Give a gift that keeps on giving and make a lasting impact!

Give a Gift
-Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director

As the deadline for a matching program to our endowment fund approaches, I realize that I’m not very good at asking for money. Despite the fact that I think the work we are doing is extremely valuable and has a lasting community impact, I just know that everyone receives far too many requests for donations.

 So, why should someone support our work?

1. Thousands of youth have seen our latest touring show No Offense… and explored ways to combat racism as a result.

Darren Felbel and Mary Black in No Offense...

“The students and I found the forum aspect of the production really beneficial. As spectators, they were able to play out their outrage to the injustice of the story. They were able to change the outcome instead of just sitting back and watching, disgusted and angry at the characters’ behaviour and poor choices. This was particularly powerful because it later helped my students to make connections to all forms of discrimination and oppression, not just racism, and the power of standing up and speaking out.” – Julianne Hoyak, Steinbach Regional Secondary School

2. We are currently using theatre skills as a way to provide support and give a voice to women who have been in conflict with the law. Working with the Elizabeth Fry Society, we have met women who are working hard to lead positive lives and need constructive outlets to express themselves. Our group of artists are amazed by the strength and honesty of these women. We feel the reality of their lives need to be explored to help the larger public understand how we can really solve the issue of crime.

3. This year’s FemFest was an amazing opportunity for artists to share their work and for audiences to be affected by powerful performances from across the country. Our shows opened up dialogue on the environment, on women’s sexual exploitation, on mental health and discrimination.

Nan Fewchuk in Chelle

“The thrill of seeing my work performed in a professional venue, the opportunity to participate in a public reading among celebrated women playwrights, the awe of experiencing work from across the feminist spectrum, the chance to attend workshops on dub poetry, the one-woman show, and sketch comedy…this is just a brief account of what FemFest 2010 meant to me. As an emerging writer and now playwright, having my work accepted and presented by the gifted actor Nan Fewchuk—three times over 10 days, no less!—was one of the peak experiences of my year. And of my career-to-date. FemFest has allowed me to cross over from short story writer to playwright, to access financial support through the generosity of the Canada Council and the Playwrights Guild. My participation in Sarasvàti’s FemFest 2010 represented not just one small step for this woman, but a giant leap towards deepening my craft.” – Beverly Akerman

“I’ve also been meaning to write to say that this year’s fest was to my mind the most thought-provoking one yet. Sometimes when making theatre that seeks to transform one can cross the line from raising issues and consciousness to becoming too earnest and preachy, and therefore turn off the very people you want to reach. This year, without exception, each piece of theatre made me really think about the role of women in the world and how my attitudes and behaviours might affect that world for better or worse. I’m still sorting things out.” – Kevin Longfield

November 30th is the deadline for the Endowment Incentive Program. Donate now to our endowment fund at the Winnipeg Foundation and your money will be eligible for matching funds. This fund provides on-going stability to the company and will exist in perpetuity.

Simply get a cheque to our offices by November 29th or go on-line and donate directly through the Winnipeg Foundation.

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Win an iPod with the No Offense… Youth Competition

SARASVÀTI PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES YOUTH COMPETITION TO FIGHT RACISM

Ashley Chartrand and Jessy Ardern in No Offense…

Sarasvàti Productions is encouraging youth to use the arts to confront racism head on. In conjunction with its current touring production of No Offense… the company is hosting a competition for youth with amazing prizes, such as an iPod. 

“We are hosting this competition because stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination continue to exist in Manitoba schools and we want it to be dealt with,” says Artistic Director of Sarasvàti Productions, Hope McIntyre. “We want to encourage youth to participate in change and are looking forward to seeing how the play might inspire strategies to fight racism.”

To enter the competition, youth can submit their ideas to combat racism. The focus is on using artistic expression to create change. Submissions can be in many different forms, including poems, drawings, videos, events, or any other creative avenues to increase the dialogue about racism and provide solutions to racist behavior.

All submissions are due by December 15, 2010. A panel of judges, including youth and artists, will choose a winner. This competition will help take the ideas in the play and bring them into a real life context, where students can use their creativity to fight racism within schools and voice their concerns. Details can be found at www.sarasvati.ca.  

No Offense…. is touring until mid-November throughout Manitoba. This play is targeted toward youth, complete with youth actors, highlighting the issue of racism within high schools. The play is performed in the forum theatre tradition, where audience members are given a chance to stop the action of the play and find solutions to the racism they are observing. This type of theatre allows the audience to interact with the actors and test strategies to combat racism.   

“So far, the tour of No Offense… has been a great success and received positive reviews from students and teachers alike,” McIntyre reports. “The competition will work in conjunction with the play to help reiterate the fact that these students can help put an end to racism. It completes the circle for a show that was developed by the community, performed by actors, and will now produce change in the community.”

Darren Felbel and Mary Black in No Offense...