VPA Staff

Dave Nufer, Artistic Director

Dave is a retired principal that served over 20 years in the Mat-Su Borough School District.  As a long-time Alaskan resident, he provides a broad background of service and public education experience.  Dave is an active member at St. John Lutheran Church and serves as the congregational president.  He has been an active supporter of VPA for a number of years, volunteering both as an actor in numerous plays as well as a show director.  Dave is also a past-president of VPA’s Board of Directors and currently serves as a member.  He looks forward to helping VPA continue its emphasis of providing quality live theatre to the community and to further its vision of a new facility to better serve the needs of the Mat-Su Valley. He is married and has three adult children.  Dave has an active recreational life which includes fishing, golf, and movies.

Garry Forrester, Executive Director

Originally from Texas, Garry found his way to Valley Performing Arts several years ago when he auditioned for, and received, a leading role in VPA’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Since that time, he has found himself involved in additional productions, both on stage and as a director, and has brought his entire family along with him!  After serving on the Board of Directors, he was asked to assume the role of Executive Director in late 2009.  As the theatre’s chief executive, he has enjoyed working with the Board, staff, and numerous volunteers to ensure that Valley Performing Arts remains the vital community asset that it has grown to be in the last 40 years.  Garry looks forward to the years ahead with a vision of great progress and a bright future for the organization and he is committed to VPA’s mission of providing quality live theatre to the community that supports it in such a wonderful way.

Lauralynn Robison, Marketing Director

Lauralynn has lived in Alaska for over 20 years now and moved to the Valley in 2005.  Working at VPA has afforded her the opportunity to discover just how many real “characters” there are living here in the Mat-Su.  When not devoting her time to securing sponsors and advertisers and being the social media guru for Valley Performing Arts, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their domestic zoo.

Janet Kennedy, Accountant

As a certified public accountant with the firm of Swalling & Associates, PC in Wasilla, she brings a strong background in finance and business.  Janet has been actively involved with VPA for over ten years as a volunteer, both behind the scenes and on stage.  She has served on several committees including the Board Development Committee, the Finance Committee and the Capital Project Committee.  Janet previously served on the Board of Directors both as President and Treasurer.  She looks forward to helping VPA accomplish its mission of promoting community participation in quality live theatre.

Mike Gorup, Maintenance Manager

Mike’s family moved to the Valley in the mid 60’s with his large family- he’s one of seven.  Many might have seen him in action coaching basketball, soccer or track when he coached our youth for 10 years. He also spent five years at Cornerstone Christian School as their athletic director. Since his two girls are grown he turned in his whistle and found a home here at VPA several years ago.  With only working part-time Mike has lots of time on his hands for his favorite past time – fly fishing. Ask him about where the fish are biting and he’ll ask “What kind?” He ties his own flies and enjoys the sport so much he counted just to see how many he caught and released in a year- that number was 850.  He’s quite a catch himself!