Julia Stiles and Bob McGrath discuss “Persephone”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Actress Julia Stiles and director Bob McGrath discuss “Persephone” at BAM, the music-theater collaboration with the Ridge Theater ensemble and three exceptional contributors from across various disciplines. The mythology surrounding the Greek character of Persephone—the beautiful and doomed daughter of Zeus and Demeter who was abducted by Hades into the Underworld—is explored though songs, narrative, projections, and instrumental music. “Persephone” is playing at BAM as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival, October 26–30, at 7:30 pm.


Bob McGrath and Julia Stiles

Comments [6]


For many years this group had a writer composer named John Moran and those works were always some of the best I had ever seen anywhere. They changed both theater and even the idea of music in many ways it seemed. And as I remember Julia Stiles was in some of those productions also. I don't know what happened to him. But after him this group seemed to have a lot more money but none of the spark of genius that defined them before. I tried following them for a while hoping they would get they would reach that level again, but it never seemed to happen without him. I guess that's what money does, isn't it?

Sep. 27 2013 07:22 PM
Sam from New York, NY

I saw it on Wednesday night. I really found it to be quite terrible. People were walking out. After the show, everyone seemed overwhelmed by how bad it was. Folks on the subway were saying that BAM should be embarrassed. One frequent theater-goer that I know said she was "counting the minutes till it was over." I was too. It really is so odd. As the NY Post Review concludes, the play is about a bad play, but it forces us through more of the bad play despite that. An unwelcome irony, indeed. Meanwhile, people can call it a spectacle all they want, but projecting onto a screen isn't anything that impressive. I'm sorry. It just isn't.

Oct. 28 2010 12:21 PM
RC from Blacksburg, VA

What a great experience for Virginia Tech students to be part of this production! Kudos to our very own Bob McGrath and our very talented students.

Oct. 28 2010 11:53 AM
Philip M. Gardiner from Yonkers, NY

I was there tonight at Harvey for Persephone, a co-production with Ridge Theater, University of Virgina and BAM. It was a truly amazing, heartfelt wallop of a theatrical experience. Brilliant, creative, funny, well acted, and self-deprecating at times, I left the theater thoroughly entertained. The collaborative effort must have been ENORMOUS but well worth it. The music, especially Mimi Goese's exquisite interpretations are hauntingly ethereal, combined with the extraordinary film work projected on gigantic scrims, and poetry from masters, make for an engaging, challenging and emotionally satisfying piece of theater. Julia Stiles on board for this run, being that she began her stage career with Ridge Theater, is icing on the cake. Her depth as an actor is obvious from her first exchange with her director "backstage" and although the play is truly a showcase for Ms. Goese, the entire cast should feel very, very good about being a part of this production.

Oct. 28 2010 12:49 AM
amy lipton from Garrison, NY

ALSO TO NOTE: WNYC's John Schaefer interviewed Persephone composer/musician Ben Neill last week on New Sounds which aired Thursday night.

Oct. 26 2010 10:09 AM
jeannie from west village

I just wanted to say that the addition of Julia Stiles to Dexter has made a really fun show even better. Ms. Stiles has great depth as an actor and brings something really worthwhile to the table, in my humble opinion.

Oct. 25 2010 01:50 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.