PWSCC Professor Emeritus Gail Renardson has been selected to receive the 2013 Jerry Harper Service Award at the 21st Annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference, to be held in Valdez May 18-25, 2013. The award will be presented at the closing night gala on May 25.
The Jerry Harper Service Award was created in 2007 to honor people who have been instrumental in the development and success of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. It was named after Jerry Harper, one of the true icons of Alaska’s theatre for his work with Cyrano’s Theatre and elsewhere. At the Conference, Harper performed in numerous evening productions, including the Dick Reichman’s two-person play Money!, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, and Love Letters with Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal.
Dr. Renardson was involved from the event since planning for the first event began in 1992. She worked behind the scenes in the first year, working lights and doing what needed to be done. She became its coordinator in the second year, a position she continued through 2002, coordinating the Conference in addition to her duties as a full-time professor, a mammoth task. She has served as a respondent in the Play Lab, in addition to leading the play selection process for numerous years. She retired from teaching full-time in May 2012, and is now working on preserving the history of the Conference, in addition to serving as one of the leaders of the Lab selection process. Her voice was the main one in making sure the Play Lab continued in 1997, when the program was almost eliminated. She lobbied to open the Lab to national submissions, and it has now grown to be the primary engine of the event.
Past recipients of the award include Michael Warren Powell, founder of the Play Lab; Jim Cucurull, the event’s only technical director; Ron Holmstrom, long-time Valdez Star reporter on the event; TBA Theatre Artistic Director Shane Mitchell; longtime participating director, Erma Duricko; and event founder Dr. Jo Ann C. McDowell.
For more information on any aspect of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, go to http://www.pwscc.edu/conference/ or call 907-834-1614.