Seawolf Advisory!

This morning, our Facilities and Campus Services team was made aware of a pothole that shut down the westbound lanes of Northern Lights Boulevard between UAA Drive and Career Center Drive. It has since been upgraded to a sinkhole, and the lanes will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time while crews repair the damage. We anticipate the closure will extend through the week.

Finals week is a very stressful time for students. Students, please know that your professors have been made aware of the situation. Please communicate with them any delays you may experience due to this issue. We know this is an unexpected traffic challenge. Please take a deep breath. We want you to have a smooth and safe finals week.

ALAXSXA | ALASKA

ALAXSXA ALASKA
 

ALAXSXA | ALASKA - by Ping Chong + Company

Showdates: August 31 - September 3, 2017

The UAA Department of Theatre & Dance and PING CHONG + COMPANY is proud to announce the premiere of ALAXSXA | ALASKA, a theatrical work using video projections, puppetry and Central Yup’ik drum and dance to reveal stories of cross-cultural encounter in the epic, changing landscapes of Alaska. Developed during multiple residencies in Alaska and New York City, with support from the NEFA National Theater Project, among others, it will debut in Anchorage, Alaska from August 31-September 3, 2017. Followed by a statewide Alaskan tour to Bethel, Nome and Homer; before it comes to New York for a 3-week engagement at LaMaMa.

ALAXSXA | ALASKA is a theatrical collage of multimedia, puppetry and Central Yup’ik drum and dance, illuminating striking moments of cross-cultural encounter in the epic, changing landscapes of Alaska. Featuring Conarro and Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Central Yup’ik), along with puppeteer Justin Perkins, the three performers use movement and puppetry to reveal a series of little-known historical narratives of collisions between people and cultures of Alaska. These histories – at times humorous, at times tragic – juxtapose against Beaver and Conarro’s own personal memories as “insider” and “outsider” in the Last Frontier.

Ping Chong + Company produces theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. In 2015, Ping Chong was honored with the National Medal of the Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.

Performance run time: 80 minutes with no intermission

Performances held at the UAA Harper Studio Theatre, 3700 Alumni Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508

 

  • Cast

    Gary Upay’aq Beaver
    Justin Perkins
    Ryan Conarro


    Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Yup’ik) (co-creator, musician and choreographer, and performer) was born in Bethel, Alaska and raised in his family’s village of Kasigluk. He began learning yuraq (Yup’ik drum and dance) as a child at Kasigluk’s Akiuk Memorial School. He credits four elders as his primary teachers: Kalila Slim, Wassilie Berlin, Wassilie Nicholas, and Alexie Nicholas. Gary is leader of the Kasigluk dance group and has taught yuraq at schools throughout southwest Alaska, including Akula Elitnaurviat, Akiuk Memorial School, Yupiit School District, and for the village of Akiak. He was lead drummer, singer, and dancer for the multidisciplinary event “This Is Who We Are” in 2011 at Bethel Cultural Center, a performance of traditional Yup’ik stories as songs, dances, theatrical pieces, and digital stories, a year-long project directed by Ryan Conarro. He has performed traditional and contemporary work in Bethel at the annual Cama’i Festival and Mink Festival; in Anchorage at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention; on Quyana Alaska television; and in villages throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

    Justin Perkins (co-creator, puppet designer, and performer) is a puppet artist and performer who has appeared in works by David Neumann, Tom Lee (Shank’s Mare, LaMama, Ringling International Arts Festival), Lake Simons, Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Patti Bradshaw, Puppet Cinema, Unitards, imnotlost, as well as multiple works at Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Cosmic Bicycle, PuppetBloc at Dixon Place, Sinking Ship Productions’ Puppet Playlist and more. As a puppet designer and maker, he has built for BAM (The Hard Nut promotional videos), Basil Twist (Sisters’ Follies, ongoing studio work), regular performances for Friends’ Seminary’s theater program, TheaterWorksUSA, New York Musical Theater Festival, New York Children’s Theater Festival, Swedish Cottage, Unitards. He created and directed a puppet and live video adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels during St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab 2014. Justin studied theater at Vassar and Sarah Lawrence Colleges, and is a teacher of puppetry, theater and filmmaking in schools and community centers around New York. www.justinaperkins.com

