Mesa Community College’s theater and film arts department was recognized with a number of nominations and rewards at the 2017 ariZoni Awards on Sept. 26.
Held at the Tempe Center for the Arts, MCC accumulated the most awards of any two- or four-year institution by the end of the night.
“Yeah, that’s kind of two years running,” said program director Kevin Dressler. “Our biggest competition has actually been ASU’s Lyric Opera… they’ve been doing really good work there, too.”
“Good ‘n’ Plenty” earned Best Overall Production in the play category, and Best Director for Ron May for his role in the production.
“Ron May is a great draw, to bring in as a guest artist and have working with our students,” Dressler said.
The top honor going to “Good ‘n’ Plenty” was due in large part to May’s method of direction, according to Dressler.
Dressler said that May made “really strong movement choices for the characters, which really delineated them nicely. He guided the student designers in a way that, they produced really high quality work, in all areas.”
Student performers nominated for “Good ‘n’ Plenty” included Brittney Watson, Dolores Mendoza and Samantha Hanna for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award, and Anthony Muldrow and Steven May were up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
“Sometimes we have some of our guest artists, designers competing with our students… theoretically, potentially adjunct faculty competing against our students,” Dressler said. “I don’t know that that’s necessarily good for the faculty, or good for the students, but it is kind of the way the real world turns. So I think there is an element of learning experience that you can get from that.”
Both Zach Fagan and Tom McCoy won the award for Actor in a Supporting Role as members of the “Good ‘n’ Plenty” cast.
Elana Shearer and Cheyenne Vande Krol were selected to take the Costume Design award, also for “Good ‘n’ Plenty.”
The play also garnered nominations for Gina Hoyt and Dillon Wright for their scenic design, Mendoza and Laurence Lilagan for hair and makeup design and the prop design of Harrison Hayes.
“Good ‘n’ Plenty” received the most recognition of all MCC productions considered, with 14 individuals included in nominations across a number of categories, and six of those selected to receive awards along with the top honor of the ceremony.
Four people who worked on “All in the Timing” were nominated for awards, which included Brandon Caraco for Actor in a Major Role, Fagan for Actor in a Supporting Role, Ryan Marcham for Sound Design and Mendoza for Property Design.
Jared Kitch was up for Actor in a Major Role in MCC’s production of “Mice and Men,” one of two nominations.
Mendoza received the most nominations of any single MCC student, with four nominations that also included Property Design on “Mice and Men.”
“I think if you were to look at all awards shows, all award shows are designed to attract attention to the art,” Dressler said. “We love to sit around and have an Oscar night, an Oscar party at our houses. But if you were to look at what the Oscars are all about, I don’t know that they can definitively say that this movie is really better than that movie.”
Dressler said the awards attract attention to the art form, usually to those already attending who are already involved in the industry, but hopefully the publicity reaches other people and encourages them to attend a show.
– Mesa resident Kian Hagerman is a Mesa Community College journalism intern for MyNewsMesa.com.