Department News 09-03-18

A powerhouse of stage and screen, Laura Benanti is acclaimed for her work in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!NashvilleShe Loves Me, Tony Award–winning role as Gypsy Rose Lee, and recently Steve Martin’s Broadway hit play Meteor Shower. Her remarkable and versatile talent has earned her a spot as one of the brightest and most accomplished stars on Broadway today. Ms. Benanti will entertain audiences with her unmatched wit and humor while performing beloved musical selections from some of your favorite Broadway shows. Her performance at BYU will be on September 7 at 7:30pm in the deJong Concert Hall.


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BYU’s Media Arts Program is wow-ing the industry! In a recent article by MovieMaker Magazine, BYU’s program was dubbed as one of the best film schools in the U.S. and Canada. Not only is this a huge honor, but it’s the second year in a row that the program has recieved this recognition. Ryan Stewart, the author of the article, emphasized the outstanding theory and criticism training offered to our media arts students. To access the article, click here.




George Nelson’s play Single Wide was selected as the winning musical of the 2018 Florida Theatrical Association (FTA), New Musical competition from hundreds of international submissions. It was presented in a staged reading August 24, 2018 in the Association’s performance space in Orlando, Florida. Based on the response of the audience, the producers, and directors of the FTA, the piece is on the table to be performed in their FTA’s 2019-2020 season. The FTA flew George and his entire writing team to Orlando for the rehearsal process and the performance.

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Deanne Dewitt was able to attend the USITT Costume Symposium: “Costume to Cosplay”, a three day Worbla & EVA foam workshop hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. Becka Noel and Dhareza Maramis provided instructions and materials for learning advanced techniques working with Worbla thermoplastic products. Participants came from around the US; even former undergraduate student, Rebekah Jackson, attended. Each participant learned to use the products and tools to create an armor breastplate and other small items. Since returning, Deanne has created a “how to” instruction notebook for the BYU Costume Shop. About this experience, she said, “I am so excited to use my new skills and help our students learn to create costume crafts with Worbla.”

Alumni/Student News

Former BYU student, Phil Goodwin, recently directed and animated an interactive comic book that launched in the iOS App Store. The comic book is called “Wild Blue Yonder” and it features some amazing art as well as Hollywood voiceovers from Ed Harris, Gerard Butler, and Evan Peters. Phil was leading the project so he was able to bring in a whole team of TMA alumni into key positions. Fellow alums include: Asia Strkyer, Bryan Densely, Steven Aaron, Jeremy Lamb (Music Composition alumni), Nate Christofferson and many more. This million-dollar project was a great success thanks to TMA networking and our talented alumni. To access the app, click here.

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BYU’s MDT program is on fire… or ice? Kate Bailey is the third MDT alum now booked to make her B-way debut in Frozen on Broadway. This will be about the same time that Adam Daveline, another MDT graduate, will be debuting in The Play that Goes Wrong. We are so grateful for the assistance of Rachel Hoffman of Telsey Casting who is not only the producer in New York, but also the lead Casting Director for Frozen. This was Rachel’s first ‘lead’ casting in a Broadway show and now she is already on her third B-way production as lead casting person. She is one of the best people in New York that has mentored BYU students. It is a relationship that took a little time to nurture, but she has been tremendous for BYU.







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