Friday, September 23, 2011

39 Steps: Day 39: Opening Night!!!!!

Good Evening, 

Dun-Dun-DUNNNNNN! Opening Night is upon us! We are just a few tickets from selling out and we've received excellent coverage in the local papers:

Juneau Empire:

Captial City Weekly:

We've been busy putting the last details together, apperaing on local radio shows, etc. The preview audiences have really been enjoying the show and we are all excited for Opening Night! 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Art Rotch, Executive Artistic Director at Perseverance in allowing me this opportunity and for welcoming me home. It feels really, really good to be here. 

Working with this cast over the last weeks has been super-thrilling and they made my job extremely fun. I'm proud of them and the work we've done and I am looking forward to sitting in the audience tonight and just sharing this grand experience with them.

Also, the entire design team and technical crew - thanks for making this journey a fun one. This show is crazy and required everyone to stretch right here at the beginning of the season and I'm forever grateful. 

And one more pubic shout-out to my Stage Manager - Nikki Dawson! She's been pure joy and it's been a blast working with her on this show! Let's do it again soon Nikki! 

One last thing: Our 39 Steps sticker contest winner: Christy Terry! Well Done! Here's a few photos! She won 2 season tickets. You can still find stickers and win other prizes:

And just as I was finishing this post, Nancy Hemenway, one of our board members, brought us 39 cupcakes to celebrate our opening! 


Thank you for following our blog! 


Monday, September 19, 2011

39 Steps: Day 35: The Chase is Really ON! (Sticker Location List)

Good Evening,

Okay, so, we really want to give away a pair of season tickets. I know many of you have a head start on the sticker contest, but may be having trouble finding those last now the chase is really on! 

So, here it is in it's entirety...The 39 Steps Location List: 


1.)          Douglas Café 

2.)          Douglas Depot 

3.)          A&P Coffee Bar

4.)          Tasty Treat 

5.)          The Closet consignment shop

6.)          Heritage Coffee- Second Street 

7.)          SilverBow 

8.)          State Office Building coffee bar 

9.)          The Rookery 

10.)        Mesa Grill 

11.)        Hearthside Books 

12.)        Triangle Bar 

13.)        Rendezvous

14.)        Lucid Reverie 

15.)        Nickelodeon

16.)        Pal Meni 

17.)        Shattuck and Grummet 

18.)        JACC

19.)        Taku Lanes 

20.)        Nugget Alaskan Outfitters 

21.)        Vintage Fare 

22.)        Heritage Drive-In Aiport Shopping Area

23.)        GCI

24.)        Amazing Bookstore 

25.)        UAS coffee/snack bar

26.)        Ferry Terminal 

27.)        Fred Meyer 

28.)        Blockbuster

29.)        Mendenhall Mall

30.)        Alaskan Brewery 

31.)        KTOO 

32.)        The Hangar

33.)        Pizzeria Roma

34.)        Sandpiper Café

35.)        Cycle Alaska

36.)        Island Pub

37.)        JDHS (This one is tough. Think Theatre)

38.)        Douglas Library

39.)        The Perseverance Theatre Van


and a reminder about what the prizes and rules are is here:

Good Luck! 

39 Steps: 6 Days to Go: Scenes from Tech & First Preview

We've been busy this past week! We spent the last week building the technical elements into the show. It's been quite the week! And tonight, we welcomed our first audience to see the show. It was a pay-what-you-can preview/rehearsal where we bridge that last important element into our work: the audience. We had quite the turnout tonight and if this is any inidication I think the audience interest level in this show is high. We learned a great deal tonight about what works in the show and the areas where things can be improved. It will be a wonderful challenge this week to work on fine-tuning the technical elements that support our great cast as they work toward sharpening their performances for opening night in...6 days. 

Here are some photos from our rehearsals this past Saturday...enjoy...for more visit Perseverance Theatre "39 Steps" dress rehearsal on Sep 17 on facebook...


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

11 Days to 39 Steps: Tech Happens plus Hints re: Sticker Contest

Good Evening, 

Sometimes TECH happens. When it does, it can and probably will take over one's whole life. The last few days have been some of the most lovely weather-wise since I arrived in JNU. That recognition had to take place from inside a darkened theatre though, as technical rehearsals have started for The 39 Steps. Somehow, we didn't let that recognition get the best of us and this team pulled together for what became a nicely surprising fun day of tech. See, most people dread tech. It's can be slow and you have to do things over and over again. However, if the day is set-up with the right expectations and a reminder that patience is key, tech can become quite the joyous experience. It's where the director and cast get to see how all the work they've been doing in the rehearsal room will be enhanced by the technical elements of the show. It gives the designers and tech crew a glimpse at how all their fantastic design elements and work they've been doing look in context of the show the actors have created. When it all fits together, it's a beautiful. 

