• 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Reflections

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg Theater is a live art. You share an experience physically together in a space with actors, crew, and fellow audience members. Things happen differently as actors attempt to repeat actions and new audiences with diverse experiences come in and receive new things, laugh in different places, and clap (or don’t) where no one has before. That’s what is exciting about theater. You can see the same play performed by the same company over and over, but still you can experience something new. However, the problem with live art is there always comes a time when it has to die. The curtain falls on the performance and…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Post Show Discussion

    by Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg After an amazing performance Thursday night, two of our actors gladly welcomed the audience down to ask members of the cast and crew questions about the production and participate in what we call a post show discussion. As the dramaturg, I helped to mediate as many actors jumped in eagerly to answer questions about making real people into characters that they could perform every night and the process of writing and devising a piece of theater. I think the audience members who stayed appreciated the insight and context that was given by the actors who finally were able to fill in the story behind the stories…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Everyone has a story

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg When we first discussed what we wanted for a lobby display, we decided we wanted something interactive that would help the audience feel connected to the stories and the process of our production right from the start. We ended up creating our own lost and found board where actors would come out to great patrons, explain a little bit about our project, and ask them to tell a story about something they’ve lost or found.   So far it’s seems to be pretty successful. We’ve even had to find more space! Here are some of our favorite posters so far (that we were able to get…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Tips for a Great Night at the Theater

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg For a couple weeks now there has been a flurry of excitement as projections were added and aligned, music was perfected, and actors prepared to perform in front of an audience for the first time on Wednesday (2/27). We hope you are as excited as we are and we want to give you a few tips to have the greatest night possible at Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. Things you can do to get the most out of the play: 1. Make a poster As a part of our lobby display, you can make a lost or found poster for something you’ve lost or found! 2. Post to…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    2 plays, 1 night

    By Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg There has been a lot of confusion about what The Cleverest Thief and Selections from Gone Missing is. Throughout this blog, we’ve shared our process and tried to give background about our project. But, I am remiss to say, that maybe after 10+ blog posts, readers are still unsure what this performance is. I’d like to rectify this. The Cleverest Thief and Selections from Gone Missing is a BYU main stage production of two plays in one night: Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. Gone Missing is a devised play (see other blog post) created by the Civilians in 2003. The members of the company went…

  • 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,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Fresh Air

    by Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg Gone Missing is a non-traditional play. Instead of following a linear structure, where events build on top of each other to a climax, the play has what theater practitioners call a mosaic structure. Like a mosaic creates a picture out of miscellaneous fragments of glass and tile, the play is composed of bits and pieces of stories from lots of different characters. This allows the audience to explore a theme or see all sides of an issue. The problem with this is that sometimes, it is hard to find one story or character to hold on to. The way the Civilians accommodated for this in Gone…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    People or Projections?

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg “Devised theatre is a personal stretch for me. I didn’t choose my major because I love theatre, necessarily, but I do love the creativity that devising gives to the discipline. Building a play moment by moment is challenging and at times frustrating. The creative process for some people is very individual, but this type of creativity feeds on collaboration. I suppose that is the part I like best is the push towards creative collaboration.” -Chelsey Roberts, costume designer and performance writer One of the main goals we had for Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief, was to incorporate new media with the traditional in a new way.…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    An Audition and a Rehearsal

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg Winter semester has been a time of transition with masses of students going on missions and juggling new class schedules. Gone Missing has not gone without a few casualties. January 16, 2013, one and a half months before opening night, I walked into a crowded Pardoe Lobby full of actors reciting lines to themselves or at walls or chairs, practicing cold reading. In another corner, our actor/performance writers reunited with laughter and loud chatter, patiently waiting for our first rehearsal to begin. Rehearsals are now in full swing and we are happy to welcome Adam White, James Lyon, Annalee Hickman, and James Luciano to our cast!

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    A Mediated Stage

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg An essential part of The Civilians’ process is the inclusion of media. The Civilians outline their mission as “…tackling complex and under-explored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their processes through in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media.”  Since we are following their process we are looking for a fun new way to include media into our production as well. The way we approached the set testifies to how we are striving to incorporate media. Our set designer, Noah Kershisnik, is actually a production designer. We have stolen this title from the world of film where a production…