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GCU theatre’s ‘Tartuffe’ earns multiple ariZoni nods

Ethington Theatre's recent production of "Tartuffe" was a sumptuous feast for the senses.

GCU’s theatre department’s production of “Tartuffe” received multiple nominations for ariZoni Awards. Christine Ward and Natalie Shields (from left) were part of the lauded cast. (Photo by Slaven Gujic)

By Lana Sweeten-Shults
GCU News Bureau

Grand Canyon University’s College of Fine Arts and Production landed almost a dozen 2018 ariZoni nominations, including best overall production for Moliere’s “Tartuffe,” which the college also entered into last year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

“Tartuffe” received ariZoni nominations for acting, costumes, hair and makeup, direction and more. Pictured are Stacy Arleen and Levi Roberts. (Photo by Slaven Gujic)

The production dominated GCU’s ariZoni accolades. Nine of the 11 nominations were for students and faculty who were part of the “Tartuffe” cast and crew.

COFAP Dean Claude Pensis said GCU’s theatre department usually touts a robust showing in the ariZoni Awards, but this time around, “what pleases me the most is that the vast majority of the nominations are students – and that’s who we’re here for.”

“Tartuffe,” a comedy about a house divided by a manipulative houseguest, is Ethington Theatre’s largest student-designed show to date.

Other nominees for best play include “The Compass” by Arizona State University School of Film, Dance & Theatre; “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Don Bluth Front Row Theatre; “Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End” by Fountain Hills Theater; “Eurydice” by Mesa Community College Theatre and Film Arts; “Ear” and “Night of the Chicken” by Space 55; “Hand to God” and “Mercury” by Stray Cat Theatre; and “Frankenstein” by TheaterWorks.

The 28th annual ariZoni Awards Celebration is scheduled for Sept. 17 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. The youth awards are to be presented at 5:30 p.m. followed by the adult category awards at 8:30 p.m.

Others from GCU nominated for an ariZoni are:

  • Christine Ward, Actress in a Major Role, “Tartuffe”
  • Levi Roberts, Actor in a Major Role, “Tartuffe”
  • Natalie Shields, Actress in a Supporting Role, “Tartuffe”
  • Claude Pensis, Director, “Tartuffe”
  • Keeli Rodriguez, Scenic Design, “Tartuffe”
  • Marija Petovic, Costume Design, “Tartuffe”
  • Trustin Adams, Hair and Makeup Design, “Tartuffe”
  • Kay Gray, Hair and Makeup Design, “The Good Doctor”
  • Tarnim Bybee, Lighting Design, “Tartuffe”
  • Michael Kary, Fight Choreography, “Major Barbara”

The ariZoni Theatre Awards is a not-for-profit entity that promotes the visibility and growth of theatre in the Valley of the Sun and Maricopa County. Close to 100 adjudicators are involved in the judging process. Five judges assigned to a panel see every nominated show.

Tickets for the Sept. 17 event are $21 for adults and $19 for youth (group prices are available). They can be obtained through the Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office. Click here for information.

Contact GCU senior writer Lana Sweeten-Shults at lana.sweeten-shults@gcu.edu or 602-639-7901.

Related content:

GCU Today: “Audience enriched by wealth of laughs in ‘Tartuffe'”

GCU Today: “Behind the scenes during the making of ‘Tartuffe'”

GCU Today: “‘Moon,’ ‘Starcatcher’ … GCU theatre season heaven-sent”

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