    Ryan Conarro (co-director, co-creator, and performer) is a theater maker, arts educator, and a facilitator of community engagement. At Ping Chong + Company (PCC), he is Artistic Collaborator in Residence and Education & Community Projects Associate. Conarro moved from New York to Alaska in 2001 as a journalist for Nome’s KNOM Radio, and became a long-time collaborator with Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts Education Consortium, the Department of Education State System of Support, the Kennedy Center Partners In Education Program, KTOO Media, as well as Maine’s Deer Isle-Stonington Schools. He’s a company member with Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and is a Resident Artist with international ensemble Theater Mitu. Ryan was a lead teaching artist for Lower Kuskokwim School District’s 7-year arts integration program, Project Pilinguat, where he worked with Gary Upay’aq Beaver as collaborator. Conarro received TCG’s Leadership One-on-One Fellowship in 2014 which brought him to PCC. With Ping Chong and Sara Zatz, he co-wrote PCC’s interview-based work “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity.” In 2018, PCC in partnership with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will create a new interview-based work featuring local participants telling their stories of contemporary and historical indigenous life in downtown Juneau. Ryan’s work has been seen at the Kennedy Center; Dixon Place; the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian; Oregon Contemporary Theatre; Stonington Opera House; Gainesville Theatre Alliance; and several Alaskan venues. Recognitions include the Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award, Connie Boocheever Fellowship, Ann Shaw Fellowship for Arts Education, and three Alaska Broadcasters Association Goldie Awards. www.ryanconarro.com

  • Creative

    Directors, Ping Chong & Ryan Conarro
    Creators, Ping Chong, Ryan Conarro, Justin Perkins, Gary Upay’aq Beaver
    Puppet & Object Designer, Justin Perkins
    Video & Projection Designer, Katherine Freer
    Lighting Designer, Marika Kent
    Sound Designer, Lucy Peckham
    Costume Designer, Stefani Mar
    Screen Designer, Seth Kirby
    Yuraq Song, Music & Dance, Gary Upay’aq Beaver & Wassilie Berlin, Sr. (Yup’ik)
    Mask Design, Phillip Charette (Yup’ik and French Canadian), Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Qaspeq Costume Collaborator, Loni Hoover (Yup’ik)
    Executive Director, Bruce Allardice


    Ping Chong (co-director and co-creator) is an internationally acclaimed theatre artist and pioneer in the use of media in the theater. Since 1972, he has created over 100 works for the stage, ranging from large-scale multimedia works to intimate community-based oral history projects. In 1975, he formed Ping Chong + Company (originally the Fiji Theater Company) with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. In 1992, he created the first work in the Undesirable Elements series of community-based oral history projects of which there have now been over 50 productions. His puppet theater work CATHAY: Three Tales of China was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for its Festival of China in 2005 and was presented at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, New Victory Theatre, the Vienna Festival and the World Puppetry Festival in Chengdu, PRC. His adaptation of Kurosawa’s THRONE OF BLOOD, was presented at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in 2010. Theatre Communications Group has published two volumes of his plays, The East - West Quartet and Undesirable Elements: Real People. Real Lives. Real Theatre. Other published works include Kind Ness, which received the 1998 USA Playwrights Award, Nuit Blanche, Snow, Undesirable Elements/New York, Gaijin, Truth & Beauty, Undesirable Elements/Asian America, and Cocktail. Ping has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a USA Artist Fellowship, two BESSIE awards, two OBIE awards and 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, the highest honor specifically given for achievement in the arts to an individual artist in the United States.

    Ryan Conarro (co-director, co-creator, and performer) is a theater maker, arts educator, and a facilitator of community engagement. At Ping Chong + Company (PCC), he is Artistic Collaborator in Residence and Education & Community Projects Associate. Conarro moved from New York to Alaska in 2001 as a journalist for Nome’s KNOM Radio, and became a long-time collaborator with Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts Education Consortium, the Department of Education State System of Support, the Kennedy Center Partners In Education Program, KTOO Media, as well as Maine’s Deer Isle-Stonington Schools. He’s a company member with Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and is a Resident Artist with international ensemble Theater Mitu. Ryan was a lead teaching artist for Lower Kuskokwim School District’s 7-year arts integration program, Project Pilinguat, where he worked with Gary Upay’aq Beaver as collaborator. Conarro received TCG’s Leadership One-on-One Fellowship in 2014 which brought him to PCC. With Ping Chong and Sara Zatz, he co-wrote PCC’s interview-based work “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity.” In 2018, PCC in partnership with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will create a new interview-based work featuring local participants telling their stories of contemporary and historical indigenous life in downtown Juneau. Ryan’s work has been seen at the Kennedy Center; Dixon Place; the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian; Oregon Contemporary Theatre; Stonington Opera House; Gainesville Theatre Alliance; and several Alaskan venues. Recognitions include the Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award, Connie Boocheever Fellowship, Ann Shaw Fellowship for Arts Education, and three Alaska Broadcasters Association Goldie Awards. www.ryanconarro.com

