Saturday, September 7, 2019

ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence announce Sue Anne Lucius and Ross Collins as this year's Outstanding Contribution Award Winners

Sue Anne Lucius
From our friends at the ariZoni Awards:

We are delighted to announce this year's ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence Kyle Lawson Outstanding Contribution Award recipients: SUE ANNE LUCIUS and ROSS COLLINS

Sue Anne Lucius, Director of Music Theatre, has worked in Music and Music Theatre at Mesa Community College for the last 41 years as a voice instructor, chair, producer and stage director. She and her childhood friend, Marcus Denton, also began a 32 year “labor of love,” the Magic of Musical Theater Workshops for K-12th graders which taught musical theater skills to children every summer. What’s truly gratifying is teaching the children of the parents they taught years ago and having children that grew up in this program return as instructors!

Sue Anne has staged, musically directed and/or produced over 200 musicals, operas and showcases in the last 41 years with her greatest joy being the growth of each student’s singing, acting, movement and self confidence! If asked which productions she loved the most, the answer is always, “The Secret Garden, Songs For A New World and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!”

What she finds truly exciting is all of her students who are now teaching, performing and directing plus winning local and national awards. Thank you to all of the hundreds of students and colleagues that have enriched her life. Her greatest gift is the love and support of her family who have always been there, lending a hand with the same passion for the arts.

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Ross Collins with his wife Jane
Ross Collins is an award winning actor, director, and playwright. Hailing from Michigan where he says his most memorable performances included the title roles in his sister’s backyard productions of I’m a Little Teapot and Frère Jacques; and his portrayal of a tree, in a high school pep rally... (okay, and high school, college, and community theater shows, too!) , he arrived in Arizona in 1979 where he has since been privileged to participate in the Valley theatre community ever since. He never imagined that his first local starts performing in melodramas and train shows with Mario Magana’s “Villians Incorporated” group at Legend City (who remembers that one?) would lead to numerous theatrical appearances on the many stages here in the Valley, as well as movie, television, and commercial appearances. Most recently, he is beginning his 18th season as Youth Artistic/Technical Director for Fountain Hills Youth Theater!

During his stay at FHYT, Ross has always worked to provide a challenging, safe environment for youth actors of all ages and skill sets. His YABOY (Young Actors Benefiting, Other Youth) program has brought to light issues that face youth today, like homelessness, eating disorders, date rape, and teen suicide (to name a few). Ross’ multi-award-winning YABOY performances open dialogue among these difficult situations and offer access to resources for young people who may be faced with these issues.

Ross is grateful to the wonderful family he has at FHT and he always sends his undying love to his favorite “enablers,” long-suffering wife Jane, his son, Lorin, and daughter, Annie.

Ross also likes to hold on to and share a bit of wisdom he learned during his short stint as a cub master; “If it’s not for the kids, it’s for the birds!”

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Congratulations, Sue Anne and Ross. Thank you for your contributions to the Arizona theatre community!

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to this year's ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence, on Monday, September 23rd

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