Spring 2016: Real-life account of Alaska rape and revenge inspires new play

March 24, 2016
UAA students Devin Frey (David) and Christopher Ryan Evans (Bogeyman) rehearse for “Stalking the Bogeyman,” which opens April 1. (Photo by O’Hara Shipe/UAA)

UAA students Devin Frey (David) and Christopher Ryan Evans (Bogeyman) rehearse for “Stalking the Bogeyman,” which opens April 1. (Photo by O’Hara Shipe/UAA)

When he was just 7 years old, David Holthouse was raped in Anchorage by a family friend. Twenty-five years later their paths cross again, and Holthouse meticulously plans the murder of his rapist, who he ominously refers to as the Bogeyman.

The University of Alaska Anchorage production of “Stalking the Bogeyman”—based on Holthouse’s true account—runs April 1-24 in the UAA Fine Arts Building. This is the play’s West Coast premiere.

“Alaska has a very high incidence of sexual violence, which makes our message important,” said Brian Cook, the play’s director and UAA assistant professor of theater. “The play goes beyond statistics, though, and presents a story that allows the audience to grapple with the issue from a more human dimension.”

This project is a partnership between UAA departments, including Theatre and Dance, Psychology, and Art, along with several community organizations. After each performance UAA offers the audience a facilitated discussion, on-site mental health resources, and interactive art installations.

Psychology faculty and students are launching several studies to measure the production’s impact on cast, crew and audiences. The projects combine empirical research with creative inquiry to examine how theater can affect social change.

After its Anchorage run, the play tours to several Alaska communities, including Homer, Seward, Valdez and Fairbanks.

The April production coincides with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Performances of “Stalking the Bogeyman” are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, April 1-24, in the UAA Fine Arts Building. Tickets cost $9-16 advance, $14-21 at the door, with discounts for students, seniors and military. Learn more and buy tickets at uaa.alaska.edu/theatreanddance.

David Holthouse will also speak at the UAA Campus Bookstore on Tuesday, March 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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