I posted some shots yesterday of our spacing rehearsal. I will try to grab interviews with designers as I can. Here's a quick vid with a couple of the actors from our first day of tech: 

AramJedSurpriseTechInterview.m4v Watch on Posterous

and one more pic of the set-in-progress: 


NEXT: Update on the Sticker Contest - 

I know folks have been following the sticker contest. We're curious of how many you've found. We wanted to release some clues about some of the harder locations. Here they are: 

In the Valley: 

* You probably get coffee here a lot downtown - at this location however, you don't even have to get out of your car

* When it starts to get cold, you hit the mall and perhaps get some winter gear here

* Barney's friend sure sells a lot of stuff

* The makers of Perseverance Ale 

Even further out: 

* Sometimes your car wants to go on the water as well

* Whew! When students learn they might need a quick candy bar or soda


* I wonder if the actors in this "Fall Comedy For the Whole Family" will have admirers a-ready at the stage door

Okay, that's a few...anyone wanna share a clue to the hardest one they've found so far? 



Sunday, September 11, 2011

39 Step: behind the scenes

a fee shots for the last fee crazy busy days. more soon.

--bostin christopher--
mobile: 310-562-1210

--more than likely typed with my big thumbs on a tiny device, forgive typos-- ;)

Friday, September 9, 2011

39 Steps: We say our goodbyes...

Good Evening. 

Today is sixteen days from opening and tonight we said our goodbyes to the rehearsal room! We did a final run-thru in the space which we have definitely outgrown as more and more set elements and props have shown up. Wow, will it be nice to have some space! 

And soon we will start our technical rehearsals and start adding in costumes. Here's a sneak peak: 


See this and many more in...16 days...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

39 Steps: 17 was a busy one!

Good Evening, 

Whew! You can feel the train leaving the station. As we wind down our time in the rehearsal room and get ready to make our move into the theatre, the entire theatre is buzzing with activity: 

  • Sheila Wyne, our set designer, arrived late last night. We had drinks at the Harbor and a little Pel Meni (where I did notice one of our 39 Steps stickers. Hint, Hint!) Then, today, she was all kinds of involved. Running errands, making plans with our technical director, Erik Chadwell and more. 
  • We had our final production meeting before tech begins on Sunday. Great to have Sheila there live for the first time (she'd been conferenced every meeting before this one). All departments checked-in with their progress and listed their to-dos. The show is quite huge actually and everyone is doing a fantastic job to bring it to life!
  • Also before rehearsal, there was dialect work and bagpipe training! 
  • Then, in rehearsal tonight, we had a big night. We did an triple-speed run-thru (sometimes called an "Italian Run-Thru") of Act I and then we did a sing-thru of Act II. These both serve different purposes and are both exhilarating and exhausting for the actors. I promised them at the beginning of the week that we were going to push hard this week. They have been more than up to the challenge and I'm beyond pleased at where we are right now. We've got much to do and sharpen, but we are really running well right now. 
  • Tomorrow we say goodbye to the rehearsal room and hello to the theatre. Exciting! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

39 Steps: Costumes - Part Deux

Here are JPEGs of the costumes renderings for those who can't see/download the .PDFs referenced in the previous post. 

39 Steps: Costumes

Good Evening, 

One integral part of the process for all involved in the show is costumes. This show, being one with only 4 actors but dozens and dozens and DOZENS of roles, is an amazing task for a costume designer and their crew. Quick changes, multiple character changes on set during the show and costumes needing to be on top of other costumes are only part of the Herculian tasked asked of THE 39 STEPS costume designer. 

We've been blessed on this production to have Val Snyder. She's really been an absolute angel. She's asked the right questions, she's been flexible as we've been finding things in rehearsal and requesting changes. Really, I couldn't have asked for better. 

So, I wanted to share with you her early renderings. Val worked in a new way on this show apparently. She sketched the basics and then scanned them in and colored them digitally. Note: the characters are necessarily to scale in terms of which actor is playing which role. This will give you a beginning glimpse at what she's after. We have made many changes since these sketches. 

See what the actors are actually wearing and how they manage these amazing quick changes in...18 days!

