CAZART (kuh – za – art)
a made up word coined by gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson meaning “Holy Shit! I should have known!”
CAZART is Alaska’s newest professional theatre.
Our mission is to create thought-provoking work that explores and reflects our shared humanity, inspiring interaction and conversation within our community.
We focus on radically reimagining both classical and contemporary works with an eye towards physical storytelling and experimentation at the core of our process.
By offering on-going training and performance opportunities, we aim to provide the tools and a safe space for other Alaskans, both professional theatre artists and community members alike, to connect to themselves and others through the practice of creating theatre. We believe that through the medium of theatre we can, as a community, develop a deeper sense of empathy and understanding to those around us and move the conversation forward to make our world a better place.
Shelley Virginia is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of CAZART. Shelley is a SAG/AEA-AFTRA actress, director, movement director and teaching artist who has worked in NYC, LA, regionally and internationally. Favorite NYC theatre credits include: Young Woman in Machinal, Irina, and Masha in Three Sisters, Harlowe in the world premiere of Harlowe, Lulu in Lulu and deCOMPOSITION, a devised piece which she co-created and traveled to Seattle. Favorite regional credits include: Queen Margaret in R3, Mama in Distracted and Aerial in The Tempest. Most recently Shelley was seen in Perseverance Theatre’s last two season’s as Woman in the National New Play Network’s rolling world premiere of Not Medea, as Muz Ibach in the world premiere of Dreaming Glacier Bay and served as assistant director and movement director of UAA’s first devised production, Earthquake ’64. She received her MFA in acting from Columbia University. Shelley is currently teaching Movement for the Actor at University of Alaska Anchorage's Department of Theatre and Dance.
Ty Hewitt is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic director of CAZART. Ty was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, and has worked as an actor, director, teacher and fight choreographer for productions in the Pacific Northwest and around the country. Theatre (acting) credits include Young Scrooge in Perseverance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, Profile Theatre’s (Portland, OR) Sam Shepard season, playing Vince in Buried Child, the Speaker in Tongues and as a guest lecturer on the nature of violence in Shepard’s plays. Other Portland theatre credits include The Scene at Portland Playhouse and On The Table with the Sojourn Theatre. Ty performed in deCOMPOSITION, a theatre piece which he co-wrote, in Seattle and NYC. New York credits include Opus D’Amour at Theatre Lab, Babel Tower with Round Table Ensemble and Orsino in Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center. Ty has a BFA from Southern Oregon University and an MFA from UMKC and is currently an Associate Professor at University of Alaska Anchorage’s Department of Theatre and Dance.