We Tell Stories
This is our story.
As I got older and started to expand my education and experience, I kept coming back to Kafka’s words. I wanted to create a catharsis with my storytelling. I wanted to help thaw the human soul.
- Franz Kafka
A few words from the founding
I first read this quote in high school and it has stuck with me ever since. When I entered undergrad and started to form what kind of theater I wanted to make, I remembered this quote. If books can be the ax, why can’t theater?
Being from Alaska, I was surrounded by ice. Permafrost is quite simply, underground ice that covers 85 percent of the state. Growing up, I experienced the coldness of the state as well its rich offerings of culture. My stepfather, who is Tlingit/Tsimshian/Haida, would tell my friends and me stories and legends. Through his engagement, I learned the value of simplicity and honesty in storytelling as well as the importance of community and ritual.
In reflecting on what I wanted within my theater company, I knew that I needed to merge the lessons of my home state with my new home in New York to fully encapsulate Kafka’s words.
-Christina Rose Ashby
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.”
Permafrost Theatre Collective was officially launched in October of 2018. The company itself was created to act as an artistic home for multidisciplinary artists who wanted to push the boundaries of what theater and storytelling can do. We welcome artists who don’t quite fit into the traditional realm of conventional theater. We believe that everyone has a voice and a story to tell. We are here to give them the platform to tell it.
CHRISTINA ROSE ASHBY
... an Alaskan theater artist living in Brooklyn. She is the founding artistic director of Permafrost Theatre Collective. Christina specializes in new work creation and the reimagining of classics. Christina conceived and directed PTC’s production of Are You Alice: A New Wonderland Tale, a classic reimagining that had several short runs in New York City and made its international debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August of 2019. Select past credits include “Lack of Milk,” “Lost Sock Laundromat Astoria Queens” and “Suspicion Obsession Paranoia Marriage,” all by frequent collaborator Ivan Faute; “Living With an Angel,” a semi-autobiographical clown fantasia by Catherine Restivo-Romito; “Life is a Dream: a New Vintage” by Calderon and adapted by Annie R. Such; and “A Bright Room Called Day” by Tony Kushner. Christina is also a teaching artist and has taught in Alaska, New York, and West Virginia. MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School.
THOMAS BURNS SCULLY
... an actor, writer, and musician based in New York City. Acting credits include 'Meshahnye' (Theatre for the New City), 'Dark Play or Stories for Boys' (The Playing Company), and 'Broad City' (Comedy Central). As a writer, he has authored such plays as 'Macbeth: A Comedy' (PTC), 'Frost Towers' (Live In Theatre), and 'Dorothy of Nowhere' (WB Yeats Playwriting Award, Origin Theatre's 1st Irish Festival Audience Favorite Award). As a musician, he has created the scores for 'Life is a Dream' (dir. Christina Ashby), 'A Girl Without Wings' (Dramatic Adventure Theatre), and 'Are You Alice: A New Wonderland Tale' (PTC). He is an improviser with On The Spot, Live In Theatre (Drama Desk Nominee), New York Improv Theatre, and has designed Escape Rooms for clients including Fortune 500 Company Anheuser-Busch (SXSW 2018) and Neil Patrick Harris' birthday. Social Media: @DrThomasDBS
REBECCA WENTZELL HAMNER
...an actor, writer, and administrative wizard. Rebecca recently graduated with her BFA in Drama and Creative Writing from NYU . As a Colorado native, she values the green outdoors and tight knit communities. When she is not sending Permafrost e-blasts, she is writing and performing around the world including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Baby Wants Candy, the Shanghai Winter Institute as Buckingham in Richard III, and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre as Marinna in Marinna and the Wild Boars. You can find out more about Rebecca at her website rebeccahamner.com