I shook my head in disbelief upon reading PJ Paparelli's assertion that Perseverance Theatre had a 30 percent attendance prior to him coming aboard.
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I was Perseverance's marketing director prior to Paparelli's arrival and know that then, as now, most productions averaged 70 percent in attendance.
There is one anomaly, however, a single production that suffered abysmal attendance. It was the final show of the 2004 season, just prior to Paparelli's arrival in July. That May and June, Juneau experienced day after day of clear, sunny, 75-degree weather. No matter how good that play was (and it was hysterically funny), the last thing on anyone's mind was sitting indoors in Douglas in a dark, hot, stuffy, windowless room with no air conditioning while outside the birds chirped and the sun shone until 10 p.m.
For Paparelli to imply the attendance of that single show was indicative of the overall pattern at Perseverance is a gross distortion and maligns the work of the staff and artists then involved at the theater.
If Paparelli wishes to point to a grand statistic which is supported by fact to summarize his legacy at Perseverance Theatre, then I suggest 89 percent: The attrition rate of the full-time staff who were there before he took over and left while he was the boss.
Former Perseverance Theatre staff member