World Premiere


A Lifetime to Master

by Merry Ellefson
directed by Shona Strauser


January 14-25, 2015 at McPhetres Hall

Carved from interviews with nearly 60 people–including those who are/have been homeless, leaders on the Juneau Homeless Coalition, politicians, concerned citizens and businesses owners–A Lifetime to Master is an attempt to better understand our neighbors, our challenges and the complicated issue of homelessness in Juneau, Alaska.



Rasmuson Foundation, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, Juneau Community Foundation, Juneau Emergency Medical Associates, Juneau Self Storage, Rainbow Foods, Silverbow Inn and Bakery, George and Ruth Danner, Skaggs Foundation, The Juneau Empire, and more.

Click here to read about A Lifetime to Master in The Juneau Empire.


Sunday, January 18, 2015
Moderator: Kristin Garot
with Erik Vang, Alaska Legal Service Corporation

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Moderator: Kristin Garot
with Mariya Lovishchuk, Glory Hole

Friday, January 23, 2015
Moderator: Ryan Conarro
with Scott Ciambor, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services/Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Moderator: Ryan Conarro
with Scott Ciambor, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services/Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Moderator: Ryan Conarro
with Mandy O'Neill Cole, Aware, In




Youth and Family Homelessness - a Roof Town Hall Discussion

Housing First Across the Country - a Roof Town Hall Discussion

Living with Substance Abuse - a Roof Town Discussion

Crazy - A film by Lisle Hebert


Rainforest Recover Center at Bartlet Regional Hospital

The Glory Hole

St. Vincent de Paul, Juneau


Krysztina Maria Apathy
Bryan Crowder
Carolyn A. Garcia
Jeff Hedges
MK MacNaughton
Becky Orford
Austin Tagaban
Jacob Waid


Director -  Shona Strauser
Set Design - Erik Chadwell
Costume Design - Phoebe Rohrbacher
Lighting Design - Laura J. Eckelman
Sound Design - Matt Otto
Properties Design - Adelaide (Di) Johnson
Dramaturg - Ryan Conarro
Assistant to the Director - Arne Ellfeson-Carnes
Master Electrician - Todd Hunt
Graphic Design - Jess Chen, Sara Asper Smith
Stage Manager - Terry Cramer, Jason Ginter
Producers - Flordelino Lagundino, Merry Ellefson, Jennifer Lagundino, Shona Strauser


Krysztina Maria Apathy (Actor) Krysztina feels exceptionally stellar about the opportunity to use theatre to give stage to those marginalized in our community. Most recently, she shared her original poetry aloud at the JAHC as an opener for Hawaii's Kealoha and played Gabriella, “the Italian,” in Perseverance Theatre's Boeing Boeing. Krysztina is an 8-year Alaskan from the Gulf Coast of Florida via NYC's Greenwich Village. This spring she will be guiding the Theatre Production class at UAS. MFA from NYU Tisch and national TCG award winner. Her performance is dedicated to her cousin, Andy Apathy, who tirelessly gave “voice to the voiceless” as a public defender in Kansas City.

Terry Cramer (Rehearsal Stage Manager) has been involved in theatre in Juneau as board member, stage manager, and director for decades, including Juneau Douglas Little Theatre, Juneau Lyric Opera, Perseverance Theatre, Theatre in the Rough, and now Generator Theatre.  Thanks to CBJ for supporting the Housing First project.

Laura J. Eckelman (Lighting Designer) is a Maryland-based lighting designer and professor. Selected credits include: Animals Out of Paper (Perseverance Theatre); CARRIE the musical (Studio Theatre); Snow Queen (Triad Stage); Bossa Nova, and Romeo & Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre). Upcoming projects include: Bitter Homes & Gardens (The Bearded Ladies); Abundance (Triad Stage); and The Taming of the Shrew (Brice Station Vineyards). Laura also tours nationally with the radical street band Asphalt Orchestra. She is a 2012 recipient of the S&R Washington Award and serves on the Drama faculty at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. BA: Middlebury College, MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Jeff Hedges (Actor) is grateful to be a part of this project. Since returning home two years ago he has appeared in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Chicago, both at Perseverance Theatre. Jeff is thankful to Merry, Shona and Generator Theater for including him on the process to bring this important, emotional and timely piece to life. He would like to thank his family and friends, especially his parents, for their unending support and boundless love.

Becky Orford (Actor) has done theater in Juneau for the past twenty years, with Generator Theater Co. (Mag in Beauty Queen of Leenane), with Perseverance (most recently as Berte in Boeing, Boeing), and with Theatre in the Rough (recently as Robert Cecil in Equivocation and the Shepherdess in The Winter's Tale). She welcomes this opportunity to work with wonderfully talented people and to explore a difficult and important topic.

Matt Otto (Sound Designer) Recent design credits are In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) at Brown/Trinity Rep (RI), The Off Broadway Production of The Fatal Eggs for Fractured Atlas (NYC), Stuart Little for Adventure Theatre (DC), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me for Next In Line Productions (NYC), Square Peg Round Hole for Tectonic Theatre Project (NYC), Bright Room Called Day for Columbia University (NYC) and Wink and Tranquil for TerraNOVA (NYC). Other regional credits include, Stones in His Pockets at Yale Rep (CT), the world premiere of K of D at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (DC), Four of Us at Theatre J (DC), and Johnny Meister and the Stitch with Solas Nua (DC), which earned Matt a Helen Hayes nomination in Outstanding Sound Design. Matt received his BFA from Boston University and his MFA from the Yale School of Drama 

Shona Strauser (Director) is a theatre educator, director and actor, enjoys working with young people to ensure that art plays a role in their lives every day. When not doing education projects, she works on casting the Mainstage season. She has worked as an artist-in-residence at many schools in Alaska, and has directed plays with young people and adults in Texas, California, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Most of her training in theatre education came from working as the resident teaching artist at Seattle Repertory Theatre for many years.