• 2020-2021 Season,  Everyone

    @ExploringEveryone

    Exploring Everyone: A Virtual Lobby Display   Take a look at the Instagram page for the Everyone! It’s a virtual lobby space filled with opportunities to explore themes within the show and see what others are saying. We look forward to seeing you there. Follow us @ExploringEveryone.    

  • 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…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  An Ideal Husband

    Closing the Social Distance

    by Charisse Baxter, dramaturg For Oscar Wilde’s Victorians, ‘social distancing’ was a very different idea from the one we’re dealing with today. It wasn’t physical – theaters and other entertainment venues were packed, people lived on top of each other in tenements, boarding houses, and even servants’ quarters – but it was (as with us) very much a feature of how they saw the world. Their view was that, while the social classes might rely on one another, they should only interact as little as possible, and should never mingle. There was an entire subset of people known as “social climbers”: merchants and businessmen with lots of money, gentry and…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  An Ideal Husband

    Photo Tutorials from Mabel

    by Charisse Baxter, dramaturg Put the FUN in InFlUeNcer! Give your pics a little @DarlingMabel flair! Start with the basics, and get to know your angles, framing, and story.   5 Awesome Photography Tips for Social Media Success  Take things to the next level – everyone needs a little ‘touching up’ now and then!   Pop some popcorn, take a few minutes out of your busy Twitter schedule, and relax with some new photo skills: Social Media Photoshop Tutorial And you may (or may not) be a mommy blogger, but these tips for getting great photos with squirmy subjects work for everyone! You can thank me later! 8 Tips for…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  An Ideal Husband

    Oscar Wilde – A Timeline

    by Charisse Baxter, dramaturg Though most often remembered as a playwright, Wilde was a popular author of essays, poems, and short stories as well. His one novel is a classic, and his lectures and memorable aphorisms attracted followers and fans years before his plays became successful. His private life drew even more attention, but his writings and scripts have withstood the test of time. 1854 – Born Oct 16 in Dublin, Ireland 1871 – Attended Trinity College, Dublin 1874 – Attended Magdalen College in Oxford, England and was a distinguished scholar; became a leader in the Aesthetics movement and was noted for eccentric fashion and behavior 1882 – Toured the…

  • 2020-2021 Season,  An Ideal Husband

    Fan-atical Victorian Conversation

    by Charisse Baxter, dramaturg Smoke signals. Pictographs. Hieroglyphics. Morse Code. Computer programming. Lemon juice. Emojis… and so much more! The quest to communicate has been constant throughout the history of humanity, and along the way, all kinds of methods of exchanging information have either lost their meaning for a while, or were always intended to be secret and used only by those ‘in the know.’ During the Victorian era, when Oscar Wilde was writing his society-skewering plays, there were several communication methods employed by those who were in on the underground code-speak. One such method was the ‘language of flowers’, with which messages and feelings could be expressed by particular…

  • student projects

    WDA Concert Readings Go Virtual

    by Shelley Graham, dramaturgy supervisor Each fall semester we offer a course called “Writers Dramaturgs Actors Workshop.” Throughout the semester, students in the class will workshop, develop, and offer feedback on select plays by fellow student writers. The plays are carefully selected for this opportunity from among numerous student entries so that each week in class we get to improve our skills as dramaturgs while we help playwrights improve their skills as writers. At the end of the semester, we get to work on our acting skills, when we offer public concert readings of the plays we’ve been working on all semester. New eyes and ears on these drafts are…