Celebrate Women of Winnipeg

Our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues 2012 is coming up soon and we are really excited to be featuring an array of monologues telling the stories of women from the Winnipeg region, both past and present. On March 9 and 10 at 8:00pm in Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (Prairie Theatre Exchange, 3rd Floor of Portage Place), audiences will have a chance to see 7 monologues by local playwrights all featuring local actors. In addition, to celebrate the great talent of local women we have stand up comic Cara Lytwyn to open the show!

Tickets are just $10 and can be reserves on-line, by phone (586-2236) or purchased through PayPal at http://sarasvati.ca/season/iww-monologues/.

Past audiences have raved about the event and this year will not disappoint. We hope you will join us in celebrating the amazing women of the city!

The Line-Up:

  • Immigrant Experience by Hope McIntyre
    Performed by Elena Anciro
    In this funny and touching piece, a young Filipino girl deals with her nerves as she prepares to reunite with her mother in Winnipeg after eight years of separation. She just hopes she is Canadian enough to fit in.
  • Mrs. Colin Inkster (Invisible Women) by Hope McIntyre
    Performed by Alissa Watson
    A modern academic has been painstakingly trying to document the lives of invisible women in Winnipeg’s history but now she goes a little crazy in the library while trying to decide whether to change her name when she gets married.
  • The F Word by Cairn Moore
    Performed by Jane Burpee
    Nellie McClung returns from the grave with a message for young women afraid to call themselves feminists – the fight is not over.
  • Morning Shift by Ginny Collins
    Performed by Nan Fewchuk
    A waitress at Salisbury House contemplates jumping out the window but realizes that she’d just float to the States in her Sal’s uniform and would still need a dye job.
  • War Bride by Jessy Ardern
    Performed by Ashley Moore
    In 1945, a German war bride adjusts to the cold of Winnipeg winters and struggles with whether or not to teach her ‘Canadian’ children to speak German.
  • Cry After Midnight by Talia Pura
    Performed by Lauren Sellen
    Shannon got her medical degree by enlisting, but she never thought she would end up in a war zone. This is a powerful story of a surgeon with the Canadian Military stationed in Afghanistan.
  • Black Little Neechee by Hope McIntyre
    Performed by Heather McKenzie
    An aboriginal woman celebrates one year of sobriety at her mother’s grave. An inspiring and heart-warming story of overcoming racism to find one’s true spirit.
  • Stand-up Comic Cara Lytwyn will do a short set all about Winnipeg. Lytwyn was the 2008 winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job and the 2009 winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Comic competition. She has performed in the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival’s Tazzy’s Angels.

Amnesty International materials and actions will be available at the event to support human rights for women.

Hope to see you there!

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Ace Burpee Takes Home the Trophy!

What an amazing evening packed full of entertainment! The first annual So You Think You Can Act was a huge success. All the celebrities brought their A-game to the event and surpassed expectations with solid performances of the nine scenes in the evening. In addition, emcee Big Daddy Tazz kept the audience entertained every moment and played off the panel of judges. Lee White, Kayla Gordon and Bob Metcalfe were impressive in terms of their ability to come up with insightful, hilarious and bizarre commentary that had the audience booing, cheering, laughing and thoroughly engaged.

Although for some celebrities the event was their first foray on stage, they all took risks and really enjoyed themselves. They all deserve an award for having the guts to take on this challenge and for being such great sports no matter what the judges threw at them. Ultimately the audience did cast their ballots and select the first ever So You Think You Can Act winner. Although Al Simmons was the favourite to win in the advance polls, it was Ace Burpee who walked away with the trophy. His scene with mother, Jane, was certainly a big hit. Perhaps it was just his bad wig, bizarre character physicality and ridiculous southern accent but the performance won over the audience. This will likely be the only time the Hot 103 morning host wins an Oscar (the trophy had an Oscar figure perched on top).

Jane Burpee and Ace Burpee accepting the trophy. Photo by Janet Shum.

John Lu, who had flown in from Montreal that very day, and Sylvia Kuzyk, who was a convincing vixen, were the runners-up. John wowed the audience with his natural stage ability and great parody of bad Asian films opposite scene partner Alissa Watson. Sylvia had the grace and airs down pat for a famous actress, a lovely contrast to Toni Reimer’s mousy character who has come pleading for her husband back.

Every celebrity was memorable though. Al Simmons was first on stage and not only did he make an entrance but he also threw himself at the judges afterwards, to the shock of his scene partner Nan Fewchuk. Tracy Koga was charming and a joy to watch as she sped through a relationship with actor Tyhr Trubiak. Laurie Mustard was so natural on stage, everyone had to wonder if he’d missed his calling, plus he played beautifully off scene partner Lois Brothers. Howard Mandshein had a chance to rock out and was the perfect straight man to partner Danielle Savage’s neurotic character in How It Works. In yellow rain coat, boots and covered in mud Judy Wasylycia-Leis made quite the entrance for her scene with Kevin Anderson. Of course the judges were able to play off of the notion of a former politician playing a character involved in a cover-up! Randall King brought his brother’s words to life in David King’s Life Skills and managed to remain focused even when opposite him Cheryl Gensiorek was eating fettuccini with her bare hands.

If all of that wasn’t enough the audience also partook of the raffle featuring amazing prizes, enjoyed violinist John Racaru in the lobby before the event as well as wine and cheese post event.

In fact the audience was amazing and helped to make it a perfect night out!

