A Change to Our 2019/2020 Season

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Dear Friends,

We felt the need to be responsive in order to be respectful of the communities and partners we serve and so highly value.  We say to you, our patrons and partners, we are grateful for your feedback regarding One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and we have heard you!

After much consideration, and consultation with members of our board and staff, I have made the decision to replace One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Silent Sky in our 2019 / 2020 Season. While the determination included budgetary considerations as the theatre is committed to its fiscal health, at its heart, this was a decision of conscience. We have heard responses from our patrons that while Cuckoo’s Nest has a strong, resonating message, it is overpowered by layers of racism and misogyny. 

Perseverance Theatre has forged important relationships with the Alaska Native/American Indian/Indigenous communities and knowing that the perpetuation of derogatory representations of peoples in stories has caused pain and injury, we are dedicated to the prevention of re/injury due to this script’s racist treatment of the Indigenous character in Cuckoo’s Nest. Perseverance Theatre also deeply respects and supports our mental healthcare community who work tirelessly to contradict negative stereotypes in order to create awareness and to offer care for the wellness of all Alaskans.

This examination has also supported Perseverance Theatre to interrogate our season choices regarding misogyny and gender parity.  Our learning has generated excitement for this story that brings forth little known history that touches our lives nightly. So, without further ado, I am very excited to introduce to you Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, the wondrous and true story of Henrietta Leavitt.  

In 1900 Henrietta has the opportunity to work at Harvard University as a human computer, mapping the stars.  Henrietta is eager to use Harvard’s telescope – the Great Refractor – but is told she will not be able to do any sort of astronomical discovery. Henrietta, however, will not be dissuaded, and begins a scientific journey striving for discovery that has profound and lasting impact on the field of astronomy.

Perseverance Theatre invites you to our season’s celebration of Women and Their Partnerships as we bring you stories of women who are coming of age, who inspire us to claim our identities, who fight for their accomplishments and freedom, and who are courageously facing their singularities as senior citizens–all told with humor that elicits the depth of our humanity!

We understand that some of our subscribers might not welcome this change, and we will be offering a refund of the cost of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to any that request it, but I hope you will join us for our 2019/2020 Season:
In Juneau – Devilfish, With, Silent Sky, and Fun Home!
In Anchorage – The Underpants, Devilfish, A Christmas Carol, and Silent Sky!

Leslie Ishii
Interim Artistic Director
Perseverance Theatre