Claude Pensis, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production, has been a faculty member at Grand Canyon University since 1982 during which time he has also served as Theatre Chair and Artistic Director. Claude has served for one and a half years as a faculty associate for Arizona State University as their lighting instructor. Claude is a native of Wisconsin and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Claude earned a Master's of Fine Arts in Stage Direction from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. While in Madison, Claude worked with eminent directors and theatre visionaries such as Richard Schechner, Ralph Bridle, Sharon Ott, and Mark Stanley. It was also during this period that Mr. Pensis studied stage lighting with Gilbert V. Hemsley, Jr., a distinguished Broadway light designer and professor.
In addition to his academic responsibilities, Claude is a professional stage light designer and director who works frequently with local companies such as Arizona Broadway Theatre, Actor's Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Sedona Shakespeare, Southwest Shakespeare, , and A.S.U. Lyric Opera and Theatre Department. He has also worked internationally having recently designed lights for Producciones Aleph's Mephisto, directed by Oscar Giner in San Juan, Puerto Rico as part of the 40 mo Festival De Teatro Internacional Del Instituto De Cultura Puertorriqueña. Claude also designed lights for Obie award winning director, Marshall W. Mason, for the world premier reading of Los Alamos by Lanford Wilson. As either a director or a light designer, Claude has been involved in over 400 stage productions and has received numerous local theatre awards and nominations. Claude is a member of the Stage Lighting category of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.