Ethington Theatre lightens the mood for 65th year
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
Ethington Theatre’s 65th season will be filled with smiles and laughs. Thus, its theme: “The Sky Is the Limit.”
Claude Pensis, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University, said this year’s plays will be “less heavy” than last season and will showcase several comedies, such as “One Man, Two Guvnors” and “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
The season will be “lighthearted,” Pensis said, “but still the plays have messages. It’s always a matter of what does the director want to do, and then how does it fit into the program?”
A new feature this year is a free shuttle ride to Ethington on performance nights from Canyon 49 Grill, where there will be food and drink specials.
“ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS”
Aug 23-25 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1
The comedy by Richard Bean, an English adaptation of the play “Servant of Two Masters,” is the madcap and humorous tale of the steps the lead character, Francis Henshall, will take to ensure that the two men he is working for do not find out about his employment with the other.
Acting instructor Michael Kary will direct the first play of the season, a wild ride in which cast members interact with the audience.
“ARMS AND THE MAN”
Oct. 4-6 and 11-13
This classic by George Bernard Shaw is a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of war.
“It’s incredibly witty and brilliant writing,” Pensis said. “It is primarily a play about real love versus idealized love, and we moved largely from idealized romantic notions to honest to goodness love.”
Pensis said the department will welcome a guest scenic designer for the production.
“A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD”
Nov. 15-17 and 22-24
The final theatre production of the fall semester will be a play that Pensis described as a children’s show for families to enjoy together.
The musical by Robert and Willie Reale is based largely on the Frog and Toad children’s stories and the adventures the characters take over the course of a year.
It will have a guest director: Dwayne Hartford, artistic director of ChildsPlay, Inc., a nationally recognized local youth theatre.
“This, I think, will be a really good start in terms of a good relationship with professional theatre,” Pensis said.
Feb. 7-9 and 14-16
This exotic and magical play by William Shakespeare takes place on stormy seas and a remote island, mixing tragic and comic themes.
“It’s a wonderful play about Prospero (a sorcerer) and about a ruler who can finally re-ascend to where he was,” Pensis said.
“THE DROWSY CHAPERONE”
March 20-22 and 27-29
The season’s final play is a musical based on the book by Bob Martin. The story follows the narrator, a middle-aged musical theatre fan as he plays the record to his favorite musical, set in the 1940s, the audience enjoys the sights and sounds of the Swing Era.
“It is kind of a musical within a play,” Pensis said. “It will be a fun, light season, but it’s some really good stuff.”
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Season tickets are $48 per person, and single-play tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for age 55 and older, GCU employees, GCU alumni and military; and $5 for children. GCU students with a valid University ID are admitted free of charge.
For information, call the Ethington box office at 602-639-8880 or email [email protected]
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected].