Stage Talk

Theater aficionado Steven Hunt takes listeners backstage to chat with actors, directors, playwrights and technical artists about the theater scene in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. When multiple events allow, a calendar of the best live performances and stage events in Southcentral Alaska is also provided.

KSKA: Friday, September 15 at 2:45pm Anchorage Community Theatre opens its 2017-'18 season with Silver Thaw a brand new murder mystery from Anchorage playwright Schatzie Shaefers. Shaefers, along with director Sarah Athans, drop by Stage Talk this week to give us some info about the play, how Shaefers came to write it and perhaps a few "red herrings" along the way. Silver Thaw performs at ACT September 15th-October 8th. LISTEN HERE

In the summer of 1987 Sandy Harper and her husband Jerry opened Cyrano's, a bookstore and cafe located at D Street and 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage. In 1992, it expanded to include a theatre: "Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse", which became the home of Cyrano's Theatre Company. Over the next 24 years, Cyrano's presented, on average, one play a month. With the passing of Jerry in 2005, Sandy took over as Producing Artistic Director until last year when she handed the reins over to Teresa Pond. This past summer, the Board of Directors made the decision to move the company to the former Out North Contemporary Art House located on Debarr. With this move, we see the "end of an era" for the space on 4th and D and Sandy has decided to hold a celebration on Saturday, September 9th starting at noon and going for as long as people want to stay. Sandy is asking for people to bring stories and memories to share. Join Sandy today on Stage Talk to hear more about this remarkable adventure. KSKA: Friday, September 8 at 2:45pm

Dave Block, the founder and Artistic Director of Midnight Sun Theatre, has some exciting news. He has decided to expand what has up to now been only a summer theatre to a full-year production company and he's on Stage Talk this week to give us all the details. Midnight Sun's upcoming season promises to be full of surprises. KSKA: Friday, September 1 at 2:45pm

KSKA: Friday, August 25 at 2:45pm Just what goes into running an adult dance company in Anchorage? How about two? Join Artistic Directors Becky Kendall of Momentum Dance Collective and Stephanie Wonchala of Pulse Dance Company this week on Stage Talk to find out. Momentum Dance Collective is celebrating their tenth anniversary and Pulse Dance Company is celebrating their eighth year of bringing exciting and creative dance concerts and movement training to the community. LISTEN HERE

Join UAA Department of Theatre and Dance faculty members Brian Cook and Ty Hewitt this week on Stage Talk as they let us in on an exciting new season that breaks away from the traditional fare of scripted drama and dives headlong into the creative process as it progresses throughout the year. Included in this season is a year-long celebration of Earth Matters on Stage. LISTEN HERE KSKA: Friday, August 18 at 2:45pm

KSKA: Friday, August 11 at 2:45p.m. Met any interesting people lately? Drop by the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery this Sunday, August 13 at 6pm and you just might as Stories at the Cemetery presents its second showing of the summer. This time, rather than walking from gravesite to gravesite to hear actors recreate the lives of Alaskan pioneers who are buried there as was done earlier this summer, all of the stories will be presented on a stage. Enter the cemetery at the John Bagoy Gate located on 7th and Cordova and bring a chair. Linda Benson and Dick Reichman drop by Stage Talk this week to tell us about who will be "showing up". LISTEN HERE

