Perseverance Theatre creates professional theatre by and for Alaskans. Founded in Juneau in 1979 by Molly Smith, the Theatre has since grown into Alaska’s flagship professional theatre, serving nearly 15,000 artists and audiences each year.
Despite being a community of only 30,000, and only accessible by boat or plane, Juneau has proven to be an ideal home for the Theatre. Community volunteers help build our sets, run our productions and staff our events; local artists design, direct and perform on the mainstage and second stage; local students participate in the Theatre’s many education programs, from elementary school all the way through the University of Alaska Southeast, where we are the resident theatre.
In 33 seasons under Artistic Directors Molly Smith (now Artistic Director of Arena Stage in Washington, DC), Peter DuBois (now the Artistic Director at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston), PJ Paparelli (now the Artistic Director of American Theatre Company in Chicago), and Art Rotch, we have premiered over 65 new plays by Alaskan and national playwrights, including recently:
- The Blue Bear (2011), based on Juneau author Lynn Schooler’s memoir of the same title;
- Battles of Fire and Water (2009), a play by Alaskan Dave Hunsaker exploring the 1802 conflicts between the
- Russians and the Tlingit;
- Yeast Nation (the triumph of life), a 2007 musical by Tony-winners Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman;
- The Long Season (2005), a musical by Chay Yew and Fabian Obispo about Filipino Alaskan cannery workers;
- And columbinus (2005), a drama exploring school shootings.
The Theatre’s commitment to Alaskan art has led it to expand, becoming a resident theatre company at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage. Future seasons will see the Theatre continuing to produce world-premiere productions, exploring and connecting with Alaska’s far-flung communities, and enriching the local, state, and national theater scene.