Department News 09-26-16

Next Thursday, Oct. 6, the 7th and final season of Beehive Stories will premiere at the BYU Broadcasting Building at 7 pm. The episodes that will be featured include Beaver, Piute, and Salt Lake Counties, as well as Canyonlands National Park.  The students involved in making the films will be attending and available for a Q&A after each episode’s screening.  Beehive Stories is Brad Barber’s brainchild, and he has used scores of students on the project since it began five years ago.  Students who worked on these films include Melody ChowKelton DavisEric SoJessica MarquisTaylor Lewis, Ian Hawkes, and Aubrey Clark. The shorts will air on KBYU TV on Wednesdays in October at 8:55 and 9:55 pm, Oct. 5 (Beaver and Piute), Oct. 12 (Piute and Salt Lake), Oct. 19 (Salt Lake and Canyonlands), and Oct. 26 (Canyonlands and Beaver).



The Media Arts Opening Social was held on Friday, Sept. 23, at River Park, near the MPS Studio.  About 80-90 people, including faculty members Tom and Courtney Russell, Jeff & Jana Parkin, and Scott Christopherson & family, attended.  Miraculously, it rained heavily until about 6 pm, and then lightened up during the party.  Thank goodness for the pavilion!  But as soon as the party was over, the rain started in again. Students and faculty enjoyed J-dawgs, sides, and desserts.  We’re grateful to Kyle Stapley for his excellent planning of the social.  Around 8 pm, most of the group migrated over to the HFAC to attend the premier of Matt Siemers and Nick Ritter’s student capstone “Conflicted Felons,” a most appropriate activity for our film program event!



Michael Kraczek’s TMA 101 students all attended last week’s production of Westminster College’s Classical Greek Theatre Festival production of Euripedes’ Herakles (not to be confused with the Roman version, Hercules, which is a similar character, but a completely different story).  The festival brings a classic Greek play to life each year.  The production itself was interesting in that the ancient play was set in a more modern setting, evoking the post-Vietnam American era with camo fatigues against a background of guitar folk/rock music.  The Greek Chorus was played with puppets in the Bunraku tradition, but these “citizens” were more like Vietnam vets.  In the first half of the play, Herakles comes home from his “Labors” that he is required to complete after the Trojan War.  When he gets back, through the machinations of a jealous Hera (who is mad at Herakles because his mother and Zeus had an affair), Herakles murders his family.  Within the Vietnam setting, this plot twist becomes plausible as a veteran struggling with PTSD.   The second half of the play deals with Herakles struggle coming to terms with what he has done.  This particular Euripedes play is not performed or read very often, but the concept of the play was a convincing one that generated interesting discussions in TMA 101 class last Monday.   For a thoughtful study guide for this production, go to



Each fall, TMA 443, Writers, Dramaturgs, and Actors (WDA) workshop three plays during the semester that are then presented as staged readings at the beginning of December. George Nelson and Shelley Graham instruct the course, and the plays and their authors are listed below with a short synopsis. Watch for dates and times coming up at the end of the semester!

Dance with Me
By Andrew Justvig
When a young man with cerebral palsy falls in love with his childhood best friend, home from a failed attempt at a career in dance, he is thrilled to discover that she feels the same way for him. However, her love of dancing, and past romantic involvement with a mutual friend and professional dancer might stand in the way of their happiness.

Lovestruck, the Musical
By Lauren Laws and John Leavitt
In the town of Knawkemoutville, boxing isn’t just a way of life, it is life. So when a snappy tapdancer from Blissburg arrives with dreams of putting on a show, no one knows quite what to do with him. In songs of loving and fighting, tapping and punching, the townspeople explore what it means to be happy with who you are.

Performance Art
By Kristin Perkins
Tamsyn’s mother Jennifer, a renowned performance artist, has breast cancer, and with only months to live, she decides to dedicate the last hours of her life to a grand artistic gesture of love and apology for her strained relationship with her only child. She plans a spectacular performance for an audience of one.


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