Budget woes force Saskatoon's Deep End theatre to close

Persephone Theatre has staged Deep End theatre productions over the last eight seasons. The smaller venue was used to stage not only more cutting edge theatre, but also productions that are better served by a more intimate setting. Deep End is no more.

Persephone Theatre ends long run on small stage

Persephone Theatre's production of W.O. Mitchell's The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon. (Courtesy of Persephone Theatre)

The curtain is coming down for a Saskatoon theatre's alternative stage.

Things are a little different in the current state of affairs.- Del Surjik 
Persephone Theatre has staged Deep End theatre productions over the last eight seasons. The smaller venue was used to stage not only more cutting edge theatre, but also productions that are better served by a more intimate setting. Deep End is no more.

"It's awful for me, as an artist," said Persephone artistic director Del Surjik.

The decision, according to Surjik, is the direct result of careful strategic planning.

"Things are a little different in the current state of affairs and we want to plan well for them."

The current state of affairs he alluded to include the on-going construction at River Landing, a lack of convenient parking in the area, and, of course, the downturn in the economy. The move, said Surjik, will help the main stage thrive and will allow Persephone to maintain a strong commitment to offering youth programming.

Plus, he said, eight years of Deep End helped build an audience in the city for alternative theatre, and that the space will be there.

 "We've seen a blossoming of new artists, new productions, new companies even, and this will give them room.  We have the most flexible black box theatre space in the province now. It is an amazing space and people tell me there is a shortage of rehearsal space and performance space. Well, we've cleared some room in the calendar for next season."

Does Persephone face future budget drama?

The question is, will there be more drama ahead for Persephone Theatre? Surjik said that tough times are always on his mind. Still, he said that he is confident they've made the moves needed to ensure a strong future for the theatre.

"I think we have a really strong plan moving forward into the next season."

Persephone Theatre will announce its line up for the coming season later in March. 

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