KSKA: August 4 at 2:45p.m. Perseverance Theatre of Juneau is bringing another full slate of plays to Anchorage this coming season. Artistic Director Art Rotch, Playwright Lucas Rowley and Anchorage General Manager Josh Lowman join Steve this week on Stage Talk to go through the line-up. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, July 28 at 2:45pm Founded in 1982, The Music Machine has been showing off the talents of young performers on the stage every year as they sing and dance to popular musical theatre and pop songs. And along with it's sister, Dance Machine, it's back again this year for it's 36th show with a cast of over 70. Co-founder and Director Janet Carr-Campbell brings along one of those talented performers Faith Clark to Stage Talk this week to talk about it. The Music Machine performs in the Discovery Theatre August 2-5. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, July 21 at 2:45pm Cyrano's Theatre Company is presenting The Great American Trailer Park Musical, an hilarious romp that takes place in the "Armadillo Acres" trailer park in a small town in northern Florida with characters bigger than life. The musical (with music and lyrics by David Nehls and book by Betsy Kelso) runs July 21st through August 27 at Cyrano's Theatre located at 4th and D street in Anchorage. This week on Stage Talk, actors Jill Bess and Mark Robokoff slip in and out between their real lives and the characters they play while director Teresa K. Pond tries to keep things in control. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, July 14 at 2:45pm Eagle River's Alaska Fine Arts Academy is celebrating ten years of theatre and have announced their upcoming season. Executive Director Lailani Cook, celebrating the start of her second year as ED, comes on Stage Talk this week to give us an overview of what is coming up. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, July 7 at 2:45pm Every July since 2010, Midnight Sun Theatre has joined forces with Anchorage Community Theatre to bring an exciting offering for the summer and this year is no different. Opening July 7th and running Friday-Sundays through July 29 at ACT will be the John Mortimer British comedy The Dock Brief about the hapless barrister Morgenhall (played by Frank Delaney) trying to defend the equally hapless confessed criminal Fowle (played by R. Scott Cantrell). Delaney and director/founder David Block drop by Stage Talk this week to let us in on all the fun. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, June 30 at 2:45pm Blue Chair Productions presented their first play last summer, and this June 30 through July 9 at Cyrano's Theatre Company, they will be mounting their second--Theresa Rebeck's provocative comedy about four young writers who are taking a 10-week seminar with an international literary figure: Seminar. Listen to Stage Talk this week to hear actors Aaron Wiseman, Isaac Kumpula and actor/producer Colby Bleicher go into depth about their roles. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, June 23 at 2:45pm Twenty-five years ago, Jerry and Sandy Harper founded Cyrano's Theatre Company located at the corner of 4th Avenue and D Street in downtown Anchorage. This summer, the Board of Directors announced that the company will be moving to the former Out North Contemporary Art House located on Debarr Street midway between midtown and east Anchorage. This week on Stage Talk, Cyrano's Producing Artistic Director Teresa Pond and Board Member Jay Burns drop by to tell us about all the new and exciting opportunities this will bring to the company as well as a few fond memories of the old space. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, June 16 at 2:45pm Stage Talk continues its summer series of focusing on upcoming seasons and this week we invite Reed Smith, General Director of Anchorage Opera to drop by and let us know what they have in store for their "Happily Ever After" 2017-18 season. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, June 9 at 2:45pm This years marks the 25th anniversary of one of the nation's premier theatre conferences and it's right here in Valdez, Alaska. The Last Frontier Theatre Conference started under the leadership of Dr. Jo Ann C. (Jody) McDowell and has been led by conference coordinator Dawson Moore since 2003. While at the core of the conference is the Play Lab, in which playwrights have their original works read to and given feedback by conference participants, the week-long event also features live performances, workshops in everything from acting and improvisation to playwriting and dramaturgy--and if that isn't enough, there is even a fringe festival that goes way into the evening. Conference Coordinator Dawson Moore joins Stage Talk via a phone line this week to let us in on all the details. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, June 2 at 2:45p.m. Every summer Stage Talk likes to highlight upcoming seasons and this week we begin by featuring Anchorage Community Theatre. Executive Director Sara Athans drops by to give us a report on last year's season as well as a preview into next year's. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, May 26 at 2:45pm Of the three elements that go into making performing arts what it is, one is the space in which both performers and audience share. It is that place where we, as a community, come to share common experiences. Seventy years ago, Cap Lathrop created such a space in the 4th Avenue Theatre. This weekend, a 70th Anniversary Celebration is occurring to commemorate that founding and on today's Stage Talk Sandy Harper and Ron Holmstrom gather to share stories about the theatre and to let us in on some of the goings on of the celebration. The Celebration will happen May 27-29 on 4th Avenue, the Performing Arts Center and the Anchorage Museum. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, May 19 at 2:45pm. If you've ever wondered why "the grass is always greener over the septic tank" all you need to do is drop by Stage Talk this week as we talk about Cyrano's Theatre Company's production of Allison and Margaret Engel's one woman show Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End. Ursula Gould, who plays Erma Bombeck, along with director Krista M. Schwarting are Steve's guests this week. Erma Bombeck:At Wit's End is currently playing at Cyrano's and will continue until June 4th. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, May 12 at 2:45pm Playwright Neil Simon is a master of comedic writing and so even California Suite, a play that debuted in 1976, is just as funny and relevant to today as it ever was. Valley Performing Arts is currently running this classic play of four different stories all connected by one space: The Beverly Hills Hotel suite 203-204. Director Matt Firmin drops by Stage Talk this week to let us know how he approached the show, how he worked with his actors and how he made a few updates. California Suite runs through May 28th. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, April 28 at 2:45pm Though a child may be taught the concept of what is right and what is wrong, it is only through life's specific experiences that she starts to understand what those concepts really mean and how they can affect her and loved ones around her. Such is the story of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird as adapted to the stage by Christopher Sergel and presented by Perseverance Theatre in the Discovery Theatre. Actors Keith McCoy ("Tom Robbins"), Theo Houck ("Dill") and Seth Coppens ("Scout") join host Steve Hunt this week on Stage Talk. To Kill a Mockingbird opens April 28th and runs through May 7th. LISTEN HERE