Perseverance Theatre has embarked upon an exciting year of transition. After eight years as the primary fund-raiser and public voice for the theatre, Jeff Herrmann, our producing director, left to begin work as the managing director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
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At the end of October, PJ Paparelli, our artistic director for the last 3½ years, left to assume leadership of the American Theatre Company in Chicago.
The board has appointed Search Committees for both positions and has advertised both of them nationally and on Nov. 4, we had received 51 applications for the position. The Artistic Director Search Committee, composed of board, staff and community members, has begun to review the applications and expects to make a recommendation to the board by mid-February.
As part of the search, the board and staff have begun a new round in the ongoing conversation about who we are, where we've been, and where we want to go. We invite the Juneau-Douglas community to join in that conversation.
At the foundation of Perseverance Theatre, woven into our fabric since our beginnings almost 30 years ago, is our connection to this community. We have always operated under the outrageous notion that we can maintain the highest professional artistic standards and also nurture Alaska artists and audiences.
We are a community organization that creates professional theatre. On those occasions when we successfully balance these seemingly opposing impulses, we create a magic that cannot be replicated in any other theater in this country.
This unlikely and continuing experiment known as Perseverance Theatre, nestled in an isolated Alaska city on the edge of the continent, has flourished because of the generosity, commitment, and passion of the people here. Without that connection, we could not produce the variety and quality of theatre we have become known for nationally. Please join the theatre's staff, board, artists, audiences, funders and volunteers in exploring how best to take this next step.
Give us feedback on what you think we're doing well, what new directions you hope we explore, and what you would like to see us change.
Tell us why you come to the theatre, or why you don't come. Talk with us about Perseverance when you see us and send your comments to the search committee: Go to www.perseverancetheatre.org and click on the link to the search committee or e-mail the committee directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Terry Cramer lives in Juneau and is president of the Perseverance Theatre Board of Directors. Maria Gladziszewski lives in North Douglas, is a member of the Perseverance Theatre Board of Directors and chairwoman of the Artistic Director Search Committee.