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King Island Christmas

Posted: January 13, 2013 - 1:02am

The holidays are now behind us, it’s a brand new year, and we can’t think of a better way to begin it than by thanking the community — our sponsors and our audiences — for helping us with this year’s production of King Island Christmas. To that end, please bear with us as we run through this incredibly important list.

Our thanks to those who helped to make this holiday gift possible, beginning with Rie Muñoz, Jean Rogers, Deb Brevoort and David Friedman. Rie’s experience on King Island led to Jean’s delightful children’s book, upon which playwright Deborah Brevoort based her amazing libretto (a former Juneauite, Deb continues to provide us with support and encouragement), and for which David Friedman wrote such wonderful and memorable melodies.

We are also so grateful to GCI’s generous financial support, as well as former cast member Joe Davis; Nancy DeCherney and the hardworking staff, board and other volunteers from the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council; Matt Knutsen/InterDesign, who once again helped us with our graphic needs; Grady Saunders/Heritage Coffee — we are so grateful for the hot drink sleeves that included our logo; Janet Lassiter/Glacier Baybees – who graciously donated a number of handmade kuspuk outfits to help us with our fundraising efforts; Juneau’s media: The Juneau Empire, KINY-Mix106-KJNO-KTKU-KXJ, The Capital City Weekly, KTOO-KRNN-KXLL, KATH-TV, A Juneau Afternoon and Capital Chat; Capital Copy – Beth, Tom and your great staff, thanks for tweaking whatever we sent to you; Phil Smith, Patrick Moore, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Keith Kahklen for helping us capture even more of the essence of that 1950’s King Island experience with the actual bell from the North Star (which can be seen at the Federal Building); our own Father Carroll, Brett Crawford/Alaska Custodial Services; Aaron Elmore/Theatre in the Rough; Kenny Solomon Gross for his parking lot assist for our Valley productions; Brenda Stearns and SAIL, for signing production on Dec. 6; The Alaska Youth Choir Parent Booster Club, Northern Light United Church, Amy Ely and Pastor Susan Boegli at Aldersgate United Methodist Church; all the volunteers who helped us with each performance by selling and taking tickets and handing out programs; and most importantly, the cast of beautiful voices from the Alaska Youth Choir and throughout Juneau, and our audiences at both Aldersgate UMC and the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

You are the reason the three of us present this labor of love – our holiday gift wrapped in music. Thank you, all! This year’s proceeds will go in part to the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council’s Arts Endowment housed in the Juneau Community Foundation in Jean Rogers’ and Rie Muñoz’s names. As mentioned at each performance, the majority of the proceeds will go toward our Edinburgh Fringe performances in August. Since performing King Island Christmas in 2010, we began working on taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and are about to realize our dream. The Alaska Youth Choir, which will be on tour in Scotland and joining us for our half-dozen performances, has been fundraising extensively since last summer. Now, as a group composed of both the AYC and number of adults, it continues in earnest with the upcoming Celtic Festival on Jan. 19 at the JACC (celticartsfestival.webs.com), the “King Island Christmas Sing-along” later in the spring and more! So again, our thanks for all who shared our love of this story of a community that comes together in the face of adversity and its memorable lyrics and melodies. We loved “going over the mountain” with you and look forward to doing so again in the near future!

Happy New Year,

Deborah Smith, stage director; Missouri Smyth, musical director; Sharon Gaiptman, producer

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