• 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    In the Midst of Tech

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Friday night, The Servant of Two Masters entered the newest phase of rehearsal: tech.  Technical Rehearsals (most commonly known as “tech”) is when we leave the classroom we’ve been rehearsing in and move on stage.  One by one, the technical elements of costume, make-up, lights, sound, and props are added, and every night we get a little closer to having the full show on stage. For this show, the first order of business was spacing.  With the nature of the set, the cast needed time to see how blocking they’ve been practicing worked with the backdrop (with its door and shutters), the fountain, the ropes, and…

  • 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,  Servant of Two Masters

    A Run for the Designers

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg For The Servant of Two Masters, the first two weeks back in school have been focused creating the foundation of the show.  Lines have been memorized, characters have started to develop, the overall blocking (movement of the actors) has been set, and the beginning ideas for all the lazzi moments in the show have begun to sprout.  So much creation has been done, that the next step was to do a Designer Run. A Designer Run is the first moment that the cast performs the show all the way through for the designers.  While still very much in the beginning stages, it gives the designer’s the…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Phantom of the Opera

    The Power of Spectacle in BYU’s Phantom

    by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg As The Phantom of the Opera continues to show strong at BYU I began to reflect a little on the power of the spectacle, due in part to my love for works by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other musicals by Webber, besides The Phantom of the Opera, are also very popular: Jesus Christ, Superstar; Cats; Starlight Express; Love Never Dies (the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and Evita. As the pictures show, there is a lot of eye candy in each of these shows, whether through costumes, musical numbers, scenery, lighting, or even directorial choices. Wherever a Webber musical…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Making the Media: “Stars”

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg The last song in Gone Missing, “Stars,” discusses how when you lose something all that you have left is the memory of what once was, like that thing never existed. Last semester, our media team broke down the script, choosing moments to mediate in both Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. “Stars” is one of these chosen moments. As a group, they decided to project a video in the background of a table crowded with objects. As the song, progressed the objects would disappear, leaving only the memory behind. Simple right? It would seem so, but it is incredible how much work goes into one little…

  • 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,  Henry 5

    Moment Work and the Henry 5 Project

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg The development of BYU’s Young Company production of Henry 5 is growing out of a series of workshop-style classes that are part of the course TMA 401 Contemporary Theatre Practices.  Last week the students began blocking some of the segments of the play. Blocking is the process of planning where, when, and how actors will move about the stage during a performance. Normally in blocking a show, the director determines where the actors will stand or cross and position themselves in the course of the play. For Henry 5, however, blocking is being determined by the cast, the crew and the class of TMA 401 using…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Holiday

    Fireworks, New Year’s Tradition, and Artistic Decision

    by Bianca Morrison Dillard, dramaturg Fireworks have been a New Year’s tradition in this country since I’ve been alive; we see them particularly on New Year’s and the 4th of July. They connote celebration, excitement, awe, the new year, love of country, and that excited feeling you get during a really great kiss! As a visual symbol, they are pretty packed when it comes to meaning. Holiday is a play that rings in the new year on stage. Our director, Barta Heiner, was toying with the idea of “fireworks” being seen through a window on stage as the play clocks in the new year, so she asked me if the…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    Auditions for Henry 5 Part One: Choosing an Acting Team

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg In March of 2012, auditions for Young Company’s upcoming productions of Sleepy Hollow and Henry 5 were announced. Hopeful BYU students attending the initial auditions did not really knowing what to prepare themselves for. They were asked not to deliver a monologue as in a traditional audition setting, or to give a cold reading from a script. Instead, they were broken into pairs and asked to recreate a telling of a fairy tale. Auditioners who were invited to callbacks were asked to be prepared to spend the entire two hours of the scheduled audition with the staff, and to wear comfortable clothes they could move in.…