Persephone Productions Montreal is proud to have as our explicit mandate to celebrate the work of local emerging theatre artists. Initially dedicated to recent graduates, Persephone Productions expanded its mandate in 2022 to include any artist that identifies with this need to emerge into the professional theatre community, no matter their background, age, identity or previous theatrical sphere.
At Persephone Productions, we strive to produce work that not only showcases local talent, but that takes artistic and creative risks. We feel the greatest gift one can give emerging artists is the respect that comes with a high-artistic bar, and professional work standards.
Success to Persephone Productions not only means producing cutting-edge theatre, but also seeing our emerging artists go from our stages to the next.
Founded by Gabrielle Soskin in 2000, Persephone Productions has served as home to Montreal’s emerging theatre artists for over 22 years. The company became a registered charity in 2001, followed by a board of volunteers in 2009. In July of 2013, Gabrielle Soskin stepped down as Artistic Director after 13 highly successful and productive years at the helm and Christopher Moore became Artistic Director and General Manager.
In 2019 Gabrielle returned to the company as Artistic Director upon Christopher Moore's departure. Persephone Productions' celebrated its landmark 20th anniversary in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Persephone returned to the stage under new leadership with its now Co-Artistic Directors, Leila Ghaemi and Rebecca Gibian.
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Inspired by the myth that is our namesake, Persephone Productions chose in 2022 to use the story of Persephone as our structural beacon.
According to mythology, Hades, god of the Underworld, fell in love with Persephone, daughter of Demeter the goddess of the earth and harvest, and carried her off to live with him in the Underworld. Demeter, distraught by the loss of her daughter, withdrew from nature in her quest to have her daughter returned to her. Hades eventually gave up Persephone, but not before compelling her to taste a few pomegranate seeds, whose divine taste would compel her to return to him. In a final act of compromise, it was agreed that Persephone would be released to her mother for half the year, and return to Hades for the other half, splitting her time between the natural world and the underworld.
This myth is symbolic of the cycle of the changing seasons–the perennial changes from summer to winter and the return to life in Spring–and the cyclical nature of life.
We at Persephone Productions structure our year inspired by this cycle of growth. In order to best serve our emerging artists, we dedicate half the year to a so-called Underworld, focusing on process and germination through workshops, mentorship and project development. The other half of the year will complete the cycle, focusing on public events like live performances and readings.