Fefu and Her Friends: Meet the Cast!

 

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Gender roles, sexuality, loneliness, isolation, and entrapment – these are just some of the themes explored in Maria Irene Fornes’ Fefu and Her Friends which we are thrilled to be bringing to life this spring! We are also incredibly excited to work with our cast of 8 local female theatre artists! With opening night less than 2 months away, we felt it was about time to begin introducing the members of our cast. Today, we are happy to feature Julia Arkos who will take on the role of Cecilia and Nan Fewchuk in the role of Paula. Keep reading to find out more about these two female talents and stay tuned over the next few weeks as we continue to feature the rest of our cast!

Julia Arkos_HeadshotJulia Arkos was last seen on RMTC’s Mainstage as Kate in “Other People’s Money” and as Karen Weston at the Warehouse in “August: Osage County.” Theatre credits also include productions with: Soulpepper Theatre (Toronto), Kaleidoscope Theatre (Victoria), Playwrights Theatre Centre, The Arts Club, Mothership Collective (Vancouver), MTYP, WJT, TPM and PTE. Film and TV credits including leading roles in: “Choke”, “Heaven is for Real”, “Lucky Christmas”, “Less than Kind”, “Eureka”, “Dead like Me” and “The X-Files”.

Nan FewchukNan Fewchuk is truly pumped to be working with this stellar group of women in such a thought provoking, innovative play. Last year Nan assistant directed, Jail Baby, and then produced and played Rozetta Stone in the Winnipeg Fringe Hit, Dog Act. Select credits include Peter Pan, Beauty and The Beast (Rainbow Stage), The Merry Wives of Windsor (SIR), Magpie, Fen (Sarasvati), Or, Eleemosynary and A Phoenix Too Frequent (Winnipeg Fringe).

And now for a little bit of fun. We wanted to give our audiences the chance to get to know our actors so we asked them a few questions for you! Take a look at Julia and Nan’s responses.

 What is your favourite play?
JULIA: Currently in love with “Tristan and Yseult” by Kneehigh
NAN: The Stone Angel

 What role would you love to play one day?
JULIA: Goneril in “King Lear” I guess.
NAN: Lady Bracknell

If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?
JULIA: I wouldn’t; and you wouldn’t want me to.
NAN: A mash up of Oh, Canada and American Woman.

If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be?
JULIA: I’m not really a deserted island kinda gal.
NAN: Yoga mat, a good book, and my readers. If there were no Customs on the island, I would throw in a very expensive bottle of red wine.

Fefu and Her Friends will run from May 22nd – June 1st inside the beautiful old heritage building operated by The University Women’s Club of Winnipeg (Ralph Connor House, 54 West Gate). Tickets are $15 for students and seniors and $20 for adults. This is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience you won’t want to miss and with only 60 seats per performance it is bound to sell out fast! Click here to purchase your tickets online today or give us a call at 204-586-2236.

 

 

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Big or Small, Every Donation Counts.

The sun is shining, the days are warmer, and the snow is finally melting (sort of)! Spring is certainly in the air. It is one of our favourite seasons here at Sarasvàti Productions. With spring comes a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished throughout our season so far and all the exciting projects we have to look forward to in the fall. It is also the time when we begin to bring our final production of the season to life. This year, we are pleased to present the Winnipeg premiere of Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes inside the beautiful old heritage house operated by The University Women’s Club of Winnipeg (Ralph Connor House, 54 West Gate). The piece will feature a cast of 8 local female theatre artists and will support numerous local artists behind the scenes as well.

As you know, we believe in creating great art and in providing incredible artistic opportunities such as this to our audiences, our artists, and our community. But we can’t do it alone. As production costs continue to rise and arts funding continues to become more competitive, it is more important now than ever to help support local arts and to help keep them alive in our community. If you believe in our transformative theatre work, please consider making a donation to our online fundraising campaign in support of Fefu and Her FriendsOur goal is to reach $5,000 by March 31st which is just under two weeks away! We are almost half way there. Big or small, your donation will go a long way towards supporting the work of Sarasvàti Productions and local theatre artists.Fefu_Friends_Poster_v1a

Still not convinced? Consider these facts.

Did You Know…

Administrative work began on this show a year and a half in advance? This includes hours of unpaid time put in by our team to raise funds and confirm grants.

$100 just about covers the cost for ONE actor for ONE day of rehearsal?

It costs almost a thousand dollars to hire a professional photographer and videographer to archive the production? This is important and necessary support material which we need to apply for future funding.

The arts and creative industries generate $66 million in expenditures each year? They contribute 93.8% of this back to the LOCAL economy.

We are also pleased to offer some amazing rewards, including an array of Sarasvàti swag, a poster signed by the local cast, an exclusive meet and greet with the actors and even a backstage tour! Don’t forget, we also offer a charitable tax receipt to all those who make a contribution of $10.00 or more.

