FemFest 2013 A Big Hit!

Sarasvàti Productions would like to thank everyone who helped make FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution a huge success! Every year we are blown away by the amount of support and encouragement we recieve from our audience members and from the community. It is because of you we are able to produce this important festival every year! Once again audiences were inspired, entertained and amazed by what FemFest had to offer. The festival also continues to be an invaluable showcase and opportunity for female artists. Today, our Bake-Off winner Rebecca Gibson speaks about her experience as one of the five playwrights chosen to mix-up a script with a list of ingredients in 8 hours. Rebecca’s scene “The Naked Woman” was chosen by our audience as the winner and will be developed as a full production for next year’s FemFest 2014: She’s Got the Power!

How does rebeccagibsonit feel to be this year’s Bake-Off winner? Will this be your first stage play?

Being the winner of the Bake-Off makes me feel grateful. I’ve felt grateful throughout this process – even reading the request for  submissions, which was a call to action. I do write plays (I’ll have one produced this November at Glenlawn Collegiate Institute), but I’ve never thought of myself as a playwright. Sitting in the theatre and hearing my name announced was surreal.

What was your initial reaction to the ingredients you were given (zombies, a dill pickle, and maniacle laugher)?

I had no expectations for the words, but I had a sense that whatever the words were, they would be right for the piece that I had (loosely) in my mind. When Cairn Moore (Bake-Off Coordinator and Director) announced the first word, I teared up. It was exactly right. So were the other two.

What was your process like during the 8 hours you had to write the scene?

I write all the time (for film and TV), so I had a feeling that I could get a scene done in the allotted time. I think I delivered it within three hours of the start of day -it came easily. What I didn’t expect was how many times throughout that day I’d re-read the scene, wait for an email from Cairn, wait for Cairn to give notes… That was the hardest part of the process! Letting go!

What was your favorite part about being involved in this year’s Bake-Off?

My favourite part of being involved in the Bake-Off was being chosen. I was so nervous to apply. When I sent in the application package, I thought it would get lost in the mail (for some reason I crammed everything into a standard size envelope, which looked like a sausage ready to burst). Being in the company of the great playwrights who were also chosen was one of the highlights of my life. It felt like a message – you can do this.

And lastly, have you started working on the full script yet?

I have started working on the full-script, but not much. I dreamed about this concept many years ago – it was extremely vivid. The play would be called “The Naked Woman”. It would be on Broadway starring Richard Kind and Frances Sternhagen (specific dream, eh?). I NEVER have prophetic dreams, or dreams about stuff I’ll write. But I did, and now I can’t wait to get to serious work on this play and see it at FemFest 2014: She’s Got the Power!

Thank you once again to everyone involved in this years FemFest! We truly could not have done it without you. Tune in next week for FemFest 2013 highlights and audience responses.  

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Three Days Left to Join in on the Action at FemFest 2013!

FEMFEST2013 logoA great big thank you goes out to all of our audiences, volunteers, season subscribers, and board members who helped kick-off FemFest 2013 last weekend at the Opening Cabret and who have continued to support us throughout the week! Our in-house production of Harold and Vivian ,written by local playwright Jessy Ardern has been a tremendous hit with FemFest audiences this year and plays one last time this Saturday at 4:00pm!

We also have several other productions playing this weekend including another in-house production, Flood Control, and two incredible touring productions, The Aftermath, and pomme is french for apple. Keep reading to find out more about these performances.

Flood Control (4)Flood Control – On the eve of his fortieth birthday, lonely Ray stands on a bridge over a swollen river, building up the nerve to end his life. He’s interrupted by Gina, a highly-organized woman who has come to kill herself simply because she has nothing else left to do. Finding what is missing from their lives is a revelation for the characters. This play written by Marilyn Anne Campbell features local actors Elena Anciro and Grant Burr and is directed by our Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre. Only one chance left to catch Flood Control, Thursday, Sept. 19th at 7pm. Admission is $10.

Pomme6pomme is french for apple –  Created and performed by liza paul and bahia watson, it was a critic’s pick, patron pick and best of fringe at the Toronto Fringe Festival. pomme is french for apple is a vaudevillian and distinctly west indian exploration of the absurdity of women’s lives in settings diverse as the islands, downtown toronto, southeast london, and the too-tight crotch of the pants. What more could you ask for? Check out pomme is french for apple on Thursday, Sept. 19th at 9pm or on Friday, Sept. 20th at 9pm. Admission is $10.

GetInlineThe Aftermath – Written and performed by Lisa Codrington, Black Row Theatre Collective of Toronto, ON presents this one woman show about Jane who is preparing for the Apocalypse and she wants you to be ready too.  By spinning The Great Flood, Hurricane Katrina, and her own personal experience with zombies and chicken pox into a comprehensive cautionary tale, Jane presents a fresh and frank lecture on how to survive the unimaginable. Check out The Aftermath on Friday, Sept. 20th at 7pm and Saturday, Sept. 21st at 7pm. Admission is $10

Then don’t miss our Closing Cabaret on September 21st at 9pm to celebrate another successful year with fabulous female artists, food by New Host Restaurant and our much anticipated raffle draw!

