FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alaska State Council on the Arts has named Fairbanks playwright Anne Hanley as the next state writer.
Hanley is only the second writer to be named to the unpaid post. Richard K. Nelson was the first. While the title is honorary, the arts council provides grants to communities that wish to host the state writer for a residency.
Contacted at home, Hanley said she was surprised by the honor but knew she had been nominated.
''It's really gratifying as a playwright,'' Hanley told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Hanley was nominated by Peggy Ferguson, a fellow founding director of The Looking Glass Group Theatre.
Hanley's plays have been produced in Juneau, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Anchorage and Valdez, as well as in other states. Her produced plays include, ''Noah,'' ''Favorite Son, ''The Glenn and Allen Show'' and ''Shotridge.''
Hanley has won numerous awards, including the Freedom Medal for fiction, Critic's Choice and Panelists Choice awards at the Edward Albee Last Frontier Theatre Contest in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2002, and the Best of Fest award for Atlantis Playmakers this year.
Hanley leads The Looking Glass Group Theatre's play development workshop. She has also worked as film critic and correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter and assistant director of public relations for National Cable Television in Washington, D.C.
Hanley will serve as state writer until June of 2004.
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