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Perseverance Theatre Sets 37th Season

Perseverance Theatre announces its 37th season producing professional theatre by and for Alaskans. With five productions in Juneau and Anchorage, Perseverance continues its commitment to statewide programming and expanding its community of Alaskan audience and artists. The season includes four plays and the musical Sweeney Todd presented in both Juneau and Anchorage, plus a revival of the classic A Christmas Carol in Anchorage. The Tragedy of Othello is Shakespeare's classic tale of love, betrayal, and the emotional price of years at war. Annapurna, by Sharr White, features cowboy poet Ulysses, working to finish his last epic poem, when his estranged wife appears unexpectedly with shocking news. In the New Year, see Alaskan playwright Vera Starbard's stunning new play Our Voices Will Be Heard, a powerful Tlingit mother-daughter journey with a fierce call for healing. In the Next Room, or the vibrator play is a hysterical and intimate comedy about new technology changing relationships. Highlighting the season is Sondheim's darkly brilliant musical about an innocent man, whose wrongful imprisonment sets him on a path to set things right when he meets the murderous Mrs. Lovett and her meat pie shop. Playing in Anchorage only, the holiday favorite Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol returns in a specially adapted version from Dickens' book and monologues. All six of these spectacular plays will be brought to the stage with Perseverance's signature mix of the best actors in Alaska and selected visiting artists. Performances in Anchorage will take place at the Sydney Laurence Auditorium or the Discovery Theatre, both at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, 621 W. Sixth Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501.

In Juneau, the season opens with The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare. Othello is a general who has been fighting wars for years, falls in love with the Venetian woman Desdemona, and later is manipulated by a jealous subordinate, Iago, into performing inexplicably cruel acts of violence against himself and his new wife. Annapurna by Sharr White is a funny and touching story of a dying poet, Ulysses, who is surprised by his estranged ex-wife while he is working to complete his final epic poem before he runs out of time. Her unfinished business forces Ulysses to confront his past, and both of them to re-consider the nature of love and loss.

Perseverance is proud to announce the world premiere of an important new play, Our Voices Will be Heard, by Tlingit/Denaina writer Vera Starbard. A powerful mother-daughter story about breaking the cycle of violence within a family, Starbard's play is a look at how Alaskans can stand up and take action to end abuse and domestic violence, told through the powerful lens of Alaska Native storytelling and theatre. With sexual abuse an epidemic in Alaska, this play offers hope, gives voice to those caught in the cycle, and issues a call for healing. In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, is Sarah Ruhl's comedy about the Victorian-era doctor who harnesses the power of electricity to create the electric vibrator, which he believes is a medical device to treat hysteria in his mostly female patients. As most of the women in his life ask questions that seem obvious to us today about what he has made, Doctor Givings sticks to his ethical principles and love for his wife, and humor emerges as love wins out in the end.

The season also features Sondheim's famous musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and a revival of the our own adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol by Anchorage writer Arlitia Jones and writer/director Michael Haney. Both shows play at the Discovery Theatre at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and Sweeney Todd will also play at the Perseverance Theatre Mainstage in Douglas.

Behind the scenes and in the classroom, Perseverance will be busy this season. A new education program called the Drama School at Perseverance Theatre launches in Juneau. The Drama School at Perseverance Theatre includes a variety of classes in acting and other crafts, taught by Perseverance's guest artists and offered for ages 3 and up. Other education programs continuing include Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous (STAR), Theatre in the Wild, and Spring Break Camp. Perseverance continues developmental work on several commissioned projects, including adaptations of the Alaskan books The Snow Child and Into the Wild, and original scripts by Alaskans Joel Bennet and others. Future seasons are promising for telling more original Alaskan stories.

Perseverance has successfully increased its investment in Alaskan actors through several projects over the past few seasons, and these efforts continue in 2015-2016. Two full-time actors-in-residence serve on the staff, dividing their time between Juneau and Anchorage. Their work includes acting on the main stage, teaching, outreach, and bringing an actor's perspective to planning and daily operations. In addition, Perseverance is beginning the process of bringing steady union work to Alaskan actors through a new agreement with Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Thanks to this agreement, for the first time in decades Alaskan actors will occasionally have the opportunity to join Actors' Equity when they work at Perseverance.

