Perseverance Theatre Names Five Playwrights to The Writer's Circle

Perseverance Theatre Names Five Playwrights to The Writer's Circle

Perseverance Theatre has announced the formation of The Writer's Circle. Perseverance Theatre has awarded participation into The Writer's Circle to five playwrights. The award includes commission, including development support, for a two-year period of time to write and develop a new Alaskan play.

The goal of the writer's circle is to develop diverse new Alaskan plays in a group that will include Alaska Native writers, emerging writers, and writers who represent underrepresented voices. Applicants all identify as Alaskan or have something to say for an Alaskan audience.

The Writer's Circle members are: Larissa Fasthorse (Lakota), Arlita Jones, Frank Kaash Katasse (Tlingit), Richard Perry (Yup'ik), Cathy Tagnak Rexford (Inupiaq).

Writer's Circle members will all have a director and/or dramaturg to consult on their scripts, a workshop of their work in progress, and a modest budget for research, workshopping, travel, and supplies. Writers will receive invaluable feedback from industry professionals we well as time and support from the other writers in the circle.

ABOUT THE WRITERS:

Larissa Fasthorse is an award winning playwright, director, and choreographer based in Santa Monica. Larissa's produced plays include Urban Rez (Cornerstone Theater Company), Landless (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), Vanishing Point (Eagle Project) and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater). Two new plays, What Would Crazy Horse Do? (Kansas City Rep) and The Thanksgiving Play (Artist's Rep), are being produced in 2017. She is a current member of the Playwright's Union, Director's Lab West 2015, Theatre Communications Group board of directors, Playwright's Center Core Writers and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Lakota Nation.

Arlitia Jones is an award winning poet and playwright from Anchorage, Alaska. Her short play Tornado was chosen for the 38th Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival and as the 2014 National Award Winner Summer Shorts Festival with City Theatre, Miami, Florida. Rush at Everlasting premiered at Perseverance Theatre in 2014. In 2014 she received an Individual Artists Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation. She is alum of Seattle Repertory Theatre's Playwrights' Group. Summerland received a workshop production from Seattle Rep in the New Play Festival 2014 and its world premiere at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 2017. Her volume of poetry The Bandsaw Riots won the Dorothy Brunsman Award for Poetry from Bear Star Press, Cohasset, CA in 2001. Along with Michael Evan Haney, Jones co-adapted A Christmas Carol for Perseverance Theatre. Member of the Dramatists' Guild of America.

Frank Henry Kaash Katasse, is an Alaska Native from the Tlingit clan Tsaagweidí. Frank is an actor, director, producer, improviser, educator and playwright. Frank received his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Hawai'i: M?noa. Frank currently serves as the Board President of Juneau Douglas Little Theatre (JDLittletheatre.org) and has been involved with Perseverance Theatre (PT) since the fall of 2008. 2017 saw the rolling world premiere of Frank's play They Don't Talk Back at Perseverance Theatre, Native Voices at the Autry, and La Jolla Playhouse).

In 2011, Richard Perry was introduced to theater through the Alaska Native Playwright Project, a mentorship program at the Alaska Native Heritage Center with Native Voices at the Autry. Richard was paired with mentor Ty Defoe; an author, artist, performer, and storyteller. In 2014, Richard was a co-founding member of Dark Winter Productions, an ensemble theater group promoting Native playwrights, directors, and actors. In 2016, he completed an Artist Residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Newbliss County, Ireland finishing a draft of a new full-length play.

Cathy Tagnak Rexford was born in Alaska and is of Inupiaq, French, German, and English descent. She earned an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of A Crane Story (illustrated by Sini Salminen, 2013). Her plays include The Namesake and, with Challen Wilson, The Winter Overture; Rexford also works on short films. She has received fellowships from the First Peoples House of Learning and the Rasmuson Foundation.

For more information about The Writers Circle or Perseverance Theatre, visit ptalaska.org.

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