The Bishop Michael Kenny Award
Bishop Michael Kenny was a long-serving member of Perseverance Theatre's board of directors, and the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Juneau. He was known for his gorgeous tenor voice. Bishop Kenny was an advocate for theatre, and he loved to visit cast members to congratulate them after performances. He was a heroic example of service, standing up for political and social issues from the pulpit. His strong belief in the power of theatre and community continues to inspire Perseverance board, staff, and the many artists, artisans, and volunteers who make up our company.
The Bishop Michael Kenny Award honors an artist in our company who is talented, generous, and supportive of the collaborative process. It recognizes artists who, like Bishop Kenny, give joyfully to those around them and build bridges between Juneau and the arts. We are proud to honor artistry and the spirit of generous collaboration in the Bishop's memory.
The Molly Smith Founders' Award
Molly Smith founded Perseverance Theatre in 1979. She built a vibrant Alaskan theatre through a blend of determination and community-building while producing shows which embodied the spirit of the state. During her nineteen years as Artistic Director she championed regional voice and new plays including Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive. Molly Smith went on to become the Artistic Director of Arena Stage. Her vision of a theatre by and for Alaskans continues to ignite the imagination and inspire new work at Perseverance Theatre even decades later.
The Molly Smith Founders' Award honors a staff member, board member, or supporter and was established to remember the deep commitment and visionary thinking of the generation who started Perseverance Theatre with Molly Smith. The award honors a person who has shown long-term dedication to the health, well-being, and growth of Perseverance Theatre. We are proud to honor service to community and stewardship for Perseverance Theatre with Molly's name.