• 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…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    A Special Orem Public Library Performance of HENRY 5–FREE!

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg BYU’s Young Company cast and crew is bringing a free performance of Henry 5 to the Orem Public Library (58 N State St, Orem). This special performance is a tradition that Young Company has shared with the library for several years, bringing excellent children’s theatre to the Orem community. The performance will be on Monday, April 15th at 7:00 pm in the storytelling wing of the library; the performance lasts about 50 minutes. It is open to the public and free of charge. The company will present the same production they have taken on the road over the past semester as part of their tour to elementary…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “O, for a muse of fire!” Henry 5 Act I, Prologue

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg The Young Company opened its production of Henry 5 last week, both on tour and in the Nelke Theatre. Preparing for this play required each cast member to explore and develop characters that are diverse in age, gender, and experience. We asked the cast what has been a source of inspiration for them in preparing for their roles in Henry 5? Is there something particular that encapsulates a source of inspiration for the performances you give in the play? In other words: What or who is your “muse”? Sarah Flinders plays the Boy, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the King of France. To find inspiration in…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “All things are ready, if our mind be so.” Henry 5 Act 4, Scene 3

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg January 27th through February 2nd was final dress rehearsal week for Brigham Young University’s production of Henry 5. Last Tuesday was what is called a designers’ rehearsal, when the designers come to watch the play and make notes for their final tweaks and preparations for opening night. The costume, sound, and prop designers were in attendance and will make sure in the next few days that their work is ready to accompany the cast into performances, which begin February 5th on tour and February 6th in the Nelke Theatre. Lighting will be added when the production moves from its rehearsal space to the Nelke. Unique to…

  • 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,  Henry 5

    “Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep.” Henry 5 Act 4, Scene 1

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg Last week the Henry 5 cast held three more rehearsals. Rehearsal days are exhausting; a typical rehearsal for this play begins at 8:00 a.m. with a physical warm-up and an overview of the day’s work.  This is followed by dance and fight choreography, blocking more of the stage action, and some scene polishing. The cast is generally allowed a half-hour break for lunch, after which they return to the rehearsal space to run and polish scenes until 2:00 p.m. Six hours is a long rehearsal for a student, particularly when many in the cast go to classes immediately after, but this week’s Thursday rehearsal was especially…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “Let us…on your imaginary forces work.” Henry 5 Prologue, Act I

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg The second week of rehearsals for BYU’s Henry 5 is completed, and the show is taking shape with an exciting look and sound that is unlike most Shakespeare plays. The cast, directed by Megan Sanborn Jones, worked this week on incorporating movement from last semester’s Contemporary Performance Studies class into the play. The opening scene was developed on Thursday using viewpointing for blocking the cast’s interactions with each other and the audience as they present the prologue of the first act.  It will be a highly theatrical opening Shakespeare scene! Another major element of the play is the sparseness of the set and props. This play…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “I am Boy to them all.” Henry 5, Act III, Scene 2

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg Live theatre is always an adventure. And this new year has provided a big one. Rehearsals for Henry 5 began on the 8th of January, and began with quite a surprise. Due to some special circumstances, we had a cast member who had to relinquish her spot. Which means we were faced with the challenge of finding a replacement. The difficulty in filling a newly opened role for this production lies in the fact that the play’s rehearsals are held from 8am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays during January. Most students, of course, have classes during these times. With only about ten rehearsals on the…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    “I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start.” Henry 5, 3.1

    by Anne Flinders, dramaturg For more than 30,000 students at Brigham Young University, the last class lectures of the semester have been given, the last papers handed in, and the final exams completed. Everyone is settling in for a restful Christmas break. Everyone, that is, but seven young men and women who make up the cast of BYU’s Young Company production of Henry 5. During finals week, rather than take a test for TMA 401, the cast from that class and some of the staff of Henry 5 met with director Megan Sanborn Jones to read through the script. During the reading such things were discussed as characterizations; meanings of particular words,…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Henry 5

    The “Henry 5 Project” in Performance

    By Anne Flinders, dramaturg On the 28th of November, the TMA 401 class performed their devised production of Henry 5 as a Mask Club performance in the Nelke Theatre on BYU’s campus before an audience of theatre students, professors, and invited guests. The production was prepared and staged by four groups that had been created during the semester from the TMA 401 class. Each group was assigned to prepare one of the first four acts from Shakespeare’s The Life of King Henry the Fifth. The groups each chose their own concepts, developed their own cuttings of the script, and created costumes and props supporting their productions. After working on these…