Spring Writing Workshops with UW

We all teach writing to one degree or another. This summer, University Writing offers two opportunities to help you get better at it:  

1. On May 18 & 19 we will offer six 50-minute Zoom workshops on effective methods in writing instruction. Participants will receive $50 (either in research money for full-time employees or supplemental salary for adjuncts). Please go here to register. *Adjuncts must be teaching in either Spring or Summer term.

2. Each summer you’re invited to read and discuss one book about teaching writing. This year’s selection is Provocations of Virtue, Notre Dame professor John Duffy’s book on how to teach ethics to college writing students. There will be a Zoom meeting for about an hour once a month from June–August to discuss Duffy’s work. Please email the University Writing secretaries at univ-writing@byu.edu to register for the summer reading group. The first 15 will get a free copy of the book.  

International Conference on the Constructed Environment

University of Calgary is pleased to announce their Call for Papers for the Eleventh International Conference on The Constructed Environment in Calgary, Canada, 12 – 14 May 2021. The Constructed Environment Research Network is brought together by a common shared interest in human configurations of the environment and the interactions among the constructed, social and natural environments. More information on the conference and how to apply for presentation can be found here.

IUGTE CONFERENCE – Call for Presentations

The International Performing Arts Conference 2021 in Austria has announced the opening of Call for Presentations! The conference meeting is highly recommended for performing arts practitioners and researchers from different countries searching for international network opportunities and new collaboration partners. You are welcome to choose the presentation format: from practical workshop or a master class, to interactive talk/lecture/discussion, or other ways of demonstration that can be considered. The conference will be held July 26th through 29th. For more details, visit their website.

Opportunity 2020: National Gallery of Art — Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts sponsors fellowships for full-time research, and are seeking applicants for their Senior Fellowship Program and Visiting Senior Fellowship Program, as well as their A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The Senior Fellowship will allow those who have held a PhD for five years to study for the academic year 2021-2022, while the Visiting Senior Fellowship offers a short-term period, up to 60 days. The A.W. Mellon Fellowship will last two academic years, 2022-2024, with the expectation to teach one course in a neighboring university in the second year. You can find more information about the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and the fellowships here.

Department News 06-05-17

A thoroughly delightful production of Argonautika, directed by Janine Sobeck Knighton, opened this weekend in the Pardoe Theatre.  From the roll call of the Argo crew to Hera and Athena’s placement of the heroes in the night sky, the production surprises and gathers momentum throughout.  The wonderful lighting, heroic music, costumes, set, and characterizations of the actors all combine seamlessly to tell the enchanting tale of Jason and the quest for the golden fleece.  You will want to bring your children and grandchildren to this one!  All this despite a major catastrophe on opening night!  Just an hour before call time on Friday, stage manager Caitlin Black received a phone call from Ian Buckley, who plays Tiphys, Medea’s brother Apsyrtos, and serves as one of the puppeteers for the two giant puppets.  He had been riding his bike to the HFAC and was hit by a truck.  In fact, he had been run over by the truck and had tire tracks on his chest!  But miraculously, he did not have a concussion or any broken bones.  And fortunately, he will be able to perform with the ensemble this coming Thursday and for the rest of the run.  In the meantime, Janine says her terrific cast was willing to support each other and figure out how to fill in for all Ian’s parts this weekend.  This was a big challenge, but like the heroes they played, the cast and crew were able to pull off this Herculean feat beautifully.  If you go, be sure to check out the dramaturgy displays in both the north and south Pardoe lobbies.  In the north lobby, there is a display of the costume renderings of each of the characters.  In the south lobby, there is an intriguing summer reading list of Greek Mythology books that are available in the HBLL and the Provo Library (For an in depth article about the lobby displays, go to the Fourth Wall here). To read the Universe’s article about the production, click here.



