Department News 02-20-17

BYU was recognized in the following ways Saturday evening during the awards ceremony at the Region VII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Mesa, Arizona.   It was a remarkable week!  Congratulations to all those who participated.
  • National Finalist in Stage Management:  Cali Holcomb 
  • National Finalist 10-minute play: Brittni Henretty
  • National Finalist in the Musical Theatre Initiative: Joseph Swain
  • Alternate Musical Theatre Initiative: Madison Dennis
  • Open Jar Musical Theatre Scholarship: Madison Dennis
  • National Finalist in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions: Ben Featherstone 
  • National Partners of the American Theatre Classical Acting Award: Spencer Hunsicker
  • Voice & Speech Trainers Association Commendation for Exceptional work in Voice: Soren Barker for voicing for Ben Featherstone 
  • Scholarship to Character Voice workshop: Soren Barker
  • BYU’s dramaturg was the alternate:  Rick Curtiss

In addition-

  • National Partners of the American Theatre for Coaching Classical Work:  Stephanie Breinholt
  • 7 of the 8 Irene Ryans from BYU were in the Irene Ryan Final Round.  Irene Ryan Finalists include:

                            Mariah Bowles, partner Taft Robinson
                            Ben Featherstone, partner Brittni Henretty, voicer Soren Barker
                            Meg Flinders, partner Madison Dennis
                            Spencer Hunsicker, partner Sariah Hopkin
                            Peter Lambert, partner Sariah Hopkin
                            Stephen Moore, partner Taft Robinson
                            Joseph Swain, partner Madison Dennis

  • 6 of the 7 students who auditioned for Musical Theatre Initiative (MTI) were chosen for the Cabaret performance.  MTI Finalists include:

                            Madison Dennis
                            Sariah Hopkin
                            Peter Lambert
                            Taft Robinson
                            Joseph Swain
                            Meg Flinders
                            Sariah Hopkin

  • 3 designers were in design finals, all from Travesties.  Designer Finalists included the following:
                        Alex Winder – Sound
                        Marneé Porter – Makeup
                        Juliette Lewis – Costume
  • All the BYU stage managers were finalists.  Finalists included:
                        Julianne Francisco
    Jake Fullmer
    Cali Holcomb
    Susan Kupferer 
  • One of the directors for Deaf West also approached Ben Featherstone about a role in their upcoming production.



BYU Young Company’s production of Macbeth, directed by Teresa Love, closed over the weekend.They will now begin touring elementary schools across Utah County.


Happysadness, a new play by Chandra Lloyd, is playing this Thursday through Saturday (February 23-25) in the Nelke Theatre. The 4th Wall reports on the oxymoronic genius that is happysadness. Combining “education and entertainment,” this production “[challenges] the notion that categorizing is easy; that objects, emotions, experiences and people can be ranked; and that choices are either good or bad. When seeing opposites together, the viewer must make consideration. ‘Girly man’ puts into question what it means to be a girl and to be a man. Jumbo shrimp allows for different descriptions depending on the viewpoint, and happysadness states that some of the greatest moments happen during the hardest times.”

Read the full review on the 4th wall.



Last Thursday at their forum, the media arts program screened students Olivia Taylor (producer) and Danny Hunt’s (director) RAISIN, to a packed house in the Nelke.  It was gratifying to see so many students attend and engage in the screening and the discussion afterwards.  RAISIN is a 25-minute student capstone film done in an avant gard, experimental style.  The film’s synopsis is described as, “A psychedelic short film about two sisters and the mysterious creatures who abduct them and pose as their parents.” After the screening, Tom Russell interviewed Danny, the director of the film, about some of the choices made in the film and then students asked questions.  Danny acknowledged that the film dealt with the themes of betrayal and fear from a child’s perspective, but he also deliberately chose bright colors to engage the senses and keep the tone of the film light.  Each scene used a different filmic and musical style.

unnamed-2Here is a link to the kickstarter that describes the film in more detail.

Short reel about some of the props created by the film’s prop designer, Annie Wing:


Kudos to two of TMA’s graduate students who took first and second place in the CFAC Three Minute Thesis College competition: Katie Jarvis (lst) and Ting Chung (3rd). (And kudos to their faculty advisor who helped coach them: Megan Sanborn Jones).  Approximately 20 graduate students competed on the college level.   Both will receive cash prizes for their wins and Katie will advance to the university level competition.


Peter and the Starcatcher
, directed by Rodger Sorensen opened at the Hale Center Theatre this weekend and will play until April 8th.  For tickets, go here.



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