    Justin Perkins (co-creator, puppet designer, and performer) is a puppet artist and performer who has appeared in works by David Neumann, Tom Lee (Shank’s Mare, LaMama, Ringling International Arts Festival), Lake Simons, Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Patti Bradshaw, Puppet Cinema, Unitards, imnotlost, as well as multiple works at Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Cosmic Bicycle, PuppetBloc at Dixon Place, Sinking Ship Productions’ Puppet Playlist and more. As a puppet designer and maker, he has built for BAM (The Hard Nut promotional videos), Basil Twist (Sisters’ Follies, ongoing studio work), regular performances for Friends’ Seminary’s theater program, TheaterWorksUSA, New York Musical Theater Festival, New York Children’s Theater Festival, Swedish Cottage, Unitards. He created and directed a puppet and live video adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels during St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab 2014. Justin studied theater at Vassar and Sarah Lawrence Colleges, and is a teacher of puppetry, theater and filmmaking in schools and community centers around New York. www.justinaperkins.com

    Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Yup’ik) (co-creator, musician and choreographer, and performer) was born in Bethel, Alaska and raised in his family’s village of Kasigluk. He began learning yuraq (Yup’ik drum and dance) as a child at Kasigluk’s Akiuk Memorial School. He credits four elders as his primary teachers: Kalila Slim, Wassilie Berlin, Wassilie Nicholas, and Alexie Nicholas. Gary is leader of the Kasigluk dance group and has taught yuraq at schools throughout southwest Alaska, including Akula Elitnaurviat, Akiuk Memorial School, Yupiit School District, and for the village of Akiak. He was lead drummer, singer, and dancer for the multidisciplinary event “This Is Who We Are” in 2011 at Bethel Cultural Center, a performance of traditional Yup’ik stories as songs, dances, theatrical pieces, and digital stories, a year-long project directed by Ryan Conarro. He has performed traditional and contemporary work in Bethel at the annual Cama’i Festival and Mink Festival; in Anchorage at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention; on Quyana Alaska television; and in villages throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

    Lucy Peckham (sound design) lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and is a composer/arranger, live engineer, and field recordist, as well as sound designer. Her work is characterized by her musicality, and her delight in recording and utilizing unique sounds in her designs. Some of her favorites have been collected at museums such as the Spark Museum of Electric Invention, the Antique Vibrator Museum, and the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. Lucy has recorded environmental and human-made sounds on three continents, but Alaska remains her chosen aural home. As an engineer, she recently live-mixed the first opera ever produced in Nepal (Arjuna’s Dilemma) for One World Theatre, Kathmandu. Regional theatres include Perseverance Theatre, Intiman, and the Old Globe Theatre. Documentary work includes Alaska’s Marine Highway. Lucy is a recipient of an L.A. Critics Circle Dramalogue Award. www.both-ears.com

    Katherine Freer (video installation and projections) is a multimedia designer working in theater, film, and installation. Her work is driven by the love of storytelling and the desire to turn her wildest imaginings into reality. Her background in film and computer science combine to generate work that is not only aesthetically beautiful, but pushes the boundaries of conventional theatrical video. Frequent collaborators include Tim Bond, Liz Lerman, Ping Chong, Kamilah Forbes, Stein | Holum Projects, Kamillah Forbes, Andrew Scoville, and Tamilla Woodard. Katherine is a Helen Hayes nominee and an Innovative Theater Award nominee. In addition to designing video for the stage, her installation work has been presented nationally and internationally. Venues include the National Building Museum, the Hammond Museum, 3LD Art & Technology Center, Front Room Gallery, and the World Wide Words Festival (Denmark). Her early video work includes Beatbox Flute Inspector Gadget Remix, a simple yet popular video with over 28 million views on YouTube and People’s Choice Award nomination. Kate has taught master classes at Harvard University, Syracuse University, New York University, University of Iowa, and Albany High School. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local USA 829 and a founding member of Imaginary Media. www.katherinefreer.com

    Marika Kent (lighting) is a New York City based Lighting Designer of new and classic plays, musical theater, dance, experimental theater, puppetry and site-specific performance. Her work has appeared in venues including HERE Arts Center, The Barrow Group, New York Live Arts, The New Ohio Theater, Abrons Arts Center, The National Black Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, The Brick, Theater for the New City and Harlem School of the Arts. As an Assistant Lighting Designer, she has worked in venues including The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York Theater Workshop, Dallas Theater Center (TX), CenterStage (MD), The Public Theater, The Cutler-Majestic Theater (MA), Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theater Club, The Acorn Theater at Theater Row and Lincoln Center Theater. BFA: New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. www.marikakent.com

