Dear sorely deprived theatregoers and loyal friends of Persephone,
First of all, heartfelt thanks to all those who continue to send donations to the company while we are ‘waiting in the wings.’
On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our deep gratitude. Artists everywhere have been silenced and our 20 year old, independent theatre company must be ready to offer work opportunities, in Montreal, as soon as we possibly can.
The Greek myth, from which the company draws its name, tells the story of the capture of Persephone. She is condemned to remain in darkness, underground for six months of the year before she can return to the surface and to the light. Sadly our current situation has ordered a longer stay…
Hard as this opening to the New Year might be, I think we must remain ever hopeful. Eventually theatres will reopen and audiences, yearning for live entertainment, will flock to our performances.
With this in mind, in late November, just before the next festive season, we are planning to produce A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: David Edgar’s new adaptation. It is an excellent choice for our 21st anniversary and, with its particular humanitarian message, is truly apt for the post pandemic world. The production offers terrific opportunities for actors, designers, and technicians alike.
I will direct with the assistance of Camila Fitzgibbon, actor/publicist, and special host of the Montreal Theatre Hub. Camila is a well-known, much loved and respected figure in the theatre community. She has now joined the Persephone team, bringing her excellent administrative and creative skills to the company, as well as her vitality and youth!
As for me, I have been very busy using this COVID time to write another play.
It is based on the lives of seven women composers whose remarkable voices have long been ignored and forgotten. The play explores their sense of purpose, power, and determination to compose despite the harsh obstacles they must face.
This show, among others, is being considered for spring 2022.
In keeping with our commitment toward supporting diversity in the community, both these shows will have multi-cultural casts and reflect the reality of today’s society.
I miss you all and the wonderful young artists I am accustomed to working with.
Stay tuned, and let us gather together SOON.
Warmest wishes as ever,
Gabrielle, Camila, Clive, Christopher and Louise
Dear Persephone Subscribers,
Our company’s twentieth anniversary has unfortunately coincided with a global pandemic. We planned a celebratory fall production: a new stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This show, featuring 16 actors and musicians, was planned for November 2020. The rehearsal space and venue were reserved and casting was to take place in late August.
Persephone’s Board members have been meeting on a monthly basis to assess the Corona Virus situation and determine whether or not we could go ahead with our plans. There were many factors to consider such as cast safety during rehearsals, government restrictions on public events and the public’s willingness to attend the theatre. At our July meeting we decided unanimously, albeit reluctantly, to postpone all productions until 2021. Recent developments in Montreal make this decision seem timely and absolutely necessary.
At this point we are hoping to offer our patrons a show in the spring and A Christmas Carol next November. Our ability to offer two shows next season will ultimately depend on the continued support of our major donors and also our subscribers. We do hope you can continue your support and join us in celebrating our twenty-first anniversary in 2021.
Thank you for your past generosity; it has enabled the company to survive. We hope you understand our decision which was both logistical and financial. We will continue to grow Persephone Productions during this pandemic and safeguard its future.
We look forward to inviting you to a performance in the not too distant future. You can go to our website for up to date information about the company or to make a tax-deductible donation: http://www.persephoneproductions.org
The good news is that two of the cast members of Blue Stockings have received META nominations for the “Outstanding Emerging Artist” award. Congratulations Chloe Bilodeau and Darragh Mondoux! You can see all the nominees at: http://metas.ca
With sincere thanks and best wishes to you and your family. Stay well and stay connected,
Gabrielle Soskin and the Board members.
Dear friends and loyal Persephone patrons,
There is an expression in the theatre world that you may be familiar with: on a night when there is no performance we refer to the theatre as being “dark”. As I write to you, all theatres everywhere are dark. More artists and companies than I can possibly name have been sadly disappointed by the myriad cancellations, and audiences across the world share this disappointment.
My own play, Counting Aloud, did not make it to the Gatehouse Theatre in London as planned. We hope that our run there is only postponed; we remain optimistic.
