Friday, April 22, 2011

The amazing Sydney Laurence Theatre... Wowza!

Hi everybody!

Allison writing...  Last night was our first show here in Anchorage of the NEW and revised "Time Immemorial".  It went amazingly well.  We have a fantastic dream crew of people, helping us make it happen.  Janet Stoneburner is our stage manager, and she is too phenomenal and fantastic for words.  Ed Bourgeois is handling the light board, and his energy is so good to be around, he's just wonderful and the lights were right on...  Klaus is doing sound, and he designed the lights, and he is a lighting genius.  Wendy manages the PAC stages, and her energy is also so wonderful, so awesome to have near.  The ushers and house manager last night were amazing.

Thanks everyone who has made this happen, especially big thanks to Jack Dalton!  The set Jack designed is really beautiful.  It looks great in the space.

Now, I want to thank the space itself.  The actual space.  The Sydney Laurence Theatre.  I'm not sure who designed you, who built you, when you were built, how old you are, but you - Sydney Laurence Theatre space, are amazing.

The acoustics in the space are soooooo good, it just makes the show POP!  We don't need to force our projection of our voices as much, so we are allowed to have a lot more variation in the levels of our voices for different effect.    I can't overemphasize how freeing this is, as being an actor.

This space is fancy.  It rocks.  I LOVE performing in it!

I hope that if you have seen the show, that you know that the show has changed significantly since two years ago.  New scenes, new set, new lights, new sounds, and it is tighter!

I hope you see it!  No, we won't be bringing it back at a later time.  This is it!  See you there!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tonight is the night, Anchorage!

Hello everybody!

Allison here!  Tonight at 8pm, Time Immemorial will be at the Sydney Laurence Theatre at the Performing Arts Center in downtown Anchorage!

So, you tell me, you already have your tickets?  That's awesome!  Thanks so much for getting your tickets for either tonight, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm or Sunday at 6pm.

Your job as our friends and family and loved ones is not over yet!  We are asking you to please get two or more of YOUR friends or family to see the show!  This means you make a phone call, send an email with a link to this blog and the centertix page, you post a big Shout Out to Time Immemorial on your facebook page.

We need your help.  You.  You can help us fill the seats.  How many friends can you bring with you to the show?  We want to find out.

Love you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back in the city after being in Nome and Kotzebue

Hello everyone,

Allison here.  I'm writing this post from the Anchorage Airport.  I'm waiting for my ride, after a five day journey with Jack to Nome and Kotzebue to perform "Time Immemorial".

I still feel the freshness of the Arctic on my skin, my soul still feels open, after spending time out on the ice, looking at the beautiful countryside of Nome and Kotzebue.  I am marked by the land and the people of the land.

We got to spend more time in Nome than we did in Kotzebue.  I left Kotzebue today, wanting to stay at least another day.  And my heart yearned to travel on a small plane to Point Hope.  It was hard being so close to my friends and family in Point Hope and not being able to go and "say hi".

Yet, I did see folks from Point Hope in the Kotzebue airport, which was good.

Something about me changes when I get back to the Arctic.  I become more of who I am.   This trip was the first time "Time Immemorial" had been performed in a rural community, an Iñupiaq community.  It was an amazing gift, to be able to present to the people of the land, to the people who live in the Arctic.
It was incredibly meaningful and the performances were amazing.

I got to visit friends and family in both places.  Everything came together in a good way, and the communities really rallied around us and our performance - to make it happen.  I felt really loved and supported and they appreciated our piece and message.

Thanks to Richard and also Josie Stiles of the Nome Arts Council, and to all of the Nome Arts Council for supporting us and hosting us in Nome.  Josie Stiles is really the hostess with the mostess.  Thanks so much for the people who came out and saw the show, and to Matthew at the radio station for such an amazing interview and for hosting us as well.  Thanks also to Katie Stiles, who did amazing last minute audio tech for the show, and for Richard for tech'ing the lights.  And to everyone else who helped.

