Department News

Congratulations to Dean Duncan who was awarded an Alcuin Fellowship this year. The award recognizes professors who maintain high quality teaching, who have a history of service to Undergraduate Education programs and who have an interest in teaching interdisciplinary Honors courses. The award was described in the College News site here:

“These professors then have the opportunity to teach interdisciplinary classes in the coming years and work closely with the Honors Program to help the students and the organization itself.  Duncan, an associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, teaches a number of film classes at BYU. These classes range from more general classes, such as Introduction to Film Art and Analysis, to upper-level classes, such as non-fiction film.  After receiving his BFA in Film Production at BYU, Duncan went on to earn his doctorate at Glasgow University in Scotland. He has contributed to BYU as a professor and his research and creative work focuses on studying and producing media for children.  Duncan also contributes to BYU as the host of BYUradio’s “This’ll Take A While”. The show focuses on conversations around film, books, art, geography, and a host of other things. Its guests include a variety of professors from BYU and Utah Valley University, as well as a variety of other scholars.”


Pleasant Grove is getting a little more mystical with the opening of the interactive theatrical story park, Evermore. The setting of the park is an old Victorian village that has been embellished with historical relics from Europe and an amazing botanical garden. There are no rides in this park, so how do they bring in the magic? Of course, there are shows and food, but the real charm of this interactive theme park is the characters and, more importantly, their costumes. BYU’s own Dennis Wright has been doing operational costume consulting for them as well as some design work to make this magical masterpiece come to life. The park will follow a seasonal theme starting with stories and mythology from the podcast and Netflix show LORE, so be prepared for a spooky fall. The park is kid friendly earlier in the evening and will have other themes throughout the year, including Aurora for the holidays and Mythos for spring and summer. Evermore is located right off exit 275 to Pleasant Grove and the official opening date is September 20th. So, don’t forget to go get your fantasy fix. For more information about Evermore, you can access their website by clicking here or their Facebook page by clicking here.


Lee Unkrich, who directed Coco and numerous other animated films with Pixar, was a guest of the college this past week.  Lee happens to have been a graduate student with Jeff Parkin; they attended graduate school at USC together.  The screening of Coco Friday night was sold out.  Mr. Unkrich’s presentation to media arts and animation students in the Pardoe on Friday morning was amazing.  He went through the whole work flow of the film, including how the story and the characters developed and changed over the course of the film.  Each part of his story was illustrated with storyboards, visuals, and clips from actual recordings.  He discussed the difficulty of portraying a culture accurately.  During the Q&A after his presentation, he talked a little about his career path and the culture at Pixar, which is highly collaborative.  Lee mentioned to Kelly Loosli, who hosted him much of the time, that a director needs a level of humility in order to be successful.  There are hundreds of contributors to an animated feature, without which a film could not be successful.

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Friday morning, the Maxwell Institute hosted a pre-screening of the soon-to-be released film, Jane and Emma, directed by media arts alum Chantelle Squires, written by TMA graduate Melissa Leilani Larson, one of the supporting roles in the film was played by BFA Acting graduate Clotile Bonner, and executive produced by Sterling Van Wagenen, a former media arts faculty member.  After the screening, there was a panel discussion with three black students here at BYU, Melanie, Nathaniel, and Andre, and the film’s director Chantelle.  The discussion was moderated by Sterling.  The film deals with the relationship between Emma Smith and Jane Manning, but also with the relationship between Jane and the church.  Many of the students on the panel still felt they were facing the same inner and outer conflicts Jane dealt with in the film.

The film will be released in theaters on Oct. 12. For more information about the film, see there website by clicking here. For interviews with Chantelle and Melissa, click here.


Meet our Fall 2018 Office Staff

Grad Pic - Brooke

Brooke is a junior studying Human Resource Management. Originally from San Francisco, California she loves playing basketball and volleyball. As a Harry Potter nerd, she also loves skiing, wake boarding, and card games. Brooke is Lindsi’s new assistant and happy to be working in the TMA department.



Savannah is a freshman at BYU, majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Strategy & Diplomacy. Being from Sandy, UT, she’s just your average Utahn. Savannah LOVES milk and prides herself on being able to drink about a half a gallon a day. Being at BYU has truly been a blessing because there’s milk everywhere! She is also an avid fan of Coca-Cola, Politics (duh), and the Jimmy Fallon Late Night Show.

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Brooklyn is from California and is studying Photography at BYU. She enjoys music, performing, and spending time with her husband.

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Jaxon is currently a junior at BYU studying Information Systems Management. He is a born and raised Texan, and recently returned from his mission to Calgary, Canada. He is an avid fan of YouTube, naps, pineapples, sloths, and the Oxford comma.


kaitlyn bio pic

Kaitlyn is a senior at BYU, studying Communication Disorders and planning to get a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Being from Nephi, she’s just your typical Latter-Day Nephite. A few fun facts: Kaitlyn actually thinks that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth, she loves candy, traveling, tortilla chips, the Bachelor, and would destroy you in Harry Potter trivia. The performing arts have been a huge part of her life for as long as she can remember, and she truly LOVES working here in the TMA department.



Alumni/Student News

BYUtv’s comedy sketch show, Studio C, is one of the most beloved on TV and online. While the show isn’t going anywhere, the original cast is saying “sayonara” and moving on to bigger and better things, specifically an online network called JK! Studios. This online network will feature five new shows and a range of online media, such as podcasts and other comedy sketches. Studio C’s original casts includes TMA alumns such as Mallory Everton (Film), Jeremy Warner (Film), and Natalie Madsen (Theatre Arts Education). To learn more about big plans for JK! Studios, check out this article by the Salt Lake Tribune that highlights the announcement: click here.

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