Juneau, Alaska – Perseverance Theatre is happy to announce that Frank Delaney has joined the organization as the new managing director, and Leslie Ishii will serve as interim artistic director while the board conducts a search for a permanent leader for the role.
After completing his M.F.A. in acting, Delaney worked as an actor and fight choreographer throughout the Midwest. Currently back in Anchorage, he was last seen onstage at Cyrano’s as Torvald in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Delaney’s regional acting credits include Rochefort in The Three Musketeers with Shawnee Summer Theatre; MacDuff in Macbeth and Egeon in The Comedy of Errors, both with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and Lord Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher with Perseverance.
“We’re all excited to bring one of the most dynamic Alaskan theatre leaders into the PT family,” said Joe Bedard, board president, Perseverance Theatre. “Frank’s thoughtfulness and warm, personable ways are always evident as he works through problems and opportunities alike.”
Ishii, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC, is a proven leader in American theatre, having served in many capacities, including stage director and actor with appearances on Broadway, film, and television. Her years of organizational experience include serving as co-chair, organizer, and board member for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ fifth and sixth national ConFest; founder and co-director for the National Cultural Navigation Theatre Project for the sustainability of theatres and artists of color; co-facilitator of the launch of the Theatre Communication Group’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institute; and core faculty for artEquity.
Over her 10-year relationship with Perseverance, Ishii has served as a teacher, consultant, and director. She last directed Hold These Truths for the theatre during its 2016-17 season and is slated to direct Vera Starbard’s Devilfish this August.
“I’m thrilled and excited to have Leslie Ishii join PT as interim artistic director,” said Bedard. “Leslie brings an energy and a passion to her artistry that can only be eclipsed by her drive to respect, to learn, and to deeply understand the myriad of cultures and perspectives she encounters in her work.”
Delaney takes over the role of managing director from Joshua Midgett, who served in the position for one season. During his time at Perseverance, Midgett thoroughly revamped the theatre’s budgeting and bookkeeping practices and leaves the theater in a stronger place.
“Outgoing managing director Joshua Midgett came into a situation with urgent fires to put out and helped us fortify the financial position to make administrative practices more streamlined for staff,” said departing artistic director Art Rotch. “Now, with Frank Delaney, PT has a very mission-driven managing director who is deeply committed to making professional theatre by and for Alaskans a dynamic reality. Frank is a great person to keep Perseverance on its journey so it can be all it can be for its communities. If all goes well with Frank and his yet-to-be identified artistic partner, PT will have overcome a pretty big challenge on its way to a new future.”
“It has been wonderful to have been welcomed back home to Alaska and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve this theatre and this vibrant arts community,” said Midgett. “I look forward to supporting the work of Frank, Leslie, and future Perseverance artists in whatever way I can.”
A job description for the permanent artistic director position has been drafted by the search committee. View the job description, as well as updates and more information on the search, on Perseverance’s website.
About Perseverance Theatre
The mission of Perseverance Theatre is to create professional theatre by and for Alaskans. Perseverance values community engagement, cross-cultural collaboration, professional rigor, and regional voices, and is committed to creating theatre that represents all that is great about Alaska, and bringing great live theatre to Alaskan audiences.
Perseverance believes that professional theatres play a vital role in training and cultivating the next generation of artists and audiences. Its education department produces extensive training programs, including Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous (STAR), Young Company, mainstage student matinees, and season-long internships.
Perseverance has premiered more than 70 new plays by Alaskan and national playwrights. The theatre is committed to developing artists, volunteers, audiences, and programming reflective of the Alaskan community, and to deliver the finest professional theatre anywhere.