Apache Junction, Queen Creek theaters nominated for ariZoni awards


Theaters in Apache Junction and Queen Creek are among the nominees in the 2019-20 annual ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence, which celebrates the contributions of everyone involved in productions throughout the Valley of the Sun.

The winners are announced at a virtual event to be held at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5. Tickets are $12.50 for individuals and $20 per household, according to scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/arizoni-theatre-awards-of-excellence-2-2020-10-05.

Zao Theatre in Apache Junction has been nominated for five awards:

  • Fight choreography: Alexander Hansen, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Media design: Michael E. Bryce, “Seussical, The Musical.”
  • Best overall production (musical): “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Actress in a major role (musical): Rebecca Bryce, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”
  • Actress in a supporting role (musical): Keilani Akagi, “Seussical, The Musical.”

“We were thrilled with the ‘Zoni’ nominations for last season’s shows and not a bit surprised. Our casts and crews worked very hard on both of these great musicals and had a wonderful time bringing them to our audiences,” Hank Sheffer, publicity director for Zao Theatre, said.

“The real joy of theatre for those of us involved in the shows is the fun we have during the entire production process and the friendships we make. The icing on the cake is when the audience catches our vision and loves the show as much as we do,” he said.

The Queen Creek Performing Arts Center has been nominated for 16 AriZoni Theatre of Excellence Awards. The nominations include:

  • Scenic design (youth musical): Bryce and Heidi Hagen, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Costume design (musical): Robyn Jordan, “Mamma Mia.”
  • Costume design (youth musical): Billie Bright, Denise Brinkman and Robyn Jordan, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Lighting design (youth musical): Bill Lorentz, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Property design (youth musical): Crystal Mortensen, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Supporting actress (youth musical): Shayla Gibbons, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Rising Star Award: Jacob Vella, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Actress in a musical: Delaney Starks, “Mamma Mia.”
  • Actress in a youth musical: Gracie Jordan, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Actress in a youth musical: Olivia Vella, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Choreography (musical): Molly Jacobs, “Mamma Mia.”
  • Choreography (youth musical): Molly Jacobs, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Musical direction: Jennifer Nelson, “Marvelous Wonderettes.”
  • Musical direction (youth musical): Rebecca Hale, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Direction of a youth musical: Molly Jacobs, “Seussical Jr.”
  • Overall youth musical: “Seussical Jr.”

“The Queen Creek Performing Arts Center puts its best effort forward with all shows and productions we produce, so we were very much pleased with our nominations,” Aubrey Gardner of the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center said.

“Each member of our theatre community always raises the bar with the hard work and determination they put forth here. We are thankful for what we are nominated for and are proud of all members who help contribute,” she said.