WASILLA — AJ Seims recently participated in a question and answer interview to discuss his upcoming rendition of “Beauty and the Beast,” and reflections from his experience in the Alaskan theater community spanning nearly three decades.
Q: Why is “The Sound of Music” speaking to you the most right now?“It’s a show I’ve always wanted to do actually. ‘Sound of Music’ has always been one of my favorites. It’s got some depth to it… It’s about fighting for what you believe in. That’s something that I think is very pertinent today, the value of our freedom.”
Q: What’s your goal for this Valley rendition?“Obviously, we want people to come and see. They are doing social distancing at the Glenn Massay. The audience is going to need to wear masks. They’re going to be separated six feet apart and everything. It’s normally a house of 520. It could be as low as 182 or something. We decided it’s still a good thing to do. That’s why we’re doing 14 shows. It should be fun… I’ve been here in the Valley for 20 years. At the Glenn Massay, we’ve done Fiddlers on the Roof.’ We did ‘The Pirates of Penzance.’ We did ‘Newsies.’ We did several shows there.”
Q: What’s it been like being involved with Alaska’s theater community for so many years?“It’s been great. You meet a lot of great people out there. The arts are strong in Alaska, and a lot of talent, even out here in the Valley. They get a lot of talent. It’s fun to cultivate that talent, to see people who have it who maybe haven’t even performed on stage before, or those who haven’t put that talent to use. It’s been fun to see that happen.”
Q: Why is creativity so important to you?“I just enjoy being creative, letting my creative juices out,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been fun to see something that was nothing become something. Basically building a show that wouldn’t have happened. It’s very fulfilling... That’s just me. I feel like I’m not complete if I’m not using my creativity.”
Q: What else have you been up to?“This last summer we did a show down in Soldotna in the park. We did ‘The Little Mermaid.” We had four orchestras and everything. It was free to the public. The City of Soldotna paid for us to do the show kind of as a return to life kind of thing. That wound up being very successful. We had tons of people come. Everyone that came I think really enjoyed it, they were really ready for coming out again, for seeing live shows again… We did ‘Beauty and the Beast’ right before the pandemic. We barely got that, then things were shut down. We were very lucky. I was able to do a variety show last February at the Settlers Bay Lodge. It’s called Broadway in Love.’ People seemed to enjoy that.”
For more information about Triumvirate Theatre and how to donate to the rebuilding process, visit triumviratetheatre.org.
For more information about the Glenn Massay Theater, call 907-746-9300 or visit glennmassaytheater.com.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org