June 12, 2015 Community Happenings

Category: News
Created on Friday, 12 June 2015 09:25
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Sitka to Celebrate

Flag Day Sunday

Sitka Emblem Club 42 and Sitka Elks Lodge 1662 will host a Flag Day Celebration noon Sunday, June 14.

A parade from Totem Square to Crescent Harbor will be immediately followed by a Flag Day ceremony at the Crescent Harbor shelter. Families and friends are invited to attend.


Sitka Science Center, Yakutat

Get Grant for Beach Cleanup

The Sitka Sound Science Center and the City and Borough of Yakutat have been awarded a $6,000 grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to implement a youth and community summer program to remove debris from Yakutat beaches.

Working under the direction of the Yakutat City Planner Rhonda Coston and her staff, Yakutat youths, ages 9-26, will conduct bi-weekly cleanups of their beaches for two months this summer. 

Margot O’Connell, SSSC marine debris coordinator, will provide training on protocols and best practices for inclusion of the data in the Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation’s statewide database, now housed at SSSC.

“Our first scheduled marine debris collection day in Yakutat is on National Public Lands Day,” said Rhonda Coston. “We are partnering with USFS, NPS, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, Yakutat Chamber of Commerce, ALPAR Marine and CBY to do a cleanup day, and are excited to continue in a new partnership with the Sitka Sound Science Center and NOAA Marine Debris Program for a summer youth program.”

“The Sitka Sound Science Center Marine Debris program is built on the foundation that no one better understands the issues facing Alaska than Alaskans, and the best way to combat marine debris is to get Alaskans working in their own communities using their local knowledge,” O’Connell said. “This project provides a meaningful stewardship activity that will result not only in clean beaches locally but a broader understanding of what is needed to keep our oceans and shore healthy.”

For more information contact O’Connell at 747-8878, ext. 10.



40-Day Party Set

For Nadine Jones

A 40-day party for Nadine Ramona Jones will be 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the American Legion Hall. She died May 8 in Juneau.

Those with questions may call Eva Howard at 321-3671.


Farewell Party

Set for Williamses

A farewell gathering for Wells and Karen Williams will be 2-5 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the South Shelter of Halibut Point Recreation Area.

All are invited to attend.


‘Paris of the Pacific’ has

Full Cast of Characters


By Megan Pasternak

Special to the Sentinel

You may have seen any or all of the past presentations of Greater Sitka Arts Council’s locally written “Paris of the Pacific” melodrama. When you attend one – or both – of this summer’s two shows, you may recognize some of the actors and characters. But this time around some of the actors are taking on different roles – much to their delight.

Seaton Ryan is keeping his Russian accent but has switched from being Ivan, the poor, indebted father of sweet young thing Sophia, to being the villain banker Chichingski, perpetrator of Ivan. It’s a role he is enjoying as he has more lines and says that, for him, the role is more fun.

Ryan’s recent Sitka roles include Mr. Hamerschmidt in “Parfumerie” and Daddy Warbucks in “Annie.”

Ira Snelling, again playing Prince Bella T, is very familiar to Sitka audiences as he participates in practically every production happening. Snelling directed “Paris of the Pacific” twice, once while also performing.

Snelling described Prince Bella T as “a well-meaning but dim-witted good guy. Sort of a Dudley Doright if he was a private in the Amy rather than a Mountie.”

Newcomer to the stage Steve Huddleston will be Sgt. Biorka. When asked what made him try out, he said he saw the announcement in the paper and decided to give it a try. He said he likes “being the guy with power” and has even put together his own military costume and definitely looks the part.

Turning into a Sarah Palin-like Sassy is Bethany Boyer-Rechlin who theatergoers may recognize from her roles as Lionel, the butler and the cabbie in the fall radio theater production of “Sherlock Holmes and the Night Before Christmas.” Of her current role, she says she’s neither a Sarah Palin nor a bartender but thinks this is a great experience and a great character to play, adding, tongue-in-cheek, “She’s the quintessential Alaska woman.”

Having previously had the roles of Salty and Mrs. Dusteroff in this melodrama, Marcia Drake is now Sophia. “I’ve never played a heroine and I think that now’s as good a time as any,” she said. “When it all comes together it’s going to be wacky and wonderful.”

Taking on his third character in “Paris of the Pacific” is Luciano Cannizzaro. This time he is Ivan. Past roles were Chichingski and Prince Bella T. He said he’s liked every one of his roles as each character has his own quirks but he’s giving Ivan a unique characteristic under the direction of Annabel Lund. Cannizarro has been seen on Sitka stages in radio theater productions, as Lenny in “The Flattering Word” and in “Parfumerie.”

Jackie Turley is portraying Chichingski’s suck-up assistant Cottle. She’s new to Sitka but has theater experience from high school and college work. Her expertise is make-up and she has played extras in “Beauty and the Beast” and the lamplighter in “The Little Prince.”

Mary Barrett is reprising her role of Salty the fisherman. She’s been in local radio theater productions and was also in “Parfumerie.”

“It’s kind of fun to play an alcoholic smoker,” she said then quickly added, “But the character’s a vegan!”

The former Sgt. Biorka is now Mrs. Dusteroff, played by Jeff Budd who has also been in “The Nutcracker.”

“I like the idea that there is community theater involving melodrama because it’s a way for people to enter theater in an easier, non-threatening way,” said Budd, who is also co-producer. “It’s for all ages. Young people will get a taste and perhaps enter into it. I want to see melodrama become part of the fabric of Sitka.”

Sabrina Michael, from Kwethluk, just graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School, moved to Sitka and landed the role of George, the true hero of the play. This is her theatrical debut and she said, “Maybe I should have had a smaller role, but this is fun.”

Others hanging out in the saloon in the play are Svetlana Perry and Angelo Cannizzaro. Ceridwin Snelling plays the news kid.

Providing live accompaniment and setting the mood on piano and violin are Joshua Houston and Kammie Daniels.

Pulling it all together is director Lund who has been in all aspects of theater all of her adult life. She is very familiar with this melodrama, as she played Cottle last year. She said she’d like to see every single person in Sitka, at one time or another, be in “Paris of the Pacific,” likening the method of accomplishing that to the plot of “The Lottery,” in which your name is drawn, you’re in.

“However, the most important thing (with this melodrama) is truly the graciousness and joy of the audience. The audience makes it in every way,” Lund said.

You can add your joy – and participate with boos, hisses, sighs, cheers and singing – at performances at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, and Monday, June 29. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for those age 12 and under at Old Harbor Books.

And if you get hooked and want to be a part, the melodrama will again be staged October 17 as part of Alaska Day celebrations.



Kaagwaantaan Meet

Sitka Kaagwaantaan will meet 3 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at Blatchley Middle School, Room 114, for song practice and planning summer activities.