Jail Baby – An Introduction

It’s hard to believe that in just six months’ time our production of Jail Baby will make its world premiere! Three years in the making, Jail Baby is the result of drama workshops in correctional institutions with a wide range of women offenders. It is a heart-wrenching story that finds hope and humour in the most unlikely places.

We are excited that renowned Winnipeg director Ann Hodges will be at the helm of the production. She is already hard at work preparing for the show! We are also excited to announce that the play written by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore (with Nan Fewchuk and Marsha Knight) will be published by Scirocco Drama in conjunction with the world premiere! Copies will be available for purchase during the performance run.

Our goal is to create transformative theatre so the show will also include special panels exploring the issue of women offenders, the high representation of aboriginal women in prison and restorative justice. As well, stay tuned for special cameo appearances by some of Winnipeg’s best lawyers and judges!

Jail Baby recognizes and examines the issues and realities of incarcerated women from their perspectives thereby dispelling the myths about female criminals. The play also shows the perspective of those affected by crime. These issues are extremely relevant right now in Canada and around the world. We have shared on our Facebook and Twitter stories of the plight of women incarcerated around the world in recent weeks. According to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba, the number of women in prisons has grown 50% over the last decade. EFS Manitoba estimates that with the new Omnibus Crime Bill, the number of women in prisons is expected to rise. Check out this infographic from the National Post to see what and where the numbers are.

Jail Baby will run from May 16-26, 2012 at the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. After the run, we are hoping to also do some special community performances.

Wild Women showcased at International Women’s Week 2013!

International Women’s Week is celebrated by countries all over the world in March of each year. Every year we celebrate the amazing women who have come before us, those who are presently working tirelessly as well as those will take up the torch in the future; by performing our popular cabaret of monologues. This year we had 72 monologues submitted from all across Canada, shortlisted 19 and then faced the huge challenge of choosing pieces that would fit the theme, create a balanced evening and reflect the diversity of women’s experiences. We are excited to share the monologues that we will perform throughout International Women’s Week. This year’s theme is Wild Women, which means that stories will focus on women who break break barriers and reject the status quo!

Here is a sneak-peek at the International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues: Wild Women! There are also a few surprises in the works, so we’ll have more monologues to announce in the coming weeks!

I Am Supergirl by Sheree Bradford-Lea
Supergirl wrestles with the Voice Of Society and develops a growing awareness of its agenda. She begins to realize it might be affecting her in more ways than she could have imagined.

Booze Hound by Hannah Foulger
Inspired by what may be a true story… Rita makes extra cash by selling alcohol to the teenagers of Cambridge, Ontario but the cops have finally caught up with her.

The Chronicles of Heloise – My Choice by Elizabeth Copeland
It is 1973 and 17-year old Heloise rebels against her family’s expectations in more ways than one. Now she must deal with the consequences.

Hunting by Danielle Skene
Deidre has had enough of being a victim, of watching her sister disintegrate out of fear as the man that has been stalking her is set to be released from prison. She decides it is time to take the matter into her own hands but in doing so may sacrifice her own humanity.

Come Up and See Me Sometime by Hope McIntyre and Nan Fewchuk
She was incarcerated for corrupting the morals of youth. She was censored and her works banned from the stage. What does Mae West have to say for herself?

Mama’s Night Out by Nicolle Nattrass
A new, extremely sleep deprived Mother speaks out for the first time about her social experience as a Mama in comparison to being out in the “real world”.

All My Day Jobs by Kirsten Van Ritzen
Kristy is an actor who endures many, many day jobs over her twenty year career. Has she finally had enough?

Edith Spanner by Robyn Israel
Edith Spanner works for a paper clip company and is enamored with Don Cherry and John Garfield. She and best friend Mildred have been perennial spinsters but Mildred has dropped bomb.

Flesh Offerings by Yvette Nolan
It is 1895, and you are invited to step into the tent of Beveridge’s Montana Wildest West Show: Rattlesnake Jack, Minos the Bucking Bull, Rocky Mountain Kate and 400 utterly Savage Crees…“ethnologically, historically perfect.”

