Announcement from Kristen Dion
July 17, 2020
PERSEPHONE THEATRE’S 2020-21 SEASON CANCELLED — SEASON AHEAD TO FOCUS ON COMMUNITY COMMITMENT AND ARTISTIC INTEGRITY
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Persephone is cancelling its planned 2020-21 season of plays and is envisioning new activities that can safely serve the community during this time.
Persephone Theatre is fortunate to have a loyal audience base. As a result, our season budgets are typically based on strong attendance numbers. Since we can’t welcome the high volume of patrons required to present the shows we had planned for you, we simply can’t produce those plays. We are working closely with our artists and producing partners to see if and when our previously planned 2020-21 plays might be reprogrammed in future seasons. If there is an opportunity before June 2021 for us to reopen safely, then we will do so, but it may be with different activities that engage and serve our community.
The season ahead is an opportunity for us to attend to our core company values, and to be deliberate and considerate when rebuilding our programming. Given the financial impact of COVID-19 over such a long period of time, and the recent departure of Artistic Director Del Surjik, we will likely be rebuilding over the next few years.
Our board is working on a plan for new Artistic Leadership. We will have updates on that, likely in the fall. Though we expect to be operating without an AD this season, all staff and board members are working in service to the art. This is unwavering and remains unchanged. We are dedicated to artistic integrity, depth of care, and creating meaningful opportunities for artists at a scale we can responsibly sustain. We will not be rushing the number or size of our shows we produce — that would just leave us in an even more precarious position. We want to build and enjoy big, robust theatre again soon. We know you want that, too. It will take time. We are committed to bringing audiences the highest quality programming possible. We will grow from there. Our leadership team is working closely with our board of directors and external consultants to ensure Persephone’s decisions include all our community members, especially those who have not previously felt welcome, or cared for, in our spaces. We will continue to communicate with all our artists, patrons, and stakeholders about this work ahead.
While our spaces remain closed to large gatherings, our aim this season is to nurture creative projects and include the community in those processes. These plans are in their early stages and we will announce them once we know when and how they can be safely executed.
Though this overarching plan is to serve all our community members, we know each of you have unique relationships with us.
TO OUR ARTISTS
Our top priority is ensuring you have a safe, supportive home to create. Our aim is to provide as many artistic opportunities as possible, even within the constraints we currently face. We will release these plans throughout the season, but if you have any questions, ideas, or needs this season, please contact Artistic Associate, Jennica Grienke at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will receive and relay those needs to our leadership team. We are continuing to investigate our inclusivity and diversity practices, and we will be communicating those details in the coming weeks. Our deep gratitude to those who have been forthright with us. Your input and feedback has been vital for moving us forward in an honest way.
TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS
To ensure Persephone Theatre survives this global pandemic, we are asking subscribers to either donate your tickets for a tax receipt or defer your 2020-21 subscription into the 2021-22 Season. No matter which option you choose — to donate or defer — we are keeping your seats. Once we are able to resume live programming, you will be contacted to re-activate your subscription which will include your same seats. If you choose to defer your package but still have the means to donate your renewal fee, we are happy to provide you with a tax receipt for that amount. Our box office will continue reaching out to subscribers, but if you’d prefer to contact us, please email Box Office Manager, Daniel Hudson, at email@example.com or call 306-384-2126 ext 224.
TO OUR SPONSORS AND DONORS
Thank you for continuing to commit to Persephone Theatre, especially during one of our most challenging seasons to-date. If you have the means to do so, please consider increasing your donation and/or making regular monthly donations to support our sustained operations. To renew or increase your donation this season, please contact Development Officer, Shannon Richards, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our sincere gratitude to all of you, for being such dedicated stewards of our organization.
On behalf of all staff and board members,