"WANT TO LAUGH IN ANCHORAGE THIS WEEKEND? LOOK NO FURTHER." By Mike Dunham for the Alaska Dispatch News, April 16, 2016
"It was 11 p.m. when the last notes in the Discovery Theatre sounded on Friday, but the crowd did not seem tired and applauded loud and long...The cheers seemed to peak for the two most notable comedians in the cast, [Curt] Olds and [Zachary] James, but there was a fresh burst when [director Albert] Sherman came out with set designer Carrie Yanagawa, costume coordinator Kaie Promish and makeup designer Elle Janecek -- all well deserved."
"SUPERB CAST AND SMART SCRIPT MAKE 'GOOD MEN WANTED' A FASCINATING MOSAIC." By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, March 5, 2016
"TossPot Productions can chalk up another marvelous theater piece with “Good Men Wanted.” Kevin Armento’s script is a near-perfect balance of realism and surrealism, facts, fantasy, motivational analysis and extreme yet credible emotion. The cast, directed by Carrie Yanagawa, all deliver sharp and lively characters and also perform their ensemble work -- and there’s a lot of it -- with amazing precision."
"A NEW PLAY VISITS THE TRUE HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO DONNED UNIFORMS TO FIGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR" By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, March 3, 2016
"Yanagawa makes her debut as a director of full-length plays with this piece. She’s previously performed and directed short works and readings. But she’s best known as a set designer, having done notable work with Cyrano’s and Anchorage Opera as well as creating the grim prison camp set of “A Gulag Mouse” in 2013."
"Given Yanagawa’s background as a set designer, it’s ironic that she’s taking a simple approach to the sprawling topic of the Civil War. That’s due in part to [costume designer Colleen] Metzger’s contribution, she said. 'Because of her fantastic job on the costumes, I can subdue the scenery a lot.' "
"Yanagawa is approaching the hurdle by using a single atmospheric set with a tent on one side and period recruitment posters on the back wall. Yankee and Rebel flags are superimposed on the floor. The rest of the scene is set by positioning ammo and gun boxes to suggest riverboats, trains, buildings and street scenes."
"The impressionistic set reflects [playwright Kevin] Armento’s script, which mixes narrative and dialogue, with six modern movement pieces involving complex stage choreography."
See the article's companion photos taken by ADN photographer, Bill Roth, during one of the final rehearsals here.
ALASKA PUBLIC MEDIA'S 'STAGE TALK' on 91.1 KSKA February 25, 2016
TossPot Productions' co-founder and actor Jill Sowerwine and I left the theatre for a few minutes to go on Steven Hunt's weekly radio show to discuss our process on Good Men Wanted and what it's like to workshop a new script with a playwright. We shared the mic with Teresa Pond, the new Producing Artistic Director of Cyrano's Theatre and the director of RKP Productions' The Winter's Tale, running concurrently at Out North.
"UAA PRODUCTION SETS 'HANSEL AND GRETEL' IN THE ARCTIC" By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, December 11, 2015
"Carrie Yanagawa has created another extremely functional set with very little money. It was basically an arched frame showing tundra country, mountains in the background, with a center section that, by means of curtains, could be switched to different views of cabin interiors, the great outdoors or the witch's hut, which here, as in the German version, is made of candy."
"Aklaq and Nayak" is scaled in a way that makes it easy to travel. That's intentional, said Reed Smith, general director of Anchorage Opera, which co-produced the show. His company and the University of Alaska Anchorage expect to take the production to schools and has an invitation to present the opera in Nome and Unalakleet."
"FRIVOLITY AND TRAGEDY IN ANCHORAGE OPERA DOUBLE BILL" By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, February 21, 2015
"The stage of Alaska Pacific University’s Grant Hall Auditorium has been altered to accommodate Anchorage Opera’s production of two one-acts in the 200-seat theater. A hip-high curtain separates the audience from a 15-piece orchestra at the front of the stage and the area behind the proscenium has been built up to place the action above the instruments. A few pieces of furniture dot Carrie Yanagawa’s set, which is dominated by a large, ominous reproduction of the manuscript for the “Dies Irae” section of Mozart’s Requiem filling the back wall."
Not a review, but this production got the best crossed-up event listing/description in the ADN and it's worth sharing:
"Hedda Gabler: A musical based on the famous book captures the joys, longings, complaints, wicked thoughts and sweet fantasies of childhood. Originally commissioned by the Kennedy Center with rave reviews."
"'HOUSE OF YES' REWARDS PATIENT VIEWERS" By Donna Freedman for Alaska Dispatch News, March 3, 2014
"Incidentally, there’s a sixth character in this show: the Pascal home. Set designer Carrie Yanagawa and lighting designer Erin Campbell have created an elegant yet also dark and airless mansion. One interesting touch is that the upstairs guest bedroom is situated on the stage level, very close to the living room where something dreadful happens. That juxtaposition is squirm-inducing to the audience and reinforces the notion that this family’s closeness is pathological."
"SINGING A WEAKNESS IN ROSSINI FARCE BY ANCHORAGE OPERA" By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, January 28, 2014
"Different opera fans will have valid reasons for attending the production of Rossini’s “La Cambiale di Matrimonio” (“The Marriage Contract”)...There’s the fine set by Carrie Yanagawa, a handsome drawing room with a functioning secret door in the big bookcase. Large windows and glass doors look out on a presumed patio or garden area where the small orchestra plays."
REVIEW: A GULAG MOUSE By Mike Dunham for Alaska Dispatch News, April 6, 2013
"Director Arlitia Jones had honed the cast and crew to a ceramic knife edge - dangerously sharp and brittle. Carrie Yanagawa's simple but dramatic set...matched the mood of the dark, dark plot effectively. Everything was as real and lively as stagecraft can make it."
"DESPERATE TIMES" By Colleen Bailey for Anchorage Press, March 28, 2013
"A Gulag Mouse is uncomfortable to watch, but terribly compelling. The performances were all of a caliber that I haven’t seen elsewhere in town. It’s a synergy of the right cast, set, lighting, director, and script, telling a very difficult story."
"STILL JUST A RAT IN A CAGE: 'A GULAG MOUSE' BY TOSSPOT PRODUCTIONS" By Natalie Snyder for Alaska Commons, March 27, 2013
"Director Arlitia Jones entraps us in a Gulag bunkhouse for a stunning performance of this two act play. With just a handful of cast and a convincing set of wood and barbed wire we are transported to this remote place that Masha, Svetlana, Lubov, Prushka and Anastasia call… shelter, because it is so far away from anything one could call home."