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.

Anchorage Community Theatre's Executive Director Matt Fernandez drops by Stage Talk this week to give us an overview of what they have planned for their 2018-2019 season. a farce, an historical musical, a drama, an adaption of a Newberry Medal winning novel and a work from an "honorary local" are in the works. KSKA: Friday, May 25 at 2:45pm

Nick Jones, writer for the popular show Orange is the New Black, has penned a play that features a character not quite like many you've met. His name is Trevor and he is a chimpanzee who had fame as a youth but now is going through growing pains. Trevor is an exploration of communication and humanity and is both hilarious and troublesome. Join R. Scott Cantrell who plays the title character, along with Director Charlie Cardwell and Louisa Martin who plays next door neighbor Ashley on this week's Stage Talk. Trevor performs at Cyrano's Theatre Company May 18-June 9. KSKA: Friday, May 18 at 2:45pm

This week on Stage Talk, we turn our attention to the world of Scene Design and Technology to give our listeners literally a "tour backstage". Tune in to meet two of Anchorage's busiest designers and technicians Dan Carlgren and Brian Saylor as they talk about how they first got involved in the art, what they've done, and their own personal and professional approaches to creating the physical world of a play. Carlgren is currently the Faculty Scenic Designer, Projection Designer and Technical Director for UAA Department of Theatre and Dance and Saylor designs and builds for several theatres in town including Anchorage Community Theatre and Cyrano's Theatre Company. Thanks for listening!

Before Muhammad Ali was "The Greatest" he was the younger "Cassius Clay" fighting to find out who he was and where he was going in life. Anchorage Community Theatre is presenting Idris Goodwin's award winning play And In This Corner: Cassius Clay through May 13th. Director Matt Fernandez and Xavier Love, who plays Cassius Clay at age 18, drop by Stage Talk this week to talk about Ali's early life and the forces that forged him to become one of the most recognized figures in the world. Thanks for listening!

Of more than a hundred scripts submitted to the 2018 Earth Matters on Stage (EMOS) New Play Competition, New York based playwright Crystal Skillman's Rain and Zoe Save the World was selected as the winning entry and is being produced by The University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Theatre. This week on Stage Talk, director Ty Hewitt drops by to talk about EMOS as well as the play which follows two Seattle teenagers on an across the country motorcycle trip that results in them learning more about themselves than they ever anticipated. Rain and Zoe Save the World performs April 27-29 at the UAA Mainstage located in the UAA Fine Arts Building. Thanks for listening!

Chad Carpenter, creator of the world famous Tundra comic strip, is foraying into his second adventure into the world of film as writer and producer of Sudsy Slim Rides Again. (His first film was Moose the Movie.) Carpenter, who says of Sudsy, "it's a film about Alaskans made in Alaska by Alaskans" drops by Stage Talk this week to talk about the film, Tundra, and how he has manged to balance both worlds. Sudsy Slim Rides Again opens in the Valley Cinema in Wasilla April 20 with four shows a day until the cows come home. KSKA: Friday, April 20 at 2:45pm Thanks for listening!

Loosely based on the Enron scandal in 2001, but focused on the individual people who were affected by corporate greed of the time, Spikes is the latest play by Anchorage playwright Schatzie Schaefers and is being produced by RKP Productions. Schaefers, along with director Dick Reichman drop by Stage Talk this week to talk about the play as well as how they collaborated to bring it to fruition. Spikes performs at Cyrano's Theatre Company April 13-29. Thanks for listening! KSKA: Friday, April 13 at 2:45pm

It's the 100th anniversary of famed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and to help celebrate, Anchorage Opera is collaborating with Anchorage Symphony Orchestra to present Bernstein's operetta Candide with book by Hugh Wheeler. Join Stage Talk guests Teresa K. Pond (Stage Director) and Conductor Charles Prince (son of Broadway director Hal Prince) today as they talk about this work based on Voltaire's book of the same name. Candide performs in the Atwood Concert Hall April 7 and 8. Thanks for listening! KSKA: Friday, April 6 at 2:45pm

Most people remember the Disney film Mary Poppins but now there is a live-stage version spearheaded by a collaboration between Disney and Cameron Mackintosh and Valley Performing Arts is presenting it in the Glenn Massay Theatre on the campus of Mat-Su College March 30th through April 22. Executive Director for VPA Garry Forrester drops by Stage Talk this week to describe how ambitious and rewarding this project is. KSKA: Friday, March 30 at 2:45pm Thanks for listening!

