Creating Change

VOICES - 2

VOICES Giving Voice reading

Part of our mission is to educate the public at large with respect to significant social issues. Throughout our history, we are particularly proud of the work we have done with Manitoba youth. We continue to develop new works which are relevant, relatable and that spark important dialogue with young members of our society. Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to read the revised version of Giving Voice with several youth at VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network.  We received some fabulous feedback and suggestions on how to get this important work out into the community. This week, these youth and the celebration of the annual We Day event has inspired us to reflect on some of the ways we work with youth in our communities and inspire them to become agents of change.

Diss cast shot3 bright

Diss

It is our tradition to tour a show every two years to Manitoba high schools. These shows include Ripple Effect, No Offense…, Diss, and our most recent work in progress, Giving Voice. These projects have explored a range of topics relevent to youth including violence in schools, racism, gun violence and how the marginalization of immigrant youth makes them susceptible to gangs. Our latest work tackles the realities of youth who experience life in care. Many of these plays have been performed in Forum Theatre style which is a lively and effective way to look at and counter issues that our community faces today. After the play is performed, scenes are replayed and the audience is able to stop the action and step in with solutions. This provides a chance for those watching to discuss what happens and participate in changing the ending.

Ripple Effect 2008

Ripple Effect

This year, we are excited to be part of The Winnipeg Foundations Youth in Pilanthropy annual conference! YiP is a program designed to introduce local high school students to philanthropy and community development. The program provides hands-on experience that benefits both participating students and local charities. On November 7th, we will be  speaking to a group of youth who have chosen to attend a session called “Art: It’s Not all Drawing”. The session will feature local organization run arts initiatives that encourage people to tap into creative abilities and express themselves through artistic outlets. They will have the opportunity to learn about how different forms of art not only provide a creative release, but also work to support community. We are thrilled to have been invited to speak at this event and hope to inspire many youth who are curious about how theatre can indeed create social change.

Here is to youth creating change!

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Looking Forward to Fefu!

Ralph Connor House

We are excited to be jumping in to preparations for our long awaited spring production of Fefu and Her Friends on location at the historic Ralph Connor House (University Women’s Club beautiful heritage building at 54 West Gate)!

Fefu and Her Friends is a play written by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes. Set in 1935, the play is best known for its strong female characters, the unique use of an all-female cast, central ideas that explore gender roles and for its alternative forms of staging. Fefu and Her Friends challenges our perceptions about life and the theatre through these bold women and their relationships with each other and the world around them.

Although the characters and setting are naturalistic the situations are heightened and explore the need to identify how one is being oppressed in order to fight back. Fornes captures the struggle of women against female stereotypes. Fefu and Her Friends was first produced at the Relativity Media Lab (part of the New York Theatre Strategy) on May 5, 1977, and was directed by Fornes herself. It was performed to a wider audience at the Off-Broadway venue, the American Place Theatre, on January 8, 1978. It was Fornes’ fifteenth play. When it was produced, she was an established playwright and director. Nevertheless, it was one of Fornes’ most successful plays. Fornes won an Off-Broadway award, and Obie, for Fefu and Her Friends. The play’s themes of gender roles, sexuality, love between women, and insanity remain relevant today.   Ralph Connor House - Inside

Fefu and her Friends will have the audience break into groups and travel to different rooms in the venue; audiences will see the story unfold in a different sequence but all will experience its compelling and strong message. This is surely going to be a one of a kind theatrical experience you won’t want to miss!

Fefu and Her Friends will run from May 22nd – June 1st, 2014.

Wondering how you can stay up to date and receive show reminders? Join our mailing list by clicking here, “Like” our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter!

If you are an actor and would like to audition for this upcoming production, please express interest by submitting your headshot and resume to Samantha at associate@sarasvati.ca. Auditions will be held on November 15th, 2013. Complete audition information can be found here.

Going Forward with Giving Voice

Giving VoiceWe are thrilled with the amount of people who came out to see our workshop presentation of Giving Voice at FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution! The comments and feedback we have received from audience members have been helping us revise and move forward with the project. With a school tour set for the fall of 2014, we have plenty of work to do! One of our upcoming goals is to take the revised script into high schools this November for a “test” workshop presentation. From there, we will ask students and educators for their feedback and advice and work to complete a fully revised version of the script. Are you interested in learning more? Keep reading for more information on the project, ways you can contribute, and what people are saying about this unique and relevant piece of theatre created by youth who have shared their stories and experiences with us.

What is Giving Voice?

logoGiving Voice is a new play developed with VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network. It was created in the Forum Theatre method through various workshop sessions with youth who have experience in care. It is an interactive piece and explores issues that youth in care have had to deal with from the stigma of being in care to the transition to adulthood after care. According to an article published in the Winnipeg Free Press earlier this year, Manitoba has the highest rate of youth in care in Canada. It also stated that a First Nations youth is four times more likely to enter into foster care due to abuse and neglect. With Giving Voice, We hope to begin a conversation about the state of Manitoba’s foster care system from the perspective of someone who has, or is currently experiencing it.