39%20steps%20act1.pdf Download this file
39%20steps%20act2.pdf Download this file

Monday, September 5, 2011

39 Steps: Halfsies

Good Evening, 

Happy Labor Day to all! The official end of summer as they say. Juneau apparently has had ten more inches of rain than normal and we all surely can recognize that fact by the fact that it's been raining non-stop basically since our rehearsals began August 16th. 

It's the day off today and well deserved by all! 

We just ended our third week of rehearsal yesterday. We completed our staging of the second act and this week we will begin working thru whole acts and then running the show before we make the big move into the theatre on Friday night. Then we have two days of play in the theatre before we begin technical rehearsals next Sunday. We'll take more about that change later in the week. 

It's time now to shift our focus to soldifying the beats and beginning to make a cohesive whole. We will be making jumps in terms of the pacing of the show and bumping the style of the piece into a higher gear.

Today we rest...tomorrow we fly...and in 19 days we welcome you to join us...


39 Steps: Nikki

Good Evening, 

And now a word from our stage manager, Nikki Dawson. She how she puts it all together in 20 days! 


Juneau. 2007. March. It was dark and rainy and I was driving down Egan Drive one evening when I heard Jeffrey Herrmann on the radio.  He was looking for people to help backstage on Perseverance Theatre's production of The Who's Tommy.  I'd always wanted to work on a play so I called him up and thus began my theatrical adventures that are continuing with The 39 Steps.

The 39 Steps is a great adventure! Our main character meets a mysterious woman and is soon involved in an international plot. There are narrow escapes, close calls, and dangerous moments for our hero.  There are also hilarious situations, memorable characters, and a heart warming romance. This play is fun!

I am the production stage manager for the show.  My job is to help take care of the administrative and logistical details so that the director can concentrate on the artistic details.  I'm also the actors' representative throughout the process and will run the lights and sound effects during performances. It's a fairly time consuming job but very rewarding.  I get to see the play take shape and move from a bunch of ideas and words into the final product you will see on stage.  There are so many wonderfully creative and talented people working on this show and it is amazing to watch all of the parts come together to make a whole.

And our whole is coming together quite nicely! We just finished our third week of rehearsal and it won't be long till we move to the main stage and start adding lights and sound.  Pretty soon after that we'll be putting the finishing touches on everything and getting ready for opening night.  See you then.  We can't wait to show it all to you

- Nikki Dawson, Production Stage Manager

Sunday, September 4, 2011

39 Steps: Progress

Good Evening, 

This post is a little late tonight. Let's pretend it's not past midnight here and this is Saturday's post...k? 

We worked for the first time on the last scene of the play! We then had time to go back to the start of act two and begin the process again. Working through the scenes, giving the actors the chance to remember what we had done. Part of the process in the rehearsal room is to allow the actors the freedom and time to build what one could call "muscle memory", other's might say "get it in their bodies". It's basically to allow space for the movements to become second nature. An actor shouldn't have to "think" about where they are supposed to move, or really even what they are going to say. It's part of the magic of theatre - the illusion of the first time. 

See it for the first time in...21 days...




Friday, September 2, 2011

39 Steps: A Stile, Handcuffs on a Punchy Friday Night

Good Evening, 

Tonight was a good night. We are well into working on the second act of the play, and being about half way thru the process of rehearsal, we are all feeling a bit punchy. Much of that energy worked itself into much laughter and giggles tonight as we were reviewing scenes that we had worked on yesterday. 

TIme in reherasal is important, but at certain times, laughter is more important. As an actor I'm always in a strange place mid-way through, so as a director I can respect what it is they are all going through. One is trying to solidify the lines, remember where in the world they are supposed to move and be. And especially in this play, but really in all plays, trying to make moments as specific as possible. This play is physical and there are so many characters and so many moments, that it's a big challenge. These wonderful creatures (I dare not speak for them, but can mightily praise them) are doing a fantastic job! The play demands a great deal of them in terms of energy and creativity and they, if I do say so myself, have been meeting these challenges in a big way. We've got much work to do ahead of us. They know this and I know this. So, tonight as we approach the half-way point, doesn't it seem just right that we laugh so hard that we cry - at ourselves, the process and with each other. Yes, I say, yes! 

Tonight's laughter serves as a release. At least, for me it does. I know I'm punchy. As the wheels of time keep turning and more and more decisions have to be made, I long for the moments that release into joy. 

Over the next weeks as we finish our rehearsals and get to move into the theatre with the set and costumes and everything else, this world that is so alive right now, will grow and thrive and begin to take on a life of its own. I will revel in all these actors are doing and marvel at their energy and passion - even as I'm asking for more of it! 

And our final desire is to share this world with you and look forward to you joining in with your own laughter in...22 days.

