Persephone Theatre Celebrates 50 Years

Saskatoon, SK – Persephone Theatre is excited to announce its 50th season of creating theatre in Saskatoon.

As the golden anniversary of the theatre company, the season will include both regular productions and celebratory events.

“Fifty years is an incredible milestone for an arts organization,” Artistic Director Heather Cant said. “From its very inception, Persephone Theatre has been embraced and supported this community. For our 50th season, we are looking forward to celebrating the people and memories that made it all possible.”

The season will kick off with Persephone Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Red Rose Gala on August 14 at The Glen at Crossmount. This celebratory evening will include a delicious meal, prepared by the chefs at The Glen at Crossmount, musical talents of local artists, as well as stories and special guests highlighting the theatre’s journey throughout the past five decades. Tickets for the gala are $260 each or table of 10 for $2,500. Charitable tax receipts will be issued for all tickets purchased.

“The Red Rose Gala is an opportunity to celebrate the past, present, and look towards the future of Persephone Theatre, and its place in the community,” Executive Director Breanne Harmon said. “Over the past five decades, Persephone has grown into a pillar of the Saskatoon community, as well as the national theatre ecology. We are grateful to all those who had a hand in shaping the company, and we cannot wait to celebrate the people and moments that have brought us to our 50th year.”

The season will start in September, and feature six Main Stage plays, three Youth Series plays, and the return of many other exciting programs, including the Incubator Program for new play development and the Fourth Annual 48-Hour Queermunity Theatre Race.

“To celebrate our 50th season, I have a curated a fantastic line up of plays the entire community will be able to revel in together. There really is something for everyone, including the return of some Persephone audience favourites and brand-new work from Saskatchewan creators,” Cant highlighted. “This season, in the true spirit of theatre is for everyone, we will also welcome our youngest audience members yet, with a special production for those as young as 18 months.”

The Main Stage series will open with Native Gardens by Karen Zacarìas, directed by Heather Cant, playing September 25 to October 6, 2024. In this production, a disagreement over a long-standing fence line puts the old adage “love thy neighbour” to the test. Hose fights and midnight spy missions ensue as two couples resort to outrageous antics in the pursuit of the garden of their dreams in this hilarious comedy.

Following the season opener is a production by a Saskatoon favourite – Catalyst Theatre (Edmonton). Playing on the Main Stage October 23 to November 3, 2024 is The Invisible: Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare, written, composed and directed by Jonathan Christenson. This is a genre-busting mash-up of history, film-noir, graphic novels, and musical theatre, and a contemporary portrait of brave women during the Second World War, who embark on perilous missions of sabotage, propaganda, and espionage – only to find themselves betrayed by the very world they believed they were fighting for.

The first show in the Youth Series will be The Mixolydian by Ashley Cook, directed by Michelle Olson. This presentation from Green Thumb Theatre (Vancouver) is rooted in Anishnaabe and Métis storytelling. A young girl’s “imaginary friend,” a shapeshifter named Thomas, helps her reconnect with her art, language, and culture. Having recently lost her grandfather (Shoom), Bellevue feels out of touch with the stories and words her Shoom used to share, but with help from ancestor Nokomis, Bellevue learns his knowledge lives on in her, and there is more to her friend Thomas than meets the eye. This production will play on the Backstage Stage November 13-17, 2024, before touring to schools across the province.

Ringing in the holiday season is the classic Miracle on 34th Street, adapted by Caleb Marshall and Erin Keating, from the classic short story by Valentine Davies, directed by Heather Cant. Macy’s new department store Santa, Kris Kringle, spreads the magic of the season, convincing holiday shoppers that Christmas is about much more than presents. But when he claims to be the real Santa Claus, his sanity comes into question and the very spirit of Christmas hangs in the balance, especially for one young girl whose faith in Santa is put to the ultimate test. This heart-warming, holiday classic, brimming with the warmth of the season, will be on the Main Stage December 4-22, 2024.

