Cymbeline Post-Mortem

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Now that the production crew held their post-mortem, Cymbeline is officially over. What a fun ride this has been, especially as you have interacted with the show via the 4thWALL, in schools, at BYU and the many other locations we took this show. I hope you see how committed we are to bringing quality theater to our community and I personally hope you felt that we tried hard to help your voice be heard through blog postings, interacting with the actors and all the wonderful feedback we’ve received.

In our post-mortems at BYU we discuss the several aspects we felt were challenging and engaging, and then provide our thoughts as to what could make our shows even better next year. In these meetings we have various faculty members who oversaw us students, and after they discuss their viewpoints, we join them at the table. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the past show and everything we went through to provide quality theater experiences to our community.

As dramaturg, I was especially grateful to create teachers packets for the schools to use before we arrived. It was interesting to tackle Common Core Standards as I looked for ways to legitimize my material for an elementary/middle-school classroom. I also wanted students to see how much fun theater can be. I couldn’t have done any of this without help from the director, Teresa Love. Also, I was super grateful to see the autograph sections of the study guide used to such a great extent that many children were able to approach the actors and find inspiration in theater. My time at BYU is now at an end, but I hope you will always know that BYU’s Theater for Young Audiences, as well as all future dramaturgs, are committed to you, the community.

Thank you again,

Nicholas E. Sheets


by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

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Our run of Cymbeline has ended at Brigham Young University as of last month, but our show continues in other locations throughout Utah and Salt Lake Valleys. For more information about our upcoming schedule, please check the following information below. There is still time for your children to see this play if they are in the following schools. Also, there is a retirement home performance still on the schedule.

Thurs. March 13      -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Academy Park Elementary, 4580 Westpoint Dr, West Valley City, 84120

Tues. March 18        -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Sandburg Elementary, 3900 S 5325 W, West Valley City, 84120

Thurs. March 20       -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Riverview Elementary, 628 S. West Park Drive, Spanish Fork, 84660

Tues. March 25        -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Fox Hollow Elementary, 6020 W 8200 S, West Jordan 84081

Thurs. March 27       -9:30 and 10:30 shows, Morningside Elementary, 4170 S. 3000 E. SLC, 84124

Tues. April 1              -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Daybreak Elementary, 4544 W Harvest Moon Drive, South Jordan 84095

Thurs. April 3            -10:00 show, NO WORKSKHOP, American Fork JH – Alpine 6th graders, 20 W. 1120 N. AF, 84003

Tues. April 8              -9:00 and 10:00 shows, Park City Day School, 3120 Pinebrook Rd, Park City, 84098

Thurs. April 10           -10:00 show, NO WORKSHOPS, Highland Cove Retirement Center, 3750 Highland Dr., SLC

Tues. April 15             -9:30 and 10:30 shows, Freedom Elementary, 10326 N. 6800 W., Highland Dr., 84003

For more information about BYU’s Young Company Theater, please visit the following link:

Brigham Young University’s Young Company

 Brigham Young University’s Young Company Facebook Page

It was great to see all those who attended our show while at BYU!

Cymbeline Characters Results

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Cymbeline is now in its second and final week of performances at BYU. For those who haven’t had a chance to come, now is the day: Carpe Diem!

Previously I created a Character Quiz with Cymbeline characters. I thought it would be neat to share the results for that quiz. I loved the turnout and hope you enjoyed the questions and results!

Cymbeline Results1,2,3 4,5,6 7,8

Cymbeline: Opening Week & Sneak Peek

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Lights, Actors, DRAMA!

After months of research, rehearsals and a lot of candy, our show finally performs in front of a live audience. This is the moment. As the dramaturg my time with the audience is coming to a close and the show will now be experienced by YOU. You are the ultimate judge.

Here are a few questions I would ask you to think about when you come see this performance:

  1. What is Teresa, the director, trying to show? Was she effective?
  2. What is the basic outline of Cymbeline? Did you understand the story?
  3. What ideas from the play made you wonder about something bigger? Or, what tickled your fancy?


Michael Comp, the narrator for the Film noir style of Cymbeline put together two wonderful trailers for this show. Enjoy the trailers and then come see the show!

Film Noir:

Fairy Tale:

If you’ve already seen the show, one or both concepts, please comment on your experience below!

Cymbeline: Which Character Are YOU?

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Right now on social media threads there’s a lot of hype surrounding quizzes which serve to whet our appetites about who we would most likely resemble when it comes to some of our most beloved characters. For example, you might take a quiz which asks you questions to determine which Disney princess you are most aligned with, or which Harry Potter character most resembles you. In that spirit, I created a small quiz which could help you determine which Cymbeline character most befits your personality.

Take the Cymbeline Character Quiz! 

Feel free to share your results by posting a response!

*Disclaimer-After February 5th, 2014 this quiz will no longer be active, so take it soon!

Cymbeline: Theater for Children

by Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Now that winter break is over at BYU, the cast of Cymbeline has returned with vigor to the rehearsal room. On Saturday January 11th, director Teresa Love gave the cast a special treat: actual children. This addition made the cast adapt their focus to become very aware of how children will always be present throughout the show. For example, King Cymbeline, Cloten (the queen’s son), the two lost boys, and many others, will be played by children. The experience taught us all many important things as we prepare to take this production to both elementary schools and BYU’s own Margetts Theatre: the importance of interaction before the show in order to help the children feel more comfortable to participate, learning how to adapt to children who might react differently to certain situations and how to take care of children that are backstage.

When the lights go up on January 31st the cast of Cymbeline will once again demonstrate BYU’s commitment to providing family-friendly entertainment, fostering a positive desire in children towards theater. Teresa Love ultimately wants the show to be accessible to children so they feel they could return home and put on their own play. This way, children see how theater becomes an outlet for creative expression and exploration of ideas.

