the story, but especially the lovely people I am so blessed to work with every day.’” Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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Both Theatre and Film London Study Abroad programs are headed back to the states this week. Students and faculty have had a wonderful experience and we look forward to welcoming them back!

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