William Symington

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‘Starcatcher’ production bags four ariZoni Awards

September 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

References to the Ethington Theatre’s production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” last year will have to be amended — now you can say it was an award-winning production. GCU’s Theatre Department took home four ariZoni Awards for “Starcatcher” — best overall production, Megan Sutton for Actress in a Supporting Role and Michael Kary for Director and Fight Choreography. “Winning at all now is really hard because it’s so big,” Assistant Dean William Symington said of the ariZonis, the state’s version of the Tony Awards.

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Theatre Department earns 20 ariZoni nominations

September 20, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

The Theatre Department earned 20 ariZoni Awards nominations for last year’s productions of “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Ring Round the Moon,” and Christina McSheffrey was selected as one of three winners of the 2019 Zoni Scholarship. “I think it just speaks volumes about the education they’re receiving and how we try to work as much as possible to help them be ready to move on to either grad school or into entertainment as a profession,” said Claude Pensis, College of Fine Arts and Productions Dean and also an ariZoni Nominee. The award ceremony is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday in Scottsdale.

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COFAP draws on industry guests for student success

September 05, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

The College of Fine Arts and Production gives students many opportunities to connect with industry professionals. Students from multiple programs in the college have a chance to engage with guest dance artists and directors, scene designers and a professional drone cinematographer, to name a few. “I think it has to do with our push and our goal of helping our students succeed once they leave here,” said Claude Pensis, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production. “It’s a matter of really trying to use every tool that we could possibly get to help them make contacts, to help them get to know industry professionals in the Valley and hopefully to be interviewed by them and find jobs.”

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Students build audition skills at COFAP workshop

March 27, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

The Theater Department works hard to provide the best opportunities they can for their students. One of those opportunities was in the form of a workshop that took place over spring break to allow students to learn how to prepare for a professional audition outside of GCU. Robert Kolby Harper lead the workshop and helped students get a better understanding of how to feel more comfortable in an audition setting, as well as letting them know that it is ok to be yourself in an audition. “The biggest thing I take away from everything I’ve seen in what we’re doing here is just to be ourselves and try and shed the performance skin that we’ve all been built up to over the years,” said COFAP student Mykhal Polite.

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Students give huge props to Kennedy Center trip

March 20, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

This year’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival showcased how much talent the College of Fine Arts and Production’s Theater Department really has. Three GCU students made it to the semifinals in their respective regional categories, and two took second place. Some students even came home with scholarships and job interviews. “We had teachers as well as students from all kinds of other schools stop us a number of times and tell us how impressed they were with our students,” COFAP Assistant Dean William Symington said.

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Symington keeps designing ways to help students

February 26, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Bill Symington, Assistant Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production, continues to work vigorously on projects outside the University to help build bridges that lead students to jobs in the entertainment industry. Symington has judged for the Kennedy Center, has designed a show for TheaterWorks! and even has helped establish the “Backstage Pass” program with the AriZoni Board of Directors. The program connects students to professionals in the business to help inform them about the business and teach them what employers are looking for.

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