There truly is something for everyone at this years FemFest! We hope you will be able to join in on the action at some point over the next three days. For more information on our full line-up this weekend and to reserve or purchase tickets, vist our website at www.femfest.ca . Tickets are also available at the door!

Count Down to FemFest 2014: Revelation and Revolution!

Fem13 temporary web banner3

Believe it or not, we are just two days away from kicking-off FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution! The festival starts this Saturday, Sept. 14th at The University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony Street). Our first day will feature a reading of Perfect Love a new play written by Winnipeg playwright Talia Pura, a workshop presentation of Giving Voice, a new forum theatre piece, and our crowd pleasing Opening Cabaret and reception! Keep reading to find out more about this Saturday’s line-up.

1:00pm Perfect Love by Talia Pura

Is love ever perfect? This new play written by Talia Pura features a collection of playlets which were inspired by the Miss Lonelyhearts colomn in the Winnipeg Free Press!

“All those people with all those love-life issues! They are all far from perfect, but wonderful fodder for the imagination. Just picture the scene when she takes the advice and goes for it. Or imagine what happened that prompted him to write in the first place.” – Talia Pura

Perfect Love is being directed by Winnipeg actor, director and playwright Sharon Bajer and features four fabulous local actors: Gordon Tanner, Sarah Constible, Justin Otto, and Samantha Walters. Admission is by donation!

3:00pmGiving Voice

Giving Voice is our much anticipated workshop presentation of a new forum theatre piece developed with VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network. The script explores issues that youth in care have had to deal with from the stigma of being in care to the transition to a new home. We invite you to join us for this unique presentation and to provide feedback on this important subject matter. The play features Emily Barker, John Echano, Mark Head, Dawn Lavand, Alexis Martin, Victoria Perrie and Kerri Potter. Admission is by donation!

7:00pmOpening Cabaret and reception

Each year our Opening Cabaret and reception is a FemFest hit! Our Cabaret will feature amazing performances, teasers from other FemFest shows, visual art, great music, guest speakers, and so much more. Afterwards, we invite you to join us for a reception in the lobby for a chance for you to meet and celebrate with the artists, connect with other audience members, and even pamper yourself a little with a mini manicure and scalp/head/arm massages by the students at MC College! All this for only $10 a ticket!

Saturday is going to be one kick-off you won’t want to miss! To reserve or purchase tickets to any of these events, visit us online at http://www.femfest.ca .

Bake-Off Ingredients Reveal!

Over the long weekend, our Bake-Off ingredients were finally revealed to our participants! And they are… drum roll please… Dill pickles, zombies, and maniacal laughter! The playwrights then had only eight hours to whip up a scene incorporating these elements. A reading of each piece will be presented at FemFest on Monday, September 16th at 7 p.m. in front of an audience who will select the winner. The prize is the opportunity to develop their Bake-Off script into a full production for next year’s FemFest!

One of our playwrights, Megan Andres, decided to document her Bake-Off experience with a photo journal. Take a look at how her day went:

1st Entry: FemFest Bake Off Day!!! SO excited. Thought I’d use some photos to guide you through my day.

2nd Entry

2nd Entry

This is me before going to the meeting to get the ingredients for the FemFest Bake-off Playwriting Challenge. I have a tendency to compulsively check if things work pre important things. But as you can see my computer is working and is waiting impatiently for me to get back and start writing.

3rd Entry

3rd Entry

This is me at the meeting. See how outwardly calm I look…

4th Entry

4th Entry

This is in fact the outer representation of how I internally felt the moment they introduced the ingredients (zombies, dill pickles & maniacal laughter)

5th Entry

5th Entry

This is at 11:37 am. 1 hour and thirty seven minutes into the competition with nada…However I have found some very interesting facts about pickles, about zombies….and about maniacal laughing via google. None of which really seemed to trigger any inspiration.

6th Entry

6th Entry

This is my face at 12:14pm. Heart pounding. What to do…what to do…Then I went to go buy some pickles…

7th Entry

7th Entry

These are some gooood pickles. While eating pickles I just starting writing anything and everything I could think of. I think I have about 12 half pages of starter scenes…then I just picked the one I felt like finishing.

8th Entry

8th Entry

5:23 pm. Just finished the scene. Phew… Now just last minute editing and to think of a title. Deadline 6pm. (Note…I hit send on the email at exactly 5:54pm). I feel like cheering.

9th Entry

9th Entry

While I may have felt like cheering…this is actually what I did.

10th and Final Entry

10th and Final Entry

Until I finally dragged myself up and finished my day with a well deserved beverage. Now I just have to wait until September 16 to see my scene and the other lovely playwrights work. I am SO excited. Not only to see the actors perform my scene and hear the audience reaction but to see what the other playwrights cooked up!!!

Thanks for sharing, Megan! We can’t wait to see what you and the other playwrights have baked for us!