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earthquake '64

Inspired by true events


Created by Mary Alley, Jake Beauvais, Angela Colavecchio, Brian Cook, Addoris Davis, Kayla Gonzalez, Devan Hawkins, Taran Haynes, Bao Her, Alexandra McCall, Kaeli Meno, Andrew Miller, Petra Murray, Becca Padrick, Paitton Reid, Joshuah Rutten, Shelley Virginia


Music and Lyrics by Becca Padrick


Special thanks to Jeanne Brenner, Dan Kendall, and Erling Young for telling us their stories; Janelle Sikorski for helping us understand the science; Anna Padrick for musical assistance; and UAA Archives and Special Collections

University of Alaska Anchorage
February 2018


Directed by Dr. Brian Cook 

Assistant Director and Movement Direction by Shelley Virginia

Scenic Design & Technical Direction by Daniel Glen Carlgren

Costume Design by Colleen Alexis Metzger 

Lighting Design by Daniel J. Anteau 

Stage Management by Addoris Davis

CAST (in alphabetical order)

Jake Beauvais as Greg

Angela Colavecchio as Eileen

Devan Hawkins as Genie Chance, Joan

Taran Haynes as Russ, Joe Pyne

Bao Her as Sue, Pam

Alexandra McCall as Carin, Tracy

Kaeli Meno as Anna, Blanche Clark

Andrew Miller as Jack Hoff

Petra Murray as Diane

Becca Padrick as Benny, Pianist

Paitton Reid as June

Joshuah Rutten as Michael, George

 all other roles played by the ensemble

Note from the Company:

This production has been a labor […mostly of love] for well over a year, from initial idea to performance. Twenty different people throughout the process have brought their ideas and interests into the final show that you’ll see tonight. The four and a half minutes starting at 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, inspired us in myriad ways, and if we included everything that we’ve examined, explored, experimented with, and written, the performance would probably be over 24 hours long. The focus of devised theatre is always on the process; what you will experience is the result of our process, not a finished “product.” The dialogue, music, movement, and dance are our very personal responses to a distant, historical experience that none of us had, and thus can only imagine. Our production should be seen as one ripple of the wake the earthquake left behind, and we dedicate it to the 139 men, women, and children who lost their lives.



Earthquake ’64 was a new theatrical production devised entirely by UAA theatre students as a multidisciplinary performance that carefully wove together the personal stories, local experiences, and science behind the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake. Using spoken dialogue, movement and original songs, this production examined the ripple effect this event had on Alaska and the world – changes to people, communities, cultures and scientific understanding. It was a uniquely personal look into the earthquake that shaped the state we live in.


An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.2 struck South-central Alaska just after 5:30 p.m. on March 27, 1964, Good Friday. Around 139 people were killed in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the effects from which were measured as far away as Hawaii and Japan. The earthquake remains the second strongest in recorded history.

Our work on Earthquake '64 started more than a year before the show began. We began acquiring research material: stories, photos, news articles, scholarship, videos, songs--anything that we felt connected to what we knew about the earthquake.

We then began work in the rehearsal room in earnest, improvising, inventing characters and situations, and continuing to research things that interested us. Eventually we began to circle around several people and storylines that we connected to. We then wove these into the final production.

The complex nonlinear storytelling and the wide range of characters makes it difficult to sum up the play. Instead, please visit any of the following pages to learn about different parts of the production: 

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