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FACING MECCA FROM LOGAN: Muslims gather for Friday prayers in a new Pixel photoessay. / Photo by Sarah Ali

Today's word on journalism

Friday, May 12, 2006

THE FINAL WORD

PETERSBORO, Utah -- Gloom like a Bulwer-Lyttonesque pall hung heavily over the Cache Valley as word came that the WORD had gone.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire. . . ." No, wait. . . . That's actual Bulwer-Lyttonism. Scratch it.

We conclude, with joy and trumpets and a tankard or two, the 10th season of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. What began in 1995 as a professor's strategy to get his students to read email (guess that worked!) now has spread, birdflu-like, far beyond that unwilling audience to self-flagellating WORD volunteers on five-and-a-half continents. But the willing and unwilling alike--the halt and addled and addicted and deluded--will have to get a life and smell the roses, for a while anyway.

Today marks the end of the WORD for this academic season. Even ere the rosy dawn that didth bust o'er this glade, this vale, this happy home. . . . ooops. Avert already, Sir Bulwer, you mangy cur!!!!

See you in the fall. . . TP

An inspiring evening of 10-minute and flash plays

By G. Christopher Terry

April 06, 2006 | Room 202 in the threatre department was the site of an inspired Mark Damen-produced evening of drama Friday.

A crowd of about two dozen were on hand to watch a series of 10-minute plays and flash plays that had their genesis in last semester's beginning playwriting class.

According to the program, 10-minute plays "allow a playwright to explore character and plot in an abridged but traditional fashion." Flash plays are only three to four minutes in length and "draw attention to the significance of a crucial moment, that flashbulb which goes off inside a person's mind as realization hits. Both genres of drama were well-represented during the 95-minute program.

While the production opened and closed with clever comedic bits, in between were several darker plays, some of which wrestled with gut-wrenching modern issues. Using only minimal set-pieces the players provoked laughter and thought in equal measure from their audience.

Also featured in some of the plays were cigarettes, the death of a dog, the word "faggot," the "F" word, and the "S" word. During his opening monologue Damen instructed those offended by the foul language to leave "when it's blacked out between plays so you'll have a greater chance of slipping and falling on your face," in jest.

Subtext was a common thread running through much of the production, especially in the cases of Evan Black's hilarious ensemble comedy, which opened the festivities, or Subtext of Salt by Heather Hunsaker.

Another great showcase of comedy writing and acting was Olympic Buffaloes by Maryann Kimball, which offered a fanciful look at what might have been happening behind the scenes in the boardrooms of the IOC leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

The black-clad Company Members who wrote and acted in the evening of new plays were: Black, Kimball, Hunsaker, Jed Broberg, Lucas Bybee, Richie Call, Nancee Farrer, Emily Heap, Kynsie Kiggins, Lindsay Koeppen, Elicia Lord, Brandon Pearson, Autumn Sargent and Chris Tingey. Also credited in the program were undergraduate teaching fellows Lanny Langston and Karaleigh Mecham.

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