Juneau nurtures arts


Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2000

I'm writing as a gracious guest of the community of Juneau, as an intern at Perseverance Theatre, and as an appreciative artist who got a blissful taste of minor celebrity during the run of PT's mainstage production of "Desire Under the Elms." I fly back home to Fairbanks on Dec. 11. Before I left, however, I wanted to extend sincere thanks to the Empire and the entire community for this opportunity to perform, create and stimulate.

I came from Fairbanks in late September, unsure of the not-too-distant future but thrilled at the possibilities of my first professional acting job. I've only been here a relatively short time, yet I immediately felt welcome in the community and got the comforting notion that I would always be welcomed back, later on down the line. This immense feeling of support I found held true even through less fortunate times. A couple of Sundays ago, I tore my left ACL during a pre-show rehearsal and we were forced to cancel Sunday's performance. The future of my participation in the show was questionable: a torn ACL could mean surgery, which would effectively end the show for me. But instead of writing me off (or worse, writing me out), Perseverance and its theater community rallied around me. For instance, by making new blocking and movements for the production to accommodate my injury. Things are looking better now, but it was nice to feel such an outpouring of support.

I felt I should thank everyone for the fulfilling and enriching experience. Thank you also to the Empire for its enthusiastic support of the arts in Juneau. It's becoming an unfortunate rarity these days to find local media so dedicated to cultural events. I go home soon, but I will always remember my experience here in Juneau, and the people who made it what it was not only an opportunity for growth as an actor and as an artist, but for growth as a person as well.

Chip Brookes


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