2021-2022 Season Announcement

Lewis Chapman Featured, Live Stream, Seasons

At long last, we are ready to announce our 2021/22 Season lineup! This season is all about CONNECTION – through time and space, and even from this life to the afterlife. We can’t wait to connect with our communities again!

All of the productions are scheduled to be live and in-person with the exception of the rebroadcast of A Tlingit Christmas Carol by Vera Starbard. Of course, we will be following all national and local health and safety guidelines.We also included an extra special sneak peek at the first show of the 2022/23 Season, Where the Summit Meets the Stars by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse.

Look for tickets to go on sale soon for all productions!

STAR 2021 Information and Updates

Lewis Chapman Education, Featured

STAR (Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous) is a theatre arts summer program for youth between 12–18 years old in which both in-person and virtual students will develop their own performance piece with the guidance and mentorship of Teaching Artists. This will culminate in a Showcase highlighting each young artist’s individual talents. The program is student-driven in that each youth will be encouraged to find their inner artist, and to use their own unique skill set to develop a performance piece that is meaningful to them.

July 19 through August 4, 2021 | Ages 12-18 | Scholarships Available!

In-Person Program in Douglas, AK
Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$300

Virtual Program via Zoom
Monday-Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
$150

For more information, and to learn how you can register and apply for scholarships, click here.

We can’t wait to work with you this summer. More information on teaching artists and the class selection process will come soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please email cbourgeois@ptalaska.org

Announcing Our Fall 2020 Season

Lewis Chapman Featured, News, Press Releases, Seasons

On September 1, Perseverance Theatre announced our lineup for the Fall 2020 Season, and like most of our offerings will be, the announcement was made via live-stream.

Artistic Director Leslie Ishii was joined by Director of Marketing and Engagement Erika Stone for an evening of entertainment, guessing games, and giveaways as the theatre announced (almost) everything it will be presenting this fall. The evening was punctuated with live performances by musicians Annie Bartholomew, Irene Martinko, and Lewis Chapman. Ishii and Stone noted that all the offerings will be available through our new membership program, Perseverance Everywhere, as well as a la carte.

Earlier this summer, Perseverance announced their first show of the season would be In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Peter J. Kuo, a co-production with American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. The show was live-streamed through Broadway On Demand via Zoom, allowing viewers to watch from the safety of their homes but still interact with each other through the chat function. The production was met with near-universal rave reviews and lauded as a wonderful accomplishment in the new landscape of Live Video Theatre. That show recently wrapped up its live-stream performances but will continue on demand September 18-25. Tickets are available at ptalaska.org/in-love-and-warcraft/.

Of the live-stream format, Ishii says, “My husband’s family, spread out all over the country, is having fun like never before because they can coordinate to watch our Live Video Theatre season together- then they have their own post show discussions.”Live Video Theatre is a New Medium that has been gaining traction as theatres across the country have had to curtail live performances due to COVID-19. Director Peter J. Kuo has emerged as a leader in this new performance medium and has led several rounds of classes in collaboration with Perseverance Theatre to teach directors, actors, and designers to hone their skills in this new technique. “Live Video Theatre is a revolutionary approach to the art form. We are proud to be at the forefront of its development. This will allow us to bring the amazing new scripts that we have slated for our fall season to audiences anywhere they are,” says Perseverance Managing Director, Frank Delaney. All upcoming shows will be produced in this format.

Frank Henry Kaash Katasse, author of Spirit of the Valley

Next up for Perseverance is The Spirit of the Valley, by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse. In the 2016-17 season the theatre produced Katasse’s They Don’t Talk Back, about a family living in a small fishing village in Southeast Alaska. Spirit is another love letter to Southeast, but with a message about the fragility of our planet, and the need for action to take care of it. This will be a family show and appropriate for all audiences.

Following Spirit will be one of Perseverance’s holiday offerings, A Tlingit Christmas Carol by Vera Starbard. This Tlingit twist on a holiday classic will be filled with (Tlingit) Christmas carols, and will be released in five staves over the course of the holiday season. Starbard exclaims, “I can’t wait until we get to introduce Tlingit Scrooge, Alaskan-ized Christmas Carols, and a totally new way of bringing this tale to you all!” Starbard’s plays Our Voices Will Be Heard and Devilfish both premiered at Perseverance in 2016 and 2019 respectively to critical acclaim.

