• 2020-2021 Season,  Illusionary Tales Turn of the Screw

    Filming Day for Turn of the Screw

    by Makenna Johnston, dramaturg “Pay no attention to the [film crew] behind the [fire] curtain.” Dramaturgy work is not limited to the stage; dramaturgs are needed in film as well.  Because of the multimedia nature of The Turn of the Screw, I was able to attend a filming day for some of the pre-recorded scenes. I made sure to attend the day when the most gore and violence would be filmed, because, like those in the Victorian era, I have a fascination with the macabre.   Filming took place on the Pardoe stage behind the fire curtain. This created a dark, rectangular space for the cast and crew to work…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  Illusionary Tales Turn of the Screw

    Post Mortem Photography

    by Makenna Johnston, dramaturg As you can see in The Turn of the Screw, the Victorian era was shrouded in death. Complications from industrialization, as well as high disease and infection rates, caused high mortality rates, especially in younger demographics. Because of this, the living found comfort in one of the most fascinating mourning practices of the Victorian era: post-mortem photography.  Due to the high cost of photography during the Victorian era, post-mortem photographs were often the first, and only, photographs families had taken of their loved ones. The mourning would commission a daguerreotype or a photograph taken by a long-exposure camera. Long exposures when taking photographs meant that the…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  Illusionary Tales Turn of the Screw,  Uncategorized

    Interviews with the Student Devising Team

    by Makenna Johnston, dramaturg In a ‘special projects’ theatre class held between January and March of 2020, four students and their professor began devising a show. Their devising team? David Morgan (professor), Clara Wright, Mikah Vaclaw, Sten Shearer, and Dylan Wright. Their source text? The Turn of the Screw, a novel by Henry James.  Though the team’s original devising process was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, aspects of their invaluable contributions to the production live on. Each student deviser’s unique perspective about the story and devising process are explored below. Clara Wright  Our professor David Morgan had the idea to create a devised piece of theatre to take…

  • Pirates of Penzance

    Behind the Pirates…

    by Shelley Graham, dramaturg In the program for Highlights from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, we include a short study guide to learn more about our production team’s perspective on creating this unique show. You can download that guide here:PenzanceStudyGuide. And because the sound design and audio engineering were essential to this production’s success, I reached out to our audio engineer, Troy Sales, to see what his thoughts were on the process.  Here is what Sales had to say about this experience. One of the challenges was to efficiently record the whole cast, 4 or less people at a time. My goal was to help them sound like they…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  Pirates of Penzance

    A Pirate Slideshow

    by Shelley Graham, dramaturg   Often one of the dramaturg’s major responsibilities is to help the cast and production team understand and truly live in the world of the play. Because of the condensed timeline for this show, there was a dramaturgy presentation as part of the first rehearsal. The cast was given some basic information about Gilbert and Sullivan’s history and a quick primer on theatre in the Victorian era, and that was it! The rest of the historical context, visual image research, and production history was available to the cast as part of an online learning module that they could access outside rehearsal time. But as we moved…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  Pirates of Penzance

    The Pirate Process from the Performer’s Perspective

    by Shelley Graham, dramaturg Each performer in this production had a unique opportunity to create a character in ways we’ve never tried before. Such singular opportunities bring with them challenges. I reached out to our performers in the middle of blocking and choreography rehearsals, to see what they thought about the process. Here’s what a few of them had to say.   One of the challenges I’ve experienced with this production is the need to exactly replicate every inflection in my dialogue. People speak and inflect the same words differently in different contexts, on different days, and for endless reasons. Because we recorded the audio before filming, the challenge was…

  • 2020-2021 Season

    Contemporary Dance Theater: Dance Creation and ASL

    by dramaturg, Susanna Bezooyen BYU Contemporary Dance Theater (CDT) presents its 2021 production, Remnants of Motion,  Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, 2021, with the added feature of making it accessible to our deaf and hard of hearing (DHoH) viewers. The show will include subtitles and signing interpretation by a team lead by Anne Post Fife, CDT’s head ASL consultant.   Inclusion versus Exclusion Anne is not only deaf but is a theatre educator committed to bringing the joys of theatre, dance, and the arts to her students. She, herself, loves to watch productions and attend dance performances.  She enjoys listening to music by feeling the vibrations that music…