Monologues a Great Success!

Last week Sarasvàti Productions marked International Women’s Week with performances of their monologues celebrating Winnipeg Women. Selected pieces were performed at Sage House as part of a special dinner for the women there. We participated in a bit of guerilla theatre by staging four of the pieces outside Gallery 1C03 at the University of Winnipeg, people walking by were able to stop and take in the performances. A highlight was certainly participating in the Genesis House fundraising event in Carman, Manitoba. Their sold out crowd of 160 people were there to support the women’s shelter but were also treated to an amazing evening of coffee, deserts and performances. The organizers had thought of everything, even decorated the washrooms! Our monologues were followed by the amazing Heather Bishop. She spoke, sang and inspired. Needless to say, several of us left with her CDs in hand.

Another memorable experience was performing The F Word and Black Little Neechee for the Manitoba Teacher’s Society Women’s Symposium. They had planned the monologues to follow topical panels and really allowed us to realize our goal of using the monologues to inspire thought and dialogue.

Jane Burpee in "The F Word", photo by Janet Shum

Staff Officer of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Terry Price, had this to say about The F Word:
“This monologue fit perfectly in our program as it followed the Thursday evening presentation by Marilou McPhedran who received the Order of Canada for her work on equality rights in the Canadian Constitution. To then have “Nellie” appear and talk with ‘shock and awe’ about our need to continue to push the envelope on women’s rights to prevent the erosion of hard earned rights was perfectly timed. The applause from the participants was vigorous and sustained.  The actor presented with gusto and brought great credibility to the basic premises of the monologue.”

She added in response to Black Little Neechee:
“Wow! Heather performed this so well it reduced many of us to tears. Again, we had placed this in our program immediately following a presentation by Diane Redsky on the topic of human trafficking in Canada. Unfortunately, many of the victims of trafficking in this country and province are Aboriginal women and children. Heather’s performance and the extremely well-written monologue resonated with everyone in the room.  The spontaneous standing ovation she received said all that needed to be said. A great job on both and thank you so much for your ongoing work in this area!”

Finally, we could not have asked for a better audience for our public performances on March 9 and 10. Cara Lytwyn really warmed things up with her opening stand up routine. The diversity of the seven monologues really appealed to audiences. We are so grateful to our amazing actors, playwrights, volunteers and supporters!

If you have thoughts for stories we should include next year, let us know! Are you interested in seeing more local women celebrated? A more global exploration? Or perhaps there are old favorites we should bring back?

Alissa Watson in "Mrs Colin Inkster", photo by Janet Shum

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