• 2018-2019 Season,  Radium Girls

    Discover Elements of the Radium Girls in Your Life

    Elements by Pollyanna Eyler, BYU Radium Girls dramaturg   Last year, when I began reading about and researching the plight of the Radium Girls this scripture came to mind, “And now behold, I … do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes … ” (Mormon 5:8). I wondered what a dramaturg could do to counteract such circumstances? The rest of the verse answered my question, “… but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops—” (Mormon 5:8). So, I’m shouting what I learned about U.S.…

  • 2018-2019 Season,  Radium Girls

    Discover Solutions to Radium Girls Study Guide

    Answers by Pollyanna Eyler, BYU Radium Girls dramaturg Page 10 – Radium Shopping List The discovery of Radium in 1898 soon led to scientific advances in medicine. Radium was proven to reduce cancerous tumors and therefore considered not only safe, but healthy! Industry ingeniously jumped on the bandwagon promoting products across the spectrum, such as “Radium Hand Cleaner – takes off everything but the skin.” If you guessed that all of the products on the Radium Shopping List could be found with added radium, you’re correct! Products with added radium.  Bottled Water, “Radithor” Radium Brand Creamy Butter Schokolade, Radium German Chocolate Degnen’s Radio-Active Heating Pad Doramad Radioactive Toothpaste Crème Activa Face Cream…

  • 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…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Chariots of Fire

    Social Class in the 1920s

    By Shelley Graham, Dramaturg Chariots of Fire takes place in Britain from roughly 1920 to 1924, a time period in which established social mores were changing rapidly. Throughout the play we see the various social classes represented. As Britain emerged from the ravages of World War I (or The Great War, as it was termed then,) there was a major rift in those social classes. Throughout the twenties, the working class would see poverty growing at an alarming rate, while the middle and upper classes fought for cultural prominence. Early in the play we see wealthy young men arriving for their first day of school at Cambridge University. They are…

  • 2013-2014 Season,  Pride and Prejudice

    Audience Dramaturgy: Your Turn to Ask Questions about PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

    By Anne Flinders One of the traditions at BYU theatre productions is the weekly Thursday night post-show discussion. The post-show discussion is always a great way to get a behind-the-scenes peak at how a play is put together. Any audience members who choose to do so are invited to remain after a play to visit with the cast members and designers and ask them questions about their work. Last week the first post-show discussion was held for PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and there was a great turnout. The event was moderated by the production dramaturg, Anne Flinders. Members of the audience asked the cast questions about things like acting choices, their…

  • 2013-2014 Season,  Pride and Prejudice

    Who Was Jane Austen?

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg Who was Jane Austen? Where and how did she live? With whom did she associate? How did she become a writer? And what is her legacy? Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is “famously scarce”, but we’ll try to answer at least a few of these questions. Where did Jane Austen’s begin her life? “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen Jane Austen was born on the 16th of December, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She was the second daughter of a clergyman and his wife, George and Cassandra Austen, and the fifth of seven children. Jane and her sister Cassandra…

  • 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

    PRIDE and PREJUDICE: Asking Questions, Seeking Answers

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg Where are we? What year is it? What time is it? What season is it? Who’s in charge? Who’s in need? Who cares? Who am I? Those are a lot of questions. And they need some answers. Let’s start with the last one. Who am I? I’m Anne Flinders. I’m a dramaturg. I ask a lot of questions. And my job?  Well, it’s to find the answers. Dramaturgs view the world in terms of puzzles and possibilities. We wonder a lot. We look for ways to enable a blossoming play to live, to thrive, and to do so with truth. We try to help others organize…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  A Wrinkle in Time

    Wrinkle’s Time Travel and The Setting within the Books

    by Patrick Hayes, dramaturg The world of L’Engle’s characters is filled with fictional place names, often taken from mythological figures that relate symbolically to locales in the book. For example, the planet Ixchel in A Wrinkle in Time, where Meg is cared for by a motherly creature, who’s name is Ixchel, a Mayan moon goddess. Other, more mundane locations are often fictionalized versions of places L’Engle has lived or visited in the real world, such as L’Engle’s Connecticut home, which strongly resembles that of the Murry family. Overall, the series takes place in a roughly contemporary setting, usually understood to be in the near future with respect to the publication dates of…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Meeting the Audience

    By Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Now that our opening weekend for The Servant of Two Masters is over, the fun really begins. Not only do the cast and crew really get to settle into their roles, we also get to start hearing feedback from our audience members. Some will be formal in the terms of reviews, while others will be informal discussions with friends, family, and strangers who attended the show. The ability to talk to our audience really is one of the most fulfilling parts of doing theatre. Not only do we love to hear your thoughts on the show, we love to discover what questions you have about the…