Brownies, nudity, shoes and toilet paper – another successful FemFest!

We had some great times at the 12th annual FemFest: She’s Got the Power, and we were definitely feeling the power of everyone who made it all possible. Our generous donors, our amazing artists, our wonderful volunteers, and our supportive audiences made this FemFest a truly special one to celebrate the power within us all.

Michaela Di Cesare

Michaela Di Cesare

Tara Travis’s Herewithal: a paranormal comedy kicked off our closing weekend with some gooey brownies, a little too gooey, but just a little opening night hiccup, they were perfect for her other two shows. And next we got to see Michaela Di Cesare’s touching one woman show 8 Ways My Mother was Conceived for the last time before she headed back to Montreal (bearing Winnipeg souvenirs for her angelic husband).

The next night Nan Fewchuk and Grant Burr got to put on their old age make up one last time for The Naked Women’s final show. It was a little bittersweet, however both Nan and Grant are happy to be snuggly back in their clothes with winter approaching.

Grant Testing Out His Make Up

Grant and his Make Up

On Saturday winter was far from our minds as we had a crazy final day! At 1:30pm the last salt & pepper shakers were smashed and the last cookie crumbs were gobbled at the closing of Launched before returning Winnipegger Rubena Sinha wove her beautiful folktales and personal stories together with Phoebe Man’s unique music for their last Winnipeg show.

The Talentless Lumps

The Talentless Lumps

Finally Janis and Jujube showed us a marvelous evening that gave Miley Cyrus a run for her money, and kept us all laughing as they introduced 5 wonderful female artists to the stage for the Closing Cabaret. We all loved seeing Alexandra Elliot’s beautiful dancing, hearing Adi Sara Kreindler’s health care musical numbers, and laughing at Heather Witherden’s jokes. We also got to see some beautiful art and a new comic performance from the Talentless Lumps, although they left masses of toilet paper to be swept up, they sure made us laugh.

All in all it was a great festival and we couldn’t have done it without all of you, so thank you all. And we hope to see each and every one of you back for FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar! So artists, start preparing your submissions to get in on the next awesome FemFest.

On the 6th Day of FemFest

It is the 6th day of FemFest and so far we’ve had 5 Readings read, 4 hours of workshops, 3 Presented pieces performed, 2 world premieres and 1 Bake-Off winner! Plus an awesome Opening Cabaret and Reception with over 20 artists, but who’s counting. Here’s a closer look at the highlights from the first 5 days of FemFest and a peek at what the other 3 days have to offer!

Prairie Caravan

Prairie Caravan

On the 1st Day of FemFest…We got FemFest going with two contrasting readings in the afternoon, Alison Mclean’s Skin Deep had a guitar, lots of tattoos (even for the audience) and laughter. Priscilla Yakielashek’s German Silver featured strong performances as the actors tackled the complex issue of genocide. Then it was belly dancers, music and saran wrapped bodies at the Opening Cabaret and Reception. Plus so much great food from Sorrento’s and Tall Grass! 

On the 2nd Day of FemFest…We had 10 emerging artists practice their storytelling skills with the guidance of guest artist Michaela Di Cesare in her workshop Storytellers are Superheroes before celebrating the world premiere of 2013 Bake-Off winner, Rebecca Gibson’s The Naked Woman. Audiences loved the theatrical portrayal of a naked 84 year old! You have to see it to believe it. There is only one more chance to see this heartwarming comedy, Friday September 19th at 7pm, don’t miss it!

Cheryl Gensiorke and Taesia Scrtach in Launched

Cheryl Gensiorke and Taesia Scrtach in Launched

On the 3rd Day of FemFest…We got to see what our 5 wonderful playwrights cooked up with Cairn Moore and 5 fabulous actors in our 3rd annual Bake-Off that was in honour of the lovely Janet Taylor. She was dearly missed, but all the artists did her proud and it was a night full of delightful surprises as the actors danced, taught each other something and dressed up. In the end it was up to the audience to crown the winner, and they chose emerging artist Frances Koncan! We can’t wait to see how she’ll turn her funny high school Halloween dance party scene into a full length play for FemFest 2015! After all that excitement we just kept it going right into our first Shorts reading and the world premiere of Launched by Tyler White! Cake, cookies, manicures and smashing salt and pepper shakers left the audience highly entertained.

Phoebe Man

Phoebe Man in River

On the 4th Day of FemFest…We got to see two of our presented pieces for the first time! First up was Rubena Sinha’s moving drama River. Audiences loved the powerful interweaving of music, sound, dance and storytelling. Playwright Crystal Wood was in town for her Shorts reading from Grief Circus. Afterwards a standing ovation for 8 Ways My Mother was Conceived by Michaela Di Cesare, a fascinating look at how stories are passed down through the generations. If you missed River you’ve got two more chances to see it, this afternoon, September 18th at 2:30pm and September 20th at 3pm!

