Department News

This past week, TMA sent a contingency of our students to the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington DC.  Stephanie Breinholt attended, along with Dylan Wright (Region VIII Irene Ryan Scholarship recipient), his acting partner Andrew Groome, Sten Shearer (Radium Girls best supporting actor), and Susan Kupferer (Region VIII representative for stage management). Susan was able to connect with a cohort of the outstanding stage managers from each of the regions in the U.S. She states, “I have never been more grateful for this opportunity. The people I met and things I learned won’t be forgotten. Thank you to the Kennedy Center for hosting such an amazing thing.  Special thanks so all my new SM friends who are just amazing and kind humans.”

Dylan Wright received two national awards from the Kennedy Center in the Irene Ryan acting auditions, the National Partners of the American Theatre National Classical Acting Award and the VASTA Voice Award. As part of the Classical Acting award, he received a three-week fellowship to attend the Shaw Festival this summer in Canada.  In addition, Radium Girls, which was an invited production to the Region VIII KCACT Festival in Los Angeles this year, received the following national awards.

  • Distinguished Production of a Play
  • Distinguished Director of a Play: Stephanie Breinholt
  • Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble
  • Outstanding Performance in Supporting Roles: Sten Shearer
  • Distinguished Performance in a Leading Role: Mikah Vaclaw and Dylan Wright
  • Distinguished Performance in Supporting Roles: Ben Raymant and Clara Wright
  • National Commendation for Lighting and Scenic Design Adaptation
  • National Commendation for Costume Design
  • National Commendation for Scenic Painting
  • National Commendation for Production Dramaturgy
  • National Commendation for Stage Management
  • National Commendation for Properties

Susan Kupferer - KCACTF 2019


Wade Hollingshaus announced last week that Dr. Tony Gunn has accepted an offer to join the TMA faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2019-20 academic year. This is a one-year position, renewable as needed up to three years. Thanks to the search committee, chaired by Adam Houghton, who conducted this search. Tony Gunn is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at Florida State University. His current research is centered on the theatre work of author and illustrator Edward Gorey and the intersection of performance and public history. He is also interested in the literature of Thornton Wilder and aspects of performance within sports punditry. His writing has been published in Theatre Symposium and Popular Entertainment Studies. He has presented papers at the Mid-America Theatre Conference, The Thornton Wilder International Conference, and to working groups at the American Society for Theatre Research’s annual conference.  In addition to his scholarship, he has directed plays for Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, New Play Project and Under the Radar Productions. He has also written for stage, screen, and television. His dissertation, The Disembodied Theatre of Edward Gorey, delves into the theatrical and literary art of Gorey, and seeks to bring his Cape Cod theatre work into the spotlight as it is largely unknown to scholarship to date. This work brings attention Gorey’s tremendous artistic talent as well as contributes to the way we conceive of the potential of performance to endure beyond the liveness of the theatrical encounter. We look forward to Tony joining us in TMA!



Last week was the 2019 Theatre Student Awards and there was an impressive list of students that were recognized for their outstanding achievements. See some of the students and the awards that they received below:

  • Outstanding Students in Various Areas
    • Outstanding Costume Design, Radium Girls: Hanna Cutler
    • Outstanding Makeup/Hair Design, Radium Girls: Madison Miller
    • Outstanding Sound Design, Radium Girls: Grant Porter
    • Outstanding Stage Management, Radium Girls: Melissa Longhurst
    • Outstanding Contributions in Stage Management: Susan Kupferer
    • Outstanding Student in Makeup and Hair: Heather Everett
    • Outstanding Working Playwright Award: Greta Gebhard
    • Outstanding Theatre Critical Studies Student: Mariah Eames
    • Outstanding Dramaturgy Student: Pollyana Eyeler
    • Outstanding Dramaturgy Student: Richelle Sutton
    • Outstanding Theatre Education Student: Macy Hanson
    • Outstanding Theatre Education Student: Michaella Robertson
    • Outstanding Acting Student Award: Derek Johnson
    • Outstanding Acting Student Award: Emily Moore
    • Outstanding Directing Student Award: Miranda Clement
    • Outstanding MDT Student Award: Meg Flinders
    • Outstanding MDT Student Award: Channing Weir
    • Outstanding MDT Student Award: Dayne Joyner
    • Outstanding MDT Student Award: Daniel Wallentine
  • Lee Walker Award
    • Outstanding Sound Technician: Matthew Kupferer 
    • Outstanding Makeup/Hair Technician: Rachel Bennett
  • Mayhew Awards
    • Playwriting Outstanding Full-length Play
      • Hannah Gunson McComb
      • Lauren Young
    • Best Concept
      • Best Concept for a Full-length Play: Greta Gebhard
      • Best Concept for a 10 Minute Play: Emma Dunn
  • Outstanding Playwriting Student Awards
    • Hannah Gunson McComb
    • Lauren Young
  • Outstanding 10 Minute Playwright Award
    • Zoe Trepanier
  • Outstanding Theatre Students:
    • Jeanelle Long Huff
    • Andrew Groome
    • Hannah Cutler
    • Susan Kupferer
    • Greta Gebhard
    • Mariah Eames
    • Madison Miller
  • Outstanding TMA Office Employees
    • Megan Jarvis
    • Courtney Mortenson
    • Brooklyn Parkinson
    • Kaitlyn Wright


The March 2019, Volume 29, Number 1, edition of  Theatre Topics, on pages 82-83, includes a book review by Amy Petersen Jensen, for Discourse and Disjuncture between the Arts and Higher Education, edited by Jessica Hoffmann Davis.  Hers is one of four book reviews in Theatre Topics, curated by the book review editor, Megan Sanborn Jones


David Morgan is directing Tuck Everlasting at the Orem Hale Theatre, which opens on May 3.  MDT alum Carolyn Hartvigsen is also performing in the production.  For tickets, go to



1 thought 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.

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