Rooted in Naparyarmiut (Hooper Bay), born in Bethel, and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Jack Dalton has grown up an ambassador between two worlds, his Yup’ik Inuit and European heritages.
A professional storyteller, actor, writer and teacher, director and visual artist/sculptor, Jack is a Rasmuson Foundation Fellow and has been honored by the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education as a Distinguished Dignitary. He received the first Expressive Arts Grant from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2009.
He has created and produced five theatrical works of epic storytelling, written a book, taught tens-of-thousands of students around the world creative writing, co-writes and stars in the play Raven’s Radio Hour (with it’s Summer, State Fair, Alaska Federation of Natives, Muktukmas, Homer, Rondy, Talking Stick Festival, and Hawai’i versions), performed internationally in Canada, Sweden, France, Norway, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, at the 2009 National Multicultural Festival in Australia, and headlined the 2008 Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
His play, Time Immemorial, premiered at Cyrano’s in April 2009, and was selected as part of The Autry National Center’s Native Voices Festival of New Plays. Assimilation, his fourth play, premiered in November 2010, with an encore production in March 2013, and called “one of the most powerful pieces of locally written theatre ever produced here” by Anchorage Daily News Arts Editor Mike Dunham. Cauyaqa Nauwa?: Where Is My Drum? is his first “musical/opera”, co-written with Stephen Blanchett of Pamyua, is in development.
In April 2013, Jack helped the Yup’ik village of Quinhagak return to traditional dancing after over 100 years and accompanied them for their premiere performances at the 2013 Cama-i Festival in Bethel. His fifth play, The Last of His Kind, premiered May 2013.
In November 2013, he was Artist-in-Residence at Bunnell Street Art Center, Homer, Alaska, working on his first opera, Ada: An Opera of The Arctic, based on the life of Ada Blackjack. He is also the director of The Village Monologues, a listening/performance project featuring the stories of Alaska Native youth.