Immigration Stories at FemFest

The Director’s View – Hope McIntyre

Today was the first read-through of the new script developed with the Immigrant Women’s Association of Manitoba (IWAM) to be performed at FemFest in September. It was exciting to hear it out loud and to see how everyone responded to the compilation of their stories. There were tears, many moments of recognition and lots of laughter.

One of the joys of the work we do at Sarasvàti Productions is the chance to work with different organizations and such a wide range of people. They all have stories to tell. This particular project was spear-headed by Beatrice Watson of IWAM and funded by New Herizons for Seniors. The goal is to provide senior women immigrants with the opportunity to share their stories, learn theatre skills and to allow youth to learn about their parents’ and grandparents’ immigration to Canada.

Although technically seniors, you would never guess it with the energy and spirit of the group of women who have gathered together over several months to develop the script. They are all inspirations due to both the struggles they have faced and the important roles they have played in the community. They have so much to share it can be a challenge to stay focused. And now several of them will become first time actors, performing alongside experienced actors in the staging of the piece at FemFest.

The team of creator/performers includes Francesca Cotroneo, Barbara Guia, Clara Orallo, Helma Rogge Rehders, Monica Singh, Hien Tran and Beatrice Watson. I’m also pleased to welcome Reanna Joseph as Assistant Director to the project.

We are all excited to jump in to rehearsals in a few weeks. I have no doubt that these women will knock the audiences’ socks off as they are all natural story-tellers!

The full FemFest line-up will be announced on June 15th, so check out the website after that date for full details –

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