Vera Starbard, author of A Tlingit Christmas Carol

During the live-streamed season reveal event, there was a hint that a second holiday show could be in the works, as Ishii and Stone rattled and shook a wrapped gift with a tag that read, “Do not open until the holidays.” There may be at least one more surprise from Perseverance Theatre for our Fall 2020 Season.

In addition to the lineup of plays scheduled to live-stream this fall, Perseverance also announced we will be offering Perseverance Power Parlors, which will range from cabaret-style cocktail hour evening gatherings to concerts and presentations by local artists to community conversations and panels. They are meant to connect and activate the community in this time of social distancing. The first of these is scheduled to live-stream on October 9 as a “get out the vote” initiative and will be presented in collaboration with Houston Writer’s Block, Art2Action, and Houston in Action.

Finally, we will be adding to our educational offerings, starting with an acting class taught by Ishii entitled Flex and Stretch! The class will begin on October 8 and run for four weeks, in which Ishii will integrate breath and voice into acting and performance. Registration as well as scholarship applications are available at ptalaska.org/flex-and-stretch/.

Leslie Ishii, Artistic Director and teacher for Flex and Stretch!
Peter J. Kuo, director of In Love and Warcraft and teacher for Live Video Theatre

Peter J. Kuo will also return to teach another round of his intensely popular Live Video Theatre workshop as well as a level two class that will be a deeper dive into the fundamentals that have been taught in level one. The fundamentals workshop is scheduled for early October, and the level two workshop is slated for mid-November. In the theatre world, honing skills in this new performance medium can mean the difference between sustaining through these challenging times and going dark. Hence the popularity of this class as theatre-makers pivot to develop this new skill.

Ishii says, “To be able to meet the challenges of these difficult times with innovation in order to safely keep connecting with our audiences, our communities, and our artists is heartening. Our Perseverance Team is hard at work so that we can stay connected through Live Video Theatre.” After all, one of the key mandates of theatre is to connect us to each other, to share in experiences, and to unite our communities.

STAR 2020 Registration is Live! UPDATE: Final Showcase Tickets Available!

Lewis Chapman Education, Featured

UPDATE: Tickets for STAR’s final showcase are available here! Tiered PAYC pricing is available.

Registration for STAR 2020 is now LIVE, and scholarship applications are available. This three-week program is geared toward actors, writers, theatre makers, and artists between 4th – 12th grade, looking to stretch their skills, learn from incredible teaching artists/practitioners, and connect with other students in new and innovative ways. Creativity has never been more important as we dream into a needed and different future of equity and inclusion in service of justice. We are so excited to spend this summer with you, building skills toward a new kind of digital theatre making and expanding the ways in which we think and relate to one another and to the world around us. 

For more information, and to learn how you can register and apply for scholarships, click here.

We can’t wait to work with you this summer. More information on teaching artists and the class selection process will come soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please email lilyo@ptalaska.org

STAR 2022

joshua Education, Featured

Join Perseverance Theatre for the STAR Summer Program, July 18th through August 6th, 2022. Explore the magic of theatre, learn new skills, and be a part of creating a BRAND NEW PLAY this summer at Perseverance Theatre. Open to students ages 7 and up. Registration opens June 1st. 

38th Annual Travel Raffle Winners

joshua Featured

Grand Prize – Gail Ramsay – Ticket #169

2nd Prize – Richard Lannon – Online Ticket

3rd Prize – Kyle Hubert – Ticket #538

4th Prize – Max Mertz

5th Prize -Mary Hausler – #496

6th Prize – Anita Evans – #989

7th Prize – Indra Arriaga – #317

8th Prize – Corey Cox – #596

9th Prize – Jane Gato – #178

10th Prize – Joseph Meyers – #948

11th Prize – Lynne Smith – Online Ticket

12th Prize – Conor Lendrum – Ticket #983

The Artist Behind Fun Home: Why You’ve Heard of Alison Bechdel

Irene Martinko Blog, Featured

Two years ago, we were forced to close our doors to in-person audiences just days before opening night of Fun Home. Unsure of when we would be back, if ever, this show became the production that never was, and we anxiously awaited the day when we could open up our space and fill the theatre again. 

After two long, long years, as a true testament to Perseverance Theatre’s name, Fun Home has found life on our stage once again, and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. This show makes me laugh, it makes me smile, it makes me gasp, and as I discovered on opening night this past weekend, at least five of the songs bring tears to my eyes. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this one. 

