What to Expect from Persephone this Season
GUIDED BY ARTISTIC INTEGRITY AND COMMUNITY ACCESSIBILITY
The 2021/22 season is one of significant change at Persephone Theatre.
We wanted to let you know what to expect from our 21/22 season programming, as you make plans to rejoin us in the theatre. Our staff and board have worked collectively to put this season together. As a team, and in much consultation with our community, we are committed to high quality artistic experiences, created with integrity and are accessible to all.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM PERSEPHONE THIS SEASON
Diverse Representation on our Stage and Creative Teams
For our Main Stage plays, 50 per cent are from female-identifying playwrights and 50 per cent are from IBPOC voices. In addition, of the 13 roles available in the Main Stage season, eight are female and five are male, with a minimum of four roles to be performed by IBPOC artists. As we look to hire other members of the creative teams, we are committed to hiring women and IBPOC artists.
More New Play Development Initiatives, Including our New Incubator Series
Each year, we will be selecting up to three new projects in development; one slot will always be allocated for our annual IPBOC Commission and the other two will be locally focused. Each project will receive a two-week workshop, including as much development support from Persephone as they wish. And you — our loyal patrons — will absolutely be engaged in the process! We will be holding public reading throughout the workshops, which will give you a first look at what’s in creation and to provide valuable feedback to the artists during the development process.
Increased Artistic Opportunities for Local Artists
The DeepEnd Series has been retired, so local arts organizations can present their shows in the BackStage Stage. By reducing the amount of time Persephone uses the venue, it will be available more frequently for the community’s artistic use. The spirit and intention of the DeepEnd Series will live on in our new Incubator Series, which will use the BackStage Stage for only a fraction of the time. Within Persephone’s artistic programming, we are also proactively ensuring that our creative teams are strongly composed of local artists.
Live Performance Returns
We are excited to bring patrons four Main Stage shows and three Incubator projects, along with our Youth Series (programming to be confirmed soon!), live in our theatre from fall 2021 through spring 2022. We are intentionally programming fewer shows to ensure artistic integrity and maintain everyone’s safety as we navigate live theatre attendance once again.
This year’s four Main Stage shows were handpicked by the Persephone staff to help foster a sense of community and welcome you back to the theatre. The season will start with Cottagers & Indians, a comedy, where you will meet Arthur, an Indigneous man and Maureen, a self proclaimed “Starbucks girl.” It is a powerful, and funny, dramatization of contemporary confrontations taking place between environmentalism and consumerism.
It will be followed by It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play, where you will be transported back to a 1940s radio broadcast of the holiday classic. Next is The Mountaintop, which takes place in the night leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The final play of the season is The Revolutionists, which will showcase four women’s stories, including a playwright, an assassin, a Haitian rebel and Marie Antoinette, during the height of the French Revolution.
Longer Performance Runs: 28 performances per production
Since there are fewer shows, there is the opportunity to have longer runs of each production. It also gives artists more time to refine the show with a crowd, increasing the quality of experience for patrons.
Those who love the thrill of attending previews during opening week can still enjoy being the first to see a show — with the added advantage of being an even more integral part of how a show finds its footing over a longer run! If social distancing measures are required longer runs of performances will also be vital since we can limit capacity while spreading our audiences out across more weeks.
Flexible Single Ticket Pricing Options
Theatre should be enjoyed by all. This year, we will be offering different pricing levels to make going to a live show more accessible to everyone. The hope is this will reduce the financial barrier some patrons may face. Special promotions, such as pay what you will days, will be announced on social media when they come up.
Digital Productions and Artistic Activities
As some patrons enjoy digital platforms or are unable to attend live shows, we are currently exploring ways to provide a digital programming to complement our live season. Digital activities will be announced throughout the season, as the creative team plans them.
New Artistic Leadership
We are excited to announce the arrival of Heather Cant, our new Artistic Director. Heather has a wealth of theatre experience, from large scale production to interactive micro-performances and has worked at theatres across Canada. She brings more than eight years of arts leadership experience to the role. You can read learn more about her HERE.
With Persephone Theatre opening its doors to patrons for live performances again, we want to put our patrons minds at ease. We are currently developing COVID protocols to keep our patrons, staff and artists safe while in our space. These will be listed on the Persephone website in the coming weeks.
We are excited to welcome you back in-person to the theatre!