What is Forum Theatre?

Movement BrainstormForum Theatre is a type of theatre created by the innovative practitioner Augusto Boal as part of what he calls “Theatre of the Oppressed”. While practicing earlier in his career, Boal would apply “simultaneous dramaturgy‟. In this process the actors or audience members could stop a performance and attempt to change the outcome of what they were seeing. This was an attempt to bring audience members into the performance and give them input into the dramatic action they were watching. Students experience and develop a deeper sense of awareness when given the opportunity to contribute and reflect, which is a necessary and an important aspect of the drama curriculum. In this method, students are encouraged to step outside themselves and to explore different ways of thinking and being.

Have you done projects like this in the past?

Yes! Projects like No Offence…, and last year’s Diss are all youth based forum theatre pieces which have successfully toured to various Manitoba high schools. Although not interactive, Ripple Effect was also created through community collaboration.

What are others saying about Giving Voice?

“I applaud Sarasvàti for bringing attention to this very important area, and efforts to raise awareness.”

“Great play for High School students. I think this would be great for them to see this! Great acting and commitment.”

“I think that this type of show could be very successful in a high school setting. The crowd interaction and humour sets it apart from similar shows.”

How can I help?

We are currently in the process of contacting local high schools who would be interested in hosting a FREE test workshop presentation of Giving Voice in late November. If you are an educator, or know someone who is, and are interested in bringing this script into your school, please contact us by calling our office at (204) 586-2236 or by e-mailing info@sarasvati.ca. If you would like to make a donation to help support Sarasvàti Productions in our goal to produce theatre which inspires dialogue and explores issues that youth are facing, please visit our donation page by clicking here.

Come Laugh With Us!

Rumors Comedy Club logoThis November, we will be holding our first ever Comedy Fundraiser at Rumor’s Comedy Club! We invite you, your friends, and loved ones to come and join us for a fun filled night with good food, great drinks, and guaranteed laughs all night long! In order to support Sarasvàti Productions and join in on the fun, tickets must be purchased in advance from our office. Tickets sold at the door will not provide any proceeds to Sarasvàti Productions.

WHEN: Friday, November 8th

WHERE: Rumor’s Comedy Club (2025 Corydon Ave.)

TIME: Doors open at 6:00pm show beings at 7:45pm

TICKETS: Tickets are $15 dollars each and MUST be purchased in advance from Sarasvàti Productions by OCT. 24th, 2013! Tickets are available for purchase by either cash or cheque at our office. Please call (204) 586-2236 or e-mail info@sarasvati.ca to arrange pick-up!

Rumor’s is a fully licensed venue and offers a variety of food and drinks before the show! To view their full menu, click here.

ron-josol_1Meet Ron Josol! He will be the headliner for the evening. Ron Josol is a professional stand-up comedian who regularly performs across the globe. In 2000, Ron won the Craven A’s funniest home grown competition for the Just For Laughs comedy festival and has since appeared on “Comedy Now”, CTV/Comedy network, the “Winnipeg Comedy Festival, “The Orange County Comedy Festival”, and his own comedic specials. Indubitably, the most recognizable Asian comedian in Canada, Ron was profiled in CBC Bill Cameron’s short documentary “Different but the Same”. Currently, he writes and performs on the Much Music hit show “Video on Trial”.

Curious about Ron’s stand-up act? Get a sneek peak by checking out a YouTube video of one of his acts here.

We hope you’ll join us on November 8th for our first ever Comedy Fundraiser! 

Handfuls of Highlights: FemFest 2013 Wrap-Up!

We are overwhelmed with the number of responses we have received over the past week from those who were involved in this year’s festival! Today’s post pays tribute to a wonderful run of FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution with a series of testimonials from various people who were involved with the festival and a short highlight video. Lastly, don’t forget that we are currently accepting submissions for FemFest 2014: She’s Got the Power! The deadline to submit is Thursday, October 31st. For complete details and information on how to submit, view our call for submissions page on our website.

fem2013_haroldvivian_IMG_0107 (3) (1024x683)“Working on Harold and Vivian for Femfest this year has been such a delight and incredibly fun opportunity. I’m super pleased it was a hit! My cast was so perfect, I couldn’t ask for more, I’d do it all over in a pinch.”

– Brenda McLean, Director

“I owe Sarasvàti a good deal, not just as a female artist but also as a young emerging playwright. This season saw the first production of a script that I had written solo. To be able to see my work professionally produced was a wonderful experience for me, and one that I would probably not have gotten for a long time without Hope McIntyre and Sarasvàti.” 

Jessy Ardern, Playwright Continue reading