    Stefani Mar (costumes) is an artist, textile designer & costume designer based in New York City. She has had the pleasure of designing costumes for Ping Chong for a variety of different projects since the 90s, including the re-mounting of Angels of Swedenborg (La Mama); Throne of Blood (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, BAM);  Cathay (Seattle Repertory Theatre;  New Victory Theatre, Kennedy Center); Reason (Market Theatre); Edda (Lincoln Center); Pojagi (La Mama and DMZ 2000, Korea); Curlew River (Spoleto Festival);  After Sorrow (La Mama). She has also designed for dance companies including Urban Bush Women, Alvin Ailey & Muna Tseng & Co. She was nominated for the Henry Hewes Design Award for Cathay. She is currently Senior Textile Designer for Eileen Fisher, Inc.

  • Crew

    CREW

    Production Associate: Courtney Golden
    Technical Director: Erik Chadwell
    Projection Technician: Brendan Chapin
    Production Interns: Bruna D’Avila, Lili Stiefel, Mackenzie Kugel
    Sound Board Operator: Krisha Manuel
    Lighting Board Operator/Programmer: James Branstetter
    Rigger/House Carpenter: Henry Coleman
    Production Assistant: Paitton Reid
    Rigger/House Carpenter: Henry Coleman
    Departmental Artistic Liaison: Ty Hewitt
    Departmental Technical Liaison: Daniel J. Anteau


    HOUSE

    Communications Support: Asia Bauzon
    Graphic Design: Media Wall/Tony Jannetti
    Photography: Adam Nadel
    House Manager: Paitton Reid
    Box Office Assistant(s): Austin Rochon, Alina Markina, Cedar Cussins


    PING CHONG + COMPANY STAFF

    Artistic Director: Ping Chong
    Executive Director: Bruce Allardice
    Associate Director: Sara Zatz
    Education Programs Director: Christina Weakland
    Artistic Collaborator In Residence & Community Projects Associate: Ryan Conarro
    Company Manager: Kristina Varshavskaya
    Communication and Program Associate: Amy Zhang

  • Production Photos
     
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
    ALAXSXA | ALASKA, 2017
  • News, Reviews, and Buzz

 

SPECIAL THANKS to Alaska Native Heritage Center, Atwood Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Alaska Humanities Forum, Rasmuson Foundation, La MaMa, Lincoln Center Education, Cyrano’s Theatre Company, Anchorage Museum, Alaska Humanities Forum, Bethel Council on the Arts, Lower Kuskokwim School District, Gladys Jung Elementary School, Tundra Women’s Coalition, Bethel Community Services Foundation, Calista Corporation, KYUK, Akula Elitnaurvik School, Kasigluk Tribal Council, University of Alaska Kuskokwim Campus, Nome Arts Council, Katirvik Cultural Center, Norton Sound Health Corporation, Bunnell Street Arts Center, Fireweed Academy, Ellen Ferguson, Deanne Meeks, Annette Evans-Smith, Stephen Blanchett, Loren Anderson, Roy Agloinga, Teresa Pond, Asia Freeman, Michael Walsh, Andrea Noble-Pelant, Laura Forbes, Keren Lowell, Megan Zlatos, Kameron Perez-Verdia, Charlotte Fox, Becky Kendall, Mike Mraz & Dave Kasser, Karen Gillis & family, Karlin & Monica Itchoak, Joel & Greta Cladouhos, Lila Vogt, Reyne Athanas, Judy Wasierski, Carlton Kuhns, Paul Basile, Katie Basile, Gary and Kathy Baldwin, Chris Carmichael, Eileen Arnold, Michelle DeWitt, Julie McWilliams, Kim Sweet, Christina Powers, Tammy Schneidler, Natalie Cowley, Josie Stiles, Richard Beneville, Carol Gales & Jim Dory, Darlene Trigg, Lisa Ellanna, Adele Persons, Todd Hindman, Nita Rearden, Kim Sweeny & Eric Morris, Ed and Janice Tod.


The ALAXSXA | ALASKA tour is supported by Alaska Native Heritage Center as our community partner. This project is supported by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council of the Arts.

ALAXSXA | ALASKA is a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network Creation and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Bunnell Street Arts Center in partnership with Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, La MaMa ETC, NPN, and also enjoys additional generous logistical support from the University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Theater & Dance, the Atwood Foundation and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

This production is made possible with funding by New England Foundation for The Arts National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Jim Henson Foundation; Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation; The Lucille Lortel Foundation; The Ford Foundation; The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York; The Theater Communications Group Audience (R)Evolution Travel Grant, The NET/TEN Travel Grant and the Harper Arts Touring Fund of the Rasmuson Foundation, administered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.