As IWW approaches, we will announce (across our social media sites) the particulars for the various performances of the monologues! There will be many opportunities for the Wild Women monologues to be enjoyed and celebrated! For starters, mark March 8th (International Women’s Day) in your calendars. A selection of pieces will be performed over noon hour in the Manitoba Hydro building lobby for free and then the full line-up will be performed there at 8pm that evening for the low admission fee of $10. If you would like to book the monologues for your IWW event please contact Tali at marketing@sarasvati.ca

‘His Girl Friday’ on the screen, again!

Dust off your fedora and polish up your high heels because we’re heading back in time to the 1940’s when men were the boss – well maybe not! We are bringing back a classic film for a night of laughs and fun in support of Sarasvàti Productions. We will be presenting the classic 1940 hit His Girl Friday.

Monday, November 19
Cinematheque – 100 Arthur Street
Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm
$15 admission includes free small popcorn!

Don’t forget there will be prizes for best costume and a trivia contest!

Not sure how to dress the part? No problem! Take these tips down:
– For men: double breasted suits, slicked back hair (parted on the side), classic fedora
-For women: pencil skirts are a must, along with stockings with visible seams; waves, rolls or pompadours in your hair!

The film stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor who upon learning that his ex-wife (Rosalind Russell) is about to marry a new man and move away, attempts to sabotage their nuptials by getting her to contribute to a big, breaking story. Considered to be one of the funniest movies of the decade, His Girl Friday is sure to please all!

Sit back and enjoy the original trailer!

Tickets are available at www.sarasvati.ca or by calling Andrea at 204-612-1112

Making Their Mark: ‘Diss’ Actor Bios Part 2

WOW! Last night we performed our one-night only free showing of Diss to a packed house and extremely enthusiastic audience! The outpour of positive feedback and support for the show proves that audiences are hungry for stories of real people and real lives. Diss tackles peer pressure, youth gangs and gun violence in an honest and compelling way, and our audiences are really relating to its message. We cannot wait to continue the tour!

As promised, here is part 2 of our actor biography series. Today we feature the three who play the family at the centre of the story. Their story represents just one of (too) many immigrant families who struggle to find their place and sense of purpose in a new city.

  • Lacina Dembélé is Sam, a teenager eager to fit in as a Canadian. Lacina was born in a village named Kolia situated in the Ivory Coast. He spent a small part of his childhood in Sinfra and Abidjan then came to Winnipeg at the age of 4. At 11 years old, he learned how to play the flute then later the guitar, piano and drums. Emerging in the acting scene, he has appeared in Ripple Effect with Sarasvàti, at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Festival Théatre Jeunesse and The Festival AFRIK. Lacina has the toughest character journey in the play and on top of that has to do all the beat boxing!
  • Cherrel Holder  plays Sam’s sister Tracy who fights to keep her brother from making the wrong choices.Cherrel was born in Trinidad and moved to Canada at the age of 11. Cherrel began acting in theatre in Junior High and continued throughout High School at Vincent Massey Collegiate, where she also began doing musical theatre, and exploring script writing. In grade 11 Cherrel entered the Scirocco High school Playwriting Competition and had her script Caroline performed on the MTC Warehouse stage. Cherrel graduated High School at the age of 17 with the highest mark in Theatre. Cherrel is now continuing her education in dance and does on-screen, theatre, and musical theatre work in her spare time. In Diss you not only get to see her acting skills but she raps and dances!
  • Lorraine James plays the mother, Maizie, who struggles to pay the bills and keep her family together.Lorraine goes back & forth with entry-level jobs in the service industry, pursuing her love of acting for film (You Kill Me), television (Cashing In), commercials (With Child, Without Alcohol) and theatre (Sarasvàti Productions, Fantasy Theatre for Children, Winnipeg/Vancouver Fringe Festival, Vancouver Theatre Sports League, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre in the Raw and Walterdale Playhouse). Although the oldest cast member, Lorraine has learned to rap for the play and shows that she is truly young at heart!

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks to hear what youth say about the show!