Title Original Air Date Description


Why Theatre in London Beats Theatre in New York 2/19/2016 Tim Slover and Jane England of the University of Utah Theater (Theater?) Department have a job that many might envy: they take student and adult groups to London each year on theater trips. Why London theater is so consistently excellent and in many ways better than New York City theater is the topic of today’s Thinking Aloud. This interview was originally conducted by Julie Rose for the BYU Radio show Top of Mind.


Scott Christopherson/Brad Barber: Peace Officer–A Former Sheriff Investigates Police Violence Now 10/7/2015 Peace Officer is the new documentary film about William Dub Lawrence and his efforts to deescalate the growing violence which characterizes too many police/citizen interactions. Filmmakers Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber have found in Dub an eloquent, passionate, but incredibly calm voice of reason and insight into this most pressing of our country’s problems. Guest host Mark Burns interviews all three men about the striking new documentary: Peace Officer.


Documentary Filmmaker Brad Barber on Beehive Stories 1/9/2014 Documentary film director Brad Barber has enlisted several generations of BYU film students in helping complete a large project which is finally nearing its end: the creation of a short documentary film about every single one of the 29 counties and 5 national parks in Utah. nbsp;Brad Barber talks to guest host Mark Burns today about the project.


Divine Comedy 4/20/2012 Members of BYU’s popular sketch comedy troupe, Divine Comedy, join Thinking Aloud to divulge all their secrets about putting on a show that works.
Anti-Mormon Melodrama 3/23/2012 Theater historian Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the portrayal of Mormons on the late 19th century stage.
Home Movies 2/27/2012 Is there an artful way to make home movies? Can we capture small snippets of our lives and transform them into mini-documentaries that might be of interest to someone who doesn’t even know us? Film professors Dean Duncan and Tom Russell join Thinking Aloud to discuss more meaningful home movies.
Wit 1/18/2012 Luke Howard discusses a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. How does the film intersect with the poetry of John Donne and 20th century classical music? Join us, as we begin thinking aloud.


Children’s Theatre 6/17/2011 There’s something special that happens in a darkened theater, when the red curtain parts and the audience is whisked away to another world. On Thinking Aloud we’re speaking with Julia Ashworth, Amy Jensen, and Jeffrey Martin from BYU’s Theatre and Media Arts department about the magical influence of theatre, and not just on adults, but on children too.
Persuasion Preview 3/14/2011 We preview BYU’s production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with Barta Heiner, the play’s director, Melissa (Mel) Leilani Larson, who adapted the novel for BYU’s stage production, and Aspen Anderson, founder of the Utah Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America.


