Claude N. Pensis, MFA

Theatre Director/Professor

Claude Pensis has been a faculty member at Grand Canyon University since 1982 during which time he has also been Dean, Theatre Chair and Artistic Director.  Claude has also served for one and a half years as a faculty associate for Arizona State University as their lighting instructor.

Claude is a native of Wisconsin and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with an emphasis in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  Claude received a Masters of Fine Arts in Stage Direction from the University of Wisconsin Madison.  While in Madison, Claude worked with eminent directors and theatre visionaries such as, Richard Schechner, Ralph Bridle, Sharon Ott, and Mark Stanley. It was also during this period that Mr. Pensis studied stage lighting with Gilbert V. Hemsley, Jr., a distinguished Broadway light designer and professor.

In addition to his academic responsibilities, Claude is a professional stage light designer and director who has worked with local companies such as Arizona Broadway Theatre, Actor’s Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Sedona Shakespeare, Southwest Shakespeare, A.S.U. Lyric Opera and, A.S.U. Theatre Department.  He has also worked internationally by designing lights for Producciones Aleph’s Mephisto directed by Oscar Giner in San Juan, Puerto Rico as part of the 40 mo Festival De Teatro Internacional Del Instituto De Cultura Puertorriqueña. Claude also designed lights for Obie award winning director, Marshall W. Mason for the world premier reading of Los Alamos by Lanford Wilson.  Recently, he designed lights for an Off-Broadway production of The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph’s Baby for Theatre 315. As either a director or a light designer, Claude has been involved in over 100 stage productions and has received numerous local theatre nominations and awards. Claude is a member of the Stage Lighting category of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.