Meanwhile, Persephone is busy planning our next exciting production. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is scheduled for November 2020 and will be a celebration of our 20th anniversary. This timeless and magical story, told in a new adaptation by David Edgar for the Royal Shakespeare Company, is especially relevant in the wake of what is happening in our world today. The details about the venue, dates, cast and technical team will appear in our Fall Newsletter.
We hope that you stay safe and stay healthy. Let’s look forward to the not too distant future, and to attending a live theatre performance, no longer apart but together.
Warmest wishes, as always,
Gabrielle Soskin, Christopher Moore, Clive Brewer, Camila Fitzgibbon & Louise Jarrett
Dear patrons, friends and theatre–goers,
2020 is an exciting year for Persephone as we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. Thank you so much for coming out to see Blue Stockings. In case you have not heard, the show was a smash hit: all the performances were sold out. Your generous donations were an integral part of its success!
We are currently busy planning our next production for November of this year. It will be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by David Edgar, who also adapted Nicholas Nickleby.
This play features 16 performers, dancing, singing, and live music. The story of A Christmas Carol has universal appeal for every generation. Furthermore, it promises to be a wonderful vehicle for the talents of newly minted theatre graduates. The script presents challenges for both actors and a creative design team. Stay tuned for details about this special anniversary production.
COUNTING ALOUD 2020
Meanwhile, I am taking my show Counting Aloud on the road again: to London, England this time. It will be performed at the Gatehouse Theatre Upstairs in Highgate Village, North London. Should you know of anyone who might be able to attend in England, please spread the word.
I need to practice before an audience for my “London debut”. Consequently there will be a free open dress rehearsal, followed by a Q. & A., on Tuesday, March 24 at 4:00pm at the Conseil des Arts building, 2010 Sherbrooke Street West (across from Parc de la Fontaine). The venue can be reached by bus (24 Eastbound) or metro (Sherbrooke station). Do come, if you can, and bring some friends
Thank you again for your unflagging support. With warmest wishes,
Dear Friends and Theatre-goers,
First a HUGE thank you to all those who have donated to the company and have supported our forthcoming exciting production of Blue Stockings. To all those who meant to donate and haven’t got around to it there is no cut-off date!
Now, a quick reminder to purchase your tickets very soon, perhaps today! They are selling very fast and it looks as though we will achieve our objective: "Sold out" for all shows. Come and share the wonderful work of our young creative team, and enjoy a lovely time at the theatre!
October 17 – 27, 2019
At the Studio Jean-Valcourt du Conservatoire
4750 Henri-Julien Ave., Montreal, QC H2T 2C8
General admission: $30
Seniors groups of ten or more: $25
Students & QDF Members: $20
Student groups of ten or more: $14
(514) 873-4031 extension 313
We look forward to seeing you there!
All the best,
Dear friends, patrons and theatre goers,
Our production of my play Counting Aloud was seen in early July at Theatre Lac Brome by a large and appreciative audience. A big thank you to all our loyal patrons who helped spread the word about this out-of-town show!
Next up Persephone is offering Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale. This is a witty and insightful play about women’s early struggles for higher education. Our production showcases 13 actors and a large technical and design team.
Blue Stockings runs from Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 27 at the Studio Jean-Valcourt du Conservatoire, (4750 Henri-Julien, Montreal, QC H2T 2C8). Tickets are available for purchase by calling the box office at 514-873-4031 x 313 and online.
Our current world landscape is deeply troubled; more than ever we need artistic, and creative endeavours to raise our spirits, deepen our humanity, and to rediscover a sense of purpose.
The company offers wonderful work opportunities to emerging theatre artists in Montreal. However, ticket sales cannot cover the cost of any given show. We are deeply grateful for those patrons who so generously donate to the company, and we hope that our newer patrons will also feel encouraged to make a contribution and become part of the Persephone endeavour. Together we can help these young people start their careers, while we continue to enrich the Anglo theatre scene with our work.
We have enclosed donation forms with the mailed newsletter, but, if possible, we would encourage you to make donations online at Canada Helps.
I am so looking forward to sharing the show with you. See you at the theatre!