• 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

    Melissa Leilani Larson: Getting to Know the Playwright, Part II

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg Melissa Leilani Larson is the playwright of BYU’s 2014 production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This is the second part of a two-part interview with Mel. We’ll learn about what goes into writing a new play, about the process by which this new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice came from the pen of the playwright. For you, what has the journey of this play entailed so far? First thing, I went back to the novel. It had been a while since I had read Pride and Prejudice. So the first thing was to re-read the novel, and just read it. I didn’t take notes, I…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  A Wrinkle in Time

    A Wrinkle In Time: An Introduction

    by Patrick Hayes, dramaturg Hello 4th Wall Readers! My name is Patrick Hayes and I am the Dramaturg for BYU’s upcoming production of A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Rodger Sorensen. I am very excited for the upcoming production. We have a fabulous cast of actors and an excellent production crew that will be onboard to assure that this production’s version of AWIT is one of the best ever produced. As this is my first venture into social media production blogging I will attempt, with each posting, to leave little snippets of ideas, actor interviews, script excerpts, photos, or other material that will help you, the reader, in gaining an…

  • 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,  Servant of Two Masters

    Meet the Playwright: Carlo Goldoni

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg At the end of commedia dell’arte’s 200 year reign in Italy, there came a man name Carlo Goldoni.  Born in 1707, Goldoni had a love of theatre from his childhood. However, though Goldoni had made his theatrical start writing typical commedia scenarios, with little or no alteration from the accepted traditions, he was concerned that commedia did not fully represent the Italian way of life and manners.  So he decided to make a change. Building off of the works of the Greeks as well as more contemporary playwrights such as Moliere, Goldoni set out to reform the Italian theatre.  Believeing that reform happened through providing strong…

  • 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…

  • 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,  A Second Birth

    A Playwright’s Perspective: Why Afghanistan?

    by Ariel Mitchell, playwright Believe it or not, when I started writing A Second Birth I didn’t think twice about setting it in Afghanistan. It wasn’t until I brought the script into my first workshop in Playwriting 1 and I saw the faces go slack in astonishment that I think it finally hit me. After we let out, my professor pulled me aside and said, “What on earth possessed you to undertake this story?” I shrugged. “You have some guts, Ariel” he said. Forty-eight drafts and two years later, the script has grown and changed but I still get the same question, “Why Afghanistan?” In October of 2010, I had…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  A Second Birth

    A Playwright’s Perspective: Creating a World

    by Ariel Mitchell, playwright I’m not a playwright who really pictures things. If you asked me about any of my characters, I would be able to tell you all about what they think, who they are, and how they sound, but ask me what their hair color is and I stare at you like you have three heads. I am one of those people who will read a book and picture the characters as faceless blobs until the movie comes out to tell me what they look like. It’s terrible, I know. Especially when it came to casting. I’m just glad I didn’t have to make the final decision. I…