‘Empty’ Shines a Light

Empty, our original, in-house production (created with the support of the Winnipeg Arts Council ‘With Arts’ Program and the Winnipeg Foundation), had its world premiere at FemFest 2012 last week to an extremely enthusiastic and responsive audience. We knew before FemFest that we wanted to take this show out into the community and thanks to the additional support of RBC Foundation this has been made possible. It is important to us to share this incredible work with folks who may not have access to or typically go to theatre shows. To kick-off our tour, we brought the play into the place that inspired the play: Winnipeg Harvest. Over the lunch hour, we performed the show for Winnipeg Harvest volunteers, staff and community members. The response has been overwelmingly positive.

“On behalf of all the Winnipeg Harvest team members who were there, thank you so much for presenting Empty today at lunchtime. You have done an excellent job of capturing the reality faced by Winnipeg Harvest clients in your script. The actors, director and crew all make it come alive and be real. As I looked around the room during the performance, I could see that you were having a profound effect on everyone there. Many, including David, were moved to tears. Your play was acting as a catalyst for their increased consciousness of their individual situation and how that is reflected in the systemic reality. Drama can be a powerful force for social change. Emptyis very powerful. We all hope it leads to the kinds of changes we all want.” – Donald Benham, Director of Hunger and Poverty Awareness (Winnipeg Harvest)

Sylvia Kuzyk, Elena Anciro and Melanie Dean; photo by Janet Shum

As we were approaching community groups and schools about this project, the response and interest was paramount. There is such a thirst for ‘real stories’ about ‘real people.’ We are excited to be offering a production that was written not only with food bank users in mind, but with direct input from food bank users, volunteers and staff throughout the entire creation and writing process. When our own Artistic Director Hope McIntyre was commissioned to write this piece, she knew from the start that this project and the resulting production would be able to reach out to individuals and communities in an enlightening way. We look forward to a successful run!

We have two community shows that are open to the public and you’re invited!

7pm Thursday, September 27 in partnership with the Provincial Council of Women at the Society of Manitobans With Disabilities (825 Sherbrook Street); $10 admission
8pm Thursday, October 4 at Graffiti Art Gallery a special show for youth (109 Higgins Ave); admission is free but seats need to be reserved (call 204.586.2236 for details)

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