Thanks to Siikauraq, the Mayor, for hosting us in Kotzebue.  She was phenomenal in getting us and the show up and running in less than six hours after landing in Kotzebue. She rallied support and she made us feel so welcomed and supported on our stay there. Every need was met with such amazing grace and style.  Thanks to our amazing technicians who did a great job with the lights and sound, and to everyone who helped with the show.  It turned out so well.

I am back in Anchorage inspired and refreshed, renewed and filled with hope.  I got to interact personally - face to face - with leaders in the communities, and they are so passionate and committed to the health of our peoples.  They care, and it was inspiring to be around.  It was the shot in the arm that I needed to keep on track.  Thank you.

I'm still processing the incredible-ness of this trip.  I'll post more thoughts soon.

Love!  Allison

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mandy Sullivan - My friend from my 16 year old days!

Mandy and I were good friends at the age of 16.  We had a BLAST together, being friends at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics, of which she is now on the board.  She's awesome!

Gina! Quick Recommendation to see the show...

I've known Gina for over 20 years!  I finally got to see her again, after many years.  It was awesome!

Kim Eames, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks!

Thanks Kim, for all your work in putting up the posters around Fairbanks!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank You, Fairbanks

Hello everyone out there,

Allison here.  I want to thank Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, and Erica Lord, and Nellie Iyapana and Jack Dalton for all the work involved in putting up "Time Immemorial" in Fairbanks.  Also to Bruce Rogers and Rebecca Eddy and John and Chris and Anna and Andy White and Evon Peter and Enei Begaye and all the people who attended the show, or supported the show in any way shape or form.  If I've forgotten your name, please forgive me. It was awesome and an honor to be in Fairbanks, the land of which I was born and raised.

I am back in Anchorage and reunited with my 15 year old nephew, who is really more like my son, because I am his guardian here in Alaska.  I'm his person.  He's my boy.  I missed him while I was in Fairbanks, and it was challenging to arrange for care for him whilst away.  He gave me the best hug ever when I returned.

We received a standing ovation for our Saturday performance in Fairbanks.  Jack and I know that this show impacts people, and has a healing affect on people.  The show is strong and amazing.  We asked for donations at the end of the last three shows, and my pocket just kept getting stuffed with cash, an outpouring of support to make up for the house that didn't sell out, yet had very committed and beautiful audience members in it.  

If you feel moved and want to support the show from a distance, you can.  Checks can be mailed to: Time Immemorial c/o Allison Warden P.O. Box 110522, Anchorage, Alaska or to my paypal account at akootchook at gmail dot com.   We appreciate your support.  You can stuff our pockets, from a distance...

It takes time to build momentum and we can feel the momentum building as we push forward on the tour, excited to travel to Nome and Kotzebue this week, honored to be performing in Inupiaq communities in the Arctic. When we return, we will perform the show in Anchorage at the Sydney Laurence Theatre at the Performing Arts Center downtown.  It will be my first time performing there, outside of a TedX talk I gave a couple of weeks ago.  It's a beautiful amazing space, perfect for our show.   We hope to see you there, and we hope you buy tickets now at:

We are moving forward, as a cast/production crew/writers of two.  We two, together, have prepared a gift, for the communities that we are moving forward towards, the communities of Nome, Kotzebue, Anchorage and Valdez.  This gift is beautifully packaged and visually interesting.  It sounds good.  It's a good mystery, it unfolds itself into pools of laughter and tears...  It smells like truth, and it tastes like seal oil.  This gift is a personal one, one that is requiring of the givers (us two) lots of sacrifice in terms of time away from our families, friends and other work commitments.  We are offering this show to you and your friends, your family, as an invitation to have a moment (a two hour journey moment) where you are able to relax and absorb, to breathe and reflect, to laugh and to cry, to dream and to remember, to recognize and to release.  That is the amazing gift of good theatre.  You are allowed (for two hours) to sink into another world, to immerse yourself into a story, to unravel your inner tensions and to allow yourself to just be.  Just be, in the audience, allowing the performance to unearth you in the best possible way.