Here are some pictures from this experience. Credit goes to Kelyn Ikegami from the media arts department for these wonderful still images:

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 12.50.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 12.51.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 12.51.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 12.54.00 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-11 at 12.50.50 PM

Do feel free to leave any comments you may have about how theater positively affects children. You may also leave any questions you might have about this production.

“Behind-the-Scenes” with Cymbeline

Nicholas E. Sheets, dramaturg

Right before the Christmas break, the cast for Cymbeline met again for rehearsal. During this time I took pictures that will appear in the playbill so the children that attend a performance may approach the actors after the show for their autograph. I also took some pictures during the actual rehearsal. This was a particularly fun day as each cast, Noir & Fairy tale, performed simultaneously. Here are some pictures:

Both Iachimos and Narrators

Both Iachimos and Narrators (Fairy tale in front and Noir in back)

Iachimos stealing jewelry and hiding!

Iachimos stealing jewelry and hiding! (Iachimo closest is in Noir and Iachimo in back is Fairy tale)

Imogen on left, Leonatus in back, Narrator on right, and Queen/Lucius in the center

Imogen on left, Leonatus in back, Narrator on right, and Queen/Lucius in the center (all Fairy tale version)

Feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have about the production below!

Cymbeline’s Italian Influence

by Nick Sheets, dramaturg

As part of the Noir concept behind Cymbeline we’re hitting up the Italian side of America: Jersey accents, Italian mannerisms, sly moves, etc. But, have you ever wondered why America is so fascinated with Italian families? From our American movies, the concept of an Italian family might make you think of the following:

The Godfather (1972)

Moonstruck (1987)

Rocky (1976)

When I grew up I would visit my grandmother and great-grandmother often. We lived a block away from their home. Almost every day we would watch The Golden Girls, a sit-com based on an Italian immigrant family.

The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

Throughout my time I learned stereotypical tidbits about Italians, mostly from Sophia the mom, played by Estelle Getty.

     Blanche Devereaux: Is that all you Italians know how to do? Scream and hit?

     Sophia Petrillo: No, we also know how to make love and sing opera!

For the Noir version of Cymbeline we’re basing our production on a more city-like feel. You’ll first meet us at a ristorante (Italian for restaurant). Then we’ll take you through Shakespeare’s play as if you were part of the family. Capisce?

Please feel free to comment on any Italian influences you’ve experienced in your own life or ways in which the Italian community in America has affected our society for good.

Lights Up on the Cymbeline Lighting Designer

By Nick Sheets, Dramaturg

For several months now our production team meets every Wednesday morning at 8 AM to collaborate ideas for Cymbeline. The production team includes: the director, stage managers, dramaturg and production crew (lighting, costumes, hair & make-up, and set design).

Amelia Dunlap, a BYU student, is the lighting designer for Cymbeline. She presented a lot of information in this collaborative process, and I thought it would be neat to hear about her input and process. Here’s some information that I was able to gather:

Amelia Dunlap

Amelia Dunlap

One reason Amelia chose to pursue lighting design was her desire to paint with light. She told me that lighting techniques may be subtle, unnoticeable even, but light is always present and creates part of the atmosphere, or mood, of the play.

From Light Lab

From Light Lab

In Cymbeline her job is doubled. She’s in charge of lighting design for both the fairy tale and noir versions! That’s a lot of work, and she admits it’s pretty challenging. But let’s take a look at how she’s doing just that.


For noir she’s interested in playing with shadows. Shafts of light and sharp lines are what set noir lighting techniques apart from other genres. Also, have you ever seen the noir lamp-posts? They’re pretty “iconic,” she says. Recreating these types of lighting will be her endeavor as she progresses from rendering to reality. She will also use some color, but not enough to distract from the subtle mood of the black and white noir-styled films.

Noir Lighting


On the flip side of noir comes the fairy tale version. She chose to use bright, saturated colors. Here’s an example of what saturated colors look like:

Saturated vs. Non-Saturated Colors

Saturated vs. Non-Saturated Colors

As you see, the saturated colors have more vibrancy. This helps set a more “mystical and magical” mood. Specifically, she will use lots of red, amber and blue for this world.

Colorful World

Colorful World

This concept stands in stark contrast to the noir version. In reality, it’s the same show, but through the different concepts, like lighting, each show stands by itself.

Dunlap, Amelia. Personal Interview. 13 Nov 2013.

If you have any comments about Amelia’s lighting concept, feel free to leave a comment below!

Cymbeline & Fairy tales

by Nicholas Sheets, Dramaturg

In my last post I talked about the first theme for Cymbeline, which is film noir. The second theme for Cymbeline is a fairy tale world. So, when you come to see the show make sure you know what night is which theme. Here’s a link to the BYU Arts page that gives a description of each night.

BYU Arts Cymbeline Production Information

What do you think of when you hear the word “fairytale?”

Damsels in distress? Castles? A quest of honor? Handsome princes? Oh yeah. All that.

Tangled (Disney 2010)

Here are some neat photos taken in 2007 by American photographer Annie Leibovitz of celebrities in Disney fairy tale roles. Can you guess who some of these are?


Snow White

Little Mermaid

J.R.R. Tolkien, most famous for his trilogy The Lord of the Rings, had a few interesting nuggets of information about fairy tales and their uplifting purposes. Here is a quote from his talk “On Fairytales” as well as an analysis using his words:

2nd Tolkien Quote

Tolkien Quote

At Brigham Young University it’s important we share our testimony of Christ in each production. When you come to see this production don’t forget to think about the eternal truths inherent in fairy tales and in Cymbeline‘s fairy tale version.

If you’d like, comment on some of your favorite fairy tale stories or how fairy tales bring you closer to Christ.