Department News 02-19-18

We congratulate all those who participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival this past week.  In the Acting arena, we congratulate the following students who were recognized:

  • Irene Ryan National Finalist: Bradley Mackay
  • Regional Classical Acting Award (National partners of the American Theatre): Chelsea Mortensen
  • Irene Ryan Finalist/Semifinalists & partners: Bradley Mackay & Malia Mackay and
    Chelsea Mortensen & Clara Richardson
  • Musical Theatre Initiative Finalist: Madison Dennis
  • This is the 5th year in a row that a BYU student has been the Irene Ryan national finalist from Region 8.
  • This is the 2nd year in a row that a BYU student has received the Classical Acting award.

In the Dramaturgy and Directing areas:

  • Honorable mention in dramaturgy: Rachelle Sutton
  • Finalist in directing:  Mariah Eames
  • Faculty member George Nelson received the directing award for the ten minute play festival.
  • Lighting Design Fellowship Winner: Susan Kupferer
  • Sound Design Fellowship Alternate: Katie Tenney
  • Lighting Design Finalist: Susan Kupferer
  • Makeup and Hair Design Finalist: Sarah Bult
  • Sound Design Finalist: Katie Tenney
  • Stage Management Finalists: MK Park and Susan Kupferer

In the Dramaturgy and Directing areas:

  • Honorable mention in dramaturgy: Rachelle Sutton
  • Finalist in directing:  Mariah Eames
  • Faculty member George Nelson received the directing award for the ten minute play festival.

We’ll share other recognitions and awards as they become available.


Kelly Loolsi and Kyle Stapley attended Media Day on Capitol Hill on Valentine’s Day, sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  This was a great place for film and media companies and other entities to network and see what filmmakers across the state have to offer.  In fact, as the result of networking at the event, Kelly’s 12-year-old daughter Hannah actually got a job on Friday as an extra on Disney Channel’s Andi Mack, which films in Utah.


Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, a well-respected scholar, artist and pedagogue from the University of Texas at Austin, was a guest of the theatre education area at BYU this past week.  She conducted a workshop for the department forum on Thursday, guest-lectured in TMA 202 and 396, and was the keynote speaker for the TIOS conference on Saturday.  In addition, she served as an outside reviewer for Romeo y Julieta.  During the theatre forum, Roxanne gave an overview of the many facets of Theatre Education, from teaching in public schools to being a teaching artist. During her presentation, she involved attendees in some games that explored what arts in education might mean to different people.  In TMA 202, Roxanne spoke on her work as a playwright as it related to realism.  She showed a scene from her play, Sangre de un Angel, a TYA piece dealing with the reality of gang related shootings, about a young man who is murdered in his driveway in Austin.  In TMA 396, students read a paper she had written about the play And Then Came Tango, a story about two penguins who raise a baby chick. They had a lively discussion about taboos and representations of gender in theatre specifically for children.  Roxanne appreciated the depth of the discussion.  We appreciate Julia Ashworth for arranging Roxanne’s visit.

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Rodger Sorensen was recently interviewed by Stephen Kapp Perry on his radio program, In Good Faith, a program in which people of faith talk about their beliefs and how they developed.  Rodger’s interview aired on Jan. 28, 2018.  He was introduced as follows, “Dr. Rodger Sorensen has spent his life in the church and in the theater. He talks about ritual–both sacred and secular–and how it can ground us and move us, dealing with friends who believe differently, and having faith to wait for the things we don’t yet understand.”  To listen to the interview, which is well worth the time, click hereIn Good Faith airs Sunday at 10am and 4pm MT on byuradio.org and SiriusXM 143. (After-interview panelists are Sam Payne, Lynette Bunker, Mathew Esplin, and Todd Bowen.)

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