OUR Staff

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Matt Fernandez,
Executive Director

ACT and Matt go back 27 years, when he made a transition from dance to strictly theatre at the age of 12 under the direction of Bob Pond in A Christmas Carol. Following that, Matt starred in Inherit the Wind. It was during that show in 1994 that Matt met Teresa Pond, who then took over for her dad as ACT’s Managing Artistic Director. Teresa directed Matt in many productions: Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Of Mice and Men. When Jill Bess and Patty Starrat took the reins of ACT, Matt worked with them on Guys & Dolls and Honk! Matt worked under ED Michael O’Rourke assisting him in the transition of ACT’s rehearsal space and office location into a fully functioning studio theatre. Matt starred as R.P. McMurphy in the first play ever produced at the new theatre, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Local credits outside of ACT include Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Kokopelli Theatre), several characters in Cyrano’s Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some), Thomas Kemp in UAA Theatre Department’s William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, and Harold in K2, under the direction of Dan Anteau. Out of state, Matt has starred in plays, films, and shows in 21 states. Matt acted on the set of Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, and in California he was hired on as a performer at LA Connection Comedy Club. Upon returning to Anchorage, Matt became ACT’s Outreach Coordinator under Sara Athans, bringing new people to ACT from Hope Community Resources, North Star Behavioral Health, Shiloh Community Development, and the Fairview Rec Center. Matt recently returned to directing after 13 years since his directorial debut of ACT’s 2004 production of William Inge’s Bus Stop. Matt has directed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (2017), And In This Corner: Cassius Clay (2018) and is soon to direct this season’s Always… Patsy Cline. Matt became ACT’s ED in 2017. He now works with the board to run one of the things in Anchorage he believes in most, surrounded by great memories and making new ones. Matt not only runs ACT but is trying to break out as a writer of children’s books and historical fiction and as a stand-up comic. Matt is father to three girls, ages 2 and under, who are often present at work days, production meetings, and rehearsals — but not as much as Gypsy, the theatre dog, who comes to work with Matt every day. 

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Colby Bleicher,
Associate Director

Colby was born in Anchorage and appeared in her very first play at an ACT summer camp. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and returned home to combine her passion for making theatre with her love for the community that raised her. Colby has directed I Hate Hamlet (2014), Blithe Spirit (2015), and The Giver (2019) at ACT and has directed and acted in productions with TBA Theatre, Cyrano's Theatre Company, and Blue Chair Productions, which she co-founded in 2016. She also enjoys writing, producing, designing costumes, and dabbling in the creation and selection of  props. Colby believes theatre, besides being a lot of fun, is a powerful tool which can be used to educate, solve problems, form bonds, heal trauma, affect social change, and strengthen communities. 

 

Our Board of Directors

Officers:

Kathy J. Fernandez, President
Mike Zoske, Vice President
Rachael Middleton, Treasurer
Dr. Brian Saylor, Secretary

Members:

Linda Benson
Carl Bright
Douglas Causey
David Fritz
Jana Lage
Cathleen Nelson McLaughlin
Joel Neimeyer
Krista M. Schwarting
Cristy Allyn Willer