We ask that you extend the invitation - so that others may be next to you as you open the gift of the show, as you sink into your cushy seat at the Sydney Laurence in Anchorage, or in your chair at the Nome Elementary School commons, or on your spot at the table at the JNES Cafeteria in Kotzebue, or in your theatre seat in Valdez at the Civic Center.   Who is sitting next to you, as the journey of the show unfolds and brings tears and laughter to your hearts and soul?  Who are you going to invite, to open this gift with you?

One of my favorite parts about working in theatre is being able to look out into an audience and recognize friends and family, to see people I've met from a distance, to see the faces of people I don't recognize, and to hear them collectively laugh and clap, and react to the unfolding drama that is being given to them...

Time Immemorial is our gift to you.  We hope to see your face soon, looking back at us, from the audience, as we move forward, through Time Immemorial....


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The things you get used to, and the things you don't

Hello, All,
Jack here.
Last day in Fairbanks. One more matinee at 1:00pm. The Empress Theatre has been so good to us! Huge props to CJG, John, Anna and Cassidy! Even bigger thanks to Nellie and Erica, who have been our assistants. They've done all the little and big things that keep us sane before during an after a show! A better crew we could not ask for! Thank you also to my friend from Russia, Oksana, who came to see the show, and Nicole, an amazing teacher I met when I was an artist in residence at Tuntutuliak. And my Uncle Walkie. And . . . So many more.

Last night, as the show started, Allison and I both felt something. In the first scene, there was a natural feel, like we weren't acting, we were living the words. As we came together to breathe, as we do in between each scene, we saw it in each others' eyes. "Can you feel it?" "Yeah!" "This is amazing!" "Yeah!"

As the story progressed, it's like we fell further and further into the story. By the time intermission rolled around, Allison and I were in awe. And a little bit scared. "This feels way too real."

The short time in between scenes is spent setting up the stage for the next scene. There's alot to do in the transitions, we are almost constantly on stage. But sometimes the biggest job between scenes is putting away the character and the emotions of that scene. After I play Elder, who loses Child to the flu in 1918, and gives up the old ways to become a Christian, I can be an emotional wreck. It's one of the most difficult parts of our history to reconcile.  The massive loss of life. The missionaries convincing us everyone died because we weren't Christian. That one year reverberates within our cultures more than anything. And playing that moment out is grueling.

But then, it's time to reset, jump off stage, put on a scarf and play Son, a mid-20s Inupiaq man who was adopted outside and has come back to meet his Mother for the first time. A huge character and emotional shift, in less than a minute, whilst moving table and chairs around. Yet, it's just another moment in the life of a performer.

I've been a professional performer for over 12 years now. I've told stories heavily laden with emotion, in front of tens of thousands of people. I'm used to the way emotion is used to tell a story, to help the audience connect with the story, learn something from the story. So, wandering through heavy emotions in front of an audience is not necessarily difficult. It's a skill you learn and use to the best of your ability each time you perform.

But, when the story transforms to something more, something almost real, that can be a trip. After intermission, the realism grew. In between each scene, when we breathed, our eyes were wider. We could also tell how present the audience was with us, as though we could feel their breathing, and how it changed with each emotion that washed across the stage.

When the last line was spoken and the lights went down, we knew what had happened between us on stage. A rush of emotion, real, not acting, emotion, surged through us. We hugged and looked each other in the eyes. "That was amazing!"

Then we turned to the audience and took that first bow.

Now, if it happens, it always happens during that first bow. The lights come up, you see the audience, you hear the applause, you take that first bow. Then, when you stand up again, there they are, people standing up. A wave of humility lurches in my chest. "They felt it, too. It reached them." We bow again. And when we stand again, the whole audience is on their feet. And you realize, we are all standing together, because we were all there, in the story. And that story, despite the turmoil, the struggle and the pain portrayed, infused us all with hope. It lifts everyone.

I admit, I have had my fair share of standing ovations, but I can tell you honestly: There are some things you get used to, but some things I don't think I will ever get used to.

Perhaps people have different reasons for standing. But in my heart, I want to believe it's because of the hope.