But what is Fun Home even about, you may ask? Based on the New York Times Best Selling graphic novel of the same name, this Tony Award-winning musical follows lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel as she works on her latest project. Drawing on her own memories to guide her, she grapples with her past, her relationship with her father, and her dysfunctional childhood growing up in a funeral home. 

Yes, Alison Bechdel is a real person, and yes, she wrote the graphic novel that the musical is based on about her own family.

But here’s the real question. Does her name sound familiar? Some of you may be huge Alison Bechdel fans already, but for those of you who aren’t… Perhaps you’ve seen it written or heard it in passing?

If you’re still not sure, this may help. Have you ever heard of the Bechdel Test? 

Alison Bechdel has written two graphic novels, Fun Home and Are You My Mother?, and maintained a long-running comic strip called Dykes to Watch Out For. But popularizing what is now referred to as the Bechdel Test is perhaps what she is best known for.

First appearing in Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985, Alison Bechdel jokingly depicted a scenario inspired by her friend and karate training partner Liz Wallace. Dubbed “The Rule”, this comic shows two women deciding whether or not they would like to see a movie at the theater, and their subsequent conversation reveals the following set of Bechdel Test rules: 

  1. The movie must have at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something other than a man

Sounds simple, right? The bar is so low! Oh, how I wish it were that easy. I encourage you to take a trip to Google and look up movies that do and do not pass the Bechdel Test. The answers may surprise you. For instance, both Frozen and Die Hard pass. Yes, I said Die Hard. But the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy? Not so much. Jaws and The Sixth Sense make the cut, but The Avengers, Avatar, and The Social Network all fail.

The Bechdel Test has since become a wildly popular tool in examining both female presence in a film as well as the depth of their stories. Are these women dynamic, well-rounded characters? Or are they simply there to serve the male storyline? Do they have fully realized lives, goals, and objectives? Or are they the manic pixie dream girls designed for male protagonists to pine for and romanticize without actually learning anything of meaning about them? By publishing this comic, Alison Bechdel brought this conversation into the zeitgeist, putting the pressure on movie makers and screenwriters to do better. And in some ways, they have.

Of course, as storytelling and film have evolved, other tests have emerged to continue this examination, and to up the standard for what we should be able to expect on the big screen. My personal favorite is known as the Sexy Lamp Test. Can you take a female character out of the story and replace her with a sexy lamp? Then the movie doesn’t pass! And once again, you’d be surprised at how many famous films don’t pass.

There are also several tests that are focused specifically on representation of nonwhite characters in film. For instance, the DuVernay Test, named for famous film director Ava DuVernay, sets forth the rule that, in order to pass, a film must have an actor of color who has a fully realized life with their own goals and desires, and who is not simply a background character serving the white storyline.

And while it isn’t an officially named test, the Bury Your Gays trope was popularized to refer to the vast number of films, television shows, and books that kill off their lesbian and bisexual characters. Does the lesbian character die? Then it definitely doesn’t pass this test. 

When it comes down to it, there’s a lot more to Alison Bechdel than this one cartoon strip, and you’ll see that in Fun Home, but the Bechdel Test has been referenced for almost 40 years, and it paved the way for subsequent tests, opening up conversations about identity, representation, and storytelling. Next time you make popcorn and sit down for a movie, think about each of these tests. Does the movie pass? 

And I would be remiss if I didn’t say… Fun Home passes the Bechdel Test! 

CASTING CALL FOR Where the Summit Meets the Stars by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse.

joshua Casting Calls, Featured

Perseverance Theatre is officially accepting auditions for an upcoming production of Where the Summit Meets the Stars by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse. Those auditioning will receive sides from the show and will be asked to submit a self-taped video for consideration.

The deadline for submissions is May 1st. Only non-union contracts available.
Juneau Rehearsals: Aug. 30 – Oct. 6, Juneau Performances: Oct. 7 – Oct. 30

SHOW DESCRIPTION
When a near-death experience derails her flight through Southeast Alaska, Rose awakens to find herself in the care of the kind man who pulled her to safety. But who is this mysterious stranger? And how is it possible that she survived? As they journey by boat through the darkness and fog, Rose untangles the mysteries of her past, questions the world around her, and comes to an inescapable crossroads. Where the Summit Meets the Stars is an ethereal Alaska Native story driven by music, dance, and the culture of the Tlingit people.

