Department News 10-09-17

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Capitalizing on our LDS culture’s fascination with musical theatre, this year’s BYU Homecoming Spectacular was a musical theatre celebration featuring Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth.  The spectacular covered songs from thirteen different musicals, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to Hamilton.  There was even a wonderful number publicizing the upcoming TMA Theatre Season offering, Into the Woods, featuring MDT students Preston Taylor and Benjamin Raymant, directed by Dallyn Bayles.  Kristin graciously combined forces with Gentri, Vocal Point, BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre, BYU’s Men’s Chorus, and the whole BYU Spectacular Cast and Orchestra on many musical theatre production numbers.  Our own Megan Sanborn Jones got in on the dance action by choreographing The Music Man medley featuring Ms. Chenoweth and the Men’s Chorus.  And adjunct faculty member Patrick Livingston contributed to the comedic writing of the script.  Highlighting the legacy of LaVell Edwards, BYU Homecoming honored eleven BYU alums from each college and six additional University Service Award recipients. Kudos go to Arts Production personnel and students who put in countless hours to pull off this amazing show, including Jennifer Reed, the show’s artistic director; Bridget Benton, production stage manager; Marianne Ohran, lighting designer; and Jeff Martin, the Producer and Artist Manager who enticed Kristin to join the celebration.

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The Glorious Story Emporium finished the first week of its on-campus run, with only one more week to go.  The production’s stage manager, Jake Fullmer, has loved working with the cast and seeing them grow in their ability to improv under Patrick Livingston’s direction over the past six months.  At first, they were very nervous about the whole prospect of performing with no script, but with the inventive props and costumes, practice, and Patrick’s encouragement and training, the cast is now able to be as excited as the audience to see where this fairytale goes each night.  Although it is a Young Company show, Jake has noticed all ages engaging and laughing at the unexpected turn of events.  He loves that our audiences have been willing to enter into this fun, magical fairy tale, where anything can happen.  And no matter which show you go to, it’s always opening night!  This is the final week of the show before the show completes its tour to schools around Utah; be sure to get your tickets here.  To read more about the improv process, visit 4th Wall Dramaturgy here.  For a list of performances at schools on their tour, go here.

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