Director Leslie Ishii, right, works with actress Jennifer Bobiwash during Perseverance Theatre’s production of “Devilfish” written by Vera Starbard in September 2019. After serving as the theater’s interim artistic director since July, Ishii has been selected to be the permanent replacement for former artistic director Art Rotch. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Director Leslie Ishii, right, works with actress Jennifer Bobiwash during Perseverance Theatre’s production of “Devilfish” written by Vera Starbard in September 2019. After serving as the theater’s interim artistic director since July, Ishii has been selected to be the permanent replacement for former artistic director Art Rotch. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Perseverance Theatre hires an artistic director

Familiar face fills the role.

Perseverance Theatre’s new artistic director should be familiar to fans of the theater.

Leslie Ishii, formerly the theater’s interim artistic director, was chosen to fill the position after what was described as an “extensive search” in a release from Perseverance Theatre. Ishii had been the interim artistic director since July after longtime artistic director Art Rotch vacated the position.

[Perseverance Theatre’s artistic director is leaving this summer]

“Leslie Ishii has been outstanding to work with these past months,” said Perseverance Theatre Board President Joe Bedard in a press release. “Her vision as a creative leader and her passion for equity and justice will be an amazing voice in Alaska theatre and community.”

Ishii’s credits as a director and actor include appearances on Broadway in “Shogun;” regional theatre in productions of “Manahatta” and “Hold These Truths;” film in “Fame” and “Species;” and television “Jane the Virgin,” “Lost,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”

She also directed season-opening play “Devilfish.”

[“Devilfish” opens the season with an original vision]

Her years of organizational experience include serving as co-chair, organizer, and board member for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ fifth and sixth national ConFest; founder and co-director for the National Cultural Navigation Theatre Project for the sustainability of theatres and artists of color; co-facilitator of the launch of the Theatre Communication Group’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institute; and core faculty for artEquity.

“I’m excited to continue working with the amazing team at Perseverance Theatre,” Ishii said in a press release. “We’ll be focused on listening and learning from the Alaska community, and striving toward art that is exceptional, equitable and thoughtful.”

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