Department News

Dean Ed Adams announced last Thursday that an exciting change will happen with the College Arts Production Division. The personnel in the division will transfer to the performing arts academic units of Dance, Music and TMA. In addition, another smaller centralized support entity called Production Resource Operations, or PRO Group will be created. These changes will be effective July 1, 2021.


TMA welcomes seven new full-time colleagues as well as a few part-time colleagues. Full-time colleagues include Travis Coyne (Technical Director), Ward Wright (Scene Shop Manager), Jessica Cowden (Costume Shop Manager), Deanne Dewitt (Draper), Jennifer Reed (Production Manager), and Brian Olson (TMA and PRO’s new business manager). We also welcome the following part-time personnel: Kathy Heckel, (Business Office Assistant), Rebekah Jackson, (Draper) and Marianne Ohran (Lighting Designer).

Brian Olson will now serve as business manager to the Department of Theatre & Media Arts and the PRO Group. Brian will be reporting to Thaylene Rogers and Megan Sanborn JonesKathy will continue to work with Brian. We’re grateful to Kelly Bready who has served three academic units as a business manager, and she will now serve just the departments of Art and Design moving forward. We’ve so appreciated the work Kelly has done for TMA and look forward to working with Brian and Kathy. We welcome these new colleagues to TMA and look forward to working with everyone!


If you love Phil Collins’ music for Tarzan or Vocal Point or Night at the Museum, you must watch VP’s new release, “Tarzan at the Museum,” directed/produced by Jeff Parkin and produced by Jaren Cardon, which was released June 18, and available here. (WARNINGyou’ll be singing the songs the rest of the day!) Most of the crew who worked on the film are TMA students. Emily Evans, who plays Jane, graduated from BYU and was a Young Ambassador. She made this video—with all the dancing—just a few months after having her third child. Grant Taylor, who plays Tarzan, was on the Dunk Team and was Cosmo for several years. Oscar Jimenez (media arts, 2019) was the DP. Even the Ballroom Dancers and Living Legends get in on the fun! For more information, see the credits in the Youtube description. More about the songs and Tarzan in this article in LDS Living.

YouTube link found here

Q: What a fun idea to mash up Night at the Museum with Tarzan. How did that come together?
Jeff Parkin: This idea was Jared’s and mine. We thought about how we could get a jungle-esque setting with wild animals for when we shot in bitter cold January. We came up with the idea of using the Bean Museum. Then, because we assumed Vocal Point’s core audience loves the Night at The Museum movies as much as they love Disney movies, a mashup of Tarzan and A Night at The Museum would be fun. The Bean Museum was great to work with.

Q: Your videos usually have some amazing technical hoops you guide your teams through. What were some technical challenges in this one?
Jeff Parkin: In addition to the VP boys learning Jenny Tingey’s (adjunct dance faculty) always smart but always demanding choreography, lighting the huge space of the Bean Museum was a real challenge.Oscar Jimenez (media arts grad) and his crew did a spectacular job in the biggest lighting setup of his career thus far. Also, Grant Taylor, who played Tarzan, had never acted or danced like this before. But he more than rose to the occasion with everything we asked him to do. And his stunts were fantastic. 

Q: How many music videos have you made now with Vocal Point?
Jeff Parkin: I think this makes seven for Vocal Point. We usually do their big one each year. I enjoy doing musical short films. They’re even more fun for me when I can find ways to mix it up by trying things we haven’t done before. [We should note that although Jeff has directed dozens of music videos for several groups at BYU and off campus, he is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer for film, television, and online media.

3 thoughts on “Department News

  1. Thank you.
    This is a wonderful TMA weekly report.
    I appreciate the time and effort that you put into this great event.
    I want to congratulate Sharon for her success and all her care and love for her students and colleagues. Love.

  2. Love to hear what is happening with alum and retirees! So great to see the difference and influence they are making all around us.

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