• 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,  Henry 5

    “I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start.” Henry 5, 3.1

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg For more than 30,000 students at Brigham Young University, the last class lectures of the semester have been given, the last papers handed in, and the final exams completed. Everyone is settling in for a restful Christmas break. Everyone, that is, but seven young men and women who make up the cast of BYU’s Young Company production of Henry 5. During finals week, rather than take a test for TMA 401, the cast from that class and some of the staff of Henry 5 met with director Megan Sanborn Jones to read through the script. During the reading such things were discussed as characterizations; meanings of particular words,…

  • 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,  Phantom of the Opera

    Behind-the-Scenes with the Phantom Choreographers and Dancers

    by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg This week I slipped into rehearsal to see what was going on with the dancers for Phantom. What I found was super neat. Just like the costume department, the dancing routines are divided as well. In other words, the dancing in this show is so intense that there are two faculty members at BYU heading up this show. Let me give you a breakdown. First, we have Lisa Stoddard in charge of the Masquerade section. I spoke with her and asked her what it felt like to be choreographing a very important scene in Phantom. She mentioned it was kind of scary to take on this…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Phantom of the Opera

    Behind-the-Scenes with the Phantom Costume Designers

    by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg The other day I visited the basement of the HFAC, known for its labyrinth-like feel and lack of sunlight (there are no windows). I navigated the halls until I arrived at the Costume Studio. I was curious as to what was going on in terms of costume making for Phantom. There are three design teams working on the costumes for our production. One team is working on the costumes found in the three operas within the musical. The first opera is Hannibal. This is the scene where we return to the opera house and Carlotta is singing. During this practice the new opera owners enter: André…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Phantom of the Opera

    The Study Guide Process at BYU, à la Phantom

    by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg Here at BYU we produce playbills for each of the shows. When you arrive, one of the ushers hands you a playbill so you may learn a little bit about the actors and the world of the play. Here are some examples of previous performances’ study guide covers.                                As dramaturgs we are responsable for the study guide found in each of the playbills for our shows.There’s a lot of work that goes into each of these study guides. As an example, I would love to illustrate our process for Phantom of the Opera. Each year advertisers buy ad space to help pay for the costs…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Commedia Bootcamp

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Before we headed off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Director Stephanie Breinholt and myself put our Servant of Two Masters’ cast through a “commedia bootcamp” – a day dedicated to learning the history, characters, physicality and movement styles of commedia dell’arte.  This bootcamp will serve as the foundation for the style and physical world of our eventual production. It was a hilarious day. Here are some of our favorite moments:  

  • 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,  Holiday

    Transitions from Rehearsal to Stage

    by Bianca Dillard, dramaturg Our rehearsal process for Holiday has officially come to a close–last night was our last dress rehearsal and tonight will be our first preview. Now comes the part where we step out of the vacuum of rehearsal and on to the stage of performance where the interaction with the audience become real, and live, and tangible. I would like to share a few last behind the scene photos to celebrate our rehearsal process and share a few production photos to whet your appetite for the performance itself.   In the coming days please stay tuned as I will be posting some material that will supplement the information provided in the Study Guide.…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Holiday

    Design Insights-Holiday Costume Concept

    by Mallory Mckey, Co-Costume Designer In the early stages of my design work as I was finding images and researching—I was trying to think of some way each character was connected. I was also trying to find my color palette. I’m a visual person and I love seeing color and texture.  I was thinking about gold and silver a lot for some of the characters, and then I realized that was the connecting piece. Gold, silver, and money!  Once I hit on that idea, there was no stopping me.  I immediately started looking up pictures of money and specific bills and coins.  The more I looked, the more I could visualize…