Department News (6-20-16)

We are thrilled to announce Chariots of Fire as the final title in our upcoming 2016-17 theatre season. This new stage play, adapted by Mike Bartlett from the Academy Award-winning film, was first produced in the UK and London’s West End in conjunction with the 2012 Olympic Games. BYU Theatre’s production will mark the show’s U.S. and post-London debut, and we can’t wait to bring this inspiring true story to life on stage in Provo in March 2017. Chariots of Fire will be directed by Tim Threlfall and choreographed by Becky Wright Phillips. Read more about CHARIOTS OF FIRE here and visit the event page here.
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Summer TMA Faculty Office moves:  With the retirement of our dear friends and colleagues Mary Farahnakian and Barta Heiner and the new hires of Adam Houghtonand Dennis Wright, TMA faculty offices are changing a bit over the summer.  George Nelson will be moving to Barta’s old office (F-570 HFAC) in August.  Brad Barber will move into George’s old office (F-331), Stephanie Breinholt will move into Mary Farahnakian’s old office (F-378).  Julia Ashworth will move into F-361.  Adam Houghton will move into Julia’s old office (F-341) and Dennis Wright will move intoBrad Barber’s old office (F-354).  Shelly Graham and Janine Sobeck Knighton will move into F-367; Teresa Love and Shawnda Moss will move into F-338.  Reese Purser and Ben Hopkin will move into F-425.   We appreciate your patience with the moving, painting, and surplus furniture in the halls over the summer.  We will miss Bartaand Mary, but extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues Adam Houghton andDennis Wright.

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On Thursday, June 16, media arts student Helen Butcher screened her capstone documentary, The Coal Minority, in F-201 followed by a Q&A. Helen said that the room was about two-thirds full and that the crew members were excited and relieved to show the film. Her capstone was about three single mothers in Utah who struggled to maintain economic independence as mines shut down nationwide. Helen said that a lot of people wanted to know more about the three women who were featured in the film and where they were now. “It was an enlightening experience, and it put into perspective unique challenges that people face that my crew and I would never have otherwise experienced,” she said.

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Tim Threlfall, who has been a guest director at the nationally renowned Cape Playhouse for Neil Simon’s play Last of the Red Hot Lovers, received rave reviews for the opening night of the production.  The Barnstable Patriot says, “Director Tim Threlfall guides the production with a sure hand and elicits knockout performances from his talented, two-person cast.”  (To read to full article, go to  barnstablepatriot.com)  The Cape Cod Times: “Director Tim Threlfall artfully maneuvers his two actors, Daniel Pearce andJennifer Cody, through Neil Simon’s linguistic maze.”(To read the full review, go towww.capecodtimes.com.)  Tim comments, “Congrats to Jen Cody and Daniel Pearceon a great opening night performance! It was a pleasure to work with you both at this historic theatre. Congrats as well to Erik Orton [another TMA alum!] on the opening of the first production at the Cape Playhouse under his Artistic Director leadership!”  Last of the Red Hot Lovers was the opening show of the theatre’s 90th season.  It is the longest continuously running summer stock theatre in America.  It’s slogan is:  “Where Broadway goes to Summer.”  The list of alumni that have trod the boards at the Cape Playhouse is nothing short of a ‘who’s-who’ of 20th century stage and screen legends…from Henry Fonda on stage with his young daughter Jane for her acting debut, to movie stars Basil Rathbone, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Eva LeGallienne, Ruth Gordon and E.G Marshall to legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen and playwright Thornton Wilder in his own production of Our Town, to the place where Betty White met her husband on stage and First Lady Nancy Reagan (Nancy Davis then) appeared.  (The list goes on and on!)  Nice to know our own Tim Threlfall is rubbing historical shoulders with these greats!

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Here is the report from the last week of London Study Abroad from the theatre students. Their final class was last Monday and now they are either traveling Europe or have come home. Here is Katie’s report: “On Monday we saw Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Gielgud theater, and to say the stage and effects were amazing would be a terrible understatement. Tuesday we saw two shows: The matinee of The Winter’s Tale Ballet at The Royal Opera House, and then the award-winning musical,  Mathilda.  Wednesday we saw the award winning play The Flick at the National Theater. Thursday a large group of the students went  independently to tour the Harry Potter sets at Warner Bros Studios. That night we went to the performance installation called No Body at Saddler’s Wells. It was a performance with no people or bodies present in the space, which was fascinating for those interested in Performance Studies. Friday we had class and then went down river on a boat to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian and the Royal Observatory.  That evening we saw the absolutely stunning production of Richard III at the Almeida Theater. Saturday we got on a bus and went to the white cliffs of Dover and explored Dover Castle. Then we headed to Canterbury and explored the Cathedral and surrounding area. Our last stop on that day trip was a beautiful church in Tudely where Marc Chagal designed all of the stained glass windows. This was a beautiful adventure that will continue to effect everyone for the rest of their lives. We will always remember London and the amazing shows and sites we saw here!”

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