Department News

Princess Academy opens this week!  Taken from her home to attend royal finishing school, Miri faces a harsh schoolmistress, fierce storms, and bandits, but soon discovers the power of friendship and a loving heart. Adapted from the story of New York Times bestselling author Shannon Hale.

    • Read about the amazing process of creating the production by previewing the “Collaborators'” note here [Lilnk to attachment].  Lisa Hagen Hall was the playwright, Janine Sobeck was the dramaturg, and Megan Sanborn Jones was the director.  While “[they]

fulfilled [their] traditional roles, the true magic came when, like the academy girls, [they] stepped into a new collaborative space where [their] work overlapped and blurred.”

  • Megan Sanborn Jones writes, “This is the true magic of collaboration—the work each person does to fully understand, respect, and nurture the vision of the other creators.  We fulfilled our own roles to the best of our ability, but we also worked as hard to support the vision and labor of the other collaborators.  This inspired us to be better individually, to learn from one another, and to love our work.”
  • This production is a collaboration between BYU and UVU.  “That’s been a great experience for all of us, to just get to know new people, to look at different processes — we do things very differently at the two schools, even though we all put on theater,” Jones said. “I think it’s exciting to have two vibrant institutions … that share a love of the arts and have deeply committed students and faculty.”  To read the complete article from the Daily Herald about the collaboration between UVU and BYU in the production, go to
    http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/byu-and-uvu-collaborate-on-new-princess-academy-adaptation/article_52a48703-b460-5e51-9992-a36f3202f084.html
  • The 4th Wall Dramaturgy gave us a sneak peak at the publicity photos for the upcoming production of Princess Academy. The members of the cast got into full costume and make-up and headed up Provo Canyon to capture the fantastical photo below. To see more photos and to read about their process in effectively conveying the mood, message, and style of the show during their photo shoot, go to 4thwalldramaturgy.byu.edu/backstage-at-the-princess-academy-photo-shoot.

1505-27 200 Play Princess Academy publicity May 12, 2015 Photography by: Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Copyright BYU Photo 2015 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu (801)422-7322 5718

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Variety magazine announced last week  that, “Jack Black is to star in the comedy Micronations, reuniting with director [media arts alum] Jared Hess, with whom Black worked on Paramount Pictures’ Nacho Libre.  Micronations will be the second collaborative project for Andersen, Hunter and Hess under the Buffalo Film Company. The partnership’s first film, Don Verdean, was written and directed by Hess. The film world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 28 and was acquired by Lionsgate.”  To access the complete article, go to http://variety.com/2015/film/festivals/cannes-jack-black-reteams-with-director-jared-hess-on-comedy-micronations-1201499382/  Variety continues,
In Micronations, a lovable oddball finds a place to belong among the bizarre and ridiculous world of “do-it-yourself countries,” inhabited by a motley crew of eccentrics and visionaries who have declared their own backyards sovereign nations…or “micronations.” He soon finds himself recruited as head of defense for the tiny nation of Valoria (population: 12), and is thrust into an overblown battle with the neighboring Wayne County, Nevada.  Hess’ credits include indie hit Napoleon Dynamite. His next film Masterminds, starring Kristen Wiig and Zack Galifianakis, will be released by Relativity on Aug. 7. He is also attached to direct Walt Disney Picture’s Overnight on 42nd Street. Buffalo’s Andersen said: “Jared is able to create unique worlds out of places we might otherwise overlook.”

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George Nelson (TMA), Frank Christiansen (English), and thirty-three students are in London, enjoying plays and great discussions of plays.  Here is a photo of the group enjoying the front row at the production As You Like It at the Globe.  This week, students are off on a travel week to Europe. George reports that he and Leslie are gorging on amazing plays and enjoying everything London has to offer. This week with the students out of London they got to see Beautiful, The Play That Goes Wrong, The One Day of the Year, and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime.

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The Theatre Education program has just launched the updated Theatre Education Curriculum Database (TEDb).  This database, which is managed by Shawnda Moss, collects curriculum created by our Theatre Education students as well as veteran theatre teachers and allows others around the world to utilize the instructional methods, activities, and assessment ideas developed in the curriculum. What is unique about our curriculum site is that it is developed and shared as entire units of instruction rather than random lessons.  Also every unit is focused and connected to the 2014 National Core Arts Theatre Standards.  This allows teachers (and their students!) to experience curriculum that is focused and linked and builds to a specific educational objective that shows the skill learned along with including a measurement to prove the concept/skill is learned.  We have had great success in the past with our database and teachers around the world use the curriculum submitted there.  We hope that continues with the use of our updated and renovated site. Many thanks to Kyle Stapley who helped design the website and the TMA front desk secretaries who helped format the website. See tedb.byu.edu and explore the site yourself!

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