CHARACTERS
ROSE- Female, Alaska Native. She is 30 years old.
ANTHONY- Male, mixed Alaska Native. He is 35 years old.
JOHN/ Tleik Kaa- Male, Alaska Native. He is 40 years old.

To request audition sides or to ask questions, please email jolin@ptalaska.org

Acting Through the Pandemic

Jared Olin Blog, Featured

My name is Jared Olin. I am Tl’eeyegge Hʉt’aane, and I’ve come to Perseverance Theatre (PT) as this year’s Artistic Apprentice. When asked about what I’d like to focus on throughout the year, I responded with acting, directing, and writing. I’ve come to work on and learn so much about all three of these focus areas, but acting was my first significant assignment from the theatre in my role as Carl/Ceygan in Jared Michael Delaney’s Voyager One. It’s been so exciting to step back onto the stage of an in-person theatre again, but COVID has certainly made the past couple of years a challenge.

The entire world has been tilted by the weight of COVID-19, and theatre has certainly not been exempt from that in these past two years. My experience under this pressure may sound very familiar to other performers in this industry. To share my personal path down this road, we have to go back to the beginning.

Bang….

Oh, sorry. Not that far back.

So it’s March 2020, and I’m in our final rehearsals of Pride and Prejudice for the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ (UAF) production where I’m playing Mr. Bingley/Mary Bennet. Things are ramping up with our dance choreography, the technical team is prepping to fine-tune the show, and we’re just about set to present it to the world. The next thing we know, quarantine comes in like a wrecking ball and we’re forced to cancel the show. After such hard work and so many hours, this unexpected cancellation hit pretty hard… It’s something that COVID took away from our whole team, because we never got the chance to present the show as originally intended.

A year later, we were finally able to present the show, but it took a different form. Our version of Pride and Prejudice was converted into a virtual production with some significant changes. The largest hurdle to get over as an actor was to realize that I couldn’t rely so much on physical movements for comedy or other emotional beats like I would in a regular theatrical production. Our acting had to be condensed into the frame of our laptop cameras, and our performances transformed to be more understated as we utilized film acting techniques. It did allow for some of the more intimate moments to shine brighter, but it was very hard not to yearn for the beautiful orchestration that was present in the original performance. Still, it was lovely to see how our team persevered by returning to this show and finishing it.

The first show I worked on during the pandemic was She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms with UAF, in which I played Miles. This was in November of 2020, and was my introduction to creating virtual theatre. This is where I’d learn about just how many technical things could go wrong in a virtual production. There were a lot of technical factors to keep track of before our takes, so it turned out that the actors had to also become camera operators by-proxy. We all got the hang of it by the end, but there were plenty of mistakes made before we got to that point.

Titus Andronicus was my next theatrical venture with PT in February 2021, and was my first experience of a live virtual reading. I enjoyed the live format because it felt a little closer to in-person theatre shows. Performing this show live also left us open to hosting a Q&A afterwards which allowed for great discussions of the piece.

Also in February of 2021, I performed in a radio play performance of As You Like It with Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre (FST). This too, was a welcome change of form as I was able to perform with just my voice. For this production, I was faced with a challenge I never expected. My neighbors. They were just walking around upstairs, but it sure sounded like stomping to the sensitive microphone and I. Waiting for the moments in between their walking around was enough to fix that disruption.

The next show I worked on was The Winter Bear in May 2021, a play based on a part of my great grandfather’s life. This was a virtual production as well, and remains close to my heart, as this was my first time acting in a show where the entire cast was Alaska Native or Native American. The new element added to this show, at least to me, was the use of a green screen. It suggested the idea that the actors were actually outside in the cold or in the old cabin settings within the play. While I haven’t worked with a green screen in the past, it was very easy to get used to. I’d pick a point in my apartment to look at (as if I was looking at the other actor), and perform the scene to that focal point. A con to that, was the fact that I couldn’t look at my acting partner during those scenes, which sometimes helps with reactions, but I adjusted quickly to the new circumstance. I’m very happy with all the work that we put in for this show. 

August 2021 was when I made it back on the main stage with FST’s production of Twelfth Night. Still in the midst of rising and falling cases, we had to continue precariously. We kept up with UAF’s COVID action plans and were sure to adjust our plans for seating audience members when the show opened. They don’t have locked-in-place chairs, so we were able to physically distance multiple sections of the seating area by placing the chairs further apart. Our nerves about the pandemic had been building for a year and half at this point, but a slight alleviation to that stress was the fact that we held this performance in an outdoor playing space.

