Department News 09-10-18

“Wherever we are, that’s who we are,” said Daniel, the star from one of Brad Barber’s short-documentaries in his series “States of America.” Barber and his short films were recently highlighted in a top story from YNews this week. Each short-film highlights an individual from each of America’s fifty states. The individuals selected are not meant to characterize their respective state, but rather each is an exploration oftheir connection to the state in which they live. “States of America” is a unique project that Barber has been hoping to complete since his film student days at the University of Southern California.  In 2009, he got started while a faculty member in the TMA department. In 2015, Barber was named one of Variety’s 10 Documakers to Watch (together with TMA professor Scott Christopherson). To learn more about this amazing project and read YNews’ recent article on Brad Barber’s work, click here.

Brad Barber.jpg

Scott Christopherson’s film, The Insufferable Grooa documentary about eccentric film maker Stephen Groo (who happens to be a graduate of our BYU media arts program), played at the Film Quest Film Festival this Saturday.  If you’re interested in seeing the film, it will also play in a free screening on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 pm at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City) as part of the Through the Lens Series.  KUER RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio will interview Scott, producer Jared Harris, and film subject Stephen Groo after the screening. Go here for more details:

“Having made nearly 200 low-budget movies in just two decades, Utah writer-director Stephen Groo is now seeking funds and the involvement of celebrity fan Jack Black for a remake of his 2004 human/elf fantasy drama The Unexpected Race. This hilarious yet sincere portrait depicts his uphill battle while examining the unusual methods of a determined DIY auteur.”

the insufferable groo

In a recent series called The State of Education in Utah Valley by the Daily Herald, Laura Lefler, wife of retired media arts administrator Tom Lefler, shares her experiences working for 25 years in Utah’s education system. This isn’t the first time Laura has had the honor of being in the Daily Herald. Four years ago, she was recognized as an Educator of the Week. In her recognition, the Herald beamed that, “Lefler is extremely well respected by her students, peers and parents in the school community… In every aspect of teaching, Lefler exudes confidence, passion and professionalism” (Educator of the Week: Laura Lefler). In her autobiographical article titled “How education has changed in my 25 years of teaching”, Laura outlines the changes to Utah’s education system that she witnessed personally. For access to the full article, click here.


The Theatre and Media Arts Department of Brigham Young University would like to announce a vacancy for a visiting theatre arts critical studies faculty member. For more information on qualifications, expectations, and information for application, please see the information below:


(Position #10000610)
RANK AND SALARY: Professorial visiting faculty position;
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience


  • PhD in Theatre History/Theory/Criticism or related field.
  • Knowledge of and ability to teach theatre history, theory, and criticism
  • Knowledge of and ability to teach theatre directing preferred.
  • Strong teaching and mentoring skills.
  • Strong and promising record of research and publication.


  • Teach in and supervise undergraduate- and graduate-level theatre history, theory, and criticism courses and other core theatre arts courses.
  • Conduct and publish significant research in theatre history, theory, and criticism.
  • Contribute regularly to the department, university, community, and profession.

The Department of Theatre and Media Arts at Brigham Young University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and has about 425 majors in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The department has 23 full-time faculty and 50 adjunct faculty members and offers instruction leading to degrees in the following: BA,
Theatre Education; BA, Theatre Arts Studies; BFA, Acting; BA, Media Arts Studies; and MA, Media and Performance Studies. Brigham Young University, which is supported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has an enrollment of 33,000 students drawn from all over the world. The university is located 50 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Brigham Young University is an equal opportunity employer.  All faculty are required to abide by the university’s Honor Code and Dress and Grooming Standards. Preference is given to qualified candidates who are members in good standing of the affiliated church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Successful candidates are expected to support and contribute to the academic and religious missions of the university within the context of the principles and doctrine of the affiliated church.

To apply: Please electronically submit the following by 15 October 2018, to the BYU employment website at

  • online faculty application
  • letter of intent including a statement of teaching philosophy
  • vitae
  • three professional references
  • two scholarly writing samples
    Refer questions to Adam Houghton, Search Committee Chair (

Alumni/Student News

Recent media arts graduate Howie Burbidge was featured in a Daily Herald article this past Sunday. Howie describes his life and death struggle with stage four lymphoma at the same time he was working on his capstone film, “Gather.”  “Gather” will have a world premiere in September 2018 and tour festivals until its public release in fall 2019. To view Burbidge’s current and future work, visit his InstagramYoutube channel and website.  To read the complete article, go here:

howie burbidge










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