Department News (12-12-16)

BYU Center for Animation released a new video game two weeks ago called Vanguards, and its successurpassed the game-makers expectations. Three days after its launch, 1,500 people had downloaded and played Vanguards. Animation student Garrett Egan, the game’s producer, said he was only expecting 30 to 400 downloads. BYU News said, “Despite the surprise, that doesn’t mean the success of Vanguards wasn’t earned. Every year, the senior animation students lead a project to build a video game [as an alternative to the senior animation project]. But this year, they set themselves up with a tough challenge: create their version of a multiplayer online battle arena game, or MOBA, one of the most popular and complex genres, and also make it simple enough for anyone — gamers and non-gamers alike — to figure out.” Click here to read more.

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Nat Reed’s puppetry class, TMA 252, performed a puppet variety show during the afternoon Mask Club times last Thursday.  Eight students self-produced four skits, either on an ethical dilemma or on team work.  Two additional performers did lip syncs, one parodying “Sugar” and the other doing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  (Incidentally, lip syncing is part of the bigmouth puppet tradition.  In the 60’s, not-yet-famous Jim Henson and his wife started in Baltimore doing a 5-minute show called Sam and Friends, which was entirely made up of puppets lip syncing songs.)  The finale of the puppet performance was a puppet version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (On the first day of Christmas, my puppet gave to me …”).    Nat Reed also created the three puppet camels for the Mormon Tabernacle Choirs’ 2017 Christmas Broadcast, which is always taped the year before it is aired.  Nat trained the 3 puppeteers that controlled the camels, several of whom were his former students.  But you’ll have to wait until next year to see these amazing puppets!  We appreciate the puppetry classes, taught under the theatre education program, and the support they give our students and productions.

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Congratulations to the Cyrano cast who finished their tour on Tuesday.  They toured for 3 months to elementary schools and local libraries and performed for over 5,000 children.  Cyrano, directed by Kris Wing Jennings gave many children their first opportunity to see a tragedy – in a kid-friendly, accessible way.  The cast also taught post-show workshops for 5th graders, helping those students dive deep into the play’s themes.  The workshops were created by Teresa Love.  Here the cast is pictured with their trusty stage manager Jake Fullmer who drove them around in that big van all semester. Great work everyone!

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