- Bostin, Director

Thursday, September 1, 2011

39 Steps: Jed

Good Evening,

Jed Hancock-Brainerd, here. I am the last 1/4 of the acting crew on 39 Steps to post on the blog. I'm also the final member of Strange Attractor Theatre Co. to do so, the theatrical outfit Aram, Roblin, Rebecca, and myself make up. As Aram and Rebecca mentioned in previous posts, working on this play is a huge leap from the way we normally work together, as we tend to generate all the material we perform through improvisation. In our world if something isn't immediately fun it can be tossed out or morphed into something else. In the world of "straight" plays however, of which 39 Steps is a part, it is the actors', director, and designers' job to make everything on the page "work". This is a huge challenge with The 39 steps, where in addition to dialogue there are also physical bits that have become part of the DNA of the show. 

It's fairly rare, I think, that you find a "straight" play that has as strong a proposal for the physical world as it does for the verbal. These so-called "bits" in the play have become as popular, if not more so, than the snappy dialogue that this play employs. In many ways working on this play is akin to being asked to recreate a scene from a Marx brothers movie and to make it "work". It can be fun as the challenge for me is not to re-invent the wheel, but to allow all your own playfulness to shine through while executing the physical writing that is so much a part of this play. In this piece making the part my own has been and continues to be figuring out the timing, rhythm and breath necessary to make all these physical moments live in much the same way an actor would do with a piece of well known text. Once one of the moments is figured out you get to ride this crazy train on tracks that have been so well laid by the writer and team of actors that originally developed this piece six years ago. 

The final ingredient to this puzzle will of course be the audience and that's when we all get to really ride this roller coaster together. Look forward to seeing you all on the rails!


See Jed and all the Strange Attractor folks in The 39 Steps in...23 Days!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

39 Steps: 39 Stickers Contest!

Good Evening, 

I mentioned yesterday we had something fun in store for everyone. Today, we announce The 39 Steps Sticker Contest! 


We have placed 39 stickers that look like this: 

all around Douglas and Juneau (Downtown and the Valley)! 

The FIRST person to find all 39 stickers will win a pair of season tickets! A value of up to $272!

There are other prizes as well:
The SECOND person to find all 39 stickers and submit them to the theatre will get a pair of tickets to any show of your choice this season!

Anyone else who finds all 39 stickers and submits them to the theatre will get two free tickets to The 39 Steps!

If you can't find all 39 stickers, that's okay...if you find at least 15 stickers, you will get a voucher for a 2 for 1 ticket for The 39 Steps! 

To win, you must submit (by emailing or coming by the theatre during office hours) a list of the locations and pictures of yourself near the stickers to win.

In a few days, we will start releasing clues to the locations via our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Look for them! 



And we look forward to seeing the winners in...24 days! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

39 Steps: Getting the word out...

Good Evening, 

So far, this blog has been pretty centered on the rehearsal/tech aspects of putting this show. No show is complete, however, without many wheels turning behind the scenes. I'm hopeful that we can highlight some of those here over the coming weeks. 

Beyond productions meetings, sets being built, walls being painted and the actors working through their parts to figure out the why's and the wherefore's, there is an office a buzz with activity. Since The 39 Steps is the first show of the season, there are season ticket brochures being printed and sent, orders coming in, program ads being sold and much more. Much of that happens throughout the year as well, but there's always the beginning of the season push. 

In addition to all of that, we've been meeting on how to best market the show and begin to think about how to engage the audience and others in getting the word out. Since I am not only the director of 39 Steps, but also new on staff here at the theatre and working in areas of development and marketing, I'll look to share some of that process with you here. 

Tune in tomorrow for an announcement on one such activity we've come up with that will be fun and get everyone excited for The 39 Steps in...25 days! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

39 Steps: Roblin

Good Evening, 

Today we have a post from Roblin Gray Davis, who is acting in the show. Enjoy Roblin's post and see all he's doing and more on stage in...27 days! 


What a pleasure it has beeeeen! (Practicing my Standard British dialect there.) There is little as enjoyable as the creativity demanded of the rehearsal process. Playing alongside fellow performer funny man, Jed Hancock-Brainerd, I have the grand challenge of playing a multiplicity of characters with a variety of dialects. The two of us together form a dynamic superclown duo supporting the fantastical story of The 39 Steps. This demands constant playfulness, a grand willingness to try and fail, and a sensitive but resilient spirit. It is great fun to discover the heart of playmaking - le jeu, or pleasure and joy - in the simple act of playing together as an ensemble in the rehearsal hall. It is especially pleasurable to be working on a show originally created by actor-creators like myself but with the full support of Perseverance Theatre behind it all.

