Making an Elf: How a Persephone Theatre holiday musical comes to life

“This process started about eight months ago for me,” director Sarah Rodgers said with a laugh. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that as the director, we’re working for months and months and months with the concept of the show.”

From the balcony of the theatre, the stage below looks set for the beloved musical — based on the Will Ferrell holiday movie of the same name — to get started. A brightly coloured archway frames the front of the stage, with three tall rotating set pieces — called periaktos — set into the painted stage floor and allowing for rapid set changes as the three-sided structures spin around.

“It is always, for me, a breathtaking moment when I walk into the theatre and it’s our first day with the set on the stage,” Rodgers said.

It’s taken hundreds of hours of hard work from a few key people to bring the show to its feet, from builders to designers to technical crews. And all the hard work to bring this slice of Christmas to life is certainly not lost on the director.

“The production staff for us at Persephone Theatre have been our little elves,” Rodgers joked.


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