The Winter Bear Documentary on KUAC

We’re excited to report that The Winter Bear Project’s 2014 Yukon-Koyukuk Documentary will air on KUAC 9.1 TV at the following times:

  • Tuesday, 4/12, at 8pm
    (repeats in overnight Wednesday, 4/13, at 2am)
  • Tuesday, 4/26, at 10:30pm
    (repeats in overnight Wednesday, 4/27, at 4:30am)

The 30-minute documentary covers our September 2014 tour to the communities of Ruby, Nulato, and Kaltag. Thank you to KUAC for the great partnership!


The Yukon in Autumn. Kaltag, 2014.


Introducing our 2016 Kusko Cast & Crew


lynxKadey Ambrose (Stage Manager) began in theater and dance as a child. Since then, she’s been continuously involved in the arts in her hometown of Fairbanks. Kadey is most proud of her work with the Angry, Young & Poor Fest, a free local music festival dedicated to building community through the arts.



James-2 (1)James Bartlett (Technical Director) is a lifelong Alaskan and has been participating in music and theatre since age four. He currently owns and operates Sunnyside Productions, a project-recording studio in Fairbanks.



Kaleb_headshotKaleb Daugherty (Production Technician) This is Kaleb’s first time working with The Winter Bear Project, but is excited and honored to be able to lend his technical expertise to the show! He has worked on multiple other shows, with Almost, Maine, Kung Fu Hamlet and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Fairbanks Drama Association) being his proudest plays.


Skyler Ray-Benson Davis_headshotSkyler Davis (Wolf) is from Anchorage, Alaska. He has never been this far off the road system before! He likes to do a lot of things on the arts side, and feels grounded and balanced, emotionally and physically, when able to be carried away by it. He hopes that he can take his own personal overcomings and faults with mental distress and suicide into the play to bring hope and understanding into your communities with the power of Sidney Huntington’s legacy, and former Alaska writer laureate Anne Hanley’s The Winter                                                Bear.

anneAnne Hanley (Playwright & Producer) is a former Alaska Writer Laureate whose plays have been produced in Alaska and Outside. She is grateful to the late Sidney Huntington for giving her permission to spread his message of education, self-reliance and humility and recommends his book to anyone who hasn’t read it. (Shadows on the Koyukuk by Sidney Huntington and Jim Rearden, Alaska Northwest Books, 1993.)

izzy_headshotIzzy Juneby
(Duane), Han Gwich’in from Eagle Village and Lakota Sioux, is a freshman at West Valley High School. He enjoys hunting, running, working out, skateboarding, hockey and spending time with his family.  Izzy feels very grounded in his culture and values, which gives him strength.  Izzy is really excited about returning to the role of Duane and says the topic is really important for the people.


David Leslie HeadshotDavid Leslie (Wolverine) is an Inupiaq Eskimo and started theater with the Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance Team. He is now an adjunct professor teaching swing dance at UAF CTC, while also working in film and TV production for national shows. David’s recent works were directing The Rocky Horror Picture Show and choreographing Shrek The Musical. He has toured with The Winter Bear Project previously as a videographer and Wolf.

Aurora Lewis_headshotAurora Lewis (Lynx) (Aleut) Lifelong Alaskan and dancer, Aurora is thrilled to be involved with the Winter Bear Project. After spending the last 10 years shoe-stringing around the globe, she’s excited to be home, enrolled in school, and settling down a bit.


yukonSarah Mitchell (Associate Producer) is delighted to be on her fourth tour with The Winter Bear Project, after playing Raven in previous productions. Born and raised in Fairbanks, Sarah worked in arts education for Portland Center Stage in Oregon and locally on Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre’s educational tour of an Alaska Native-inspired A Midsummer Night’s Dream.



Misty_headshotMisty Nickoli (Miranda) was raised culturally Koyukon Athabascan in the villages of Kaltag and Galena. She now lives in Fairbanks with her three teenaged sons. Indigenous social advocacy has been an important part of her life since her teens. Lately she has been a tireless advocate for justice for the Fairbanks Four. Misty served eight years in the Army Reserves as an LPN. She is excited to be working on suicide awareness as an actress in The Winter Bear.


