Adventurer Reinette Senum’s Alaskan journey becomes solo play in San Francisco this summer


Nevada County resident Reinette Senum’s remarkable 1,500-mile journey across Alaska has been selected to become a solo play that will be shown in San Francisco this summer — a coup for the former Nevada City mayor and our community theater scene.

The New Conservatory Theatre Center Emerging Artist Program will present Alaska Revisted by Senum on June 12-June 15 at its theater on Van Ness Avenue, our magazine has learned. Until now, Alaska Revisited has been presented as a lecture-style event against a backdrop of Senum’s video and photography from the expedition.

“I will be transforming it into more of a theatrical piece that utilizes light, space and a little more character development,” says Senum. “It will be a kick to see it morph into something new after 20 years.”

20th Anniversary

Alaska Revisited-Scooters PDFOn Friday May 16, and Saturday, May 17, at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, Senum presents her 20th anniversary of Alaska Revisited in the storytelling, video and slide format. Much of the proceeds will be going to Scooter’s Pals, a nonprofit that has rescued more than 1,800 dogs. Senum completed her Alaskan journey with a rescued sled dog, Diamond.

In 1994 Senum became the first woman to cross Alaska alone while filming the endeavor for National Geographic.

Humorous and animated in its telling, Alaska Revisited is the true story of the Nevada County resident, whose search for answers about her wandering life leads her to the Alaskan wilderness. Traveling over 1,500 miles and hauling a sled weighing 160 pounds with Diamond, this self-made adventurer finds joy and strength as she struggles with the elements.

Battling sub freezing temperatures, exhaustion and the vast loneliness of the Alaskan wild, Senum navigates her way down the frozen Yukon River in a one-woman odyssey.

Solo play is new

The theatrical performance is a new dimension, however.

Senum, along with Director Andrew Nance, has theatricalized her story, bringing it from travelogue to an inspiring solo play. Nance returns to the New Conservatory Theatre after having serving for 18 years as its director. He recently directed the U.S. Premiere of My Beautiful Laundrette.

NCTC’s prestigious Emerging Artist Program is supported in part by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Zellerbach Family Foundation. The nonprofit theater company was founded in 1981.

(Photo: See Jane Do)

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