Help support Sarasvàti Productions and make an online donation today! Donations are also gladly accepted through our office by either cheque or cash. For more information please visit our website or give us a call at 204-586-2236.

Maria Irene Fornes believes her plays are about “teaching something that is, that exists, but is not telling what to do about it. To indicate what the next step should be, what to do next is a political action and not the function of art at all. The function of art is to reveal.”

IWW Thank You!

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Packed audiences, 10 young actors, 10 writers and plenty of community hospitality – including cheesecake! Last week, Sarasvàti Productions helped celebrate International Women’s Week once again with our 10th Cabaret of Monologues event! With two sold out public performances and several community presentations throughout Winnipeg and the surrounding area, this year was certainly one of our best yet. The response from audience members has been very inspiring and we would like to thank all of you who joined us to hear the voices of these young women, to explore the challenges they face in today’s society, and be inspired by the ways they Rise Up.

Shanley Spence, Ashley Kowalchuk, Hailley Rhoda and Ali Tataryn getting ready to perform at the U of W's IWGS event!We were invited to help celebrate Int’l Women’s Week on campus with The University of Manitoba’s Womyn’s Centre and The University of Winnipeg’s Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies. Both groups consisted of engaged audience members, many of whom were young up-and-coming female leaders themselves with a desire to create change in their communities.

We also had the opportunity to travel out to Selkirk and help the many supporters of Nova House celebrate the week. Nova House is a shelter for abused women and children in the Interlake Region of Manitoba. They provide temporary shelter, counselling, support groups, and referral to community resources. It was such a pleasure to perform at this fundraiser for an organization that is doing so much to help women in their community. We were also set to venture out to Gimli to help the Interlake Women’s Resource Centre celebrate. Unfortunately, due to the snow storm and unsafe highway conditions, the event was canceled. We do hope to be able to reschedule the event in the future.IWW Selkirk

The West Central Women’s Resource Centre in Winnipeg also brought us out for an afternoon performance! The WCRC exists to empower women to help themselves, their families and their community to safer, healthier lifestyles. This performance was met by avid audience members who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend a professional theatre production.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to those involved in “The Girls Project” at Kanikanichihk in Winnipeg. “The Girls Project” is a program that aims at building leadership in young Aboriginal women in the community between the ages of 15—21. Many of the girls involved in the project attended the event while others chose to volunteer as box office attendants and ushers.

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The official theme for this year’s IWD was “Inspiring Change”. We hope these stories inspired you to make change in some way, shape or form! Thank you once again to everyone who helped make this event a huge success. We couldn’t have done it without you. Stay tuned for our final production of the 2013/2014 season. The much anticipated Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes will run from May 22nd – June 1st and will feature and entire cast of 8 incredible local female theatre artists! Mark your calendars, save the date or book now! With only 60 seats per performance, this one-of-a-kind production it is bound to sell out fast.

Happy Int’l Women’s Week 2014!

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It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! A time when Canadians, alongside millions of others all over the world, celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives. This week is International Women’s Week and Sarasvàti Productions is thrilled to be part of the celebrations once again with our 10th Cabaret of Monologues event.

We invite you to join us on March 7th and 8th at 8pm for an entertaining evening filled with a diverse line-up of monologues by Canadian playwrights, performed by a talented local cast. This year’s theme is Rise Up! which means all stories explore the diversity of the next generation of women!

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One of our favourite things about performing the Cabaret of Monologues event, as opposed to a full-length play, is that we have the incredible opportunity to celebrate the voices and stories of several women from all walks of life. This year’s theme has given us the privilege to hear the voices, experiences, and challenges of young women characters in particular. It has been an eye-opening experience to work on these pieces and to explore the issues young women face today, especially with a talented cast of 10 young women.

It is also exciting to see the community come together to celebrate these women, and women across the globe. This week, we have had the privilege to tour selected monologues from our line-up to various IWW events in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. We have already helped the U of M’s Womyn’s Centre and the U of W’s IWGS celebrate the week and will be heading out to the West Central Women’s Resource Centre tomorrow afternoon. We also made the trek to Selkirk and Gimli earlier this week and were pleased to be a part of Nova House and The Interlake Women’s Resource Centre’s celebrations.

There are only two chances for you to catch this incredible event – Friday, March 7th and Saturday, March 8th at 8:00pm inside the Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (at Prairie Theatre Exchange, 3rd Floor Portage Place)! Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or you can give us a shout at 204-586-2236 to reserve your tickets over the phone. This popular event is almost sold out so be sure to get your tickets now before it’s too late!

Happy International Women’s Week and International Women’s Day from all of us at Sarasvàti Productions!

Looking for more ways to celebrate IWW? On Saturday March 8, 2014, self-identified women, girls and theirs allies in Winnipeg will be marching in celebration of the 103rd International Women’s Day (IWD), starting at 12:00PM. For more information on the march, click here.