by Andrew Justvig, dramaturg
Theatre is a place of discovery. Some call it an escape. Others may call it a sanctuary from the world. Whatever you call it, the credit for the escape from reality into fiction belongs to the artists that make a stage into a portal to the imagination. Actors, directors, and designers are often the face of theatrical presentations. (They do deserve credit!) However, they too are subject to the imagination of another; they wouldn’t be able to express their talents without the divine creators of plays, musicals, and operas. Who are these “gods” of creation in the theatrical world? They are none other than the playwrights!
At Brigham Young University, the Theater and Media Arts Department’s latest production is all about honoring and showcasing playwrights. Microburst Theatre Festival is a unique opportunity where student writers have a chance to see their work performed. It’s a rarity for beginning playwrights, but under the direction and mentorship of BYU Professor, George Nelson, they are given the experience of workshopping their 10-minute plays with actors as they prepare for performances.
This is the fourth Microburst Festival performed at BYU, and the third Nelson has directed. This year Microburst will feature plays by Chelsea Mortenson, Jessica Holcomb, Rylee Witbeck, Alyssa Aramaki, and Brittni Henretty, whose play, Game Four, won first place in its division at the 2016 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Performances will be held in the Nelke Experimental Theater at the Harris Fine Arts Center, November 30 through December 2 at 7:30pm, with a matinee on December 2 at 2:00. Tickets are available at the HFAC box office, or by visiting arts.byu.edu.