This is where Voyager One comes in. Back in November 2021, I was able to perform in Perseverance’s production, and I’m proud of how it turned out. That was also in large part because of how safe it felt. PT had many safety precautions to keep us and visitors safe. At the door, we were met with a COVID safety officer to check our temperature and ask us if we felt any related symptoms. Once we passed that check, we could step into the Voyager One rehearsal room as long as we kept our masks on the entire time. It made the whole process feel very safe, and as we progressed further into production, we also shifted our safety calls. During the performance, there was a 1-foot square where we couldn’t step or risk being within 10 feet of an audience member without our mask on. To work around that, we literally did just that. We blocked our movements around that square and made sure not to step there during the run. These are little things that built up to make the atmosphere of performing for Perseverance Theatre feel as safe as possible.

Acting has been a tricky thing to maintain through the pandemic, with in-person theatres shutting down left and right. It seems that the world is building confidence to open these venues back up, but I believe that virtual theatre work will continue. While I am excited to keep journeying back into physical theatre spaces, I am also very prepared to keep looking for roles in more radio and virtual productions. This is especially true if it means that I can keep my family and other families in the community safe. Enaa baasee’. (Thank you very much.)

Meet the Director: A Conversation with Randy Reyes

Rio Alberto Blog, Featured

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you’re doing here in Juneau.

A: Hello, my name is Randy Reyes. I am the director of The Brothers Paranormal and this is my first time in Alaska, from Minneapolis, MN!

Q: How did you first become involved with Perseverance Theatre?

A: Well, Leslie Ishii brought me to Perseverance Theatre. Leslie has been a colleague of mine for a long time. We started working together as part of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists. I was part of putting together the production in the Twin Cities, a co-production between Penumbra Theatre and Theatre Mu, directed by Lou Bellamy. This was another opportunity to do the play. And Leslie was in that production, so when she asked if I wanted to direct this production, I asked her if she wanted to be in this one as well, and she said yes. So I’m just very excited that she’s going to be in the show and that she invited me to direct it here in Alaska, in Juneau, which is a gorgeous beautiful place that I’m totally in love with. 

Q: Prior to the shutdown, when were you last able to be in a theatre? 

A: Since the shutdown, I’ve done theatre projects. One was a theatre dance project that was not fully produced. It wasn’t a play, so this is the first play in a theatre that I’ve done since the shutdown. And the other was a play set in a zoo. 

Because of the new surge, we started this rehearsal process via Zoom. Yeah, it’s very emotional actually. It’s great to be back. It’s great to be back in a theatre, great to be back in the process of creating, in putting up a play. I’m ready. I’m too ready. I’m so excited that I’m beside myself! 

Q: What does it mean to you to be returning to creating in the theatre?

A: When the lockdown happened, I was trying to figure out how to continue to do theatre, and a lot of the theatre that was being done was through Zoom. And in the midst of that, living in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered, and that really made me question what I should be doing as an artist. What kind of stories should I be telling? What kind of communities should I be lifting up? So I went into a little identity crisis during that, and then started to write more and do some Zoom things. But that was not theatre to me, it’s video. It’s not a live audience so it wasn’t theatre.  And I had to take time to mourn that. To mourn theatre not existing for a while. Having it come back means everything. 

I’m very excited to be in the same room with actors. So many things happen in the room together, so many discoveries are made that are limited when you’re in a box, a zoom box. And then the audience, that’s another huge part of theatre is live audiences and how that affects the production. But I think I’m most excited to come back with a play like The Brothers Paranormal, a story of a Thai family and an African American couple. It’s a story about home. It’s a story about what haunts you, about trauma, about displacement, about climate change, and mental health… So to be with a cast as diverse as this, with a production team as diverse as we have, in a place, Perseverance, where Leslie’s really emphasizing a culture of equity and diversity, justice and inclusion. It is an honor, it is so exciting, it’s a great way to come back! I wouldn’t want to come back to do anything else. Like if I were to come back to do a regional theatre production of A Christmas Carol, it would be fine, but to come back to this, especially in this magical place, Juneau, AK, it’s a great honor. 

Q: And we’re honored to have you. Talk to me about some of the themes that struck you in this story, The Brothers Paranormal.

