• Romeo y Julieta

    I Hate Romeo and Juliet (Happy Valentine’s Day)

    by Hannah Gunson-McComb, dramaturg I believe it was my sophomore year of high school when my ability to “even,” as it were, officially tapped out; after three consecutive years studying this play in school, I couldn’t read or appreciate Romeo and Juliet anymore. I was surrounded by classmates who accepted, without question, that theirs was a story of love, fate, and star-crossed-ness. And as I looked around the room, all I could think of was, “This is why all of your relationships last two class periods.”   Not much has changed in the way of cynicism from then to now, as pertaining to Romeo and Juliet. I still bear a rather…

  • 2013-2014 Season,  Pride and Prejudice

    PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Meeting Members of the Cast & Crew, Part 3

    By Anne Flinders “It’s a distinct pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Brigham Young University’s world premiere production of Melissa Leilani Larson’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice opens this week. Coinciding with opening weekend, we want to introduce you to some of the people behind the scenes and on the stage of this exciting new play. Following is the third part in a series of interviews with cast members and designers whose work you will see when you see the show. REBEKAH SILVER JACKSON, ASSISTANT COSTUME DESIGNER, BYU STUDENT “Oh, Miss Bennet. That is such a lovely color on you.” Rebekah is from Mapleton, Utah where she spent much of her…

  • 2013-2014 Season,  Pride and Prejudice

    Animals Backstage at Pride and Prejudice Rehearsal

    Excerpts from an article by Marvin Payne (appearing as Mr Bennet in BYU’s production of Pride and Prejudice) I’m in rehearsals for a production of Pride and Prejudice “down to the BY,” as my wife’s grandfather would have said. I’m Mr Bennet (the British don’t punctuate “Mr”). For rehearsals involving only the Bennet family, I’ve typically been the only guy in the room—totally female family, female director, female production staff, and two female dramaturgs. A word about dramaturgs: Good luck defining what the heck one is, besides brainy and nice and one of them has a dog that acts (in this very show!). I think the definition of “dramaturg” is…

  • 2013-2014 Season,  Pride and Prejudice

    BYU’S PRIDE and PREJUDICE goes #BYUPandP

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg The cast of BYU’s Pride and Prejudice has been in rehearsals for over a month, working together four nights a week and Saturdays. With that much time together, friendships are developing on social media as well as on the rehearsal floor. Here is a sampling of Facebook posts from the cast, staff and fans. [Names in bold are the names of the people who made the posts.]   Laurie Koralewski Payne: Tra-la!! Marvin Payne will be playing Mr. Bennett in the fabulous Melissa Leilani Larson’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice directed by the also fabulous Barta Lee Heiner at BYU this season! What could possibly be…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  A Wrinkle in Time

    Information on Rehearsals and Devising Pt. 1

    By Patrick Hayes, Dramaturg Creating a performance from scratch can be a daunting task. Luckily A Wrinkle in Time has a formula for success. AWIT focuses on devised theatre practices to workshop and create the final performance. Unlike stage directions in a script or a director coaching the actors, devised theatre centers on an acting style or technique to help create the final performance. AWIT rehearsals are centered on a model of work shop and rehearsing scenes until the feel, emotion, or context for a given scene is reach. Doing this process insures the integrity of the message the company wants to convey. Here, in this scene, the actors prepare…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    An Actor’s Perspective

    by Ali Kinkade, actor and performance writer When you play around ten characters in a show, it presents a unique acting challenge. In Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief, I play an old Russian woman, a hip social worker with a checkered past, and a BYU student with an affinity for both makeup and histrionics, among other characters. Another unique aspect of this show is that oftentimes, since interviews form the text of our show, we interacted with the people we were playing, so instead of working internally, I worked from the outside in. That sounds confusing, so here’s an example: when Michelle Williams played Marilyn Monroe in My Week…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “Nice customs curtsy to great kings.” Henry 5 Act 5, Scene 2

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg Brigham Young University’s Young Company production of Henry 5 will bring with it a different, but perhaps not wholly unusual cast. The title role of King Henry V is being played by Mackenzie Larsen, a pre-acting major. In fact, there are four women in the cast of seven, and only one female role in the script. All the women are playing male roles. Making a cross-gender casting choice in the title role of Henry 5 may come as a surprise to some theatre goers, but it is not without precedent. From the beginnings of professional English theatre in the 1560s to the closure of the theatres…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “Let us…on your imaginary forces work.” Henry 5 Prologue, Act I

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg The second week of rehearsals for BYU’s Henry 5 is completed, and the show is taking shape with an exciting look and sound that is unlike most Shakespeare plays. The cast, directed by Megan Sanborn Jones, worked this week on incorporating movement from last semester’s Contemporary Performance Studies class into the play. The opening scene was developed on Thursday using viewpointing for blocking the cast’s interactions with each other and the audience as they present the prologue of the first act.  It will be a highly theatrical opening Shakespeare scene! Another major element of the play is the sparseness of the set and props. This play…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “I am Boy to them all.” Henry 5, Act III, Scene 2

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg Live theatre is always an adventure. And this new year has provided a big one. Rehearsals for Henry 5 began on the 8th of January, and began with quite a surprise. Due to some special circumstances, we had a cast member who had to relinquish her spot. Which means we were faced with the challenge of finding a replacement. The difficulty in filling a newly opened role for this production lies in the fact that the play’s rehearsals are held from 8am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays during January. Most students, of course, have classes during these times. With only about ten rehearsals on the…

  • 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…