Department News 03-26-18

Not many seats left!  Get your tickets to Single Wide here!  Written by George and McLean Nelson and directed by Megan Sanborn Jones, the award-winning musical opened this past weekend.  To read a promotional article about the production in The Daily Herald, go here.

Last Friday, Tim Threlfall’s “The Business” class (TMA 421) invited a panel of BYU alums to talk about how their undergrad education at BYU has shaped and influenced their careers.  Panelists included MDT graduates Susie Balser (MDT 2002, dancer and actor, owner and artistic director for Dance), Ben Cummings (Casting Specialist at the LDS MPS), Andra Johnson Duke (MDT 1998, BYUB Director of Content), Kevin Goertzen (BFA Acting 2008, Assistant Dean of Development at UVU’s School of the Arts), and Wade Hollingshaus (TMA 1998, Chair of TMA).  Each panelist spoke briefly about the path they took to where they currently are and then students asked questions.  Part of the purpose of the class is to expand students’ options once they graduate.  Broadway is a wonderful goal, but there are many more options and opportunities for students to find fulfilling careers in the arts!

Last week, we sent a link to a short trailer the CFAC External Relations team made, “Sacred Sounds: Can Music Heal the Religious Divide” that erroneously gave credit for the trailer to media arts student Peter Totten. Peter actually made six different short docs for the interdisciplinary project.  Three of those docs can be accessed here:

The CFAC trailer, entitled Sacred Sounds: A Compassionate Listening Guide to Musical Worship was part of an interdisciplinary exhibition curated by undergraduate Maddie Blonquist. The project investigated the musical sounds used in worship in the three Abrahamic religions — Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Visitors listened to an audio guide, watched a documentary, marveled at art installations and read examples of prayers, all with the intent of improving interfaith relations on campus and in the community.

Director: Melinda Semadeni Production Manager: Emily Webb Producer: Russ Richins Videography: Brian Wilcox, Colby Barrios & Scott Baylon Editor: Mark Goodman with DreamChaser Entertainment, Inc. Writer: Amanda Shrum Music: Original music by Lorenzo Giusti, “Ahavah Rabbah” by Elana Arian and Noah Aronson (TinaTunaMusic – BMI) from “A Spark of Light” with text from Morning Liturgy Additional footage: Lee Groberg and Groberg Films, Peter Totten, Jaye Abhau, Pond5, Shutterstock Interviews: Maddie Blonquist, Peter Totten, Brandon Boulton, Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw Special thanks to: Lucas Jones, Julie Walker, Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah, Imam Muhammed Mehtar, Debra Bonner and the Unity Gospel Choir, Lux Singers, Garon Brett (Studio Y), BYU

Student and Alumni News

  • Andrew Justvig is a semi-finalist in the Gary Marshall Theater New Works Festival! Eventually, the festival will select 8 plays for concert readings in L.A. with professional actors and directors. With 8 plays as finalists, Andrew feels like he has a shot!

andrew justvig

  • Two current media arts students were finalists for 2018 Association of Mormon Arts and Letters Awards in the film and video category. They are Marshal Davis for “Socorro”(a 2017 capstone film) and Barrett Burgin for “Out of the Ground.” BYU theatre alums Davey and Bianca Morrison Dillard were also finalists in the film and video category, with a TV pilot, A Pug and Wolf Christmas.  Congratulations to Marshal Davis’s  “Socorro” for being recognized as the winning entry in this category.


  • Two BYU theatre alums are finalists in the drama category of the Association of Mormon Arts and Letters Awards: Virtue by Tim Slover, Plan-B Theatre Company, Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Salt Lake City and Not One Drop by Morag Shepherd, Plan-B Theatre Company, Rose Wager Center, Salt Lake City. Tim’s play Virtue was the winning entry.
  • To read about all awards, including winners and finalists, go to the Association of Mormon Letters website at

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