Thank you all again for all of your hope, love and support,


Jodi ROCKS about the show!

It was so good to see you in the audience!

Lance Twitchell gives "Time Immemorial" a Song!

Thank you, Lance for this amazing gift!  What an amazing song to share!  Gunalchéesh!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mountains of Tears

Hello everybody,

Allison Warden writing.  I am writing from a cafe in Fairbanks, sitting with a couple of friends, as my laundry washes itself in a machine down the road a bit.  Today, I forced myself to sleep in a bit.  I have this habit of waking up bright and early, and usually I stay awake and keep moving, as part of my day.

Today, I allowed for a bit of a rest, as this show, producing the tour, and being away from home and Cody is wearing on me.  Yet, I am strong.

As intensely funny the show is, there are also some intense emotional moments that happen on stage.  So, today, out of the blue, I was an Allison CryBall.  Nothing too serious or intense, just a wash of tears, thinking about the show, and the impact and just crying just to cry.

We've done two shows now, and two more to go here in Fairbanks.  Then, we are back in Anchorage for two days, then leave to perform in Nome and Kotzebue, and then back in Anchorage for the week of the run of our show at the Sydney Laurence Theatre.

Being near friends who are my family is grounding me, as I prepare for a show tonight and a show tomorrow.  Being in Fairbanks is grounding me, as I remember my origins, growing up here in Fairbanks, playing here as a young child.

This show has a way of weaving a healing thread through people who are touched by it... It also weaves a healing thread through the performers/writers/tour organizers.   I am taking that thread today, and realizing how beautiful it is, this healing thread, this opportunity to lean towards releasing and healing, of breathing and letting go.

Send us good thoughts, as we do this hard work of sharing this show.  Send love.

And.... please get your tickets in advance for Anchorage.   Love!

Representing for the Youth! 18 year old Cody!

He's my friend Lance Twitchell's brother and it was good to see him!

Ryan's Rocking Testimonial - Thanks!

This guy was amazing.  Thanks so much!

Jack's friend Oxana came to see the show! What a great surprise!

Jack's Uncle comes to see "Time Immemorial"!

Short and Sweet - Go see "Time Immemorial"!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cover of Latitude 65 in Fairbanks, Alaska!

Time Immemorial is in Fairbanks! Click HERE for the full cover article for Latitude 65!
 Get your tickets ONLINE NOW at if you want to see the show.... Tickets are available at the door, yet it may sell out.  See you there!

Tickets in Anchorage - April 21st to the 24th

Get Tickets for Anchorage HERE! You can pick the best seats now! Special AKU-MATU performance on Thursday, April 21st.

The Old Toy Store and Walking the Line

Hi Everyone,

Allison here.  Do you love the videos?  You can make one too!  Send a link to us at timeimmemorialtour at gmail dot com  We want your testimonial!

I'm exhausted and about to sleep after a great opening night.  It was a good show, an odd show, as it seems the lines from the script seemed to jumble themselves into thin air, and the emotions of the scene became fresh again.  Each and every scene, felt new.

Perhaps because I remember when the Empress Theatre used to be the Old Toy Store, way long long ago, when I was a kid.  Today, I walked down the back stairs of the theatre to go to the bathroom, and a RUSH of memories flooded through me, remembering when I walked down those same stairs as a young six year old Allison, going downstairs to the shoe store from the toy store.

Perhaps that is why so many of the scenes felt emotionally infused tonight, with freshness and intensity.  The audience laughed, they cried.  They were affected and they loved it.

When I return to Anchorage, and for folks in Fairbanks, or anywhere, we both need friends to be on book so that we can run our lines together, or apart.  I imagine a friend in Anchorage, meeting me for lunch, and they hold the script, with me reciting lines.

I appreciated the show tonight, even though it felt like we were walking "the line".  Walking the lines, walking in between the lines, walking around the lines, finding new emotions within the lines.

