Writing Raven

Vera Starbard: Author, Editor, Playwright


In 2012, Vera began a program through the Alaska Native Heritage Center called the Alaska Native Playwright Project. It took established Alaska Native writers and, through workshops and mentorship, taught them how to turn story ideas into plays.

This project resulted in Our Voices Will Be Heard, which was first developed by Native Voices in Los Angeles. It premiered in 2016 through Perseverance Theatre, with performances in Juneau, Hoonah, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. It was also adapted into a one-hour radio play, and published in the textbook “Contemporary Plays by Women of Color.”

Vera also began a playwrighting group called Dark Winter Productions with four co-founders, Lucas Rowley, Richard Perry, Marleah LaBelle, and Vera’s husband Joe Bedard. Dark Winter seeks to develop Alaska Native written plays, as well as give Alaska Native actors (both experienced and novice) more experience with acting.

There are many theatre projects underway for Vera, and as she is now the playwright-in-residence for Perseverance Theatre through the Andrew W. Mellon National Playwright Residency Program, you’ll be seeing plenty works soon!

Some of her current and upcoming plays:


  • Our Voices Will Be Heard

In a late 19th century Tlingit village, a mother discovers a difficult secret being kept about her daughter.

  • Devilfish Sleeps

A great sea monster destroys an entire village in prehistoric Southeast Alaska. There is only one survivor – a young girl.

  • Native Pride (and Prejudice)

A modern adaptation set in an Alaskan village.

  • Fog Woman (working title)

A Tlingit legend in a domestic violence advocacy play.

  • A Tlingit Christmas Carol

A modern adaption with TLINGITS!

  • Unnamed Tlingit opera
  • Unnamed biographical play about Marlene Johnson