• 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

    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,  Sleepy Hollow

    On the Trail with Sleepy Hollow

    by Janine Sobeck, BYU Dramaturgy Specialist Every semester the TYA production tours to schools in Utah, Salt Lake and Nebo counties.  The BYU students dedicate their Tuesdays and Thursdays to the show in order  to travel to the various schools, performing and offering different workshops. In the middle of the semester, they add to their crazy touring schedule with a two week run on the BYU campus.  Traveling around Utah by day and in the BYU theatre at night, this is a time where the lives of the actors seem to be consumed by the show in an incredible and amazing way.  This period of immersion also gives a great…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Ready, Set, Devise!

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg How do you start rehearsing on a play without a script? Selections from Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief opens this February in the Margetts theatre at BYU and although we’ve started rehearsals, we don’t yet have a script. Instead we are creating a story through a process called devising. Gone Missing is a devised piece created by The Civilians, a New York based theatre troupe. Inspired by the attacks on 9/11, they wanted to create a story about loss and losing things. They went around their city (Manhattan) and asked whomever they could find, “What is an object you have lost?” They collected the stories,…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Sleepy Hollow

    The Man Behind the Legend: Washington Irving

    by Megan Chase, dramaturg As mentioned in a previous post, our production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on a short story of the same name written by the late 18th Century American author, Washington Irving. (The short story is now in public domain and may be read online here.) Born April 3, 1738 in the newly created United States of America, Irving was named after its first president, George Washington. His name proved to highly appropriate. Just as George Washington was a Founding Father of the country, Irving was a Founding Father of American literature. Irving was the youngest of eleven children born to William Irving and…