Great Works Monday: Pride and Prejudice 8/2/2010 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has become part of the canon of Western literature, and it has a huge fan following. Why does this story still speak to us today, in both the original novel form and its many adaptations? We’ll explore the subject with four guests: two who are BYU professors and two who are integrally involved with its production at this year’s Shakespearean festival.
Pride and Prejudice 6/28/2010 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has become part of the canon of Western literature, and it has a huge fan following. Why does this story still speak to us today, in both the original novel form and its many adaptations? We’ll explore the subject with four guests: two who are BYU professors and two who are integrally involved with its production at this year’s Shakespearean festival.
Mysteries of Monster Grove 5/24/2010 Mysteries of Monster Grove is a play about monsters, designed for young audiences. Writer Rick Walton and director Eric Samuelsen discuss the play’s development and how it appeals to a young audience. For more information about Mysteries of Monster Grove visit byuarts.com
Beehive Stories 5/17/2010 Beehive Stories is a documentary series that, upon completion, will feature a short documentary about 29 residents from different counties in Utah. Producer Brad Barber and BYU student Travis Pitcher discuss the origin, purpose, and production process of the series and its attempts to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a Utahn?”
As You Like It 4/1/2010 A play about violence, power, and betrayal.  It’s also a tale of love, romance, and the importance of community. Join us as we discuss these interesting contrasts with the director of BYU’s current production and a Shakespeare expert.
Blood Wedding 3/15/2010 Weddings are usually happy, festive occasions.  Not so in BYU’s current production of Blood Wedding, a Spanish tragedy of passion and betrayal that pits duty and cultural expectations against individuality and love. Join host Marcus Smith as he talks with the director and choreographer of BYU’s Blood Wedding.
Thousand Cranes 2/8/2010 Some have called World War II, America’s “just” war. But because wars involve people as well as nations, there are always acts of injustice along the way. “Collateral Damage” is the euphemism that refers to the death and suffering inflicted upon the innocent. “A Thousand Cranes” is the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl from Hiroshima who survived the blast of the atomic bomb, only to die a decade later of leukemia caused by radiation. Today we speak with three BYU faculty members about the life and legacy of Sadako, what happened to the city where she lived, and what is now recognized as an American injustice immediately following Pearl Harbor. Julia Ashworth (BYU Theatre and Media Arts) is currently directing Kathryn Shultz Miller’s play “A Thousand Cranes,” on stage at BYU. Byron Daynes (BYU Political Science) teaches a class that studies Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, with a specific focus on the Topaz camp in Utah. Jason Lanegan is the gallery manager of the Harris Fine Arts Center on the BYU campus. He is curator of the current exhibit called “A Thousand Cranes,” a memorial for Sadako and those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Hands on a Camera 11/9/2009 Hands on a Camera is a BYU service-learning project that puts video cameras in the hands of public school children who are then taught how to shoot and produce their own films. Interviewed on this program were BYU Theatre and Media Arts faculty member Amy Petersen Jensen, along with graduate student, Erika Hill, the coordinator of the project, and East Shore High School teacher Amberly Phillips.
The Tempest on Stage at BYU 9/18/2009 How do you stage a Shakespeare play for an audience that wiggles and giggles and squirms? How about for an audience that’s really just beginning to read and think and understand? Shawnda Moss is director of The Tempest in an adaptation for a potentially tempestuous, underage audience. She joins us to talk about this play and BYU’s Theatre for Young Audiences on today’s Thinking Aloud.
Great Works: Citizen Kane 8/3/2009 The film character Charles Foster Kane, the movie director Orson Welles, and the media mogul William Randolph Hearst form an unholy trinity, at least, in some minds. Each man was tragically ambitious and hubristic you might say. Their legacies and personae have become inextricably interwoven by a single piece of art, a classic movie called Citizen Kane. Sharon Swenson from the BYU department of Theater and Media Arts, Joel Campbell from the department of Communications, and Monte Swain from the BYU School of Accountancy discuss Citizen Kane, our selection for Great Works today on Thinking Aloud.
The Giver 6/8/2009 Each year only one author receives the prestigious Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature. Lois Lowry is one of only five authors to receive the award twice. We’re discussing her Newbery award-winning book, The Giver, a thoughtful and compelling story about identity and choice. The adapted play can be seen on stage at BYU through the end of this week.
Macbeth on Stage at BYU 3/19/2009 Our world of the 21st century probably resembles the world of Shakespeare far more than the world of Shakespeare fits the world of Macbeth. If ever there was a usurpation, this is it. This new story has essentially become the only real Macbeth to us. And as it happens, the story is currently on stage at BYU.
Great Works: Berenice by Jean Racine 3/2/2009 Tragedy usually means calamity. Stock formulas call for violence, bloodshed, mayhem, or-the ultimate misfortune-death. But the French playwright Racine rethought all this, introducing a twist perhaps more compelling and less predictable than we’ve come to expect. Today on Great Works Monday, we’ll feature a conversation about Racine’s classic Berenice. Just in time, fortunately, for a new production of this play at BYU.
Japanese Puppetry 1/8/2009 Bunraku is a traditional form of Japanese puppet theater over three centuries old. The Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe is the first traditional Japanese puppet troupe to form in North America. They are professionally trained in Japan and will perform at BYU on January 16 and 17. Learn a little more about this exquisite art form.


Pageants and Patriotism 6/30/2008 Americans love a good pageant, or at least we used to. Just how pertinent are these pageants today? From the first Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl half-time show, we enjoy large, grand, celebratory events. We’re discussing the history behind our proclivity for pageantry with Megan Sanborn-Jones, coordinator for  Theatre Arts studies program.
Midsummer Night’s Dream 1/25/2008 What happens when you take an Amazonian warrior queen and an Athenian ruler, introduce an ever-shifting love-quadrangle, throw in a quarreling worldly king and queen and their earthy servants, add an Indian changeling, and toss in a lovably pompous troupe of British clowns? You get a “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Our guests know this play inside and out. We’ll be talking to Rick Duerden (English Department), Megan Sanborn Jones, director of the play (Theatre and Media Arts), and graduate student Marel Stock (Theatre and Media Arts).


The War: Ken Burns 11/29/2007 In March of 2007, PBS documentary producer Ken Burns visited BYU. Since his visit, the country has been digesting his latest epic-length product, more than a dozen hours of an audio-visual narrative titled “The War.” How has this World War II documentary been received? Today on Thinking Aloud, we’ll weigh in on the relative merits and demerits of the documentary with Mark I. Choate (BYU History Department), Dean Duncan (BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts), and Sterling Van Wagenen is an award-winning film producer and director as well as a member of BYU Broadcasting’s Executive Management Team, and the Director of Content and Media Integration, overseeing content acquisition and creation for all of BYU Broadcasting.
BYU Fall Theatre Season Preview 11/1/2007 On today’s Thinking Aloud we talk with Barta Heiner, Laurie Harrop-Purser, and Janet Swenson, all faculty members from the BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts, about the current season of drama on stage at BYU.
PBS Film Documentarian Ken Burns 3/26/2007 Documentary maker Ken Burns joins Thinking Aloud in a conversation about his art, craft, and style. We ask him about some of the underlying premises of his career and his work. Burns is the PBS living legend of documentary history. Amongs his Herculean efforts are the three series that form a trilogy: “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” and “Jazz.” BYU student Hannah Richardson joins us for the conversation. Richardson is studying to be a documentary film producer herself.
Hamlet on Stage at the BYU Pardoe Theatre 3/21/2007 David Morgan, director for the current stage production of Hamlet at BYU, joins with stage manager Michelle Schovaers and dramaturg Melanie Antuna in this discussion. They shed some light on the ins and outs of this production: why are they revisiting this Shakespearean mainstay, and what does this particular BYU staging add to the long queue of Hamlet interpretations?
Mr. Dungbeetle: A New Film by Tom Russell at the LDS Film Festival 1/17/2009 Director, writer, and editor Tom Russell and producer Jeff Parkin join Thinking Aloud to talk about their recent movie “Mr. Dungbeetle,” which showed during the LDS film festival.


