Oct 12, 2017
Oct 29, 2017


NY Premiere
Directed by Ping Chong & Ryan Conarro
A Production of Ping Chong + Company
Created by Ping Chong, Ryan Conarro, Justin Perkins
& Gary Upay’aq Beaver (Central Yup’ik)

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ALAXSXA | ALASKA is a theatrical collage of multimedia, puppetry, and Central Yup’ik drum and dance, illuminating striking moments of cross-cultural encounter in the epic, changing landscapes of Alaska. The three performers use movement and puppetry to reveal a series of little-known historical narratives of collisions between people and cultures in Alaska. These histories–at times humorous, at times tragic–juxtapose against Beaver and Conarro’s own personal memories as “insider” and “outsider” in the Last Frontier.

ALAXSXA | ALASKA is a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Creation and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Bunnell Street Arts Center in partnership with Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, La MaMa and NPN.This project is also made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Theater Project.


Puppet & Object Design: Justin Perkins
Sound Design: Lucy Peckham
Video and Projection Design: Kate Freer
Lighting Design: Marika Kent
Screen Design: Seth Kirby
Costume Design: Stefani Mar
Yuraq Songs, Music, & Dance:
Gary Upay’aq Beaver and Wassilie Berlin, Sr. (Central Yup’ik)
Mask Design:Philip Charette (Central Yup’ik and French Canadian)
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Qaspeq Costume Collaborator: Loni Hoover (Central Yup’ik)


Ping Chong + Company produce theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity.  In 2015 Ping Chong was honored with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government, presented to him by President Barack Obama.

Find out more on the Ping Chong + Company website.

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“Cultures collide and coexist in Ping Chong + Company’s sumptuous anthropological collage Alaxsxa | Alaska, which harmoniously incorporates puppetry, movement and video to explore America’s largest state….this theatrical feast bursts with vitality as vast as its subject.”
– Diane Snyder, Time Out New York

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“Alaxsxa / Alaska” Weaves a Spellbinding History of the 49th State

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“Alaxsxa play takes on cultural dynamics in Alaska”

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“Developed during multiple residencies in Alaska and New York City, with support from the NEFA National Theater Project, among others, it will debut in Anchorage, Alaska from August 31-September 3, 2017, followed by a statewide Alaskan tour before it comes to New York for a three-week engagement at La MaMa”

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Your Guide to the Fall 2017 Off-Broadway Season

“Alaxsxa|Alaska, a newly devised piece from Ping Chong + Company weaving puppetry, and Central Yup’ik drum and dance, arrives at La MaMa following an Alaskan tour”

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Mixing art and documentary ‘ALAXSXA | ALASKA’ comes to Alaska

“What does it mean to be Alaskan? Who are these people — the insiders and outsiders — who call the Last Frontier home, and what happens when they encounter each other? An upcoming performance at UAA looks to answer these questions.”


“[Ryan Conarro’s] work continues to challenge, inspire, and push boundaries.”
– Amy Fletcher, Juneau Empire

“Mr. Chong is a theatrical magician with heart and an acute sense of history.”
-Margo Jefferson, New York Times

“..an exercise in empathy, not polemics: a lesson in human understanding drawn from real lives.”
-Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times

Special Event

Post-Show Talk Backs

Join us for these Q&A sessions with the cast and creative team

October 15th following the 2pm performance

October 19th following the 7pm performance
Emily Johnson (American artist of Yup’ik descent)

October 21st following the 7pm performance
Hadrien Coumans and Joe Baker of The Lenape Center

October 25th following the 7pm performance
with Brendan Chapin, Projections Technician

October 27th following the 7pm performance