• 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…

  • 2019-2020 Season,  Rump,  Uncategorized

    Telling This Story in a Whole “New” Way

    by Samantha Baird, Dramaturg Before stories were written down they were told in an oral tradition through song, dance, and performance, and that  is exactly what we are going back to with this year’s music/dance/theatre workshop production of Rump. Rump: The Musical is an adaptation of Liesl Shurtliff’s bestselling novel Rump. The script for this production was written by MDT’s own Tim Threlfall, who is also the director for the workshop. However, the music for the show is completely devised by the cast of 10 and music director Randy Boothe. So how do you tell a story on stage that hasn’t entirely been written yet? During the first week of…

  • 2017-2018 Season,  Anne of Green Gables,  Uncategorized

    “A Land of Ruby and Emerald and Sapphire”

    “Oh, my Island is matchless-matchless. I feel that I did some violence to my spirit by leaving it. I belong here. It is mine – I am its own. It is in my blood. There is a part of me that only lives here… this colorful little land of ruby and emerald and sapphire.” – L. M. Montgomery Many Anne of Green Gables fans will know that the timeless book written by L. M. Montgomery was based in a similarly timeless place – her childhood home of Cavendish, on Prince Edward Island. As dramaturg, I had a unique opportunity to travel to Prince Edward Island and do a little research into this…

  • 2017-2018 Season,  Mary Stuart,  Uncategorized

    Elizabeth I Regina

    by Greta Gebhard, dramaturg Elizabeth I of England. It seems that throughout history and the hundreds of portrayals of this queen, no one can really seem to agree on who she really is. Even the portrayal of Elizabeth in BYU’s production of Mary Stuart will be different than one done 20 years ago or 20 years in the future. This post is going to break down some different points in Elizabeth’s life, and hopefully, come out with a better understanding of this queen that history remembers. Queen Elizabeth I’s story begins long before she was actually born on September 7, 1533 in Greenwich England. See, her father, King Henry VIII…

  • 2017-2018 Season,  Romeo y Julieta,  Uncategorized

    “Dare to Suck”– A Weekend With Jose Cruz Gonzalez

    by Hannah Gunson McComb, dramaturg    Over a year ago, our director Julia Ashworth had thought about inviting Jose Cruz Gonzalez, a noted children’s theatre and bi-lingual playwright, to see Romeo y Julieta. Initially, the hope was that he would respond to it in its completion. As luck would have it, when Julia reached out to him in September of 2017, he was able to do much more than see it. At the end of last semester, he was able to come, meet, and workshop with us for an entire weekend.  

  • 2017-2018 Season,  Microburst Theatre Festival (2017),  Uncategorized

    Microburst: Post-Show Discussion

    by Andrew Justvig, dramaturg Part of the process of new play development is providing the playwrights an opportunity to receive feedback from fresh eyes. For Microburst Theatre Festival, we held a post-show discussion with the cast, audience, and playwrights. We try to engage the audience in discussions about the production and the playwright’s process as well. This is the post-show discussion on November 30, 2017, illustrating the type of discussion we wanted to engage in to help the playwrights in developing their plays.  

  • 2017-2018 Season,  The Glorious Story Emporium,  Uncategorized

    Actress, Katie Jarvis: Answers Some of Life’s Toughest Questions

    By Pollyanna Eyler, dramaturg LAST CHANCE TO SEE – BYU Young Company’s  The Glorious Story Emporium in public: Orem Library on Monday, Nov 13th   I was so impressed with last year’s BYU main stage production of Travesties, I had to see it again. … Okay, I admit I also didn’t truly appreciate and catch every reference to The Importance of Being Earnest, to James Joyce, to the birth of Dadaism, nor to Lenin and his political agenda, and of course the cost of a pair of trousers. … So after much research, I saw it once again and I’m glad I did. It was in Travesties where I first saw the performance…

  • 2017-2018 Season,  The Mill on the Floss,  Uncategorized

    A “Quid Pro Quo”

    by Richelle Sutton, dramaturg You may have heard this phrase before (if you’ve ever listened to Hamilton.) “Quid pro quo” is still commonly used today, though it is a Latin phrase meaning “this for that” and is most common in political circles. Ironically, “Quid” is also a well-known nickname for the pound, and so the phrase has also become a play on words, when used in common speech. What does this have to do with Mill on the Floss? Why, it’s money, of course!

  • 2017-2018 Season,  The Glorious Story Emporium,  Uncategorized

    Actor, Paige Fletcher: Slightly Suspicious … and Squirrelly

    by Pollyanna Eyler, Dramaturg. “It’s a bird, it’s a leaf, it’s a … wait, wait, it’s a flying squirrel?!?!”     Costumes play a big part in most plays, including The Glorious Story Emporium, where costumes fit hand in glove with the art of deception. Read how Paige Fletcher’s theatrical career also made a flying-squirrel-sized leap from “great singing voice” to “Les Mis” ingenue actress via the art of deception, then jumped in with both feet as a costumed “Squirrel.” Of course, as Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan, “After all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but The truth in masquerade.” (Canto XI Stanza 37, 1823)