Department News

In case you haven’t noticed already, we have a new front desk girl! Brooklyn Boice joined our office at the beginning of January. She is a freshman from California and is considering going into design with a photography emphasis. She is also a singer in the acapella group Beyond Measure. Welcome to the department, Brooklyn!

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This week, fourteen students (or very recent graduates) and five faculty members will fly to Honolulu, Hawaii, to participate in the 8th Annual Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).  Faculty mentors include Stephanie Breinholt (who also serves as the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions Co-ordinator), Mary Farahnakian, Janine Sobeck Knighton, George Nelson, and Jennifer Reed.  The production of Beauty and the Beast was invited to the festival, and although we ultimately declined the invitation because it was cost prohibitive, it was a great honor to be invited.  Instead, two scenes from the production will be performed.  Participating students include the following.   These students went through a rigorous vetting process because only a limited number of students could participate this year.

  • Actors
    Kooper Cambell, Jasmine Fullmer, Morgan Gunter, Alana Jeffery, Mackenzie Larsen, John Wilson, Twyla Wilson
  • Designers
    Valeri Day, Rebekah Silver Jackson, Shannon McCurdy
  • Dramaturg
    Spencer Duncan, Kasey Kopp
  • Playwriting
    Braqual Egginton
  • Stage Manager
    Cali Holcombe

We congratulate all those participating in KCACTF this year, and we’re all jealous that they get to go!

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Mary Faraknakian will be the faculty mentor for two of her students who received ORCA Grants. Michaela Fordham received an ORCA grant for a make-up project.  Kirsten Watkins, who is currently assisting the historic clothing collection move to Special Collections and the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, received a grant to create an exhibit in the HBLL on 20th Century headwear for men and women.

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Robin Hoodwyn, a vlog-style series documenting the escapades of a female Robin Hood reincarnated in our day and age, will begin shooting next week (February 19th-20th, 26th-27th).  The series was written by student Malori Bigler, directed by student Alexis Romero, and produced by student Lindsay Kampenhout. It will star student Madeline Thatcher as an impossibly optimistic Robin and student Sariah Hopkins as a less than optimistic and more frustrated Joan (little John ). A main focus of the project is to feature more women in stories and to get them involved in storytelling, including inviting a vast majority of women in key positions on the crew. Benjamin Thevenin is the faculty advisor. The episodes will be produced alongside a website and other social media channels about the project. These will be released incrementally at the beginning of fall semester 2016.

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The Associated Mormon Letters (AML) chose BYU’s production of Princess Academy (premier run: Pardoe Theatre, BYU, Provo, May 29–30, June 4–13) as one of their finalists in the Drama Category for the 2015 AML Awards.  The production was directed by Megan Sanborn Jones, adapted by Lisa Hagen Hall, with the original book written by Shannon Hales.  BYU alum Melissa Leilani Larson’s Pilot Program was nominated in the same category.  The final awards will be announced and presented at the AML Conference on March 4 at BYU Hawaii. For more information, click here.

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