Our Voices Will Be Heard

ERIN TRIPP. Alaskans are going to be hearing this name a lot. This Tlingit actress from Juneau is currently starring in the lead role as Kutaan in Our Voices Will be Heard A brave, important play by talented Alaska Native playwright Vera Starbard. The play premiered in January at Perseverance Theater in Juneau and will be at the Sydney Laurence Auditorium in Anchorage through February 28. 

Erin Tripp is also the voice of Dora in the audio version of  THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES.  Here she is in the spacious production studio in Juneau, getting ready to record: 

Erin Tripp at Studio A in Juneau, AK   (Photo credit: Bostin Christopher)

Erin Tripp at Studio A in Juneau, AK   (Photo credit: Bostin Christopher)

Erin is the first Alaska Native actress that Listening Library and Penguin Random House audio have cast. It was an unbelievable collaboration from the word go.

Normally audiobooks are read by professional actors and actresses in LA or NYC. I knew the voice of Dora had to reflect her character--a young Inupiaq girl. I sent the New York producer some news stories featuring teenage voices that I had produced in Alaska and she agreed with me that Dora's character absolutely needed authentic representation. We sent out queries and within hours found Erin. Long story short, she auditioned and was amazing. We found a studio in Juneau where she could record while skyping with the producers in LA.

Nellie Moore with Grandkids Dylan and Blair (Photo Credit: David Moore)

Nellie Moore with Grandkids Dylan and Blair (Photo Credit: David Moore)

We also pulled in my mentor from Independent Native News days, Nellie Moore, who voiced up all the Inupiaq pronunciations for Erin and for the producers in LA and New York. (I believe someone's twelve year old in LA knows how to pronounce akutuq accurately now). It was truly a first of its kind collaboration and I am thrilled that so many dedicated people were willing to make it happen.

Side note: Nellie was also the consultant for Sesame Street when they did an AK segment. She's kind of a one woman show and I could talk about her all day long, but I'll refrain.

So, if you like audiobooks, give this one a listen. In addition to Erin (as Dora), it's read by Jorjeana Marie (Ruth), Karissa Vacker (Alyce), and Robbie Daymond (Hank). 

And if you're in Anchorage, please go see Erin Tripp and the rest of the cast in "Our Voices Will be Heard."