It’s FemFest 2009: Herstory week!

See live theatre at FemFest!  Love for Sale follows six women whose lives collide in a suburban convenience store. www.sarasvati.ca

For more information or to book tickets please call 204.586.2236

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Don’t Miss Yoga Cannibal at FemFest

As the writer and performer of Yoga Cannibal  (Created/performed by nisha ahuja, Directed/Dramaturged by Yvette Nolan), I am thrilled to be joining FemFest in Winnipeg!  FemFest has been integral to nurturing the voice of the Canadian women theatre-makers and is a fantastic place for artistic exchange among theatre artists and audiences. I’m excited to exchange and dialogue with you through Yoga Cannibal running Sept. 28th & 30th!

Yoga Cannibal is a playful and cutting look at the consumption of culture in the quest for spiritual fulfillment. This one-woman drama-comedy combines elements of yoga, bharatnatayam-inspired movement, image theatre, and  40 yoga mats, while exploring how in North American society “othered” cultures are consumed and digested into products that can be re-branded, re-packaged, and re-sold. Questions of consuming others, ourselves, and culture are brought to light as a personal journey unfolds in the heart-broken former poet and now yogini’s “Omega Orange” Yoga Class. Monica teaches and sells Omega Orange copyrighted yoga, equipment, and clothing with a life encompassing dedication; so much so that she has given up her own creative passions and tries to mold into others’ (especially her girlfriend’s) idea of being a perfect (brown) yogini. Monica as a South Asian woman is unaware of her role of not only promoting the branding and commercialization of this sacred tradition, but also of becoming apart of the branding herself.  She is consumed, but is also consuming herself.

The audience is invited to laugh at the absurdity and perversity of the consumption and commerce of yoga, while taken on an exotified, entertaining, and emotional journey, which provokes them to ask questions about cultural identity, cultural appropriation, and the soul of an artist trapped in a world of commerce.

Yoga Cannibal was developed through Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Lady’s Creator Unit in 2007 with the support of Ontario Art Council’s Theatre Creator’s Reserve (Dramaturge Moynan King, and Movement/Creative Consultant Nathalie Claude).

Partnered with director/dramaturge Yvette Nolan, the play premiered at Buddies’ Hysteria Festival in October 2007 as a “Must See” (Xtra Toronto) to enthusiastic audiences, who called the production “powerful”, “funny”, “fresh”, “smart”, and “a rollercoaster of emotions”.

We redeveloped and ‘reincarnated’ the piece for the Ottawa and Vancouver Fringe Festivals in 2008 where CBC Radio One raved, “The crowd really ate this one up. …Good Pace… Good Energy…She’s a lot of Fun.”

And with another round of workshops and rewriting we bring FemFest and Theatre Passe Murraille (Oct. 2009, Toronto) this new version of Yoga Cannibal

I’m looking forward to meeting you and sharing my work with you soon!

– nisha ahuja
www.nishaahuja.com

Sarasvàti Productions’ Board Member Speaks Out

Greetings, readers!
 
My name is Patrick McCauley. I hold the position of Secretary on the Sarasvàti Productions’ Board of Directors. I’d like to take a minute and share my excitement for the work that Sarasvàti Productions is doing, by letting you know what prompted me to join the volunteer team.

Throughout my life, I’ve looked for opportunities to expand my world view. Not only do I believe that this will make me a well-rounded person, but it will also help me relate to others that come from different life circumstances than my own.

That is one of the main reasons I chose to become a Board Member for Sarasvàti Productions. In my volunteer experience, I’ve found that one’s time is even more important than money.  With our exciting and powerful mandate, I can’t think of a better organization to give my valuable time to. In the three years that I’ve been a Member of the Board, my mind has been opened to numerous issues for which I had no point of reference. But even more fulfilling, is bearing witness to the shifts in perception of our audiences.

I’ve always wanted to help change the world… make a difference, if you will. I can’t think of a better way to achieve this then by becoming involved with the great work of Sarasvàti Productions.

Look for our posters, visit our website, and come to a show to see what we’re all about! I’d love to see you there and please take a moment to say hello to myself or any of the other Board members at Sarasvàti Productions.

Pitch Blond at FemFest

Hello, my name is Laura Anne Harris and I am the artistic director of Destination Ink Productions. I am originally from Victoria, British Columbia, but I have recently moved to Toronto, Ontario this past fall. Destination Ink Production’s mandate is to explore historical and sociological perspectives which focus on the female experience. My main goal with my theatre company is to illuminate on female stories that have not been heard. This is the perfect segway to talk about my play, Pitch Blond.

For the past three years I have been touring my solo show, Pitch Blond, across Canada and recently had my US premiere in Orlando, Florida this past year.  I am very excited to bring the story of Judy Holliday’s courageous untold story to audiences who may know Judy Holliday and especially to those that do not know Judy Holliday.  My main goal with this show is to reveal this smart, funny and strong female historical figure to a bigger audience of various age ranges. In order to elaborate on Judy Holliday a bit further, she is an actor from the 1950s who specialized in playing dumb blondes, even though she had a genius level IQ.  When she was called to testify during the McCarthy inquisitions, she decided to play up her dumb blonde persona in order to avoid naming any names.   I feel very privileged to perform my play in Winnipeg at one of the only female orientated theatre festivals in Canada, Femfest. 

This play about Judy Holliday, is a strong example of a woman who was more feminist in her actions against the conservative times/government than any one has given her credit. When you think of the McCarthy Era, I rarely think of the female experience and this is the perfect example of a experience that was looked over in the history books.  I hope you enjoy this Winnipeg, Manitoba premiere of Pitch Blond.   
 
-Laura Anne Harris

FemFest isn’t the only thing happening to support women in theatre

From WomenArts:

Theatre Women Seek Equality – Women theatre artists organized a conference in New York last week to launch a new initiative called 50/50 in 2020. In response to the fact that women playwrights, directors, and designers still receive fewer than 20% of the professional production opportunities nationwide, our friends at the Women’s Project, the League of Professional Theatre Women, and New Perspectives Theatre are organizing this campaign to achieve parity for professional women theater artists by 2020. Read more>>