Student Blog: GCU's Theatre Program

What is a theatre program like in the middle of Arizona? Let me set the stage...

By: Jun. 30, 2024
Student Blog: GCU's Theatre Program
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Student Blog: GCU's Theatre Program
The Ethington Theatre stage is set with awards
from the 2022 Ethingtony Awards.

What is Grand Canyon University's theatre program like? This blog will discuss what the program is like and the production process for some of the shows. 

What is the program like?

The program helps students to understand essential elements and skills for both on and offstage. For example, students will be taught how to create a play, scenic design, costuming, stage production, and so much more. Through the year there are a number of productions that aim to help students to grow in their knowledge and skills, these productions can be anything from a musical, a play, or others. The shows can take place in Ethington Theatre, or The Black Box. One relatively new addition to the productions over the course of the year would be something called a Second Series. These productions aim to let students take more creative control with student-written scripts. Most recently over the spring semester in 2024 there were two Second Series shows titled Heart of the Oak, written by Isabella Stephenson and the second show was The Expedition, written by Dexter Tuten. 

Interview with Leslie Apolinar

Student Blog: GCU's Theatre Program
Leslie Apolinar performing onstage as Ana Garcia
in the show Real Women Have Curves.

Leslie is an Ethingtony Award nominee and 4 time winner on GCU campus. She recently won awards for Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Actress, Costume Design, and even the Morgan Mcall Award.

When asked about GCU's Theatre program she stated, "It felt like somewhere I could ask anything and I could always learn". Leslie also stated, "There is so much to do" when discussing the opportunities for students in productions. 

In February of this year, the show Real Women Have Curves opened at GCU for a limited two weekend run. Leslie Apolinar played Ana Garcia in the show, but also designed the costumes. When asked about the show and her experience working on it, this is what Leslie said, "Everyone worked so hard to make the show so alive, and their version of it. To inspire people and to share stories like these because they matter as well". In the interview Leslie discussed how culture intertwined with the show, and when asked about the ofrenda she said, "I never thought the show could be so personal. To have our family with us everyday. It being there represented the cast and the characters". 

My Experience

Even though I am a film major I've had quite my fair share with theatrical productions, especially at GCU. During my time studying at GCU, so far I've been lucky enough to have the role of run crew, house crew, assistant stage manager, and even stage manager. I truly do enjoy all of the productions at GCU and feel extremely grateful whenever I have some part in them. 

Overall GCU's theatre program and ethington theatre shows are so incredibly welcoming and such a great enviroment to learn and to grow in. I'm so thankful for the experiences I've had and friends I've made while working on shows at GCU, and I can't wait to see where the next season takes me! 


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