It is the end of the second week of rehearsals and we've continued to dive headfirst - starting today into the second act. And phenomenally made it a quarter of the way through thanks to the methodical and ever positive leadership of our director, Bostin, and the kind efficiency of our stage manager, Nikki. The first act of this show is a doozy and the second act just keeps on going. I can't wait until we start jumping around on the stage in costume! But until then, living inside our imaginations in the black box of the rehearsal hall and finding the space where all of our imaginations meet each other is the key. Yours truly, Roblin


Saturday, August 27, 2011

39 Steps: Peek in Rehearsals

Good Evening, 

It's a sneak peek into rehearsals with some pictures ---

And an update on Akiko and here fantastic scenic painting job --

And last, after rehearsal Art Rotch (Artistic Director for Perseverance and The 39 Steps Lighting Designer), Kathleen Harper (Production Mangaer and Props Master) and I did some some testing on the "shadow play" --- testing the fabric we received, the props Kathleen had mocked up (that's also her in the picture) and the light source Art was thinking about using. It's all a go and we were all pretty pleased with the results.

A great day all around...gonna be exciting to see how all these elements come together in...28 days... 

39 Steps: Dialects

Good Evening, 

Working on this show is extremely fun. Part of what makes this show so fun is that four actors take on the entire canon of characters in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. From London to Scotland, many different characters appear and it requires swift characterization in body and speech. 

So, working with our dialect coach, Christina Apathy, is a key part of this process for the actors. It's amazing to see how the voice affects a character. We decided to start with what would be "right" about a dialect, but with this kind of show - a satire / send-up - we will surely be playing with what everyone sounds like and finding the extremes in terms of how that specific character speaks. 

In the coming weeks, I'll have the actors talk more specifically about their dialect process and if, and how, it has impactd the way they worked on the show. 

Enjoy this video of a recent dialect session and get yourself ready to see if you can disguinish who is who and where is where on stage in...29 days. 

[also a fun announcemnet coming next Wednesday about a fun contest we'll be doing...stay tuned]

39_Steps_Dialect_Work.MOV Watch on Posterous

Thursday, August 25, 2011

pic in rehearsal for #PT39Steps for the twitterverse.


39 Steps: Aram

Good Evening,

Greetings Perseverance Blog World!

Aram Aghazarian, here. Perhaps you've seen a portion of my face in a previous posting--my lip is much better, thank you. I'm the fellow playing Richard Hannay in the 39 Steps. For me, the experience has been like making a 200 foot swan dive onto a massive chocolate layer cake. That's what it feels like being an actor in a full on production. I don't do this in Philadelphia--or anywhere. Me and my Strange Attractor colleagues operate more like a garage band or a make-shift laboratory, creating shows from scratch. So, it is both a great challenge and a luxury to be here as part of a team at Perseverance. I'm loving this process and am learning loads. And, despite my diving analogy, there is a lot of time when I'm simply trying to survive moment to moment--Where am I? What do I say? What do I do, now? OH CRIKEY!  

39 Steps: What Happened? Was it a MacGuffin?

Good Evening. 

Well, well, well.... something went crazy with my attempted mobile posting last night. I was trying to give you all a look at a couple of shots...


Not sure where they went in the interwebs, but it's good to know we've got them back! 

So, the pictures are of Akiko working hard on the scenic painting. She's doing an amazing job and I think you will be thrilled with the finished product. The other shot is of the mystery man. Someone I'm hoping you will meet in upcoming blog post. 

The days are full right now. Another production meeting earlier tonight. Things are on schedule. We are looking at doing testing of some scenic/light elements this weekend to get a better sense of how it will work. Sometimes, it's problem-solving at its best. I really enjoy that process, lucky for me. We've got some fun surprises in store. Over the blog I will share as much as I can without giving away too many of those surprises. Let's just say there might be many a MacGuffin in store...


From Wikipedia: Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock illustrated the term "MacGuffin" (sometime McGuffin or maguffin) with this story:[7]

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?", and the other answers "Oh, that's a McGuffin". The first one asks "What's a McGuffin?". "Well", the other man says, "It's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands". The first man says "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands", and the other one answers "Well, then that's no McGuffin!". So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all.


Something that is no Macguffin at all is that you will see many Macguffin's in 31 days...



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

39 Steps: Back at It!

week two begins! Akiko continues to paint. and who's the guy? ah...the tease...

more to come!!