Writer & Performer
Valerie Hager is a SAG/AEA-AFTRA “not to be missed” (NoHo LA) actor, solo show writer, improviser, and movement artist. She has appeared in film and TV including Warner Brothers' The Invention of Lying with Ricky Gervais, Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Discovery Channel's Guilty or Innocent, and was the lead in the award-winning short film The Harshest Place. Her theatrical performances include Dracula at Symphony Space, The Ensemble Workshop at LAByrinth Theater, Meet the Lady at 92Y, and many others. She studied dramatic acting under Ivana Chubbuck, Tony Greco, Karen Kohlhaas, Seth Barrish, The Atlantic Theater Company, LAByrinth Theater, Cinda Jackson of The Loft Studio. She studied dramatic writing in Jack Grapes's Method Writing Workshops, Cullen Thomas's Advanced Memoir Writing Workshop, and Matt Hoverman's Create Your Own Solo Show Workshops. Adept at comedy as much as drama, she has studied improv at Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB), The People's Improv Theatre (PIT), Second City, and Bang Comedy Theatre. Her earliest training came from her father, mime artist Jerry Hager, in the form of mime, movement, and the art of physical storytelling. Later, she has continued to train in mime and movement under Rick Wamer at The School for Mime at Kenyon College and Lorin Salm at Mime Theatre Studio.
Scott Wesley Slavin
Director & dramaturg
Previous to Naked In Alaska, Scott directed Valerie in numerous solo shows, including Sunshiny Days (Knightsbridge Theatre LA), Noname (Stage Left Studio, Indies Lab), and Big Man (Stage Left Studio). He has written and curated for Howlround and been profiled in Unstuck magazine. From 2013-2015 he served as executive director of All For One, an Off Broadway solo theater production company. He studied directing under Seth Barrish of The Barrow Group, playwriting under Matt Hoverman, storytelling under Jack Grapes, The Story Studio, and Cullen Thomas, improv at The PIT, Victory Gardens Theatre, and Bang Comedy Theatre, and acting under Kimberly Jentzen. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English and Visual Arts and the University of Santa Monica with a Master's in Spiritual Psychology.
Solo Show Writing Teacher
Matt has midwived over 200 solo shows, including winners of the 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 FringeNYC Best Solo Show Awards. He has led GO-SOLO Intensives at Princeton University, the All for One Theatre Festival, the Ojai Playwrights Festival, CityWrights Playwrights Festival and more. He is on the Advisory Board of All for One and the Artistic Advisory Board of Opening Act (a theatre outreach program for NYC’s at-risk students). His teaching is the subject of the documentary SOLO by Shannon Romines, a New York Times feature, and he has contributed articles on the art of creating solo shows to Backstage and HowlRound. An excerpt of his solo show I'M NOT REALLY HERE: Memoir of a Temp was published in The New York Times. As a TV writer, he is currently on the writing staff of Disney Jr.’s Sofia the First. As a playwright, his comedies Who You See Here and The Glint are both optioned for Broadway by Nelle Nugent and have starred (in a series of developmental readings and workshops) some of Hollywood’s premiere talent, including Debra Messing, Christina Ricci, Beau Bridges, Jean Smart, Judith Light, John Slattery, Michael McKean, Dane Cook, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Benjamin, John Ratzenberger and Barry Bostwick. The Glint will appear on Broadway first in early 2016 directed by Michael Wilson. He has been produced/developed by the La Jolla Playhouse, the Huntington Theatre, The Transport Group, Naked Angels, The Barrow Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre, City Theatre, the Ojai Playwrights Conference and the Edward Albee Foundation.