The 2014 ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence ceremony, held Sept. 15 at Tempe Center for the Arts, was generous to ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Not only did current students and faculty win multiple awards for both School of Film, Dance and Theatre and School of Music productions, but the number of winners overall with connections to the institute – as alumni and guest artists – demonstrates the reach and the impact of ASU’s music and theatre programs. At least a quarter of the 76 awards handed out at the ceremony went to ASU Herberger Institute students, faculty, staff and alums.
Asleif Willmer, a Master of Music in vocal performance major in ASU’s School of Music, won Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Non-Contracted Musical) for Lyric Opera Theatre’s production of "Così fan tutte."
The School of Film, Dance and Theatre’s play “The Fall of the House of Escher” won Best Overall Production (Non-Contracted Play). Megan Weaver, who received a Master of Fine Arts in directing from ASU this year, won two awards for Best Director (Non-Contracted Play), the first for “Nation,” and the second, together with Brian Foley, also a 2014 MFA in directing, for “The Fall of the House of Escher.”
Anastasia Schneider won Best Costume Design (Non-Contracted Theatre) for “The Fall of the House of Escher,” and Adam Vachon won Best Lighting Design (Non-Contracted Theatre) for the same production. Both Schneider and Vachon received their MFAs in performance design from ASU in 2014. Stephen Christensen took Best Sound Design (Non-Contracted Theatre) for “The Fall of the House of Escher.”
Matthew Ragan, a Master of Fine Arts student in interdisciplinary digital media and performance, won Best Artistic Specialization (Non-Contracted Theatre) as media designer for “The Fall of the House of Escher,” as did Daniel Dold and Teresa Simone for their puppetry design on “Nation.” Dold is a guest artist in the school, and Simone is a Ph.D. student in the Theatre for Youth program.
Film, Dance and Theatre faculty member David Barker won Best Director (Contracted Play) for “Equivocation,” at the Southwest Shakespeare Company. Barker also won Best Choreography (Contracted Play) for the Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production of “Macbeth.” Faculty member Connie Furr-Solomon won Best Costume Design (Contracted Play) for Phoenix Theatre’s “39 Steps” and Ian Christiansen, a faculty associate in the school, won Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Contracted Play) for the Actors Theatre production of “The Book Club Play.”
Marcus Ellsworth, an MFA from the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, won Best Director (Youth Musical) and Best Property Design (Youth Theatre) for the Actor’s Youth Theatre production of “The Addams Family.” Aaron Dilley, also an alum of the theatre program, won Best Scenic Design (Non-Contracted Theatre) for “Nation.”
ASU School of Music alum Michael Sample won Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Contracted Musical) for his role in “Les Miserables.” Michael Barnard, who is a faculty associate in the school, won Best Director (Contracted Musical) for “Ruthless!” at the Phoenix Theatre.
Current Bachelor of Music student Josh Hontz won Best Sound Design (Youth Theatre) for “The Flying Trunk” at Spotlight Youth Theatre.
The full list of the winners is here:
Deborah Sussman Susser