Department News 01-16-17

This past weekend several TMA faculty members and a group of 28 students attended the Utah Theatre Association Conference in St. George.  Faculty members included our UTA representative, Michael Kraczek, Stephanie Breinholt, Adam Houghton, Shawnda Moss, Carrie Lopez, and Becky Wallin, who all gave presentations and/or participated in the auditions the conference sponsors.   Every single student in the group either created and taught a workshop or served as an assistant to an instructor.  Many students also manned the BYU booth and talked to HS students about their experiences at BYU.  Everyone attended workshops galore, experienced Will Swenson (a BYU grad and Broadway star) and Seth Rudetsky, attended productions, and had a great time in St. George.  Each year about 2,000 high school students and teachers participate in the conference which is organized to encourage students to “celebrate their skills and talents while learning more about theatre together.  High school seniors also … meet with college and university representatives to learn about their programs and audition for acceptance to programs and scholarships.”  For nineteen years, our own Shawnda Moss was the conference administrator and UTA treasurer.  In recent years, the conference has also become a resource for theatre educators and pre-service teachers.  Teachers who participate can even earn re-licensure credits. Michael Kraczek, who presented three different workshops, was able to talk to a lot of students who are interested in theatre and BYU.  He observed that, “[UTA] was a great opportunity to work with and encourage the next wave of theatre artists.”FotorCreated.jpg

You might notice that there is a new assistant in Elizabeth Funk’s office this semester.  After working for TMA for three years, Lauren Hansen has accepted an internship for the LDS Church and will be graduating in June. We welcome Kylie Burdge, who officially began working in TMA last week.  Kylie was born in Provo in 1997 while her parents were attending BYU. While here, her mother received her Master of Health Education as well as a Master of Counseling and her father received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Their family lived in Utah until Kylie was four when her father got a job on Whidbey Island in Washington State. Kylie is the oldest of four, and her younger sister is planning to attend BYU in the fall. Because Kylie’s father is Panamanian and grew up in the Canal Zone, one of her in-progress goals while here at BYU is to become fluent in Spanish, which she is close to achieving.  Kylie attended school in a small, seaside farm town in Washington from kindergarten until she graduated in 2015 with a class of only 60. During high school, Kylie participated on the cheer squad as both a member and captain and served in student government. Her hobbies include singing and playing the piano, listening to country music, and re-reading Harry Potter.  Kylie is a member of the on-campus a cappella club and is serving as co-director of Attention, an all-girls group.  She is currently majoring in Political Science and considering law school.  Kylie looks forward to meeting and serving the faculty and students in TMA!  Welcome to TMA, Kylie!

Those of you who take The Friend magazine may recognize one of our media arts students as one of the authors.  Camlyn Giddins (and co-author Daniella Subietawrote the article “This Little Light of Mine” in the Jan. 2017 edition of The Friend, based on a true story.  You can access the article online here:

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Darl Larsen will be hosted as the Professor of the Week by the Honors Student Advisory Council.  He will speak at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Honors Reading Room (in the HBLL) about the study of film.  The Honors Advisory Council is a student run organization focused on serving the Honors study body. One of their purposes is to build the honors community. 


Rodger Sorensen is the 2016 recipient of BYU Idaho’s Eliza R. Snow’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the Performing and Visual Arts.  “The purpose of this award is to recognize and honor alumni who have excelled in the performing or visual arts as either a professional or an amateur.” Rodger is a well-beloved former faculty member at BYU-I who taught there for 17 years before joining us in TMA.  The Eliza R. Snow Society is an organization at BYU-I that provides scholarships, instruments, and specialized equipment for students in the visual and performing arts. unnamed.png




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