College of Fine Arts and Production Rankings

The College of Fine Arts and Production at GCU has a rich tradition in education and the arts. Alongside an accomplished faculty, our most talented students and graduates have been recognized for their achievements in theatre, production, musical performance and so much more. As well, our degree programs have been highlighted as some of the best in the nation. Our online film degree programs are ranked No. 6 in the nation, named as the Best Christian University.*

We are proud to showcase the accolades of our faculty, students and alumni, as this reflects heavily on the standing of the college.

*Retrieved from:

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Showcase and Awards

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COFAP students shone at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival with three students reaching the semifinals and two students claiming second place in their regional categories. Tu “J” Nguyen’s “Peter and the Starcatcher” property design won her second place in the region. Rachel Schumacher’s “Peter and the Starcatcher” lighting design placed second in the region, winning her a scholarship to the Stagecraft Institute. Mandy Tompkins also reached the semifinals for her stage management of “Ring Round the Moon.” Other students recognized include Brandon Brown, Christian Bradford and Kaitlyn Johnson.

The College of Fine Arts and Production received high praise in a review from Gil Benbrook of In his review, Benbrook pointed out the “excellent dialogue work” and “stunning costumes and hair and make-up designs (by Nola Yergen and Madison Kesterson, respectively),” adding that William Symington’s set design is “one of the best of his I’ve seen.” He also commended director Michael Kary and lead performers Christine Ward and Logan Barrett.

For its production of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the GCU Theatre Department earned an award for Best Overall Production, Actress in a Supporting Role: Megan Sutton, Director Michael Kary; and Fight Choreography. The ariZoni Awards, Arizona’s version of the Tony Awards, celebrates the work theatre productions around the Phoenix valley. In total, GCU’s Ethington Theatre earned 20 nominations.

Senior film majors, Brittney Ha-Nguyen and Ryan Brennan took home Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Awards in 2019. Ha-Nguyen won an award from the College Music Video category for the song “One Last Dance” by Us the Duo. Brennan won the College Short Form Fiction award for his short film, “Ruthless.”

Leading film software company Entertainment Partners recognized Digital Film seniors Leesa Kolter and Maria Michelle Alvarado-Rosa with their annual Movie Magic Producer Award in April 2020. The award includes a certificate and small cash prize.

Digital Film Alumni Elliott de Neve and Laura Donohue won the 2019 IMDb Independent Shorts Awards for Best Sci-Fi Short, a short film they completed while at GCU. The short film, which also features DFP alum Ryker Roberts and COE alum Chloe Saunders, also garnered de Neve a nomination for Best Student Director at the awards. This film has also been recognized by the Oceanside International Film Festival and the Short to the Point International Film Festival.

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