7 Plays, 1 Show. What is Microburst?

by Abram Yarbro, dramaturg

I always buy my movies with the “extra features” disc. On there you find interviews with the cast, behind-the-scene photos and videos, bloopers, and all sorts of neat material. In theatre we can’t give you an extra features DVD but we have this blog, the 4th Wall, where we give you the backstage scoop on BYU’s newest show, Microburst Theatre Festival! Check here often for interviews with the creative team, glimpses into rehearsals, and the most up-to-date information about this exciting show.

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Some of the Microburst scripts

What is Microburst Theatre Festival?

Microburst Theatre Festival is one show made up of seven ten minute plays written by BYU students. The plays are brand new, in fact this is their world premiere! Isn’t that exciting?

Wasn’t there a Microburst Theatre Festival last season? Is this the same show?

BYU held its first Microburst Theatre Festival last year and it won three national awards at the 2014 Kennedy Center for American College Theater Festival. This year features seven new plays. The title is the same but the plays are brand new.

How do we perform seven plays in one night?

We have a core cast comprising of five talented actors and who perform multiple roles. For example, in the play Goodnight, Graham our actress Emily is a tired nurse trying to survive the night shift at the hospital in but only a few minutes later she plays a seductive con artist at a fancy restaurant in Playing Around. Jumping from character to character is difficult but our actors love the challenge!

Rehearsals are under way, and sometimes under the table...

Rehearsals are under way, and sometimes under the table…

What are the plays about?

The general theme that connects these plays is an exploration of the human experience. Some of the plays are funny like D&D and the Big Date when a nervous first date goes hopelessly wrong, and some are more serious like Different But Equal where a handicapped boy tries to fight the stigma of disabled people in America. Head of the playwriting department and director of Microburst, George Nelson, tells his playwriting students to try to write a story that contains truth. These plays are fiction but each one has the potential to reveal truth and understanding to the audience. We hope you connect to them, hear their story, and discover the purpose of the piece.

Actors Clayton and Madison rehearse The Piano Room while the playwright, Linsdey, looks on.

What has happened so far?

With opening night only a few weeks away, we’re excited to tell you that the show is shaping up! Each script has gone through multiple revisions and only a few minor changes are left to get them performance ready. The actors are memorized and raring to go. Our designers are prepping the Margetts Theatre space. This blog posts weekly so check back frequently to stay updated. If you have questions, ask them in the comment section below and we’ll respond or address them in the following blog post.

Microburst Theatre Festival opens March 5, 2015. Buy tickets HERE!

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