The team at Perseverance has grown by one staff member this year, with BJ Brooks joining the team as Production Stage Manager to run the stage management department and to support production management in Anchorage. Brooks worked most of last season at Perseverance as a stage manager, comes from Atlanta, and trained at University of Evansville. Former Perseverance Intern Kordel Thompson of Anchorage also joins the team and relocates to Juneau as Assistant Technical Director, while Earnest Eckerson continues as Technical Director. All three join continuing staff members Shona Osterhout, Director of Education and Artistic Associate; Tom Robenolt, Box Office and Marketing; Joshua Lowman, Anchorage General Manager; Kathleen Harper, Production and Company Manager; Maggie Rabb, Development Director; and Amy O'Neill Houck, Outreach and Development Associate. Art Rotch begins his eighth season as Artistic Director, and fifth as Executive Artistic Director.

For more information about either the Juneau or Anchorage seasons, visit http://www.PTalaska.org or call 907-463-TIXS (JNU) or 907-263-ARTS (ANC).


2015-2016 Season Fact Sheet

Who: Perseverance Theatre, 37th Season in Juneau and 5th Season in Anchorage

What:
Juneau Schedule:
The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare, September 11 - October 4, 2015
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler, and Christopher Bond, November 6 - December 6, 2015
Our Voices Will Be Heard by Vera Starbard, January 15 - February 7, 2016
In the Next Room, or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl, March 11 - April 3, 2016
Annapurna by Sharr White, May 6 - May 29, 2016

Anchorage Schedule:
Annapurna by Sharr White, September 25 - October 3, 2015 at Sydney Laurence Auditorium
The Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare, October 16 - November 1, 2015 at Sydney Laurence Auditorium
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Evan Hanley and Alaskan playwright Arlita Jones, December 18 - December 27, 2015 at Discovery Theatre
Our Voices Will Be Heard by Vera Starbard, February 19 - February 28, 2016 at Sydney Laurence Auditorium
In the Next Room, or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl, April 15 - April 24, 2016 at Sydney Laurence Auditorium
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler, and Christopher Bond, May 20 - May 29, 2016 at Discovery Theatre

Where:
Juneau: Perseverance Theatre is located at 914 Third Street, Douglas, AK 99824
Anchorage: Sydney Laurence Auditorium and Discovery Theatre, both in Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, 621 W. Sixth Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

When: The 37th season in Juneau begins on September 11, 2015, and runs through May 29, 2016. Performance days: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 4:00pm and a closing week Wednesday performance at 7:30 p.m. In Anchorage, the season opens September 26, 2015 and closes May 29, 2016. Performance days: Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

Why: Perseverance Theatre was founded in 1979 in Juneau. Thirty seven years later, we've grown into a leading professional theatre in Alaska, recognized both statewide and nationally for our programming, training and development that's reflective of the Alaskan community, including 65 world premieres of plays by Alaskan and national playwrights. Perseverance Theatre's mission is to create professional theatre by and for Alaskans. We value community engagement, cross-cultural collaboration, professional rigor, and regional voice. In 2012, Perseverance launched the initiative to begin performing a season of plays in Anchorage as a resident company in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Find more information on Perseverance Theatre at www.ptalaska.org. You can also follow Perseverance Theatre at facebook.com/PerseveranceTheatre and Twitter.com/PTalaska

How: For more information on performances, subscriptions, and/or single tickets, visit http://www.ptalaska.org or call 907-463-TIXS (JNU) or 907-263-ARTS (ANC).

PR: Tom Robenolt, Perseverance Theatre 907-364-2421, ext. 226 or tom@ptalaska.org (This phone number and email are not for publication.)

PHOTOS: Email tom@ptalaska.org for photo availability or to schedule a photo shoot.

Perseverance Theatre 2015-2016 Season Sponsors are: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Atwood Foundation, Benito and Frances C. Gaguine Foundation, Charlotte Martin Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Shubert Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, The City & Borough of Juneau, The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, Alaska Airlines, Juneau Empire, 800 KINY - 630 KJNO - MIX 106 - TAKU 105 - 1330 KXJ, KTOO-KXLL-KRNN, Anchorage Dispatch News, Alaska Experience Theatre, Alaska Public Media, and Anchorage Press.
Sponsors for Othello are: Northrim Bank and Juneau Empire.


Perseverance Theatre was founded in 1979 in Juneau. Thirty years later, we've grown into a leading professional theatre in Alaska, recognized both statewide and nationally for our programming, training and development that's
reflective of the Alaskan community, including 65 world premieres of plays by Alaskan and national playwrights. Perseverance Theatre's mission is to create professional theatre by and for Alaskans. We value community engagement, professional rigor, and regional voice. In 2012, Perseverance launched the initiative to begin performing a season of plays in Anchorage as a resident company in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Find more information on Perseverance Theatre at www.perseverancetheatre.org. You can also follow Perseverance Theatre at facebook.com/PerseveranceTheatre and Twitter.com/PTalaska


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