Department News 05-29-18

Summer is here, which means it’s time for reading poetry on the lake, drinking raspberry cordial, and BYU’s production of Anne of Green Gables, which opens this coming weekend in the Pardoe Theater. In an adaptation by Peter DeLaurier, this time-honored classic features an orphan with an active imagination as bright and brilliant as her fiery red locks. As she settles into her new home, Anne makes friends, and mistakes, that help her to grow and mature without losing her general zest for storytelling and imagination. This production was directed by Teresa Dayley Love, a talented storyteller herself, and the lead will be played by Esther Pielstick, who will depict the character in her complete story arc from 12 years old to 18. Commenting on Anne’s character, Love says, “Anne is a real girl. Everything about her is still applicable to girls today. She is able to find beauty in everything and is excited about learning. Perhaps most important is her refusal to conform. She shows the importance of girls being themselves.” Anne of Green Gables will run from June 1-2, 7-9, and 13-15 at 7pm with matinees on June 2, 7, 9, 15, and 16. To purchase tickets for this summer show, click here.

George Nelson was recently honored by being invited to attend the annual William Inge Theatre Festival New Play Lab in Kansas ( as one of a cohort of sixteen working playwrights from all over the U.S. The playwrights participated in workshops and had their plays (from 10 -30 minutes long) read and discussed. The Festival partnered with The Kansas Theatre Festival which provided professional actors and respondents for each of the new plays. George’s play was “Talos,” a 13-minute play set in modern times, based on a Greek myth. This year, the festival honoree was well-known playwright Carlyle Brown from Minneapolis, who received the Distinguished Achievement in American Theatre Award. Brown’s plays include, among many others, The Masks of Othello: A Theatrical Essay, The Fula From America: An African Journey, Talking Masks, Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…, and Therapy and Resistance. The festival has honored accomplished playwrights each year since 1982. The list of past honorees reads like a Who’s Who in American playwrights (Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Stephen Sondheim, etc., but only recently added the new play initiative to the festival. George loved the opportunity of interacting with honoree Carlyle Brown and seeing two of Brown’s works performed. Scenes from Inge’s plays were also performed, but by far, his favorite activity was meeting and networking within the cohort of playwrights. He was surprised at the number of playwrights who specialize in short plays. This is a genre of writing that has numerous festivals and awards, and is a viable specialty in the playwriting world that he had not fully explored before. He felt very honored to be invited to the festival where he made some wonderful new friends and can now point his students to this area of expertise in the playwriting arena.

London Study Abroad Film, from Brad Barber:
We have been busy every day and the students are hitting it hard. A recent highlight was watching the London Symphony Orchestra and Choir perform Beethoven’s thrilling Missa Solemnis at the Barbican Centre (See photo below). Tomorrow night we’re watching Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe. Students will also be presenting their first interview footage tomorrow of their interviews for the London documentary shorts class.


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