Managing Director

After completing his MFA in acting Frank worked as a fight choreographer and actor throughout the Midwest. He returned to Alaska to work on Othello with Perseverance. Born and bred in Anchorage, Frank is excited to have the opportunity to help lead Perseverance into its next chapter. He has more than twenty years of experience in the IT world as a manager, technician, and project manager. That work took him to every corner of the state. In addition to his MFA Frank also has a Master’s degree in Information Systems. As an actor and choreographer, some of the companies Frank has worked with in addition to Perseverance Theatre include Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Shawnee Summer Theatre, Midnight Summit Ensemble, the Know Theatre, Cyrano’s Theatre Company, and Anchorage Opera.

Artistic Director

Leslie Ishii is a leader in the American Theatre in many capacities. (Stage Director) Perseverance Theatre: Devilfish (Fall 2019), We Hold These Truths; East West Players: Takarazuka!!!, Taking Flight: The Katherine Cheung Story, Crimes Of The Heart; Artists At Play: 99 Histories; plays at UC, Irvine, USC, CSLA; Oregon Shakespeare Festival: API 2×2 Lab New Works Residency, Founder/Producer, Dramaturgy, FAIR Assistant Director Program Recipient; and where she began, Northwest Asian American Theatre. (Actor) Broadway, regional theatre—Penumbra Theatre Company, El Teatro Campesino, American Conservatory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory to name a few. She has also appeared in TV and film. (National Scope) Co-Chair/Organizer/Board Member: 5th and 6th Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ National ConFest; National Cultural Navigation Theatre Project for the sustainability of artists and theatres of color; Co-facilitated the launch of Theatre Communication Group’s Equity/Diversity/Inclusion Institute; Core faculty, artEquity working throughout the US with arts and culture organizations. 

Associate Producer / NNPN Producer in Residence

Joseph W. Biagini is an artistic producer and director hailing from Northern Virginia. Most recently, he was a part of the Artistic team at Baltimore Center Stage as the Producing and Community Programs Fellow. His work is driven by principles of anti-racism and anti-oppression, producing art with an eye towards civic and social relationships. He holds a love for the outdoors and a B.A. in Theatre and Economics from The College of William & Mary.  

Development Director

Benjamin Brown joined the Perseverance Theatre staff as Development Director in July of 2019. He is a lifelong Alaskan and is a company member at Perseverance who has performed across the Last Frontier. Brown is an attorney-at-law and has been a member of the Alaska Bar Association since 2002 and worked as an aide in the Alaska Legislature for most of the 1990s before going to law school.  Brown has served on the Alaska State Council on the Arts since 2004 when he was appointed Vice-Chairman and has served as Chairman since 2007. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), having been first elected to the Board in 2012.  He is Chairman of Women & Children’s Health Associates (a nonprofit that provides scholarships to young Kenyans pursuing education in medical fields), as Secretary of the Board of Alaska Public Media (the statewide public broadcaster based in Anchorage), and on the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce Board. He previously served on the boards of the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, Capital Community Broadcasting (Juneau’s public broadcaster), CoastAlaska (a consortium of Southeast Alaska public radio stations), and the Friends of the Alaska State Museum. 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.

Erika Stone

Director of Marketing & Engagement

Erika is thrilled to return to Perseverance Theatre after a brief hiatus to perform in Gloria: A Life at
McCarter Theatre Center. Erika earned her B.A. from Boston University, then relocated to Los Angeles to
pursue television, film, and the stage. Film and television credits include Lucky Louie, Spring Breakdown
and The Ploy. She is an ensemble member with Native Voices at the Autry and a regular performer here
at Perseverance Theatre, where credits include Our Voices Will Be Heard, William, Inc., and Whale Song.

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 Production Manager

Lauren MacKenzie Miller is a graduate of the esteemed North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Miller has designed for companies such as Academy Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia; Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alaska Repertory Theatre, Alaska Light Opera Theatre, Anchorage Opera and Carolina Opera. She is also the Technical Director for the Anchorage Concert Association, Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Concert Chorus and Anchorage Opera. Her lighting credits with the Anchorage Opera include: The Magic Flute; Turandot, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, The Flying Dutchman, The Mikado, and numerous others. She has designed the lighting for the premiers of Echoes and Triumph with the Anchorage Symphony. She is a recipient of the Anchorage Mayor’s Arts Award for Individual Artists of the Year and was recently nominated for the BP/YWCA Women of Achievement.

Technical Director

Anchorage Education Associate​

Paul Ríos is a performing arts educator [B.A. Theatre, B.M. Music Education] who hails from Dallas, TX. In addition to his work for Perseverance Theatre, he serves as a middle school teacher for the Anchorage School District, Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Sing Out Anchorage, and a private music instructor. He is a lifelong theatre-maker, musician, singer, gamer and geek extraordinaire who has served in numerous capacities for arts organizations across Alaska. His interests include Thai food, Buddhism, karaoke, mythology, D&D, Nintendo, Disney, and banishing evil.

Anchorage Outreach and Development Associate

Alexis is a graduate from St. Ambrose University with a degree in Theatre. She was transplanted to beautiful Alaska where she began her marketing career with a local nonprofit and was the sole marketer. There she dabbled in many different aspects of marketing and gained a passion for the field. She works for a local marketing agency during the day and helps with marketing for another theatre organization during the evening. She is always searching for her next Alaskan adventure with her cats, Lilley and Pumpkin. Sometimes that might mean hiking, trying a new restaurant, taking a road trip, or checking out a local brewery. You can call anything an adventure, right?

