Department News

This past weekend several TMA faculty members and a group of 28 students attended the Utah Theatre Association Conference in St. George.  Faculty members included our UTA representative, Michael Kraczek, Stephanie Breinholt, Adam Houghton, Shawnda Moss, Carrie Lopez, and Becky Wallin, who all gave presentations and/or participated in the auditions the conference sponsors.   Every single student in the group either created and taught a workshop or served as an assistant to an instructor.  Many students also manned the BYU booth and talked to HS students about their experiences at BYU.  Everyone attended workshops galore, experienced Will Swenson (a BYU grad and Broadway star) and Seth Rudetsky, attended productions, and had a great time in St. George.  Each year about 2,000 high school students and teachers participate in the conference which is organized to encourage students to “celebrate their skills and talents while learning more about theatre together.  High school seniors also … meet with college and university representatives to learn about their programs and audition for acceptance to programs and scholarships.”  For nineteen years, our own Shawnda Moss was the conference administrator and UTA treasurer.  In recent years, the conference has also become a resource for theatre educators and pre-service teachers.  Teachers who participate can even earn re-licensure credits. Michael Kraczek, who presented three different workshops, was able to talk to a lot of students who are interested in theatre and BYU.  He observed that, “[UTA] was a great opportunity to work with and encourage the next wave of theatre artists.”FotorCreated.jpg

You might notice that there is a new assistant in Elizabeth Funk’s office this semester.  After working for TMA for three years, Lauren Hansen has accepted an internship for the LDS Church and will be graduating in June. We welcome Kylie Burdge, who officially began working in TMA last week.  Kylie was born in Provo in 1997 while her parents were attending BYU. While here, her mother received her Master of Health Education as well as a Master of Counseling and her father received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Their family lived in Utah until Kylie was four when her father got a job on Whidbey Island in Washington State. Kylie is the oldest of four, and her younger sister is planning to attend BYU in the fall. Because Kylie’s father is Panamanian and grew up in the Canal Zone, one of her in-progress goals while here at BYU is to become fluent in Spanish, which she is close to achieving.  Kylie attended school in a small, seaside farm town in Washington from kindergarten until she graduated in 2015 with a class of only 60. During high school, Kylie participated on the cheer squad as both a member and captain and served in student government. Her hobbies include singing and playing the piano, listening to country music, and re-reading Harry Potter.  Kylie is a member of the on-campus a cappella club and is serving as co-director of Attention, an all-girls group.  She is currently majoring in Political Science and considering law school.  Kylie looks forward to meeting and serving the faculty and students in TMA!  Welcome to TMA, Kylie!

Those of you who take The Friend magazine may recognize one of our media arts students as one of the authors.  Camlyn Giddins (and co-author Daniella Subieta) wrote the article “This Little Light of Mine” in the Jan. 2017 edition of The Friend, based on a true story.  You can access the article online here:

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Darl Larsen was the Professor of the Week for the “Chocolate Milk Discussion” sponsored by the Honors Student Advisory Council this past Friday in the Honors Reading Room of the Maeser Building.  Darl spoke to the group about the study of film.  He commented in his characteristic over-the-top way, “It was fun.” The Honors Advisory Council is a student run organization focused on serving the honors study body and building the honors community.


Rodger Sorensen is the 2016 recipient of BYU Idaho’s Eliza R. Snow’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the Performing and Visual Arts.  “The purpose of this award is to recognize and honor alumni who have excelled in the performing or visual arts as either a professional or an amateur.” Rodger is a well-beloved former faculty member at BYU-I who taught there for 17 years before joining us in TMA.  The Eliza R. Snow Society is an organization at BYU-I that provides scholarships, instruments, and specialized equipment for students in the visual and performing arts. unnamed.png


TMA will be interviewing two candidates, Kimball Jensen and Ian Pettigrew, for a one-year position for the academic year 2017-18 in the next few weeks. All full-time faculty are invited to attend the candidate presentations listed below.

Kimball Jensen
January 18-20, 2017

Wednesday, Jan 18
2:00-2:50 pm, 2111 JKB Guest Lecture in TMA 295: History of the Moving Image

Thursday, Jan 19
3:00 – 3:50 pm, F-515 HFAC Job Talk with the Faculty

Kimball Maw Jensen is graduating this Fall semester from Claremont Graduate University after successfully defending her dissertation in cultural studies with a media studies emphasis. Interested in critical race theory, ethnic studies, and digital media, Kimball’s dissertation focused on Asian American YouTube producers who used the video-sharing site as a vehicle in racial identity definition and exploration. This research won her the $10,000 Transdisciplinary Dissertation Award from Claremont Graduate University. In addition to analyzing YouTube, Kimball is interested in popular media culture broadly, and fan communities, specifically. She has presented research on cosplay and received the James Weaver Graduate Essay Prize for her article on Harry Potter fandom. Much of her work across media studies and cultural studies addresses everyday media practices and spaces that allow individuals to push against gender and racial stereotypes. Prior to her doctoral work, Kimball received her M.A. from California State University, Fullerton in American Studies and a B.A. from Brigham Young University in American Studies and Media Arts.

Ian Pettigrew
January 25-27, 2017

Wednesday, Jan. 25
2:00-2:50 pm, 2111 JKB Guest Lecture in TMA 295: History of the Moving Image

Thursday, Jan. 26
3:00 – 3:50 pm, F-515 HFAC Job Talk with the Faculty

Ian Pettigrew received his PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of Miami two years ago. He received his Master’s Degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Bristol in 2009 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Media Arts from BYU in 2006. He has spent the past two years teaching at two prestigious universities (Hangzhou Normal University and Zhejiang University) in Hangzhou, China. He is a peer reviewer for The Journal of Religion and Film and for the Asian Cinema Journal. He serves as a regional coordinator, for the mainland China area, for the Asian Cinema Studies Society. He has been published in The Journal of Religion and Film, Science Fiction Film and Television Journal, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and in the online media journal In Media Res. He has an article to the forthcoming edited collection East Goes West – Chinese Filmmakers in the United States that will be published by Hong Kong University Press. He also has a forthcoming book on the cinema of Ermanno Olmi that will be published by McFarland & Company.


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