A: The thing that struck me initially when I first read the play by Prince Gomolvilas was the genre of horror, right? I was like, “Oh my gosh! Who writes live theatre in the horror genre?! I love that! I love the idea of being able to scare someone in a live setting. That was my initial response. But the play is so much more than that. 

And then you have the Thai family who are dealing with issues around immigration, displacement and mental health. You don’t see a Thai family represented in television, film, theatre in America, so that’s very exciting. And then you also have African American representation with the couple also dealing with displacement and mental health. So to have those two ethnic groups in the same play when you’re talking about the things that haunt you, and all the parallels between those two communities…it was the most unique play I’ve read in a long time and I am so committed to having this story told and to having people hear this story, not only the general public but especially from the Thai community and the Thai American community. To be able to see their story being told is very important. 

Q: How can audiences expect to see these themes come forward in your work? 

A: I did classical training as an actor at the University of Utah, and then went to Juilliard where I graduated in 1999 and throughout that whole time, I’d never been in a play where I played an Asian character. I’m Filipino American. So I had a really skewed idea of what kind of artist I was, and I thought I could do classical work. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I was naive in that way. But once I graduated from Juilliard, I had an agent, I was auditioning, and I realized I wasn’t getting the same opportunities that my white counterparts were getting, and it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel like I was limited by being Asian…everyone else did. So I really had an identity reckoning where I had to find a way to embrace who I was. 

It wasn’t until I was cast in a workshop of Flower Drum Song that David Henry Hwang was doing, that I was part of an all Asian cast for the first time ever. And it was a different energy. It was a whole different game! I don’t know how to explain it other than saying there was a sense of family that I’d never had before. There was a sense of understanding, there were shortcuts… It was just an easier room, and how I fit in that room was also very different. And that’s not even a Filipino character. The first Filipino character I played was Magno in The Romance of Magno Rubio, and that changed my life. that was like, “Oh, this is my culture! I am an expert in this. I don’t even have to try. I don’t have to research. I just am. There’s language in it, there was movement, we did stick fighting, we sang in Tagalog… I was born in the Philippines so that changed everything. Suddenly I wasn’t acting, I was just being, and felt completely comfortable within that. And I realized that in other times, I was acting beside myself. I was acting apart.

I teach acting and I do this exercise where I have the students imagine their character. I remember doing this in a college, and I was having the students imagine their characters, what the character looks like, their hair, what they’re dressed as, look at their hands, all this, their eyes. And I’ve never said this before, but in the moment I said, “Ok, look at their ethnicity. What is their ethnicity?” And I realized in that moment that every character that I had ever played I had imagined as white, and I almost had a breakdown right there. I wasn’t using myself! I was not authentic to myself. I was acting like something rather than being. And from then on, my acting changed dramatically. I had to start from me. I was in A Christmas Carol and I had to figure out why I looked the way I did and why I was in A Christmas Carol. Any show, I had to start with the way that I look and justify that, find my backstory, and then I could move forward. 

But that’s how that all started. So I think that’s why I’m so committed to this… We have three Thai Americans in this cast which is unbelievable, and I just want them to be able to bring themselves to the piece. To me it was life changing and totally changed me as an artist, to be able to play my own ethnicity or feel myself, feel comfortable to just use myself. And I know there’s a lot of actors that never even have to think of that. It’s just assumed. So yeah, I understand that journey, and I’m excited to share that journey with this cast. 

Q: And we’re excited as well, thank you. Okay – now some lighter questions: what is your favorite scary movie? 

A: I think my all time favorite scary movie is Pet Semetary and I don’t know why. I think that animals and kids who haunt people, freak me out. I used to watch The Twilight Zone and yeah, I’ve always been freaked out by when kids and animals come back to life, more than adults for some reason! And then The Ring really freaked me out. But I feel like where I was in my life when I saw Pet Semetary, it scared me in a profound way. Yeah what’s the one with Jack Nicholson? Yes, The Shining, because that was more psychological, and I think that if you ask me what really scares me, it’s how dark the human psyche can get. And that freaks me out more than gore. To see how dark a human can get, especially to their own family…that’s horrifying. 

Q: Which is scarer to you? Ghosts or vampires? 

A: Ghosts. 

Q: Ghosts or aliens? 

A: Ghosts.

Q: Ghosts or zombies?

A: Ghosts.

Q: Ghosts or psycho killers?

A: Psycho killers.

To learn more about Perseverance Theatre’s production of The Brothers Paranormal and to purchase tickets, visit ptalaska.org/tbp