Paparelli brought bold projects to Juneau

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm writing to thank PJ Paparelli for his years of dedication to Perseverance Theatre. Together with the incomparable Producing Director Jeffrey Hermann, Paparelli passionately forged his vision for the theater, full of bold projects that garnered funding from such major foundations as the Doris Duke Foundation.

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Owing to their diligence and forward thinking, Perseverance will enjoy the unique security of an endowment fund to support its creative work for years to come. Although I never had the opportunity to be directed by Paparelli in a production, as a local artist, I observed him earnestly seeking to maintain a high standard in the theater and to create connections with the community, a balance that proved difficult to maintain.

Paparelli supported Alaska artists in the best way he could. It's helpful to remember that the artists and administrators brought into town to collaborate on projects have added to Juneau's artistic resources and diversity. His desire for perfection indeed challenged those in his productions and on staff, sometimes more than we were willing to bear. But he also brought us some unique and very moving shows, such as Tommy and Equus, into which he poured his heart and willingness to grow and change. As a former "out of towner" myself, who came to Juneau from New York 13 years ago, clad in my black leather jacket, to work with Perseverance, I understand how difficult it can be to acclimate from the very different culture of east coast city life to the very particular dynamics of Juneau. I'm sure that Paparelli, like me, learned a great deal about himself, his artistic direction, and leadership style during his time in Alaska and I wish him only happiness and success in his future.

We now live in Berkeley, Calif., since my Alaska experience changed me so much that I'm attending seminary! So please pardon my "pastoral" tone as I encourage artists to focus now on their gratitude for the blessings brought to our community by this determined theater artist, and to remember that every organization must grow in different ways under different times of leadership. My sincere hope is that in its next phase, Perseverance can retain the professional advances made during Paparelli and Jeff's tenures, even as we move toward a desire for reconnection to our grass roots. I miss you, all, and send you thoughts of creativity, love and compassion.


Joyce Parry Moore

Berkeley, Calif.

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