On the 5th Day of FemFest…We had our busiest day yet! Tara Travis presented at the University of Winnipeg’s The Real Thing Lecture series, then Michaela Di Cesare performed a matinee of 8 Ways My Mother was Conceived, then Tara taught a bunch of artists how to puppet, Muppet style, and Launched and The Naked Woman did their second shows. Oh, and in between we had a Shorts reading too! Then it was nap time.

Tara Travis in Herewithal: a paranormal comedy

Tara Travis in Herewithal: a paranormal comedy


And On the 6th Day of FemFest…Well, you’ll have to come see for yourself! Whether you want to take a break in the afternoon to catch River or if you want to be there for the opening of Tara Travis’s Herewithal: a paranormal comedy (and eat brownies), we can promise you a fun and inspiring time! Don’t forget to get your tickets here!


Lonely Cats and Rockford Files – The Life of a Festival AD

Late Night Confession from Artistic Director Hope McIntyre
– September 8, 2014

It’s 10pm. I’m writing a blog. I have the Rockford Files theme song stuck in my head. I am surrounded by papers. Items on my task list seem to be multiplying like bunnies. When I eventually go to bed, I will remember something I forgot to do. I am the Artistic Director of a festival!

How did I end up here… I simply wanted to support female playwrights. Twelve years later, about a hundred plays, several hundred artists later and FemFest is a living being. A beautiful, crazy, awe-inspiring, incredible monster. I’m so excited to share the amazing work we’ve been creating and that we are bringing to town. Yet, the exhaustion starts to set in now that we are in tech and we get a little giddy. I pray for more time, for more tickets to be sold, for smooth performances, for a success!

Okay, here’s a snapshot of where things are at, but first why the Rockford Files – you’ll have to see The Naked Woman to find out!

IMG-20140908-00155Yes, I have resorted to writing on my hand to remember things. I’m old school.

IMG-20140908-00156 Raffle prizes waiting to be packaged. Amazing stuff collected by our Marketing and Community Outreach summer student, Molly Karp, who is now back in school. We miss her!IMG-20140908-00159Things waiting to be put away, packed up to go to the theatre…the storage/sewing/extra room in the office.IMG-20140908-00157Board member Patrick McCauley is working to confirm and coordinate with all of our fabulous volunteers!IMG-20140908-00158Welcome packages put together by our Production Assistant Erin Laforet. Out of town guests are already arriving! They’ll be surprised by the fact that it feels like winter is already coming to Winnipeg.IMG-20140908-00168My stash of tea! I’m on a chai kick right now.IMG-20140908-00160What I pulled from my untended garden at 9pm tonight.IMG-20140908-00166 IMG-20140908-00161My lonely cats.

Don’t make it all be in vain – come out and see the festival! Opening Saturday and running until September 20th. Get your tickets on-line or give us a call at 204-586-2236.

T-Minus…to FemFest Take-Off

It feels sort of crazy, but FemFest is only 9 days away! We can’t wait to show you what our writers, directors and actors have been working on. To make sure you start off your FemFest right, here are the top 5 reasons you should check out the opening weekend:


  1. We All Could Use a Little Rebellion in Our Lives

Join 19 year old rebel, Joanna, as her mother’s second wedding puts her face to face with a strapless bridesmaid’s gown in the reading of Alison Mclean’s play, Skin Deep. Come see exactly how Joanna deals with this Saturday, September 13th at 1pm!


  1. Powerful Drama

Watch as a group of strangers spend their last hours together questioning those they’ve chosen to die with in this reading of Priscilla Yakielashek’s German Silver. This play explores the struggles of dignity and humanity while facing the end. Don’t miss it on Saturday, September 13th at 3pm


  1. Food & Fun, What More Could You Want?

Our Opening Cabaret & Reception has it all! Art, dance, stand up, film, music and more! Not to mention tasty food from Sorrento’s and Tall Grass. Join the fun Saturday, September 13th at 7pm!


  1. Who Says You Can’t Be a Superhero?

Unleash your superpowers through the magic of storytelling with guest artist Michaela Di Cesare in her workshop Storytellers are Superheroes. She will guide participants through writing exercises for them to come away with at least one original story that can be performed. Come learn about the amazing skill of storytelling Sunday, September 14th at 1pm! Spots are limited, contact to register.


  1. Tough Old Broads Know the Meaning of Life

In Rebecca Gibson’s The Naked Woman, when 84 year old Helen losses her husband, she decides to stop wearing clothes. Everyone thinks she is overcome with grief or beginning to go senile, but come find out for yourself what the real reason is Sunday, September 14th at 7pm.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With all of these wonderful events starting off the festival, it’s sure to be an amazing FemFest. To make sure you don’t miss out on a great weekend, get your tickets now! For tickets to all of these events and more, click here. We can’t wait to see you out there!