College of Fine Arts and Production

Student Achievements

The 22nd Annual AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence

Grand Canyon University won one AriZoni Award!  Congratulations to:

  • Lynette Kidman Nunez, Best Choreography, The Boyfriend 2011-2012

Grand Canyon University has been honored with six nominations for 2011-2012 Ethington Theatre productions.  Congratulations to:

  • Christina Cullers, Supporting Actress, "The Boy Friend"
  • Juan Hernandez (Assistant Dean), Musical Direction, "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
  • Lynette Kidman Nunez, Choreography, "The Boy Friend"
  • Bill Symington (Assistant Dean) Scenic Design, "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
  • Dan Cocca, Sound Design, "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
  • Michael Kary and Brad Beamon, Original Writing: Instructor, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Kary also was nominated as Guest Actor in "The Wallace and Ladmo Show" by the Desert Foothills Theatre)

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Senior Christina Cullers has gained entrance to OperaWorks, an intensive and distinguished performance training program for young, talented performers which is held in the summer. 

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Voice students recently sang at the National Association of Teachers of Singing classical auditions on the campus of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.  Five GCU students received outstanding scores of 90 or above from all of the judges!

The 21st Annual AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence

Grand Canyon University won two AriZoni Awards!  Congratulations to:

  • Michael Kary, Best Guest Actor in a Musical, The Pirates of Penzance 2010-2011
  • Nola Yergen, Best Costume Design, The Pirates of Penzance 2010-2011

Grand Canyon University has been honored with 11 nominations. Congratulations to:

  • Amy Runte-Wyatt, Actress in a Major Role/Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Scott Campbell, Actor in a Major Role/Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Mitchell Wyatt, Actor in a Supporting Role/Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Michael Kary, Guest Actor in a Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • GCU, Overall Production/Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Joe Flowers, Director/Play, "The Comedy of Errors"
  • Claude Pensis, Director/Musical, "The Pirates of Penzance" (also nominated for his lighting of "The Drowsy Chaperone" for AZ Broadway Theatre)
  • Juan Hernandez, Music Director, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Susannah Keita, Choreographer, "The Pirates of Penzance"
  • Nola Yergen, Costume Design, "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Comedy of Errors"

Faculty Achievements

Director of Dance at the College of Fine Arts and Production, Susannah Keita, was selected as president-elect of the Arizona Dance Education Organization. She will also attend the 2013 annual conference of the National Dance Education Organization and present her work, "Moving in Step With Katherine Dunham: A Model Curriculum". Susannah is among a select group of instructors certified to teach the famed Dunham dance technique. 

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Rachel Velarde, adjunct voice and diction instructor, has been awarded an honorable mention for the Van L. Lawrence Voice Foundation/National Association for Teachers of Singing fellowship in vocal pedagogy.  Rachel will attend an annual symposium in Philadelphia.

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In 2011, digital design instructor Cheryl Christensen's paper, "An Educational Evolution: From Conventional Learning, to E-Learning, to Game-based Learning," was accepted for presentation at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Director of Dance, Susannah Keita, participated as a panelist at the National Dance Education Organization annual conference in October 2010.

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Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production Claude N. Pensis won an ariZoni Award for Excellence in Lighting for The Turn of the Screw in 2009-2010. Claude has been a faculty member at Grand Canyon University since 1982 during which time he has also been Theatre Chair and Artistic Director.

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William H. Symington V, an instructor for the College of Fine Arts and Production, received an AriZoni Award for Theatre Excellence in Best Scenic Design for Don Pasquale, Lyric Opera Theatre in 2009-2010.

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Instructor for the College of Fine Arts and Production Michael Kary created, wrote, directed and produced "Little League," a spec pilot and official selection for the Independent Television Festival (ITVF) in Los Angeles (2008).