Jeff Martin produces the BYU BRAVO performing arts series, a compilation of professional performances by single artists, theatrical groups and symphonies. He is the brains behind everything as he creates relationships with professional artists and schedules their time here at BYU.
The BRAVO series program was designed in order to give students the opportunity to learn from professional performers.
“I’m looking at providing a variety in every genre that will expose the students to a broad sampling of the work they are studying in their art form,” Martin said.
The 2014–2015 season will include performances from some well-known professionals. Recently, Sutton Foster came to Provo and taught a master class to the music dance theatre (MDT) students. One of the most in-demanded baritones, Nathan Gunn, will perform with his wife, Julie, in the future. The Utah Symphony and the King’s Singers will also perform this season.
Martin travels throughout the world in order to coordinate with professional artists from many different cultures and backgrounds.
“I travel to a number of conferences and festivals to seek out guest artists to bring to campus,” Martin said. “I preview performances and speak with agents, managers and artists. This includes an annual conference in New York City. I have also visited the UK, Poland, France, Denmark, Sweden and China trying to build international connections with the work we do here.”
Martin graduated from BYU in directing and went on to receive an MA in theatre history and criticism from the University of Oklahoma. During his schooling career, he moved to New York City for a brief internship with one of Broadway’s directors. He maintains those connections in New York today, which helps him bring more industry professionals to BYU.
“I love to expose our audiences to things that might be new or familiar and to bring the performers to teach and inspire our students to what they can become,” Martin said. “I love making those things happen.”
Martin advised theatre students who dream of directing or producing one day. “You have to have a dream for what you want to do,” Martin said. “Our path needs to be flexible because as you go on your way, you discover things that you didn’t know even existed. You also must be dedicated and work very hard,” he said.