Perseverance Theatre managing director Frank Delaney and artistic director Leslie Ishii will be among the speakers at today’s Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. (Courtesy Photo | Perseverance Theatre)

Perseverance Theatre managing director Frank Delaney and artistic director Leslie Ishii will be among the speakers at today’s Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. (Courtesy Photo | Perseverance Theatre)

Empire Live: Here’s what’s new with Perseverance Theatre

Theater leaders talk at chamber meeting.

Summary: An aging building and shrinking budget are realities for Perseverance Theatre, but the show goes on for the theater with a new production that opens this week. Next week’s talk will focus on monitoring of whale watching activity. Read more here: Theater leaders discuss Perseverance’s finances and future

12:55 p.m.

A question came up regarding the status of the theater’s facilities.

Delaney said it’s not up to par in many respects.

“There are three heating systems in that building, two of which work,” Delaney said. “We have ADA compliance issues with the building. We’re working to solve those. I’m speaking very frankly right now, because if anyone has solutions to those problems, I’d love to hear the solutions.”

He said the theater is trying to figure out how the proposed New JACC project fits into the theater’s long-term plans.

12:50 p.m.

Craig Dahl, executive director for the chamber, asked how visiting actors are selected.

“We recruit all the time and keep our eyes open,” Ishii said. “We also have technology now, so folks send us auditions by capturing them.”

Delaney said there have been auditions via video calling platforms, too.

“You learn to be a connector in this industry,” Ishii said.

Delaney said sometimes recommendations come from people who have worked with the theater in the past.

Brian Holst asked how tourists work into Perseverance Theatre’s work.

“We want to come up with something that’s specifically targeted toward our 1.4 million visitors who will come into our town next year,” Brown said.

He said a pilot project is in the works with funding from Holland America for some sort of downtown performances on Thursdays, which tend to be a peak tourism traffic day. Brown did not say how large the grant was from Holland America.

12:45 p.m.

“Silent Sky,” which has a pay-as-you-can preview tonight, and opens Friday is getting mention often.

[Perseverance Theatre sets its eyes to the ‘Sky’]

Irene Martinko, who performs in “Silent Sky,” sang a hymn from the play.

12:40 p.m.

Brown is now reviewing business numbers for the theater.

He said it has a budget of $1.3 million. Brown said a couple of years ago, that figure was about $1.8 million

“It’s a little smaller now because we did reduce the number of shows in Anchorage and in Juneau,” Brown said.

He said in the 2018-2019 season, the theater put on 155 performances.

Brown said there are five sources of income for the theater, those include earned income, individual donations, business and corporate donations, foundations and government support. Examples of government support include the Alaska State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and funding from municipal government.

The furlough of employees in 2018 was not mentioned during rundown of the theater’s financials.

12:30 p.m.

Ishii said the theater is currently in the process of putting together its 2020-2021 season.

“We’re in the midst of season planning,” Ishii said. “We’d love to hear from you, let us know.”

12:27 p.m.

Ishii is reviewing her history with Alaska and Perseverance Theatre.

She previously taught, coached and directed with the theater and worked her way through college by working for Alaska Airlines.

She shared some of those experiences in a previous interview with the Empire.

12:22 p.m.

Delaney is reviewing the structure of Perseverance Theatre.

The theater is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with members in both Juneau and Anchorage.

“We are recruiting for three board seats here at Perseverance,” Delaney said.

Perseverance has 14 full-time staff are primarily in Juneau with members in both Juneau and Anchorage, Delaney said.

Now, Ishii is addressing the crowd.

12:20 p.m.

Introductions are out of the way, and Brown, Ishii and Delaney are at the mic.

12:10 p.m.

The Jan. 23 chamber luncheon will take place at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, and the Jan. 30 luncheon will take place at Centennial Hall.

11:55 a.m.

When the curtains raise on today’s Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce meeting, the topic of discussion will be “What’s New at Perseverance Theatre.”

A lot has happened at the theater over the past year, including the hiring of a new artistic director, a new managing director, changes to the season’s schedule and two —soon to be three — productions have taken to the stage.

Artistic director Leslie Ishii, managing director Frank Delaney and development director Ben Brown are expected to speak.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt


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