If you believe in our work, you can make a paypal donation to my paypal account at:
akootchook at gmail dot com

It will go toward our overall expenses.  We are hoping to at least break even here in Fairbanks.  We are hoping more and more folks in Anchorage will rally their friends and buy their tickets online now at so that we don't need to go into panic mode.  We are hoping to fill Thursday, April 21st in Anchorage - and we will have "special guest artist appearances" on Thursday, April 21st to help make that happen.

We are hoping to see you share about this tour on your social media!  We want to see your faces in our audiences.  We send you love!  Thanks for the video testimonials!  More tomorrow!

Athabaskan Actor and Director Allan Hayton comments on "Time Immemorial"

Allan and I have been friends for over 20 years!  Thank you so much Allan, for helping us with the show, and for your kind words.  Good to see you here in Fairbanks!

Curtis Karns shares why Non-Native folks need to see "Time Immemorial"

I've known Curt since I was a little girl.  He is now the head of the whole Presbyterian Church here in Alaska.  He came to the show with his wife and daughter, and it was awesome to see them!

Emotions Immemorial

Tonight was opening night in Fairbanks. While there is still much work to accomplish for the rest of the tour, having this first show is such a relief, the culmination of so much work. It has been a long road to this night, which included the 360 miles of road from Anchorage.

Keep in mind, we've done this play before. We started writing it three years ago. It premiered , with us in the roles of Tulu and Miti, two years ago in Anchorage. An intense dramaturgical process through Native Voices at the Autry in San Diego last year. And performances in Homer and Palmer in February this year.

However, what I want to address tonight is the joy of continued discovery. You might think, after working on and performing a play a certain number of times, it might begin to get boring. But I can tell you that is far from the truth.

Tonight is a perfect example. In the scene Father and Daughter, a scene we've done plenty of times, rehearsed alot, 'cause of the meaty dialogue (props to Allison for writing such a brilliant scene), I discovered an entirely new aspect to my character and the scene. To give a short run down, this is a scene in which my daughter, Miti, works for a Native corporation. I, Tulu, an older gentleman, am the tribal president. Essentially, Miti is trying to convince me that oilfield development is good for our village. Tulu has a different opinion.

Previously, when we did this scene, I saw it as an intersting and fun intellectual battle between a father and daughter, and I get to be obstinate, which is always fun as an actor. But tonight, something hit me. The scene also reveals that Miti is soon to be married. I realized that I'm going to lose my daughter, not only to her corporate views, but to the rest of her life beyond me. And somewhere between the ice disappearing and my daughter disappearing, I become a very lonely father.

Acting challenge! Inupiaq gentlemen in their 50s or 60s are not known for being founts of emotion, especially tears. And yet, I felt real emotion about the scene. Another realization was about what strength and conviction it takes to be a leader, to always appear strong and in control, even if your heart is breaking.

Further acting challenge! How do you let the audience inside? How do you let them know what' is going on inside, but still have the vision of strength and conviction?

Writing challenge! I honestly can't explain it. It amazes me, still, how a character can really assert themselves onto you as an actor, to the point that you don't necessarily feel in control. But, you are not out of control, either. And what tremendous trust it takes to allow a character to have such a life within you. But also the trust the character must have to feel it truly is free within us to explore him or herself.

And, in the end, I marvel at how a story can have so many levels, that it never gets boring to perform.

There is so much more to talk about: After show conversations, all the work a tour requires, other aspects of the teatre life. But for now, I'm exhausted. Time to take a nice hot bath, see the cool videos I know Allison is uploading right now, and get a really good night sleep. Ten more shows, and lots of things to write about.

Come see the show, post a video, audio or written account of your experience with the play, and help us get the word out to others. Starving artist should just be a metaphor, not a reality. LOL

Thank you all for your support.

Tulu . . . I mean . . . Jack.

Jack Dalton shows us the Set for Time Immemorial in Fairbanks, Alaska

Look What A Beautiful Place I've Created!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Coolest Postcards Ever! You know you want one!! 1500 Opportunities to share a story...

The Postcards Arrived! The Excitement of Fairbanks...

Hi Everyone,

It's Allison, of the dynamic Time Immemorial duo of Allison and Jack.  We decided to start this blog, because we both are writers.  Heck, we wrote this amazing play!  So, it is good for us to share with our friends and family our journey together as we move forward in time, going through this intense tour process towards you.  Yes, you.

