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Persistence Theatre Company launches second season in St. John's

“Original” playwright and actor Sharon King-Campbell (from left), “Offensive to Some” playwright Berni Stapleton, and Persistence Theatre Company artistic director Jenn Deon at the launch of the company’s second season Tuesday morning at the LSPU Hall. King-Campbell and Stapleton’s plays are the first two productions to go on stage during the upcoming season.
“Original” playwright and actor Sharon King-Campbell (from left), “Offensive to Some” playwright Berni Stapleton, and Persistence Theatre Company artistic director Jenn Deon at the launch of the company’s second season Tuesday morning at the LSPU Hall. King-Campbell and Stapleton’s plays are the first two productions to go on stage during the upcoming season. - Juanita Mercer

Three productions announced for coming year

Persistence Theatre Company launched its second season Tuesday morning at the LSPU Hall with the announcement of three productions and fundraisers.

The non-profit organization is based on the core principles of feminism — through their work, they aim to bring more female-identifying voices to theatre work both onstage and backstage.

“We want to shine a light on still the need for feminism because there is still so much inequity even in our beautiful city,” said artistic director Jenn Deon of the company’s main goal for its second season.

In announcing the thematic link between the three upcoming productions, Deon said, “women, at every age, face challenges of achieving equity based on their sex in different ways.”

This year’s plays were chosen under the theme, “Maiden, mother, crone — aspects of the female goddess’.

“Speaking of goddesses,” Deon announced the first production to go on stage Nov. 28 at the LSPU Hall will be “Original.”

The play features characters Eve, Pandora, and Embla all performed as a one-woman show by writer Sharon King-Campbell. It explores what being a woman means and has meant throughout western civilization.

“I think that there is value to examining that kind of story — that founding story — where we see our first women blamed for the destruction of the world,” said King-Campbell.

“Eve and the apple, Pandora and the box, and we take a look at that and see how our perpetuation of that story becomes a cycle that we find now … I think the stories that we started with we have to now retell in our own voices so we can make substantial, significant change.”

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Persistent Theatre Company persistent in female empowerment

The second production is Berni Stapleton’s “Offensive to Some” and will be onstage at the LSPU Hall Jan. 23 to 27. The third show announced for the second season is “Curved” by Kristin Shepherd. It will be onstage at the LSPU Hall from March 7 to 10.

Also announced at the season launch were several other events, including the company’s feminist open mike at The Ship Pub Tuesday evening, which was hosted by Berni Stapleton and featured monologues, rants, and comedy.

As well, the company is holding a “Frugal Femmes” clothing sale fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Neal Building.

Lastly, NTV news anchor Toni Marie Wiseman announced details of the upcoming 2nd Annual Pink Tie Gala at the CLB Armoury on Nov. 2. Wiseman will host the gala which will also feature a performance by Petrina Bromley of the Tony Award winning Broadway show “Come From Away”.

Through audio link from New York, Bromley told the roughly 25 attendees at the launch event that she’s “honoured” to be a part of promoting the company’s work.

“The work that Persistence does is so important,” she said. “The importance of continuing to do theatrical work that speaks to people about things that they maybe don’t get to hear elsewhere is beyond value to me.”

Persistence Theatre Company board chair Jean Graham said the board is thankful for the support they received in their first year to help do that work and create 44 positions. She said they received funding from corporate sponsors and from all three levels of government.

Jeff Budden of Budden Associates was on hand representing the corporate community funders, MHA Betty Parsley spoke on behalf of Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Mitchelmore, and Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary represented the City of St. John’s.

Details and tickets for all upcoming productions and events are available online at www.persistencetheatre.com.

The productions and events are a part of the theatre company’s efforts to work towards women’s “political, economic, personal, and social equality in our society and in our time,” said Deon, as she pointed out that women make up less than 10 per cent of executives of the top 100 publicly traded companies.

“We have a long way to go,” she said.

juanita.mercer@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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