WORKSHOP: Let’s Play!: A Closer Look at the Scripts We Bring to Life

Lewis Chapman Education

Six sessions:
February 16, 23, and March 2, 9, 16, and 23
6:00 p.m. AKDT

Have you ever wondered how a theatre decides which plays they are going to produce? How can you tell if a new play is even going to be the right fit? We invite you to join Perseverance Theatre’s talented Literary and Producing Associate Irene Martinko for a guided book club for play readers! Each week, this class will gather virtually to read a play aloud, participate in a guided discussion, and learn from various guest artists. Approach exciting new scripts from the perspectives of different theatrical roles: producer, director, literary manager, actor, and more! This is your chance to explore different genres, styles, and structures, and to learn more about how a script can move from the page to the stage!

Irene Martinko is a dramaturg, director, and performer with a passion for new work. You may have seen her performance as Margaret in Perseverance’s production of Silent Sky or her work as Assistant Director and Dramaturg for Perseverance’s production of With

The class will start on February 16 and run for six weeks, meeting via Zoom each Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. AKDT. And don’t forget, you get a discount to all classes with any of our Perseverance Everywhere packages!

Questions? Email imartinko@ptalaska.org

Tuition is available in tiers, with $100, $125, and $150 options available. Registration is available here.

We are committed to making sure this cost is not prohibitive for any student interested in joining. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out our short application form to hold your spot, and we’ll be in touch with you to continue that process. Scholarships are available here.

REGISTER

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.

In Love And Warcraft Announcement

joshua Current Projects, Featured, News

Perseverance Theatre Artistic Director, Leslie Ishii, and Associate Conservatory Director at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), Peter J. Kuo, announced on Wednesday, July 29, via live-stream that the first show of the Fall 2020 Season will be In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar. The show will be a co-production shared by the two theatres and will be live-streamed via Zoom. This is a limited engagement running September 4–12. Tickets will be available starting on August 14 at ptalaska.org.

Peter J. Kuo will be directing the production. He has been teaching Live Video Theatre workshops with Perseverance since early June. Of the collaboration Peter says, “I’m honored and thrilled to be bringing this production of Madhuri Shekar’s In Love and Warcraft to Perseverance Theatre. It truly embraces this form I’ve been calling Live Video Theatre which takes the adrenaline of a live performance, the imagination of theatre, and merges it with the accessibility of streaming it from home.”

Live Video Theatre is a new performance medium that has emerged in the wake of COVID-19, a pandemic which makes large gatherings in spaces like theatres unsafe. In this new medium, the audience can watch live productions from the comfort and safety of their homes. The actors are socially distanced as well, often not even performing in the same state or region. Through design, lighting, and camera angles, the actors appear to be interacting with each other in the same space.

“Alaska has a long history of innovation in the face of obstacles. In these challenging times, I am excited at the prospect of being able to continue that history as we explore a new way of engaging with our communities,” says Frank Delaney, Managing Director of Perseverance Theatre. Since COVID-19 hit earlier this year, Perseverance has stayed active despite having to close their final show of the 2019/20 season, Fun Home, just before it opened. The theatre was able to record several scenes from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and subsequently released a series of behind-the-scenes videos. Perseverance has also been working with The City and Borough of Juneau, as well as Bartlett Regional Hospital to produce several health and safety PSAs in response to this global health crisis. Now they are looking forward to persevering and creating an unprecedented season.

“I am so thrilled to be working with Peter J. Kuo, a true innovator in our theatre field. Peter is providing us the opportunity to reimagine our relationship to storytelling. Stories performed live and witnessed together help us to process life. Providing the opportunity to continue to connect to live storytelling is so needed during this pandemic.” says Perseverance Artistic Director, Leslie Ishii. As an alumnus of the American Conservatory Theatre, Ishii adds, “This co-production is wholly inspiring, and I am excited to bravely venture into this new realm together. I invite our audiences to join us on this virtual journey!”

In Love and Warcraft tells the story of College senior Evie Malone, who prefers the online role-playing game World of Warcraft to real life. In the game, she’s a fearless warrior with a boyfriend. In real life, she ghostwrites love letters for people, even though she’s never been in love. When Evie becomes attracted to her client Raul, she must decide whether to let her powerful and sexy warrior character out in the real world. Playwright Madhuri Shekar (House of Joy, HBO’s upcoming The Nevers) conjures a cosplay-loving romantic comedy about intimacy and love in the digital age. Because so much of the play takes place in a virtual forum – an online video game, the format lends itself perfectly to a streamed production.

Perseverance Theatre will be announcing the rest of their Fall 2020 Season in August.
 
“Our exciting collaboration with Peter J. Kuo is supporting Perseverance Theatre to offer inspired and safely created offerings during these challenging times,” says Ishii.

Live Video Theatre Workshop with Peter J. Kuo 5.0

Lewis Chapman Education

July 27, 29, & 31 4p.m. -6p.m. AKST
It’s live. It’s theatre. It’s video.
Develop new skills to thrive in our new normal.

The first four rounds of Peter J. Kuo’s Live Video Theatre Workshop SOLD OUT, so Perseverance is offering a fifth round of this immersive class designed to help you thrive in our new world of Zoom, streamed performances, and digital content. Sign up soon, before this round sells out too! This is the last time we will be offering this class for a while, as we will shortly be offering a follow-up workshop led by Peter J. Kuo. This techniques and aesthetics workshop will be a deeper dive into the methods that can help you to craft beautiful and compelling streaming content, and will build on the skills developed in the fundamentals workshop.

Peter J. Kuo is already producing rich, compelling material that is both theatre and video. We may not be able to gather in large groups for the near future, but we can continue telling stories and producing theatre in a whole new format. Learn the tricks to make this new art form captivating, and continue to engage your audiences.

Peter J. Kuo is a bi-coastal LA native, currently serving as the Associate Conservatory Director at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), where he serves as the Chair of the Staff EDI Committee. He recently earned his MFA in Directing at The New School for Drama in New York City. He is a theatre director, producer, writer, and educator focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. He was recently named one of TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color in the Round 3 cohort. He is a co-founder of Artists at Play, an Asian American theatre collective that produces Los Angeles premieres of works for Asian Americans.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the best!
Only 13 spots available for purchase. Registration is $200.

REGISTER

TWO FREE SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE! Submit an application here.

Live Video Theatre Workshop with Peter J. Kuo 4.0

Lewis Chapman Education

July 13, 15, & 17 4p.m. -6p.m. AKST
It’s live. It’s theatre. It’s video.
Develop new skills to thrive in our new normal.

The first three rounds of Peter J. Kuo’s Live Video Theatre Workshop SOLD OUT, so Perseverance is offering a fourth round of this immersive class designed to help you thrive in our new world of Zoom, streamed performances, and digital content. Sign up soon, before this round sells out too!
Peter J. Kuo is already producing rich, compelling material that is both theatre and video. We may not be able to gather in large groups for the near future, but we can continue telling stories and producing theatre in a whole new format. Learn the tricks to make this new art form captivating, and continue to engage your audiences.

Peter J. Kuo is a bi-coastal LA native, currently serving as the Associate Conservatory Director at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), where he serves as the Chair of the Staff EDI Committee. He recently earned his MFA in Directing at The New School for Drama in New York City. He is a theatre director, producer, writer, and educator focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. He was recently named one of TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color in the Round 3 cohort. He is a co-founder of Artists at Play, an Asian American theatre collective that produces Los Angeles premieres of works for Asian Americans.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the best!
Only 13 spots available for purchase. Registration is $200. 

REGISTER

TWO FREE SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE! Submit an application here.