Video Games: Does Anyone Really Know Their Impact? 10/25/2006 Media Arts departments across the country have only recently turned to the study of newer media phenomena such as video games. Our guests Sharon Swenson and Mark Ellsworth are among the few who have made this area a focus of research. What are the issues that concern them? Can anyone say definitively that video games exert more harm than help? (Website reference in the interview: http://www.bomtoons.com)
Onstage at BYU: the Foreigner by Larry Shue 10/12/2006 Playwright and actor Larry Shue died in a commuter plane crash in 1985–at the peak of his career. His most popular works are titled “The Nerd” and “The Foreigner.” As “The Foreigner” hits the BYU stage this season, we talk with director, Eric Samuelson about a play that has been described as comedy, farce, and a hilarious romp. It also happens to be a very successful piece with the unique distinction of having not only survived but defeated the miserable and caustic reviews upon its premiere.
Sisterz in Zion 9/28/2006 The distance between New York City, or the Bronx and Utah, or better yet, Provo, Utah, on the BYU campuses far more than just geographic. Some might even say it’s cosmic. Perhaps the only way to gauge the human distance, the cultural difference, is by bringing people from both places together. Culture shock. Cultural awareness. Ethnic diversity. Unity in Zion. One heart, one mind. It’s all very noble, but when the rubber hits the road, how smooth is the driving? Today Marcus Smith talks with some creative minds behind a new documentary called “Sisterz in Zion.” It’s the story of a group of teenage girls from the Bronx who fly to Provo to participate in a locally well-known program called Especially for Youth. Our guests are Tom Lefler, from the Department of Theatre and Media Arts; Melissa Puente, a BYU alumna who graduated from the film department; and Kathy Johnson,a junior majoring in humanities and associate producer for the documentary.
Taiwan Film Festival 9/27/2006 In the 1950s and 60s, a lot of Taiwanese film was staple melodrama, teen romance, and of course a solid showing on the part of kung-fu. Today, cinema from Taiwan is world-famous, with subject matter ranging from the real to surreal, with documentary, social commentary, and some plain good storytelling. Today on Thinking Aloud, Marcus Smith talks with Steven Riep, Chinese comparative literature and film professor at BYU. We will also talk with Eric Hyer who teaches political science at BYU. We’ll talk about life in Taiwan today, how that society is changing, and how life is being captured in film. It’s all in advance of the upcoming Taiwan Film Festival at BYU.
Spirituality in Film: The Moving Image 8/31/2006 In September, BYU is offering a free screening of highly recommended films, in a series called Moving Images. The series is a carefully winnowed selection of movies intended to demonstrate something about our spirituality as human beings. We’ll be talking about that spirituality, specifically about its place or presence, at least occasionally (some of us wish it would appear even more than just occasionally!) in the world of film and filmmaking. Guests include Sharon Swenson, Thomas Lefler, and Jeff Parkin, all from the Department of Theater and Media Arts.
Season Preview: Drama at BYU 8/25/2006 “Hamlet,” “Oklahoma!” “The Little Foxes,” and “Twelfth Night” are all part of the new season of dramatic productions at BYU. We’ll preview the coming season and talk about what audiences should expect when they attend this year’s line-up. Guests joining us for this interview are Rodger Sorensen, chair of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, and TMA faculty member Megan Sanborn Jones.
Accents in Acting: You Sound Too American! 8/24/2006 What would “My Fair Lady” be like if Eliza Doolittle lacked an accent? or had a Southern accent? Or if the characters in a production of “Huckleberry Finn” had New York accents? Accents can add life to a performance?but they can also bring a whole lot of trouble. What do you need to know to have a believable Australian accent? Or a French one? Is it possible to learn enough to fool a native? Stephanie Breinholt, a BYU professor and accent coach, discusses the particulars of credible dialect or other forms of exotic speech while Shelly Graham, a Theater and Media Arts professor, outlines the production challenges and benefits of speech training.
Fit for the Kingdom: Short Profiles of Quiet, Ordinary Latter-day Saints 7/20/2006 Dean Duncan (Department of Theatre and Media Arts) and BYU student Carrie Hakes are two of many collaborators on the new series of short documentaries called “Fit for the Kingdom.” Join us as we discover what inspired this project of mini-documentaries, and what the producers hope to accomplish. We’ll also ask some questions about whether a mini-documentary can really provide an authentic picture of Latter-day Saint experience, or if a rolling camera alters the subject of the documentary. To visit the Fit For the Kingdom Website, go to http://fitforthekingdom.byu.edu
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