P.J. Paparelli, artistic director of Perseverance Theatre, will leave the company in November for a similar position at the American Theatre Company in Chicago.
In the past three seasons under Paparelli’s direction, Perseverance has created a Tlingit “Macbeth” that toured to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.; premiered “The People’s Temple” which moved on to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; and developed “Raven Odyssey,” a theatricalization of Alaska Native raven myths collected from all corners of the state.
“To be very honest, it’s been difficult for me to live in a small city,” he said. “I’m a city boy, and I knew that coming here I would probably only stay for my four-year contract. I didn’t realize I’d be leaving mid-season, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to work with this exemplar company in Chicago.”
Paparelli’s departure leaves Perseverance short its two top people simultaneously, since producing director Jeffrey Hermann leaves in October for a job at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
The artistic director will stay through the run of “Yeast Nation,” Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ follow-up to Broadway smash “Urinetown” The musical has its world premiere next weekend in Juneau, and runs through Nov. 4.
Paparelli said he’ll return to Alaska to premiere his musical “Rockstar” at Perseverance in April.
“My time in Juneau has been fantastic. I’ve been changed forever by being here, and the growth of the theater company in the past three years has been inspiring to me,” he said. “Life in a small town has been profound. People walk up to me in the grocery store and tell me exactly what they think, in a way that only happens in Alaska.”
--Sarah Henning, Anchorage Daily News