The response overall has been overwhelming. It will be difficult to top it next year, but we will certainly try!

Who Will Win the Raffle Prizes at So You Think You Can Act? It Could Be You!

Learn about the So You Think You Can Act Raffle from Sarasvàti Productions’ Administrator Robyn Pooley!

A big part of So You Think You Can Act on February 16th, aside from watching our celebrities rock the stage, is the raffle!

The prizes we have are amazing – the generosity of theatres, companies, and individuals has been astounding! The outpouring of support from the places approached for So You Think You Can Act donations will go a long way to help fund Sarasvàti Productions’ upcoming projects! With March’s International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues, the world premiere of EDEN coming up fast, FemFest’s 10th anniversary in the fall and plans for another school tour tackling the issue of gang recruitment, there is certainly a lot of important work that the event will be supporting.

All of the prizes really are amazing, but there are a couple that I think everyone is going to want! One of the big prizes is a voucher for a Fall 2012 Acting Class at Prairie Theatre Exchange valued at $400! If any aspiring actors are out there, this is the prize they’ll want to win!

All of the arts organizations in the city were incredibly generous, and it just goes to show how tight the community really is. We all support each other, and want to see one another thrive! The prizes up for grabs from the arts community include:

  • Two tickets to Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Next To Normal
  • Two tickets to Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Giselle
  • Two tickets to Manitoba Opera’s The Daughter of the Regiment
  • Two tickets to Prarie Theatre Exchange’s Till It Hurts
  • Two tickets to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Parker Plays Brahms
  • Four tickets to Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers’ 97 Positions of the Heart
  • Two tickets to Winnipeg Studio Theatre’s My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding
  • Two tickets to Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s MacHomer
  • And much much more!

There is also some lovely schwag, that we’ve been looking at longingly in the office. Many of these donations are likely to ignite ticket buying. For the ladies, we’ve got a giant gift basket from Love Nest valued at $200 that will be the perfect post Valentine’s Day pick me up. We have a beautiful Italian ring with a tiny diamond from Vandenberg’s Fine Jewlery, we have chocolates from the best place in the city, Chocolatier Constance Popp Shop,  a beautiful package from Sonya’s Flowers that includes a purse, and MUCH more!

For the men, we’ve got an Italian sterling silver and wood bracelet from Vandenberg’s Fine Jewelry, comic books from Cover to Cover, tickets to Rumours Comedy Club, and a GORGEOUS Sun Ice TSN winter coat donated by John Lu! There’s so much more that has been so graciously donated to us for So You Think You Can Act, but you’ll have to come to the event to see it!

To view the full list of So You Think You Can Act Raffle Prizes, click here!

Tickets for the Raffle will be priced at 1 for $2, 3 for $5, and 15 for $20!  You can buy them in the lobby before the event, and at intermission. At the end of the night, we draw for the winners!

All these donations are going to make up twelve fantastic packages -the winners will be beyond happy!

So, will you be one of the lucky winners at So You Think You Can Act? We hope so! We hope to see you on February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or call us at 586-2236.

Raffle License # MGCC-5542-RF

Image of Winner by Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net Salvatore’s portfolio can be found here

Will Randall King Get A Five Star Review?

Anyone who reads the Winnipeg Free Press knows that on the weekend, Randall King is the guy to guide you to what movies you should or should not see. As Winnipeg’s favourite movie critic, Randall dishes out the dirt on the films that are not up to par, and raves about the ones that everyone should see. We trust his opinion and expertise to enhance our film choosing and viewing.

We are very excited that Randall will be offering himself up for critique to our panel of judges at So You Think You Can Act! Let’s learn more about Randall!

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King. His older brother David is a playwright. His even older brother Bob is a singer-songwriter.

Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.

His beat is film, and the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Styles. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen), and director Russ Meyer once told him: “I like your style.”

Will Randall’s performance be critically acclaimed by the judges? Will he get a five star review? There’s only one way to know!

Please join us February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or reserve by calling 586-2236.

If you haven’t yet predicted the evening’s winner, take our blog poll.

Will The Sun Shine On Laurie Mustard’s Performance?

It’s time to meet yet another celebrity! A Winnipeg staple, our next celeb is….Laurie Mustard! Laurie is very experienced in print (Winnipeg Sun columnist), radio (co-host of Wake Up Winnipeg on CJOB for 11 years) , and TV (Hosted Switchback on CBC-TV), so we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us as an actor.

Laurie Mustard – born July 31, 1948 BE (Before Elvis) in Killarney, Manitoba. Family moved to Winnipeg in Fall of 1957, Laurie tracked them down and followed shortly after. He attended Linwood School, St. James Collegiate and U of W (Arts with a Theatre Major). Post university, he slaved in the media for 35 years, has recently retired momentarily, and is enjoying his freedom, his family (wife Marly, kids and pets), and five grandchildren.

Mustard once had a big argument with Milton Berle; proposed to Sophia Loren; crashed in a hot air balloon; loves classic cars, and is thrilled to be part of So You Think You Can Act.

Will Laurie “soar” to new heights on stage? With so much experience in all forms of media and a theatre degree to boot, we’re sure Laurie is going to be fantastic! Will Laurie take home the big prize? Will he win the audience’s votes? Will Winnipeg “wake-up” when he’s onstage? You’ve got to attend the event to find out!

Please join us February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or by calling 586-2236.

If you haven’t yet predicted the evening’s winner, take our blog poll.