New Grant Brings ACT’s ‘Annie’ to PAC Stage

Dec 5, 2022 | Media & Arts, News, Nonprofits

Annie play

George Stransky

Leaving the confines of its black box stage on East 70th Avenue, Anchorage Community Theatre (ACT) brings the musical Annie to the Sydney Laurence Theatre in the Anchorage Center for the Performing Arts (PAC) thanks to a new charitable endowment, the Ruth Hart Fund.

The Sun Comes Out

The late Ruth Hart was a long-time patron and supporter of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and provided for the PAC in her living trust. This endowment fund is specifically to encourage and support the use of the Sydney Laurence Theatre by eligible nonprofit organizations. Priority is given to those that might not otherwise be able to utilize the space due to budgetary constraints.

ACT is the first beneficiary of the Sydney Laurence Theatre Production Support Program, administered through the Alaska Community Foundation.

“ACT has been an Anchorage institution for seven decades. Our shows once performed at the original Sydney Laurence Theatre. The Ruth Hart Fund has made it possible for us to perform under this historic name again,” says Matt Fernandez, Executive Director of ACT.

The Sydney Laurence Theatre is a flexible proscenium theatre with seating for 340 patrons, one of four performance spaces inside the PAC. The venue would ordinarily have been booked by Perseverance Theatre Company, which instead chose to mount this month’s production of Little Women at the main stage in the UAA Arts Building.

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“We are so thrilled to welcome ACT back,” says the PAC’s president and chief operating officer, Codie Costello. “ACT is an important community organization fostering a love of performing arts for youth and members of our community through stellar programs and training.”

Annie is the first ACT show in many years to perform outside of the company’s home stage, a sixty-one-seat black box. The forty-one members of the musical’s cast (plus one dog and one baby) and its scenery with rotating beds would hardly fit in the space.

“This fund has offered our cast and crew, our community, an exciting gift,” Fernandez says. “We are all ecstatic to set foot on this stage and be a part of the magic of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. This will be a memorable moment for so many people at ACT.”

Annie plays the first two weekends of December, closing December 11.

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