Leslie Ishii, Artistic Director, Perseverance Theatre (PT), has directed at PT and throughout the US at regional and university theatres; at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF): API 2x2 Lab New Works Residency, Founder/Co-Producer, Dramaturgy, FAIR Assistant Director Program Recipient and co- facilitation of OSF’s E/D/I/A Initiative with artEquity; Native Voices at the Autry in Dramaturgy and many more. As an actor, Leslie has worked throughout the regional theatre and with legacy theatres of color, on Broadway, and in Film/Tv. (National Service) Professional Non-Profit Theatre Coalition (PNTC): Coalition Subcommittee Co-Chair, advocating for Federal Funding; Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA): Board President and CAATA hosts the National BIPOC Theatre Networks Coalition/Commons (Co-Founder); National New Play Network: Board Member, Strategic Planning Co-Chair; artEquity, original core-faculty working throughout the US to support anti-racism/anti-bias/JEDIA training to transform arts and culture organizations; New England Foundation for the Arts: Theatre Capacity Building Grant Recipient for the Sunrise Prayer Project; Tsuru For Solidarity: Art Action Co-Chair, Workgroup/Child and Family Detention Campaign. (Affiliations & Awards) United States Artist Fellow, 2022-23; SDCF Zelda Fichandler Directors Award Finalist, 2021; Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Integrity Award; NEA Grant Panelist; National Theatre Conference Member; Stage Directors and Choreographers’ Union E/D/I Standout Moments, 2016, 2017; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation National Theatre Grant Recipient; James P. Shannon Leadership Institute; Los Angeles County Teachers Making A Difference Award; Union membership: SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA
Director of Marketing & Engagement
Rio Alberto is a Chicano artist and educator based in Spokane, Washington. Raised in central Washington, Alberto relocated to Chicago to work and study theatre and lighting. Since then, Rio has worked across the country as an artist and educator, and has performed in Man of La Mancha (Sancho Panza), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), and Titus Andronicus (Chiron). Most recently onstage in the world premiere of “Devilfish” from celebrated Tlingit playwright and author Vera Starbard, Rio is currently Associate Artistic Director for the Spokane Ensemble Theatre.
Joseph W. Biagini
Joseph Biagini (he/him/his) is an artistic producer, director, and theatre-maker, working as the Associate Producer at Perseverance Theatre (Juneau & Anchorage, AK) since 2019, where he’s been a facilitator in new work development and the lead producer on over 15 productions. He previously served as the National New Play Network Producer in Residence for Perseverance, and before that, the Producing & Community Programs Fellow for Baltimore Center Stage. His work is driven by principles of emergent strategy, anti-racism and anti-oppression, producing art with an eye towards civic, social, and fiscal relationships. He holds a love for the outdoors and a B.A. in Theatre and Economics from The College of William & Mary.
Benjamin Brown is a lifelong Alaskan who currently serves as Development Director at Perseverance Theatre, where he is a long-time company member having first performed in the 1996 production of Death of Salesman. Brown has been a member of the Alaska Bar Association in 2002, was an attorney in private practice for many years, and has worked for all three governmental branches of the State of Alaska. Brown has served as Chairman of the Alaska State Council on the Arts since 2007. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and is Chairman of Women & Children’s Health Associates (a nonprofit that provides scholarships to young Kenyans pursuing education in medical fields). Brown received his diploma from Palmer High School, bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and juris doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.
Arts Administration Fellow
Production / Stage Management Apprentice
Noa Carlson (she/her) is honored to be an apprentice at Perseverance Theatre. In love with theatre and the study of the living world (biology), she feels blessed to have the opportunity to work in Tlingit Aani. Born and raised in St. Paul, MN, she found great interest in all things theatrical, beginning as an actor in her middle school production of The Music Man to stage managing her high school’s production of Mary Zimmerman’s The Secret in the Wings.
She ventured to Los Angeles, ready to experience consistent sun, where she graduated with a B.A. in Theatre & Performance Studies and Biology at Occidental College. After performing as lady in brown for a senior’s comprehensive project that focused on creating a space for women of color to heal together through the work of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Noa excitedly embraced theater as a means of community gathering and healing. In her senior year, she explored what it takes for land to become home by exploring themes of migration, creation stories, and indigeneity through her one-woman play A Land Unknown, Remembered. She looks forward to continuing that work through stories and action.
She is grateful to have worked with Penumbra Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre in the Twin Cities this past year on various projects related to Black racial healing and community work, respectively.
Technical Director / Facility Manager
Kylie Ferguson (she/her) discovered her love of storytelling at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Since then, she’s followed her love of theatre and politics to St. Louis. She trained at The Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, where she graduated with her B.A. in Directing and a minor in Political Science. She was the recipient of The Marita Woodruff Endowed Scholarship and The Webster University President’s Student/Faculty Collaborative Research Grant (both 2021 & 2022).