Tom Robenolt PhotoTom Robenolt (Director) first toured with The Winter Bear in the fall of 2013 where he served as Technical Director. Currently, he is transitioning into Artistic Associate and the Education Director at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau Alaska. Tom has directed and acted for Perseverance Theatre, Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, Opera Fairbanks and other companies in Alaska since 2000.



Jasmine_headshotJasmine Stokes (Raven) is excited to reprise the role of Raven with the Winter Bear Project. Jasmine has also stage managed and costume consulted for previous productions. You can find her working technical theater gigs around Fairbanks, designing costumes for local productions and helping with the Angry, Young & Poor fest.  Jasmine is most proud of co-founding and performing with Fairbanks Fire & Flow, a fire spinning troupe.

Jake Waid_headshotJacob Waid (Victor) is happy to be back in Alaska where he has worked extensively with Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre and Perseverance Theatre. Past roles include the title roles in Hamlet andHenry V. He played Autolycus in The Winters Tale and Brutus in Julius Caesar. He has also played the Title role in Perseverance Theatre’s touring production of Macbeth, which culminated with a two-week run at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  The play was translated into the language of his Tlingit tribe, a                                                    language only spoken now by about 300 Tlingit elders.

Brian_WescottBrían Pagaq Wescott (Sidney Huntington)  (Koyukon/Yup’ik), grew up in Fairbanks. He just performed They Don’t Talk Back in L.A. Other credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre (2015) and Karyn Traut’s The Realm of Love or Folding Laundry at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Announcing our Spring 2016 Kusko Tour

March 4, 2016

For Immediate Release:

FAIRBANKS, AK — The Winter Bear Project, Southcentral Foundation and Drew’s Foundation will present The Winter Bear, a play by former Alaska Writer Laureate Anne Hanley, in the communities of Nenana, Bethel, Aniak, Kalskag, Nikolai, and McGrath. Admission to all shows is free.

TWBP Kusko 2016 Flyer Final

The play, which has been performed for enthusiastic audiences in 32 Alaska communities, tells the story of a troubled Alaska Native teenager who decides suicide is his best option until Athabascan elder Sidney Huntington shows him how to use traditional culture to work through his despair and find his true voice. The Winter Bear Project is built around the play, but it also provides school workshops in the performing arts and Behavioral Health support through its non-profit partners. The mission of The Winter Bear Project is to “change the climate of fear & hopelessness that breeds suicide by broadening awareness, stimulating dialogue, and promoting healing through the performing arts.”

The show is directed by Tom Robenolt with Technical Direction by James Bartlett. The company features Alaska Native actors Brían Wescott as Sidney Huntington, Isaiah Juneby Potts as Duane, Misty Nickoli as Miranda Huntington, Jake Waid as Victor Sam, David Leslie as Wolverine, Aurora Lewis as Lynx, and Skyler Ray-Benson Davis as Wolf. Alaskan actor Jasmine Stokes plays Raven.

Major funding for The Winter Bear Project’s 2016 Kusko Tour is provided by Southcentral Foundation and the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services. Other sponsors include: the Lower Kuskokwim School District, the Harper Arts Touring Fund, and Drew’s Foundation. Communities are providing valuable in-kind in the form of lodging, show venues, and local services. Special thanks to in-kind sponsors Northern Air Cargo and Air/Land Transport, as well as airline partners Ryan Air, Pen Air, and Tanana Air.

**Click Here to download a pdf of the Flyer**

**Click here to download the press release**

This program was funded in part by grant number 1U79SM061769-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Winter Bear was made possible with funding by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, and is administered, under contract, by 
the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

For more information about The Winter Bear Project, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook at The Winter Bear Project.

The Winter Bear Project's 2015 Bethel & Beyond Tour.

The Winter Bear Project’s 2015 Bethel & Beyond Tour.