Most people know that Gabrielle Soskin was my first year acting teacher at John Abbott College. What most people don’t know about me is before that year my theatrical education consisted of a play that current Repercussion Theatre director, Amanda Kellock brought to my high school. A side note: go see Shakespeare in the Park’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (finishing this weekend).
All this to say, I didn’t know anything about theatre and it was in that first year at John Abbott with Gabrielle that I saw my first proper play at The Segal Center: “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. I remember being moved and in the subsequent months I abandoned my previously conceived notions of movie stardom and realized my passion was for the theatre.
After leaving Abbott, Persephone Productions provided me with my first paid gig. I was cast in “Spring Awakening” by Frank Wedekind and went on to appear in several Persephone shows up to date. Seeing as how “Spring Awakening” meant so much to me it seemed quite fitting that in the second phase of Persephone’s life, we celebrate it by producing the adapted Broadway Musical version of “Spring Awakening” this Fall as my inaugural show.
It has been over a decade since being introduced to Persephone Productions and I find myself at 29 years old, embarking on another phase of my own life as it’s Artistic Director. I have never been an Artistic Director before and have no knowledge of my father being one, or his father, or his father’s father, or my second cousins either so I don’t imagine it’s in my blood. That makes this all a very elaborate trial run and every year, if people enjoy what I’ve done and everyone agrees, I’ll do it all over again.
Truthfully, I am very lucky. At the same time, being handed a company to run is somewhat like being given a puppy at Christmas. The gift is appreciated and one feels ecstatic to have received it, but at the same time the gift comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and work to be done. I am terrified, to be sure, but at the same time I will take this gift and work my hardest to serve the Persephone Productions that has meant and given so much to me and of course, Gabrielle, the woman who made it all possible.
I hope to see as many of you out there in the audience in my inaugural season. Last year marked one of our most exciting seasons to date, in my opinion and this year is shaping up to excel even further than that so come join us!
I have also never written a blog before and am unsure of how to end one.
So here is a warning that it is about to end.