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Perseverance Theatre's ASTI program begins July 12

Posted: July 10, 2014 - 12:00am

Perseverance Theatre will host its fourth annual Alaska Summer Theatre Intensive July 12-20 at the University of Alaska Southeast.

ASTI provides training for theater artists in the areas of playwriting, directing, acting, Viewpoints, Suzuki Method, and Fitzmaurice Voicework. Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method are two distinct methods of actor training that increase the actor’s awareness of their body, voice, and presence. Fitzmaurice Voicework is a comprehensive approach to voice training that can include, as needed, work on breathing, resonance, speech, dialects, impromptu speaking, text, singing, and voice with movement.

Classes will be taught by visiting theater artists Anne Washburn, Leon Ingulsrud and Leslie Ishii.

Class work throughout this nine-day intensive training will vary depending on the discipline and will include lecture, written work, scene work, physical training and exercises. Classes will be taught simultaneously. Each day will start with a physical and vocal warm-up with the whole group together. This will include some yoga and pilates led by local practitioners.

This year, ASTI is coinciding with Perseverance’s first ever Summerfest, a six-week, three-play festival that runs through Aug. 6. The Summerfest lineup includes two original Alaskan stories, “The Blue Bear” and “Warriors,” and a third play called “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

“The Blue Bear” debuted on the Perseverance stage in January 2011. Based on Juneau author Lynn Schooler’s memoir of his friendship with Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, and set against a backdrop of Hoshino’s images of Southeast Alaska, the play is about the two men’s connection to each other and to this particular landscape. The Summerfest production brings back original actors Takahiro Yamamoto as Hoshino, and Ryan Conarro as Schooler, as well as members of the production team. The director is Hannah Wolf, who built on original direction by Leon Ingulsrud.

“Warriors” is also an Alaskan play, written and directed by Dave Hunsaker with original music by Ed Littlefield. It focuses on Alaska Natives in war at different times in history, switching back and forth between two young men in Castner’s Cutthroats in WWII, and two female army soldiers based in Baghdad in 2003. The production stars Tlingit actor Charles McKenry of Juneau, Yup’ik actor Corey Joseph of Kwigillingok, Tlingit actor Katrina Hotch of Klukwan, Inupiaq actor Mary Lou Rock of Shaktoolik, and Japanese-American actor Takahiro Yamamoto, originally of Shizuoka, Japan.

The third play, Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” was the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play. A comedy, it tells the story of Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia, living a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, until the return of their movie-star sister, Masha, and her boyfriend, Spike. The cast for this play includes Theatre in the Rough co-founder Katie Jensen as Masha; Perseverance company member Enrique Bravo as her young boyfriend, Spike; and Ben Brown and Patricia Hull as Masha’s siblings, Vanya and Sonia.

For more information visit perseverancetheatre.org.

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