The Stories We Share: Playwright Anne Hanley


Anne Hanley and Sydney Huntington

I never saw my mother perform, but I have pictures of her in high school and college productions and even a few from an amateur theater group in San Francisco she joined when she first arrived. Later, her love for drama, musicals and grand opera found expression in the music we listened to at home and the productions she took me to as a boy. As a consequence I also was drawn to theater in high school and college. And when I moved to Fairbanks I also performed for a time in local productions.  All of this is by way of saying I can’t remember a time when theater wasn’t a part of my life.

It is often remarked for a town our size, Fairbanks is blessed with a flourishing arts community. This is true theatrically, as well. Besides wonderfully gifted actors, directors, set and costume designers we have several thoughtful and passionate playwrights, perhaps foremost is Anne Hanley. [Here is Anne’s page.] Her most recent production The Winter Bear examines the issue of cultural identity and village suicides. The play draws on myth and history: one of the play’s key characters is the late Sydney Huntington of Galena and draws on his book Shadows on the Koyukuk. [You can find out more about the project here.]When I invited Anne on Northern Soundings, I was pleased to learn her love of theater also sprouted from childhood experience.

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