During her time at Webster she became a certified Actor Combatant with SAFD and worked on shows such as The Revolutionists (London, UK); MAC BETH; Picnic; Ismene; Light the Lights (Variety Theatre St. Louis); What the Constitution Means To Me; Deathtrap; The Rocky Horror Picture Show; The Chairs; and her Directing Capstone: Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney. Kylie is very excited to be joining Perseverance Theatre’s team as its Artistic Apprentice. Although she’s only been here briefly, she's already fallen in love with the area and Juneau’s halibut tacos.
William Todd Hunt
Juneau Master Electrician
Todd Hunt spent his formative years in stage lighting running lights for the 80s cover band NEXXT in Louisville, KY and finally got some actual training while in graduate school for orchestral conducting at Indiana University. In Juneau, he has been Perseverance Theatre’s Master Electrician off and on since the 2000 production of Wild Nights with Emily, and often helps out other local companies. Todd’s lighting designs have been seen in Juneau most recently by the audiences of West Side Story, L’Orfeo, Alcina, La Bohème, and most recently with PT’s STAR performances this past summer.
Risa Kurosaki is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist from Los Angeles specializing in live entertainment logistics and management. She is dedicated to allyship and assisting in equity, diversity, and inclusion in the performing arts and invested in the future of arts and culture by and for the people. Risa is proud to work and serve with Perseverance Theatre. Her credits include: Our So Called Loved Ones (World Premiere), Seamless, Question 27, Question 28, The Four Immigrants, Escape from Godot, 40 Watts From Nowhere, The Nest: An Immersive Experience, Una Mama con Cero en Conducta, and The Great Leap (Perseverance).
Associate Managing Director
Josh Lowman is a writter, director, actor, photographer, filmmaker, projection designer, and occasional manager. Credits include Gordon/Dwight in Cyrano's production of Dead Man's Cell Phone; Projection Design for Rush at Everlasting, Treadwell Gold, and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity for Perseverance Theatre; over 30 commercials over 30 years ago; Treasurer for Alaska Dance Theatre, and Alaska Film Forum; Branch Manager for Wells Fargo, and First National Bank Alaska; and writing and directing for the One-Minute Play Festival. Sometimes he also makes short films and takes pictures of things.
Anchorage Audio Engineer
Juneau Audio Engineer
Salissa Thole is a proud woman of Hawaiian, Black, and Filipino descent. She is a local Juneauite, who is blessed to call both Alaska and Hawaii her home. She is a wife and a mother of two beautiful sons. Salissa is grateful to work with Perseverance Theatre, wearing a ‘different hat’ and joining the incredible behind the scenes team, as Administrative Assist.>
She most recently performed in Theatre Alaska’s World Premiere of Sisters of White Chapel, and Neighborhood Cabaret. Last appearance on stage (pre-Covid) was Juneau Ghost Light Theatre's (JGLT) production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Marcy Park. Other Stage Credits include Perseverance Theatre’s (PT) productions of Sweeney Todd, Chicago, Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls, Yeast Nation, Much Ado About Nothing, The Last Five Years, The Who's: Tommy, and Hair. Juneau Lyric Opera's productions of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Hairspray. Juneau Douglas Little Theater's (now known as JGLT) production of Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche. She was Irene Adler in the KTOO’s and JGLT’s collaboration of Sherlock Holmes Radio Mystery. Salissa is currently in two bands, Brown Sugar, and Gamble & the High Costa Living, who perform music gigs throughout Southeast Alaska. Last band gig was the Blues Brothers Concert 2022. She performed for the KRNN Show, Waayy Off Broadway; and for the Duke Ellington Show, which was a Black Awareness Association & Juneau Cabaret collaboration. She has sung for Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations annually; and has performed many times for Juneau Cabaret and Jazz Divas. She won 1st Place in the 2020 Juneau's Got Talent Competition presented by Juneau Dance Theater; had the honor of being a solo singer for A.W.A.R.E.'s Women of Distinction Gala 2020; and has performed for various other local community events. Salissa has been blessed with performing professionally for over 16 years, starting with PT back in 2006. Upcoming performance is Theatre in the Rough’s adaptation of Witch, opening this Fall 2022.
Laura hails from Port Arthur, Texas and Walnut Creek, California. She drove up to Juneau in 1995 with a friend who had designed hats for Perseverance. A three-month visit has turned into “forever.” She was told of the excellent plays Perseverance Theatre produced. She ushered for every show for the first 5 years and since spring of 2000, has been greeting patrons at every show. Laura is excited to see all patrons come through the doors and watch the shows. She strives to make sure our guests’ needs are met whether it’s changing your seats or slipping you a cough drop. She likes to say "Perseverance feeds my soul."