FEBRUARY 24, 2018
Dark Winter Nights announces first live event in two years
Fairbanks–The Fairbanks-based storytelling program Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska has announced its next live event will be Saturday, April 14 at 7:00pm in Lathrop High School’s Hering Auditorium. The show features true stories from Alaska told by the Alaskans who experienced them. Dark Winter Nights was on a hiatus last year while creator/host Robert Prince was out-of-state on an academic sabbatical from his teaching job at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “Our team has been chomping at the bit to put on another live show and we’ve fielded a lot of questions about when we’d finally get the show back on stage. We’ve spent a lot of time gathering stories since I returned to Alaska last summer and we’ve gathered enough to announce another live show.”
Tickets for the April 14 show are $20 for General Admission, $15 for Seniors/Students/Military, and $5 for kids 12 & Under. Advanced ticket sales will begin Friday, March 23.
Prince is an Associate Professor of Documentary Filmmaking in the Communication & Journalism Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He started Dark Winter Nights in the spring of 2014 with a small live show at Pioneer Park. Within a year, their audience had grown so large they had to move into Lathrop High School’s Hering Auditorium. “Our second show in Pioneer Park was so packed that we had people sitting in the aisles. I knew this program had the potential to draw a large audience, but I didn’t expect it to grow that quickly.” says Prince.
Prince started Dark Winter Nights because he was frustrated with how Alaska was being depicted in many of the popular Alaska-based Reality TV programs. “I thought it was crazy that producers from L.A. were the ones sharing ‘life in Alaska’ with the rest of the world. I figured if people wanted to know what life in Alaska is like, it should be Alaskans sharing those true stories with the world, not Hollywood making stuff up.”
Dark Winter Nights also has an accompanying half-hour radio show on KUAC-FM the last Saturday of the month at 7:00pm. You can listen to previous episodes at www.darkwinternights.com or subscribe to their podcast on iTunes. Prince’s vision from the start was to create a podcast that could reach listeners around the world. It appears he may be on the verge of a major breakthrough toward that goal. “We’ve been in contact with a nationally-broadcast storytelling radio program and podcast that has a huge audience. So far they have accepted one story we have pitched to them and are considering another. If they broadcast one of our stories, it would likely mean a tremendous boost to our podcast subscribers and be a big step forward in our goal to share the real Alaska with the rest of the world.” says Prince.
Prince’s sabbatical project was to write a manual about how to create and run a storytelling program based on his experience with Dark Winter Nights. “I get a lot of questions about how to tell a great story and how to put on a program like this. Now we’ll have a resource to give people that will be able to go into much more detail than I can in a brief workshop or passing conversation.” says Prince. UA Press will be publishing the manual this spring, along with a collection of the best stories from previous Dark Winter Nights live shows. Prince says the “Best of” book is another part of his vision to share the real Alaska with the world. “My hope is that our Alaska audience will share the book with their friends who live Outside so they can get a taste of what the real Alaska is like, much like what we’re trying to achieve with the podcast.”
There are still spots available for anyone out there who has a great true story from Alaska they would like to share on stage. “People often ask me what types of stories we’re looking for.” says Prince. “Basically, if it’s a story with a lot of crazy elements to it and it would impress another Alaskan, we’d like to hear it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a near-death wilderness story.”
To submit a story for consideration, visit darkwinternights.com, email Rob Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (907) 474-6249. For updates on live events, follow Dark Winter Nights on Facebook or subscribe to their mailing list.