Arts group helps bring Nightcats, Kubla Khan to Juneau

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Two Juneau arts groups have been awarded more than $30,000 to bring music and theater to Alaska.

Perseverance Theatre has been awarded a $28,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to support two upcoming productions. Juneau Jazz and Classics received $5,000 from the NEA to help with the annual spring festival.

Perseverance will use about half the money, $14,000, to help with the statewide tour of "Moby Dick," which was adapted and staged at Perseverance last spring. A restaged and reworked version of show will play one night in Juneau on Jan. 31, then travel to Fairbanks, Anchorage and Barrow for most of February.

The other $14,000 will support a production of "Lost in Kubla Khan," a new play written by Merry Elefson of Juneau. The show will open April 26 at Perseverance.

Producing director Jeff Herrmann said the NEA provided a similar grant a year ago to support the original development and production of "Moby Dick," and the play "In the Blood."

This winter Perseverance is sharing in a $15,000 NEA grant awarded to an Atlanta, Ga.-based company, Actors' Express. The two theaters are co-producing "The Wooden Breeks," a new play by Glen Berger. Wier Harmon, artistic director of Actors' Express, will direct the production, which opens at Perseverance on March 8. Harmon, a designer and several actors will travel from Atlanta to work on the Juneau production.

After closing March 22, the Actors' Express members will return to Georgia with several Perseverance cast members and run the show in Atlanta in April. Herrmann said Perseverance Theatre's artistic director, Peter DuBois, is now in Atlanta directing a production there.

The NEA also awarded Juneau Jazz and Classics $5,000 to support the week-long May music festival. The grant will help fund artist's fees and transportation costs for festival musicians. Most of the artists have been booked, but Administrator Pam Johansen said the group is still working on a few acts, including a finale performer.

Acts for the May festival include blues band Little Charlie and the Nightcats, jazz and big band musicians Bob Mintzer Quartet, classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, mezzo soprano Liesel Fedkenheuer, pianist Miah Im, pianist and composer Victor Steinhardt, violinist Katheryn Lucktenberg, cellist Steven Polage, French horn player Jeffrey Agrell, and vocal coach and pianist Shari Rhoads.

Riley Woodford can be reached at

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