• 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Making the Media: “Stars”

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg The last song in Gone Missing, “Stars,” discusses how when you lose something all that you have left is the memory of what once was, like that thing never existed. Last semester, our media team broke down the script, choosing moments to mediate in both Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. “Stars” is one of these chosen moments. As a group, they decided to project a video in the background of a table crowded with objects. As the song, progressed the objects would disappear, leaving only the memory behind. Simple right? It would seem so, but it is incredible how much work goes into one little…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    The Creative Incubator

    By Alec Harding, performance writer Throughout our work on The Cleverest Thief/Gone Missing project, we had set up an incomparable environment which contributed itself towards our creative process. We had, in a sense, purposely designed a “creative incubator” to maximize our potential as storytellers, actors, writers, designers, and inventors. The first step to creating the essential facilitating environment was gathering the group of participating individuals. Although one of the main goals of this project was a script, we did not just want writers creating The Cleverest Thief. At the same time, a group of actors would have been no better for devising the piece. A bunch of techies who could theatrically mediate the project would…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    How to Make a Moment

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg Devising is a type of theater that creates a play by building theatrical moments, or little theatricalized scenes that we string together into a production. Instead of writing a script, we perform it and then record it. The script is the last thing to be created. When creating a moment, the first thing you do (at least according to our process) is take an interview or a couple of interviews that share an idea, feeling, or theme and tie them together with a theatrical idea. For example, if an interview is about a girl who lost her sister to cancer, while she is speaking a hospital…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Creating a Character

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg One of the hardest things for any actor is creating a character. The actor has to be able to separate themselves and their mannerisms from the mannerisms of the person they are trying to portray. This is especially hard when trying to depict a real person that you have met and interviewed. In order to differentiate yourself from a character the easiest thing to do is to heighten their ticks (fiddling with a necklace, drumming fingers, running a hand through their hair, etc.) and try to match their vocal tone and posture. Unfortunately, heightening these aspects of a person often come off as comical. Whenever is…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Tell us your story!

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg MISSING! We need your help. As a devised piece about Provo, we are looking for stories about losing and finding in the area. If you have a story that you feel needs to be told please go to Facebook and like our page, Your Story for “The Cleverest Thief.” Post on our wall. And who knows? Maybe your story will end up in the show.  

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Now on Youtube!

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg We now have a channel on youtube for the Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief interviews that didn’t make it into the script, as well as other bonus videos about our devising process. Come check it out at BYUCleverestThief and subscribe! Here’s just one example of what you will find:

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Putting Ideas into action

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg So far in the process we have been focusing on finding stories and putting them together into interesting theatrical moments that will engage the audience member and will explore how we deal with loss as Provoans. One of the moments was created out of the idea of retracing steps, one of the first tactics we use once we realize something is lost. This moment called for a stylized dance to an original song in which actors search for something they can’t find over and over again in the same way every time. However, we are actors, writers, and designers, not dancers so we invited choreographers to help…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Design and Dramaturgy

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg This past week, our Gone Missing production team has broken into groups: Design and Dramaturgy. The designers will focus on how the show will look, how many screens we need, how we will use lighting, costumes, and projections to tell the stories of loss outlined in Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. Meanwhile the dramaturgy group will be workshopping the moments we have chosen into a text that the actors can memorize and use. Basically what this means is that the four main writers will each take one moment we have chosen home. They will treat it as it’s own play thinking of traditional plot structure (inciting incident, rising…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Nailing Down the Script (otherwise known as killing babies)

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg Over the course of devising, we have become very attached to certain ideas, interviews and moments. Some of these include a couple who posted a plea on Craigslist for their missing Chihuahua, while warning potential finders not to touch him, or a guy we met at the BYU Creamery on 9th who enthusiastically relayed his story of his lost water bottle (which we then turned into an epic rap battle). We are fond of these moments and people we have come to know and love. But, unfortunately, we have too many wonderful moments to fit into our 30-35 minute play. That means one thing… It’s time to kill our babies. As…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Only in Theater…

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturgy One of the things we want to explore with Gone Missing are the special qualities of theater. We will be using a lot of projections and mixed media, including many technologies that we’ve “lost.” Is theater a lost art? Has film made it obsolete? What can theater do that no other art form can? Here are some thoughts from our Performance Writers: “Unlike other performing arts, theater directly engages in a discussion specific to people–their culture, thought and story–as well as the emotional connection of performance. The best theater marries textual discussion along with emotional appeals and connection of performance-specific mediums: the actors, the audience, set,…