Julia Ashworth was in Cape Town, South Africa, presenting at the ITYARN (International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network) Conference, and attending the ASSITEJ festival.  Julia’s presentation centered on the ways we engaged with a Deaf audience and partnered with the Deaf community for the TYA production of The Taste of SunriseJulia reports that she saw over a dozen plays while at the festival, and her favorite shows were all from South Africa. The two plays that stand out the most were very different from each other; one was an adaptation of Animal Farm set in the current political landscape of South Africa, and the other, Mbuzeni, was spoken entirely in Xhosa (Nelson Mandela’s native tongue) about 4 young orphan girls and the role death plays in their lives.  Julia observes that “South Africa is an extremely beautiful place. I felt privileged to be there and to learn through first-hand experience more about their past, present and future.  It was wonderful to see how theatre for young audiences in South Africa is so connected to this country’s history and its people’s lives. I feel forever changed.”



Six Week Cinema has shot their first two commercials and is heading into production of the next short film, which will be a short doc.  This student run initiative, advised by Tom Lefler and Kyle Stapley, is designed to help younger media arts students feel more comfortable on set in preparation for capstone projects.  The projects are low stakes and emphasize collaboration.  Participating students write and shoot two commercials and four short films, each with a similar limited production schedule totaling six weeks and staggered throughout the summer:  3 weeks of pre-production, 1 week prepping and production, and 2 weeks of post-production.  At the end of the summer, the commercials and short films are shown in a festival to celebrate the students’ work.  This year, Six Week Cinema is being headed up by media arts students Celene Andersen and Hannah Harper.  To find out more about the projects, go to their Facebook page here.


London Study Abroad Report from Katie Jarvis:  This last week was so fun!! Students got cultural experiences from many areas in Spain, France, Italy, Ireland and Scotland. Also one of the students who stayed in London went to 12 shows!! All the British airline flights were cancelled so some of our students were stranded for a bit, but everyone is now safely back in London. We all shared about our experiences abroad and are looking forward to our last few weeks in England. Tonight we are going to Twelfth Night at the Globe!


Department News 10-31-16

One of the most delightful things about The Importance of Being Earnest, which opened on Friday, are the charming English accents.  In fact, one patron was heard to say while exiting Saturday night’s production, “It sounded just like Downton Abbey!”  Combined with Oscar Wilde’s wonderful wit, Travis Coyne’s open set, and Bradlee Hagar and Michael Krazek’s stunning lighting designs, this is a production you won’t want to miss. Of special note are the student designers, Sarah Stewart (costumes), Sarah Bult (hair and makeup) and Christopher Bowles (sound). One of TMA’s newest faculty members, Adam Houghton, served as the Dialects and Acting Coach Assistant Director, and is responsible for those charming English accents!  Kudos to all “Earnest’s” cast and crew for a witty and engaging production.



Last week theatre and media arts combined forces for the weekly forum to talk about networking. Michael Krackzek and Jeff Parkin co-hosted the event, which was well attended by close to 70 students. Michael provided a handout on networking basics and encouraged students to get out and interview professionals in their field for information that can help them make good career choices and make connections in the profession. Then,  thanks to Kyle Stapley, we were able to connect live through Skype with media arts alum, Bryce RandleBryce graduated from the media arts program in 2009 and by networking, he has been able to work consistently in his field both here in Utah and in LA.  He encouraged students to build their relationships while they are here; reach out to class mates in spite of any feelings of competition.  His cohort of editors worked together to further connections with professionals in the industry while they were at school here, and then they’ve watched out for each other, recommended each other and let each other know when jobs are available that would fit with their expertise.  He’s still in touch with them, usually at least once a week or more.  He also had some great advice for doing lunch with people who might be in a position to provide a job. You don’t need to ask for a job, just ask for advice!  It’s easy to do and everyone likes to feel they have something valuable to offer.



Former Media Arts students Jared and Jerusha Hess were with us for an afternoon last week, talking to and answering questions from a roomful of writers. Budding screenwriters from four writing classes gathered to listen to Jared and Jerusha, who have written or co-written Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Gentlemen Broncos, and who are currently working on new projects for Disney and Nickelodeon.



TMA has several faculty who will be involved with the Orem Hale Center Theatre in the next few months. David Morgan will be playing Scrooge in their annual production of A Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 26.  Barta Heiner will be directing Cash on Delivery, which opens New Year’s Eve.  And Rodger Sorensen will be directing Peter and the Starcatcher, which opens on Feb. 16, 2017.  Congrats to our talented faculty who are often in demand beyond the university.  For more information or to get tickets, go to the Hale Center Theatre home page, http://www.haletheater.org/