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
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: