Lily Hudson and Elizabeth “Betty” Hope wait for daddy to appear on stage

Ishmael Hope explains the shape of Alaska by using his hand - a perfect visual for demonstrating to the tourists where Juneau is located in relationship to the rest of Alaska! Yet, even we locals laughed at the hand demonstration because many of us had never seen that gesture before!

If you guys didn’t get a chance to see Cedar House’s last performance this past Saturday, August 28th, you missed out on the re-telling of four old Tlingit stories by Frank Katasse and writer of Cedar House, Ishmael Hope.  Ishmael had re-written the stories to set for the stage recorded by the late Robert Zuboff. The play was directed by Flordelino Lagundino (

The play was staged for this Summer’s tourist season, however, there was so many requests for the play to be performed for the locals, Perseverance booked a couple of weekends.

Four stories were enacted out on stage between Frank and Ishmael.  The kept us quite entertained hearing the dialogue exchanged between the two as the stories were conveyed with motions, shouts, quick costume changes and facial expression – so much fun!  The four stories included:

The Origin of the Mosquito – about how a young man overcame a terrible evil during the earliest years of Tlingit history.

The Birth of Raven – about how the major figure in Tlingit mythology came to birth, survived his treacherous uncle and arranged the Tlingit world today.

The Salmon Box – about how the Raven created the salmon cycle.

The Raven and the Brown Bear – about the Raven at his most scheming and devilish.

I had heard these stories several times before, and even acted out the mosquito turned cannibal giant story with the Native theatre group Naa Kahidi Theatre back in the early 90s, but to see two expert storytelling actors portray these stories in a different light was just so much fun!

A full house and standing-room-only at Perseverance Theatre's last performance of Cedar House

Storyteller Frank Katasse and Ishmael Hope refer to their list giving thanks to all those who assisted with this production

After the play was over, Frank and Ishmael stuck around to answer more questions from audience members

Miah Lager and Lily Hudson with their children pointing to the "stars"

HUH!?  you are probably wondering why I didn’t include any photos of the actual storytelling!? Like, what happened!?

I couldn’t.  The audience was not allowed to take photos during the show.

Sorry folks.  I was just being a good girl and did what I was told; for once!