Artist Working Group Update – April 1, 2021

“The BackStage Stage is a space for the community and will be made accessible by Persephone Theatre.”

That is a motion passed by the Persephone Board of Directors on Monday evening. What does it mean?

Both Cynthia and Yvette were in attendance for the discussion, and while there was much wrangling with words, these are the intentions behind the motion.

  1. The BSS has been inaccessible to much of the community because of cost. Renting the space even without technical support has been prohibitively expensive. Making the space accessible means finding a way to dramatically reduce rental rates. This will be a cost to the theatre, but management has been charged with finding the ways to do so.
  2. The BSS has been inaccessible to much of the community because of programming. Even if an indie producer could afford the rental and technical fees, the space was often booked with Persephone productions. Making the space accessible means Persephone will no longer be programming a season like the Deep End Series.

There was other discussion, about making the BSS accessible to the community as rehearsal space, at little or no cost. Once again, General Manager Kristen Dion has been charged with figuring out how that might work – scheduling, staffing, cost to the theatre vs cost to the community group – and that might take a bit of time, but the intention, the intention is to open up the BSS and welcome the community in a way that it has never been before.

The consequences of the motion can be huge, opening up a space that has been out of our reach for so many reasons, for so long.

The work continues. More very soon.


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