COFAP

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Fear Factor: GCU’s Production of ‘Dracula’ Has It

October 24, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

Those who packed the theatre over the weekend expecting a campy stage version of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel experienced something else entirely: an armrest-gripping thriller that’s easily the most serious, ambitious work the GCU theatre program has done since returning last fall from a four-year hiatus. “Dracula,” using American playwright Steven Dietz’s true-to-Stoker script written in 1996, unifies Assistant Dean Bill Symington’s staging, Dean Claude Pensis’ lighting and Nola Yergen’s costuming as never before. Even more remarkable is this: Five of the seven main characters in Friday’s opening-night performance were new to the Ethington stage — including three freshmen. From their polish and poise, you’d never know it.

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Four Students Selected to Act in Short Film

October 21, 2011 / by / 2 Comments

GCU theatre students got the experience of a lifetime on Thursday when they attended a casting call on campus for a short film. For students accustomed to performing, that might not seem like such a big deal, except that the film they were auditioning for is being directed by a Baldwin brother. Yes, those Baldwins.

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Ethington Series Takes Serious Turn With ‘Dracula’

October 18, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

How could GCU’s College of Fine Arts and Production possibly top the success of last year’s Ethington Theatre Series? Sophomore Nathan de Laet was wondering the same thing over the summer as he reported for rehearsals of “You Can’t Take It With You,” the comedy that opened this year’s series in early September. Dean Claude Pensis supplied the answer early on. “Last year was fun,” Pensis told the student cast, “but this year will be a step up.”

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GCU Choirs Off to Strong Start in New Year

October 17, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

It’s amazing that First Southern Baptist Church is still standing after GCU’s three choirs raised the roof on the place Friday night. The first choral concert of the fall semester found the Canyon Chorale, the Canyon Singers and the New Life Singers on top of their game — and provided a clear indication of just how far the Music Department has come in a year under the direction of Assistant Dean Juan Hernandez and vocal coach Sheila Corley.

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Symphony’s Maestro Brings Encouraging Words

September 21, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

Insisting that “there’s never a good time or a bad time to be in the arts,” Phoenix Symphony music director Michael Christie gave an insightful talk Tuesday night at Ethington Theatre, sharing career tips with the student audience. Christie, only 37, is already in his eighth season as the symphony’s maestro. A former trumpet player from Buffalo, N.Y., he went to school at Oberlin (Ohio) College and his career took off from there. When he won a conducting competition in Finland as a college junior, his path became clear.

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Stage Is True Love for GCU Sophomore

September 08, 2011 / by / 3 Comments

For GCU sophomore Elizabeth Pabst, the theatre has always called to her. “Ever since I was little, I’ve loved it,” she says. “I used to gather all my friends and we’d put on plays from an early age. Even now, I get my nieces and nephews together for performances.” Her true venture onto the stage, though, came in high school. She always had played sports but didn’t have the time to do both. So she hung up her soccer cleats and threw herself wholeheartedly into theatre, and she hasn’t looked back.

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For Laughs, You Can’t Beat ‘You Can’t Take It With You’

September 06, 2011 / by / 1 Comment

“You Can’t Take It With You,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play that opened the Ethington Theatre Series over the weekend, is every bit as entertaining as last year’s opener, the musical “The Pirates of Penzance.” And, just as “Pirates” was bolstered by first-rate performances from several GCU alumni, the comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman has a show-stealing turn by 1990 graduate Michael Hegeman. Friday night’s premiere played to a nearly sold-out theatre.

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Alumnus Returns to Ethington Stage for Season Opener

August 30, 2011 / by / 1 Comment

Any actor can dream of Broadway. Mike Hegeman dreams of a small, 300-seat theatre in west Phoenix — more than 20 years after he performed there as a college student. Forgive him, then, for pinching himself when the curtain is raised Friday on “You Can’t Take It With You,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy that opens the Ethington Theatre Series for 2011-12 at GCU.

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New Life Singers Make the Most of Tour

May 27, 2011 / by / 1 Comment

Choir caps a successful first year with a 4,500-mile trip through Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, giving 16 performances over two weeks and spending time in a recording studio.

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GCU’s Choirs End on an Impressive Note

May 06, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

By Doug Carroll Communications Staff The spectacular return of quality choral music to campus was celebrated Thursday night at Ethington Theatre with the Music Department’s final concert of the school year. Performances by the Canyon Chorale and Canyon Singers, along with solo selections by soprano Christina Cullers and pianist Julianne Forté, served as confirmation that GCU lost nothing as a magnet for talent in the arts during a four-year hiatus for the program. Assistant Dean Juan Hernandez and vocal coach Sheila Corley clearly know how to develop that talent, and their second year of teamwork should be even better. The Commencement concert functioned much like a greatest-hits performance, with music that had been performed earlier in the year. The range in the seven choral numbers was substantial, from the doo-wop rhythms of Shaw’s “Java Jive” to the classic spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to Cymbala’s achingly beautiful “Lead Me Lord.” Cullers and Forté were announced as GCU Scholarship Foundation grant winners, along with pianist Tabitha Kaminski. Cullers sang an aria from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” and Forté played Debussy’s “Jardis sous la pluie.” Both are supremely talented performers for whom the sky is the limit. Forté, who finds time also to […]

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