Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear this year’s Governor General winning play and meet the extraordinary playwright behind the celebrated work.  Nova Scotia playwright Catherine Banks will be in attendance during Sarasvàti Productions’ reading of her play Bone Cage at 7:30 p.m. on May 23 at the Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (at Prairie Theatre Exchange).  The Saturday evening reading, part of the Carol Shields Festival of New Works, kicks off a pair of Banks and Bone Cage related events in Winnipeg.

 Hope McIntyre, Sarasvàti Productions’ Artistic Director says the chance to bring Banks to Winnipeg was too good to pass up. “I had the pleasure of being at Rideau Hall to watch Banks receive the Governor General Award and since Bone Cage is a play I’ve been interested in producing for several years it was extraordinary to see it beinrecognized.  Now we have the chance to share Banks’ powerful writing with Winnipeg audiences.”

 Bone Cage is a poetic and darkly humorous portrayal of life in rural Nova Scotia, where stripping the environment means stripping your soul.  The play examines how young people in rural communities, employed in the destruction of the environment they cherish, treat the people they love at the end of their shift and the difficulties in growing and hanging onto dreams in a world where they are seen as impractical and weak.  It is tragic.  It is about a soul trapped in its own rib cage, a cage of bone, a bone cage.

 Banks, known for her “Atlantic Gothic” style, will be in attendance for the reading, as well as being featured as a guest speaker at McNally-Robinson Grant Park on Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m. She will be reading from a selection of her work as well as taking questions from those in attendance.

 Bone Cage came out of a desire to show what can happen when there is alcohol, boredom and an inability to leave an area because of a lack of education. Banks explains her goal for the piece: “I hope audiences grow a sense of compassion for people who are stuck in life. That’s what I want them to take from the play, not the darkness, but some illumination from the writing and from the story.”

 Her plays include Three Storey Ocean View, Bitter Rose and Bone Cage. Bitter Rose aired on Bravo Canada in 2005. She was recognized in 2008 with a Nova Scotia Established Artist Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Bone Cage. She recently finished the adventurous play Missy and Me about a hairdresser from rural Nova Scotia who is obsessed with the rapper Missy Elliot. Catherine lives and writes in Sambro, Nova Scotia.

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