• 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

    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

    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,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    The Creative Incubator

    By Alec Harding, performance writer Throughout our work on The Cleverest Thief/Gone Missing project, we had set up an incomparable environment which contributed itself towards our creative process. We had, in a sense, purposely designed a “creative incubator” to maximize our potential as storytellers, actors, writers, designers, and inventors. The first step to creating the essential facilitating environment was gathering the group of participating individuals. Although one of the main goals of this project was a script, we did not just want writers creating The Cleverest Thief. At the same time, a group of actors would have been no better for devising the piece. A bunch of techies who could theatrically mediate the project would…

  • 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,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Tell us your story!

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg MISSING! We need your help. As a devised piece about Provo, we are looking for stories about losing and finding in the area. If you have a story that you feel needs to be told please go to Facebook and like our page, Your Story for “The Cleverest Thief.” Post on our wall. And who knows? Maybe your story will end up in the show.  

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Now on Youtube!

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg We now have a channel on youtube for the Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief interviews that didn’t make it into the script, as well as other bonus videos about our devising process. Come check it out at BYUCleverestThief and subscribe! Here’s just one example of what you will find:

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Putting Ideas into action

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg So far in the process we have been focusing on finding stories and putting them together into interesting theatrical moments that will engage the audience member and will explore how we deal with loss as Provoans. One of the moments was created out of the idea of retracing steps, one of the first tactics we use once we realize something is lost. This moment called for a stylized dance to an original song in which actors search for something they can’t find over and over again in the same way every time. However, we are actors, writers, and designers, not dancers so we invited choreographers to help…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Design and Dramaturgy

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg This past week, our Gone Missing production team has broken into groups: Design and Dramaturgy. The designers will focus on how the show will look, how many screens we need, how we will use lighting, costumes, and projections to tell the stories of loss outlined in Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. Meanwhile the dramaturgy group will be workshopping the moments we have chosen into a text that the actors can memorize and use. Basically what this means is that the four main writers will each take one moment we have chosen home. They will treat it as it’s own play thinking of traditional plot structure (inciting incident, rising…