Preparation

by Joanne Alcantara
from the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska
Volume V. July-August 2012

JUNEAU, AK. Perseverance Theatre announced its 2012-2013 season this spring, which will include the road weeps, the well runs dry. Subscription orders are already rolling in for this much anticipated play and season. Marketed with a focus on its beautiful language, humor and elements of folklore, the theatre anticipates a warm response to the play.

In preparation for the production, Perseverance will be utilizing its partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to promote and build an audience for the play. Shona Strauser, Education Director, teaches several of the classes for the UAS minor in theatre. She hopes to engage her students by including the road weeps, the well runs dry in the reading for her course. Additionally, Strauser plans to have the cast join her class in a conversation about acting and diversity in the theatre.

Summer at Perseverance is always an opportunity for reflection on the past seasons and building momentum for the next. This past year was the first time that Perseverance ventured to build a season in Anchorage in addition to the offerings in Juneau. In 2012-2013, the theatre plans to continue the statewide partnerships and bring three more productions to Anchorage. Over coffee with Art Rotch, Artistic Director, he reflected that the theatre has met many of its goals over this experimental past year. A goal that the theatre continues to face, however, is building deeper diversity in the board and staff.

Bringing diverse plays from writers of all backgrounds has been one place to face and meet this challenge. Workshops on diversity and social justice have been mentioned a few times as a means of achieving this goal as well.

In your communities and in your theatre, what has worked for you?

How has the challenge to build inclusive theatre been explored and met?

What are your recommendations for a small town like Juneau, which is more homogenous than the major cities?

Perseverance looks forward to the opening of the road weeps in May 2013 and a deepening of all these conversations ahead.

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