We love being at the Empress Theatre.  They ROCK.  The space is amazing.  Jack designed a set, that is coming together really beautifully.  We are overwhelmed, yet we are learning to ask for help.  Today, our friend Kim drove around and put posters up everywhere.  And my longtime friend Allan Hayton, he came in and watched our run-through and gave us notes.  And Erica Lord, our good friend, came and helped relentlessly on finishing our set.  She really transposed the idea into something even more amazing.

All of this work, paying for all of these expenses up front, (including our hotel rooms - so we can get proper rest) and we have yet to sell a single ticket in Fairbanks online.  (  This is a huge act of trust - us trusting and praying that "if you build it, they will come"....  And we are hoping and waiting... waiting to see the faces that come into the theatre tomorrow night and watch our labor of love, done in the Fairbanks way.

This entire tour is like giving a big hug.  We love you guys.  We believe in this work, the impact this work has so strongly, that we will push through the hard hard work and extremely long hours so that we can offer you, yes YOU, the opportunity to be in the audience.  To be a part of the magic of theatre.

We are excited to see who shows up.  I'm especially thrilled because our cool tour postcards arrived today.  They list all the dates and times and places for the upcoming five stops on the tour.  Now, we have a way to talk to people we run into when we are out and about - about the play, about what we are doing.  They are beautiful postcards, 1500 strong, ready to be distributed, one by one.

Being in Fairbanks is emotional for me.  I was born and raised here.  It means a lot for me to be able to perform here, to perform a piece of work that I can really stand behind and be excited about sharing...
I hope my childhood friends emerge, I hope elders emerge and I hope that people who are curious about our show emerge and that we can see all of their faces, beaming back towards us, in the audience, as we share our labour of love.

I'm excited about this blog, and I hope people take it upon themselves to post "video or audio or written testimonials" about the impact the show made upon them when they saw it in either Homer or Palmer this year, or in Anchorage (different version of then one now) two years ago.   Post testimonials!  Send them to our email at and post them on facebook and tag us in your video/note/soundcloud post.

Tomorrow, we are doing our first show here, at 7:30 pm at the Empress Theatre.  We are hoping our friends and family will come tomorrow.  A big article is coming out about us in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner on Friday, so we need to fill the seats the most tomorrow.  We are going to have a special guest appearance here in Fairbanks, just for tomorrow's audience.  So, see you there!

We love you guys!  If you are in Anchorage, please buy your tickets for our show online NOW at:

More words, photos and videos soon!  Yay!  You can follow us on this journey!  We are excited to share this tour with you, day by day, and we are looking forward to seeing you in our audiences.

Truly, Allison

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let the tour of Alaska begin! Or continue.

Hello, everyone!
Jack and Allison here.
We have started the second part of our statewide tour and thought it woul be good to blog about it.
Driving up to Fairbanks yesterday, we had the realization of how big this play and tour are, and how intense it is. Let's face it, Time Immemorial covers subjects and attempts to heal generations of cultural suffering. Allison and I are both proud, tough individuals, and we think we should be able to handle everything. But right outside of Nenana, it hit us: This play deals with ALOT, and we are carrying on our shoulders. It's OK to be affected by it. It's OK to need to take a moment and cry. It's OK to ask for help. It's OK to share what we are going through. We don't have to do this alone.
Already, we've seen the impact of this play on different communities and we realize now that starting this dialogue, this blog, is part of a continuing healing process for everyone in Alaska, both Native and non-Native.
So, this is going to be a crazy couple of weeks, and we hope to keep up with this. If you are in Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue, Anchorage or Valdez these next few weeks, come and see the show.
We are also asking anyone who has seen the show to create a video, or audio post on their social media, or write something about what they got out of the play and how it has changed your lives. Whereever you post it, send us a link to We'll share the link with others here.
Thank you everyone for all of your support. We hope to see you in the communities we visit. And see, hear, or read your post online.

Thank you,