The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Editor, Valdez Star 

Theatre Conference comes to Valdez and the last frontier next week

Free admission to plays is a first for the annual event now in its 24th year


Photo courtesy PWSC

The Stan Stephens Cruise is one of the many events attendees of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference look forward to each year.

It's June and in Valdez and that means getting ready for one of Alaska's biggest events of the year, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference.

Organizers of the conference say they are waiving admission fees to the plays that will be featured nightly during the six-day event that begins June 12 and runs through June 18.

"The week features six evenings of live theatre, and this year they will all be presented with no charge for admission," said a press release issued by Dawson Moore, the event's lead coordinator.

While the event attracts playwrights and actors not only from Alaska but from around the world - Moore says the farthest travelers this year include a playwright from Greece and a production from Australia -

the event strives to make everyone welcome whether you live in Valdez or are a visitor, or whether you are an insider to the world of theatre or are attending a play for the first time in your life.

The week's events load up the schedules of writers and actors as daily play labs and workshops and other special events stretch even the most energetic attendees endurance.

"The lifeblood of the Conference is the developmental Play Lab," Moore says. "This year it will feature readings of 53 new plays by a cast of 156 actors, ranging from Los Angeles professionals to Alaskan high school students. Plays receive a single rehearsal before being publicly read and responded to by theatre professionals. In addition to writers from Greece, Canada, New York, and Florida, thirteen Alaskans will be presenting their work."

Photo courtesy PWSC

Alaska playwright Clint Jefferson Farr.

This year, the conference will also be honoring one of the event's most ardent supporters since it began 24 years ago.

"Every year, the Conference honors someone who has given to the event with the Jerry Harper Service Award," Moore said. "The award, began in 2007, this year will be presented to former Prince William Sound Community College president Doug Desorcie, who was integral to the Conference from its first year."

Desorcie's biography with the conference and what is now Prince William Sound College stretches all the way back to 1992.

A full schedule of the week's events is available on the Prince William Sound College website.


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