Department News (10-31-16)

One of the most delightful things about The Importance of Being Earnest, which opened on Friday, are the charming English accents.  In fact, one patron was heard to say while exiting Saturday night’s production, “It sounded just like Downton Abbey!”  Combined with Oscar Wilde’s wonderful wit, Travis Coyne’s open set, and Bradlee Hagar and Michael Krazek’s stunning lighting designs, this is a production you won’t want to miss. Of special note are the student designers, Sarah Stewart (costumes), Sarah Bult (hair and makeup) and Christopher Bowles (sound). One of TMA’s newest faculty members, Adam Houghton, served as the Dialects and Acting Coach Assistant Director, and is responsible for those charming English accents!  Kudos to all “Earnest’s” cast and crew for a witty and engaging production.

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Last week theatre and media arts combined forces for the weekly forum to talk about networking. Michael Krackzek and Jeff Parkin co-hosted the event, which was well attended by close to 70 students. Michael provided a handout on networking basics and encouraged students to get out and interview professionals in their field for information that can help them make good career choices and make connections in the profession. Then,  thanks to Kyle Stapley, we were able to connect live through Skype with media arts alum, Bryce RandleBryce graduated from the media arts program in 2009 and by networking, he has been able to work consistently in his field both here in Utah and in LA.  He encouraged students to build their relationships while they are here; reach out to class mates in spite of any feelings of competition.  His cohort of editors worked together to further connections with professionals in the industry while they were at school here, and then they’ve watched out for each other, recommended each other and let each other know when jobs are available that would fit with their expertise.  He’s still in touch with them, usually at least once a week or more.  He also had some great advice for doing lunch with people who might be in a position to provide a job. You don’t need to ask for a job, just ask for advice!  It’s easy to do and everyone likes to feel they have something valuable to offer.

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Former Media Arts students Jared and Jerusha Hess were with us for an afternoon last week, talking to and answering questions from a roomful of writers. Budding screenwriters from four writing classes gathered to listen to Jared and Jerusha, who have written or co-written Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Gentlemen Broncos, and who are currently working on new projects for Disney and Nickelodeon.

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TMA has several faculty who will be involved with the Orem Hale Center Theatre in the next few months. David Morgan will be playing Scrooge in their annual production of A Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 26.  Barta Heiner will be directing Cash on Delivery, which opens New Year’s Eve.  And Rodger Sorensen will be directing Peter and the Starcatcher, which opens on Feb. 16, 2017.  Congrats to our talented faculty who are often in demand beyond the university.  For more information or to get tickets, go to the Hale Center Theatre home page, http://www.haletheater.org/

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