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 January of 2019. 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.