The New Year brings the world premiere of a new play by Saskatoon writer Jenna Berenbaum – 18 Jews Order Chinese Food, directed by Joel Bernbaum, and presented in partnership with the Saskatchewan Jewish Arts Festival. After the death of her beloved husband, Chavi, her children, and their children gather to grieve – and drive each other crazy. Steeped in Jewish humour and culture, this heartfelt and funny story asks what it means to be Jewish in a modern, prairie family. This homegrown story will play on the Main Stage February 5-16, 2025.

The New Year also brings a world premiere of a new play for young audiences from Saskatoon’s own So.Glad Arts – The Adventure of Young Turtle by S.E. Grummett, with music by Rae Spoon and Ruaridh MacDonald. Directed by Jay Northcott, this whimsical undersea odyssey uses music, physical theatre, and large-scale puppetry to share the story of a young turtle’s first experience away from home and the friends they make along the way. It plays on the Backstage Stage March 6-9, 2025.

“Supporting the work of local playwrights has been an important part of Persephone’ history and success, so I am delighted to be able to premiere two new works by Saskatchewan playwrights this season,” Cant shared.

Next up on the Main Stage March 12-23, 2025 will be Made In Italy by Farren Timoteo, directed by Daryl Cloran, and based on the Western Canada Theatre and Citadel Theatre productions. Join the Mantini family for a hilarious and heartwarming feast of stories of growing up Italian in Jasper, Alberta in the 1970s. Salvatore holds on to the traditions of his homeland, while his teenage son, aspiring pop-icon Francesco, feels caught between two worlds. Exploring generational differences in an immigrant family, it is a hilarious celebration of family, food, and the disco inferno – a mostly true story about a kid with the heart of Rocky Balboa and the moves (and hair) of John Travolta.

The final Youth Series production will be G’Zaagiin Malenki – I Promise You A Forest, a Voyageurs Immobiles production (Montreal), on stage in the Backstage May 7-11, 2025. Presented in partnership with the Remai Modern, this immersive, theatrical, music concert is a joyful introduction to live performance for the very young, and those with curious hearts. A non-verbal, sonic experience, using a drum, a cello, and melting ice to create sounds, textures, and poetic movement for young children to discover. Each performance will be followed by an art making activity at the Remai Modern.

The final Main Stage production offers an incredible night with some of the greatest legends of rock and roll in Million Dollar Quartet, book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, original concept and direction by Floyd Mutrux, and inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, directed by Ian Harmon. This Tony® Award-nominated musical is set on December 4, 1956, when an extraordinary twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would go down as one of the greatest jam sessions in the history of rock and roll. Million Dollar Quartet brings the legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, and celebrations that is both poignant and funny. It will play on the Main Stage April 23 to May 11, 2025.

“Saskatoon audiences have loved Persephone Theatre for 50 years. Whether they have been with us since the early days or are joining us for the first time, this season offers Persephone patrons truly incredible theatrical experiences,” Cant said. “Each show has seeds of hope for the future and we are excited to spend the season dreaming with our patrons about what the next 50 years of Persephone could bring.”

All Main Stage productions will see the continuation of Persephone’s accessible programming, with dates for ASL interpretation and audio description, as well as relaxed and pay-what-you-choose performances, and our PlayDate program to support caregivers. This season will also see the return of popular Seniors’ Supper Club, which provides senior patrons a social outing opportunity, with the option to add transportation by Riide to and from the show, as well as dinner at Black Rose Whiskey Club to their play going experience.

Closing the 50th Anniversary season will be the Fourth Annual 48-Hour Queermunity Theatre Race to kick off Pride Month in June. This fun, community event challenges teams to create an original 10-minute play to be performed live in front of an audience in just 48 hours, and is open to the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community and their allies.

Season renewals for current subscribers will begin on Monday, February 26, 2024, with early bird pricing available until April 2. Subscription sales for new subscribers and single tickets will begin April 2, 2024.

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To book an interview, please contact:

Jodi Schellenberg, Director of Marketing & Communications

306-384-2126 ext. 237

[email protected]


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