• 2020-2021 Season,  North Star

    Is the Past Truly in the Past?

    by Sydney Southwick, dramaturg In March of 2020, BYU canceled classes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, many students felt like celebrating when a few extra days were added to their typical one-day spring break. A few days were soon extended to “two weeks to stop the spread” as classes moved completely online for the rest of the semester. Flattening the curve began to feel impossible as more and more events were canceled without a rescheduled date in sight. The conversations about the global pandemic changed. People started to realize that we were living through history; it was happening right before their eyes.    The realization that future…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  North Star

    The Power of Music

    by Sydney Southwick, dramaturg   “This little light o’ mine, I’m goin’ let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”   BYU’s production of North Star begins with these lyrics from one of the most popular gospel songs in the world. Music has a special power to evoke all kinds of emotions from sadness to joy and fear to inspiration. Although literature and speech can do the same, music has impactful storytelling properties that cannot be found in any other medium. “Strange Fruit” is one of those songs. In 1937, Abel Meeropol wrote “Bitter Fruit” in response to a photo he saw of the lynching of…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  North Star

    The North Star

    by Sydney Southwick, dramaturg In preparation for the North Star auditions last November, Gloria Bond Clunie, the playwright and director of this production, hosted a virtual workshop for BYU’s theatre arts students, entitled “In the Company of Stars.” Attendees listened and learned as they shared with each other their first times experiencing race. In response to these conversations, Gloria asked the students to imagine a vast sky full of stars. In the distance, at the tip of the Little Dipper, there is a bright constant: the North Star. Gloria recalls scouring the sky in search of the North Star with her own father. It was a symbol of hope and…