The dust has settled from First City Players' annual Divas and Divos fundraiser competition, leaving one man and one woman with shiny new crowns.
The Divas and Divos show is a Ketchikan tradition, and a popular FCP fundraiser.
According to a recent social media update from FCP, the show raised about $25,000 in donations this year.
Traditionally, the Divas and Divos competition is held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. Four men and four women take to the stage to sing, dance and perform their way to potential victory, with the two contestants able to raise the most money for FCP earning the title of reigning divo and reigning diva, with a crown to match. The winners are tasked with wearing the crown around Ketchikan until the next winners are decided the following year.
This year, the competition was shown virtually — streamed online — in order to comply with current health recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The segments were pre-recorded by KPU and edited together to create the production, although the last portion of the show, which was the crowning of the winners, was done live.
The show featured a reduced cast of two divas and three divos.
Contestants included diva hopefuls Hannah Karrick and Valerie McLaren, and divo competitors James North, James Vincent and Rudy Saccomano.
After a show of singing and dancing, the diva crown was passed to McLaren by 2019 diva champion Harmila Earth. Reigning divo Bill Tatsuda passed the title to James North.
Sharolyn Kroscavage, the show's producer, director and co-scriptwriter, hosted the event alongside Russell Thomas. She spoke to the Daily News about the experience by phone earlier this week.
"It went really, really well. It was super," Kroscavage expressed. "I can't say enough good about it."
Kroscavage said that although there were some challenges in creating the show this year, the process was enjoyable overall.
One elements of this year's show that was different was the small cast not being able to help each other as much during rehearsal, in effort to keep social distance.
"There were a lot of things that were different," Kroscavage explained. "We've never filmed the show before or streamed it live. We had a smaller cast this year than we usually do. We had a few obstacles to work around that once we overcame those obstacles. I feel like we had an excellent show that was brought to our audience in a fresh and new way that was very successful."
Kroscavage also said that Jack Finnegan created scripts for pre-recorded ads that aired during the production. Finnegan also wrote the introduction and closing scripts.
"We've never done live ads," Kroscavage noted. "And we sold far more of them than what we had anticipated."
Kroscavage said that this year's competition also was unique because former diva Harmila Earth and former divo Bill Tatsuda each took their crowns on out-of-country adventures; Tatsuda to India and Earth to Japan.
"The crown had never traveled so far, let's put it that way," Kroscavage said. " We've never had a diva and divo who'd actually taken the crown out of the country. That was something that was really unique."
Kroscavage also said that her co-host, Russell Thomas, was a great partner.
“I had never hosted the show before this year but working with Russell made the role so much easier due to his effortless communication skills and his trademark humor,” she said.
The Daily News also spoke with McLaren and North about their winning experiences.
For McLaren, her victory came as a surprise.
"I was behind the entire night," McLaren remembered of last week's competition. Hannah (Karrick) was in the lead, so I kind of just resigned to either it was going to be a miracle to pull it out in the end, or I was going to be competing again next year."
McLaren competed in last year's Divas and Divos competition and was named the diva runner-up. She said this year mainly differed from last in that there were fewer competitors.
The pre-recorded format of the show didn't faze McLaren.
"It was nice because the pressure wasn't on to perform live, which is always a little bit scary," she said.
McLaren confirmed that she already has been sighted wearing the crown to work and around town.
She hopes to use her role as diva to initiate regular community service projects with local nonprofits.
"I think service is good for the soul, so that's what I'd like to do," McLaren said.
James North told the Daily News that he also has worn his crown to work at the Potlatch Bar and Legacy Real Estate.
About the Divas and Divos show, North said that it wasn't a "100%" time-consuming endeavor, but that "definitely there's some commitment to it."
The best part of participating in the show, according to North, was raising money for FCP.
North said that, in the future, he wouldn't say no to participating in future theater productions.
"Ketchikan's got a lot of great artists, ... but I think people would really enjoy it if more people got involved," he said.