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence

Vera Starbard is a Tlingit and Dena’ina artist born in Southeast Alaska. She is the playwright-in-residence at Perseverance Theatre through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program. Vera is also the editor of First Alaskans Magazine, and a writer for the PBS Kids animated children’s program “Molly of Denali.” She is the recipient of numerous writing and editing awards, including the 2018 Alaska Literary Award, and a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. She currently lives in Anchorage with her husband Joe, and too many cats.

Box Office Manager & Development Associate

Magdalena Oliveros is an organizer, activist, and vagrant from San Francisco. She moved to Alaska five years ago and has worked with communities, nonprofits, and political campaigns since then before starting work at Perseverance. Most recently, she spent last year volunteering and wandering in India. Magdalena likes to imagine that small woodland creatures would be great at grassroots campaigning.

House Manager

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.”

Costume Shop Manager

My story isn’t much different than many Juneauites, came to Juneau in the early 70’s and planned to stay for five years. Fell in love, started a family and never looked back. In 1990 I was asked to design and construct a life size Sebastian for Juneau Douglas High School performance of the Little Mermaid. I had so much fun I kept going. I spent the early years with children’s theatre.  In 1998 I received an invitation to design a show for Perseverance Theatre, “Jonny’s Girl”, and I was hooked. I have been designing and sewing ever since. I learned so much about theatre during my years with children and high school theatre. There are few things as rewarding as watching children grow into performers. It has been my pleasure to design for many of the community theatres and dance companies in Juneau and now I am feeling so lucky to be the Costume Shop Manager for Perseverance Theatre. It is a new chapter in my life, I get to go to work every day and do what I love and not have to worry about that pesky “real” job.

Management Associate

Ty Yamaoka is a Juneau-based dancer, actor, and socialite. He has been involved with Perseverance for the past decade as a stage manager, actor, and administrator. His recent Perseverance shows include Whale Song, The Winter Bear Project, Our Town, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Ty is an active member of the arts community outside of Perseverance and a well-known face of the Juneau performance scene.

Company Stage Manager

Sarah Wallace is so excited to be back with Perseverance as the Company Stage Manager. She first came to Perseverance in 2017 as the Production Intern and fell in love with Juneau and company management. Sarah has a degree in Stage Management from Boston University and worked last year as a Stage Management Apprentice with Steppenwolf Theatre Company. In her free time, she likes to hike, bake, and listen to dad rock. She truly views Juneau as her home and is looking forward to getting to know the arts community! 

Lily Odekirk

Marketing & Development Associate

Lillian Odekirk is a teaching artist, actor, and writer who originally hails from the hills of West Virginia and now makes her home in Juneau. She recently founded and runs the Juneau-based art magazine Raincheck. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2018 with a degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies. Lily has worked for performing and visual artist Jeanette Ehlers in Copenhagen and at The Magnet Theatre in Cape Town. In Juneau, she has had the privilege to work in several different artistic spaces, including the JAHC, Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival, Theatre in the Rough, and Kindred Post. Through these opportunities, one of her most meaningful experiences was organizing a week-long theatre program in collaboration with the JAHC, Perseverance Theater, and Zach Gordon Youth Center, in which middle school girls told their own stories onstage. Her interests lie in community-driven and immersive theatre. 

Rio Alberto

Assistant Technical Director

Rio Alberto (he/him, they/them) is an actor, technician and organizer from Spokane, Washington. Last seen on the Perseverance stage as Yinaahaat in Devilfish, Rio joined the team as Assistant Technical Director following the closing of the production’s run on Dena’ina land. When not in the shop, you can find Rio enjoying the outdoors or taking in the arts and culture of the Juneau community. 


Arts Administration Apprentice

Lewis Chapman is a producer, director, playwright, musician, and editor from New Jersey who’s excited to be joining Perseverance for the 2019-2020 season. Lewis graduated in May from Reed College with a degree in political science. Recent credits include Warren (writer, director); Nuclear Shadows (writer, director); The Gospel According to YouTube (writer, director); White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (producer); Elvis Chapel (writer, director); 32 Rats: The Rat King Mini-Musical (co-writer, director); Locke (director, producer), and Music of the Spheres (director). Outside of work, Lewis writes songs, studies religion, and hikes, sometimes all at once.

Artistic Apprentice

Irene Martinko is excited to join Perseverance Theatre as the Artistic Apprentice. Originally from Springfield, VA, she graduated from Muhlenberg College in May 2018 with a major in Theatre and minors in Music and Women and Gender Studies. A director and dramaturg, Irene spent her last year as the Directing/Literary Intern at Florida Studio Theatre where she was the Assistant Director for several children’s shows and the Assistant Stage Manager for Hand to God, Cherry Docs, and Buyer and CellarIrene enjoys working on new plays and traveling, and she’s excited to see where she’ll get to visit next!

Stage Management & Production Apprentice

ErinMarie Suscheck is Perseverance’s 2019-2020 Stage Management Apprentice. A recent graduate from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Erin holds a degree in Theatre Design & Technology with an emphasis in Stage Management. Recent projects include A Little Night Music (WSU), Boeing Boeing (Lebanon Theatre Company), Emerging Choreographers Concert (WSU), For Colored Girls (WSU), Fiddler on the Roof (WSU), Pagliacci (Dayton Opera). Recent technical work: Brighton Beach Memoirs (The Human Race), Urinetown (WSU), 9 to 5 The Musical (WSU). ErinMarie is thrilled to be working with Perseverance this season and wishes to express gratitude to the Southeast Alaska community for graciously educating and sharing their culture and stories.