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Flatz twins doubled their impact on performing arts

April 22, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Story by Cooper Nelson Photos by Darryl Webb GCU Today Magazine Twin theatre majors Claire and Joy Flatz are identical in appearance, but their interests, personalities and individual contributions to Grand Canyon University’s theatre program are distinctive. The 22-year-old seniors burst onto the College of Fine Arts and Production scene by playing the lead roles in the “The Boy Friend” as freshmen and have performed in 23 combined productions, often as leading ladies. Their costumes might as well hang from the ceiling of GCU’s Ethington Theatre, like retired jerseys in a sports arena, to commemorate their dazzling performances over four years. Notably, Joy played Cinderella in “Into the Woods,” the daughter of Capulet in “Romeo and Juliet” and Irene Adler in “Sherlock Holmes.” Claire played the baker’s wife in “Into the Woods” and the lead female role, Belle, in “A Christmas Carol.” The freedom to perform as freshmen allowed them to find their individual strengths in film and theatre. “There is inherently a safety net that comes with performing at college and failing, which has allowed us to grow,” Joy said. Said Claire, “Being able to perform as freshmen helped us gain confidence to pursue opportunities outside campus.” Their impressive […]

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The Ethington Dance Ensemble will present its second major concert of the year, "Ballet to Broadway: And Everything in Between," Friday and Saturday on campus. (Photo by Darryl Webb)
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GCU dance students step up variety in spring show

April 15, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

As the title suggests, there will be something for everyone at the GCU Ethington Dance Ensemble’s spring concert, “Ballet to Broadway: And Everything in Between,” this weekend. A variety of works, choreographed and performed by faculty and students, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Ethington Theatre. GCU Today has a story with ticket info.

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Celebrating the ubiquity of Ashley Laneri: 1993-2015

March 30, 2015 / by / 4 Comments

Like a memorable performance in a stage play or choir concert, Ashley Laneri won’t soon be forgotten, it was apparent during her memorial service Saturday on campus. About 450 family members, students, faculty and staff and others gathered to pay tribute to the life of the GCU senior who died March 13 from injuries she sustained in a car accident in Phoenix.

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Big ‘Oklahoma!’ to sweep through Ethington

March 19, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Ethington Theatre’s final production of the 2014-15 year, “Oklahoma!,” opens this weekend with a smattering of available tickets. The popularity of GCU’s College of Fine Arts and Production’s main stage performances has continued to grow this year, with virtually every show in Ethington’s 311-seat theater selling out or being oversold. For “Oklahoma!,” there will be eight performances over this weekend and next.

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Students to embody the pull of dance at ‘Gravity’ concerts

March 10, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau The themes of gravity and physics in a tumultuous world of dance will be explored and demonstrated by students in Grand Canyon University’s Dance Department this week. “Gravity,” featuring 12 works by emerging student artists expressing their creative points of view, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in GCU’s Thunderground. The Spring Student Spotlight concerts are free and open to the public. A diversity of dance styles is planned representing a range of choreographic aesthetics from contemporary modern to flamenco. Both choreographed and performed by students, the pieces will display students’ myriad and considerable talents, said concert faculty director Bekki Price, a faculty member in the College of Fine Arts and Production. For example, dance major Miguel Acero not only choreographed “Misconception of the unspoken,” a piece that explores roles in dance, he also made the costumes and worked with classmate Catherine Castellanos to compose the music. The concerts likely will provoke a range of emotions, including, most notably in one piece, humor. “Dance majors Michelle Bissonnette and Caitlin Lively will undoubtedly have the audience laughing with their hilarious piece, ‘The pedagogical practices of imagery in the classroom,’ inspired by their experiences preparing […]

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‘Zoey’ earns top honor at GCU Film Festival

March 02, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Best Picture at the ninth annual Grand Canyon University Film Festival went to “Zoey,” a found-footage style film of a couple’s home video for their unborn child by junior Anthony DiMaria, recent alumnus Jeff Dykhuizen and seniors Jeremy Bridges and Sam Varghese.

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Masterworks Concert II inspired by Bible passage

February 25, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Each year, as Dr. Juan Hernandez, director of Grand Canyon University’s music department and assistant dean of its College of Fine Arts and Production, is planning the kind of music that vocalists and instrumentalists should perform at major concerts, he goes straight to the Bible. This year, in Philippians 4:8, Hernandez found his inspiration from the Apostle Paul: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Music that exists to do just that, in the praise and worship of God, will be performed at GCU’s Masterworks Concert II, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, 3100 W. Camelback Road, on the southeast side of campus. The free event will feature about 100 student performers in the Canyon Chorale, Canyon Singers and Critical Mass, in addition to faculty and student soloists, performing traditional choral repertory. They will be led by Hernandez and GCU vocal instructor Dr. Sheila Corley and accompanied by veteran pianist Mark Fearey. The feature work is English composer Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice […]

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Stellar student film program to host expanded festival

February 24, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

The GCU Film Festival will include screenings of student films at Ethington Theatre from 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. An award ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday. Awards will be given out for six categories (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, faith and music video), in addition to an award for best overall film and a fan-favorite award students can vote on. The festival will be hosted by Associated Students of GCU president Cody Dumas and Lopes basketball player Daniel Alexander. Both are film majors.

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Romeo, played by GCU freshman Trevor Penzone, and Juliet, played by veteran senior Joy Flatz, share a kiss during the College of Fine Arts and Production's performance of the popular Shakespeare work, which opens Friday in Ethington Theatre.
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Students embrace Shakespeare’s famous romance

February 04, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like roses, dark chocolate and William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” You’re on your own for the first two, but GCU’s College of Fine Arts and Production happens to be presenting the romantic tragedy this weekend and next in Ethington Theatre. GCU Today has a preview of a show you don’t want to miss and a peek at the actors, set and costumes in this slideshow. BYOKleenex.

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‘Wicked’ performer steps into residency at GCU

January 12, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder GCU News Bureau Students in Grand Canyon University’s dance program will benefit from the expertise and experience of two guest artists this semester, beginning today with a weeklong residency by Los Angeles-based Amy Michele Allen. Guest artists are invited to the University to expand students’ knowledge, skill and cultural perspective, said Leanne Schmidt, a College of Fine Arts and Production faculty member who teaches a variety of dance classes. The residency program also gives students opportunities to network with professional dancers, choreographers and educators, Schmidt said. The guest artists this semester will teach master classes and create an original work with the students that will be performed at the Spring Dance Concert on April 17-18. At the head of the class this week is Allen, who has performed musical theatre works of such notable choreographers as Bob Fosse, Agnes de Mille, Susan Stroman, Gower Champion and Michael Bennett. She also danced in the first national tour of “Wicked” and has performed on the National Geographic Channel and the Holland America Line and at Tokyo DisneySea. Allen, who is professionally trained in jazz, classical ballet, tap, modern dance, hip-hop and musical theatre, studied at the River North Chicago Dance Company and Giordano Dance Chicago […]

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