Though government funding cuts took a toll on AK's Perseverance Theatre's previous season (they were forced to replace an ambitious "frontier theatre" show with Crimes Of The Heart), the company's new season, beginning Oct. 3, boasts not only two world premieres, but two musicals.
The most noted play this season will be Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive, which was developed when Vogel served three years as an artist in residence at Perseverance. Drive opened to much acclaim at Off Broadway's Vineyard Theatre and currently plays a commercial run at the Century Theatre. The Perseverance production, directed by artistic director Molly Smith, runs April 10-26.
Here's the full upcoming season schedule at Perseverance Theatre:
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Oct. 3-26)
Edward Albee's landmark drama of an intellectual couple who play mind games with their invited guests - and themselves. Artistic director Smith, who will direct, says, "This play has always fascinated me because although audiences remember it as dark, I want to focus on the comedy. As in life, the more darkness you have, the more light is possible."
King Island Christmas (Nov. 21-Dec.1)
By the same author of the (Broadway-bound?) Perseverance hit, Coyote Goes Salmon Fishing, Christmas is based on a children's book by Jean Rogers and illustrator Rie Munoz. Alaskan playwright Deborah Bailey Brevoort's playful musical will be directed by Anita Maynard-Losh. The Rocky Horror Show (Feb. 20-March 22, 1998)
It's time to do the "Time Warp" again with this campy musical by Richard O'Brien. The film version has become a cult mainstay, with midnight screenings turning into almost as much theatrical experience as the original stage show.
How I Learned To Drive (April 10-26, 1998)
A co-production with Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory, the Obie-winning drama, about a young girl's unhealthy relationship her uncle, will travel to Trinity, May 20-June 28.
Johnny's Girl (May 15-May 31, 1998)
Anchorage journalist Kim Rich looks at the early days of the Alaskan pipeline through the eyes of a young girl. Lynette Anneslia Turner directs this world premiere, which was made possible by a National Endowment For The Arts grant -- an ironic note, since NEA cuts the previous led to cutbacks at the theatre.
For tickets and information on productions at the Perseverance Theatre on Third St. in Juneau, call (907) 364-2421.
--By David Lefkowitz