Playwright, actor and director Austin Pendelton's play Orson's Shadow, a fictional exploration of a 1960 rehearsal with some of the most famous theatre luminaries of the time is the latest offering by Cyrano's Theatre Company. The "Orson" of the title refers to "Orson Wells", director and actor of such works as Citizen Kane and War of the Worlds. Other famous characters include Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Joan Plowright and Kenneth Tynan. David Haynes, who plays the title character along with Stefani Suydam (Vivien Leigh) and director Dave Dahl drop by Stage Talk this week to chat about how the play has been going. Orson's Shadow is currently performing at Cyrano's and continues its run until April 1st. LISTEN HERE KSKA: Friday, March 23 at 2:45pm

KSKA: Friday, March 2 at 2:45p.m. It's 1934 and the world's most famous stage director, Max Reinhardt, is directing the film version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream when two of the characters from the play (Oberon and Puck) suddenly materialize and want to be in the show. If that sounds like a classic set up for a Ken Ludwig Farce, you're correct. Anchorage Community Theatre is presenting Ludwig's Shakespeare in Hollywood March 2-25 and Director Jocelyn Paine with actors Scott Rhode and ShaeLisa Anderson drop by Stage Talk this week to talk about it. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, February 23 at 2:45pm It's February in Anchorage and that means that Fur Rondy is taking over the town. And that means Melodrama Time! Alaska Sound Celebration is presenting the 28th Annual Melodrama at the 49th State Brewing Company February 23-March 10th. This year's title is Hope Springs Eternal (of The Dirty Deed) and is written by honorary Alaskan Rand Higbee. Co-producers Christy Hedrick and Melanie Cross stop by Stage Talk this week to let us in on all the fun. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, February 16 at 2:45pm UAA Department of Theatre's Brian Cook started working on a collaborative project with students over a year ago to research the earthquake that devastated south central Alaska in 1964 with the purpose of creating a presentation that would explore this defining moment in Alaskan history. The result is Earthquake '64, a multidisciplinary performance that weaves personal stories, movement and music together into an exciting evening of theatre. Joining Brian today on Stage Talk are three of those student-collaborators, Adi Davis, Kaeli Meno and Paitton Reid. Earthquake '64 performs at the Fine Arts Center on the campus of UAA February 16-18. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, February 9 at 2:45pm Anchorage Opera is presenting the powerful new opera, As One, by composer Laura Kaminsky in collaboration with librettist Mark Campbell and librettist/filmmaker Kimberly Reed (on whom the opera is loosely based). As One explores the life of "Hannah Before" and "Hannah After" as she discovers who she truly is. Conductor, stage director and production designer Andreas Mitisek drops by Stage Talk today to talk about how he is bringing this amazing story to the stage. Joining Mitisek is Anchorage Opera's General Director Reed Smith. As One performs in the Sydney Laurence Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts February 9, 10 and 11. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, February 2 at 2:45pm It's the 20th anniversary of "V-Day", a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls started by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler and Anchorage's STAR (Standing Together Against Rape) is presenting Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues at the Bear Tooth Theatre to celebrate the event. Joining Stage Talk host Steve Hunt this week to talk about the show are the director Krista Schwarting, actor Amanda Cantrell and Jennifer Brown of STAR. The Vagina Monologues performs February 8 and 26. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, January 26 at 2:45pm The Alaska Fine Arts Academy is taking a sabbatical to regroup and to focus on where their next step will be, but before they do, they are teaming up with Cyrano's Theatre Company for one last theatrical blast, and what a blast it is--Dennis T. Ginacino's Disenchanted! a musical of "royal renegades" (Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, et.al.) who "toss off their tiaras" to tell it like it really is. Two of these "princesses", "Snow White" (Anna Cometa) and "Pocahontas" (Lailani Cook) join director Warren Weinstein today on Stage Talk to tell some of their secrets... LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, January 19 at 2:45pm The first nine chapters of Charlotte Bronte's much loved story Jane Eyre come to life in Marisha Chamberlain's stage adaptation, Young Jane Eyre being presented by Anchorage Community Theatre January 19th through February 11th. Hannah Hickenlooper, who plays the title role, drops by Stage Talk this week along with director Krista Schwarting to let us in on the world of this classic coming of age story. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, January 12 at 2:45p.m. "A truly original new piece of theatre", Jacqueline Goldfinger's haunting play filled with music, storytelling and discovery, The Arsonists is being presented by Perseverance Theatre at the Sydney Laurence Theatre. Director Art Rotch, along with the two actors from the show, Allison Holdkamp and Aaron Elmore drop by Stage Talk this week to chat about their process of harnessing three talents (acting, singing, playing guitar) into creating their characters. The Arsonists runs January 12 through the 21st. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, January 5 at 2:45pm. It's the start of 2018 and, with the new year, Cyrano's Theatre Company begins its 26th season of producing exciting theatre for the Anchorage community. Producing Artistic Director Teresa K. Pond drops by Stage Talk this week to give an update on how the transition between their old space at 4th and D and their new facility on Debarr has been going as well as to announce what's coming up this year. Cyrano's season will not only involve their own productions but many collaborations as well. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Friday, December 15 at 2:45p.m. Perseverance Theatre is bringing back Arlitia Jones and Michael Evan Haney's stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for the fourth year to the Discovery Theatre in downtown Anchorage and actors Aaron Wiseman ("Marley/Ghost of Christmas Present"), Danielle Rabinovitch ("Ghost of Christmas Past/Katherine/Mrs Dilber") and Anchorage General Manager Josh Lowman drop by the studio this week to talk about, among other things, character motivations and class struggles in the play. A Christmas Carol performs December 14 through the 29th. LISTEN HERE