Looking Forward to a Transformative Year

Happy New Year everyone! What are your resolutions? Here are our top 5 resolutions for 2015!

1. NURTURE EMERGING ARTISTS!

Work It Night!

Work It Night!

The first item for our 2015 calendar is our third Work It Night event that we created in partnership with ACI Manitoba on January 19th. Artists from all disciplines, emerging and established, have brought their works in progress to present for audience reactions or feedback. It’s been amazing to see the work of so many diverse artists including animators, videographers, and poets! Join us and come out to share your work or support the presenting artists with your insights. It is a fun, relaxed and supportive environment to connect with other artists. Work It Night is the third Monday of every month at 7pm!

2. LAUNCH NEW ARTISTIC CAREERS!

Sharon Bajer

Sharon Bajer

We are excited to have the multitalented Sharon Bajer facilitate How to Get Your Foot in the Door, a submissions workshop for emerging artists to learn how to format cover letters, resumes, scripts and headshots to industry standards while still standing out. Deadline to register and pay for this workshop is January 13th, so don’t delay! For more information and to read about the other fantastic workshops we have planned click here!

3. RAISE A GLASS AND RAISE SOME FUNDS!

Our fourth annual So You Think You Can Act Fundraiser on February 18th will be a chance to have a great time while helping us do amazing work. See celebrities face off in scenes about power play and at the end – you get to choose who goes home with the trophy. There are also going to be amazing raffle prizes and a wine reception! Click here for information on how to get tickets.

Banner SYTYCA 2015

4. EMPOWER SUPER WOMEN!

sarasvati (3)In March nine dynamic women will take the stage to bring the stories of nine amazing women to life in celebration of International Women’s Week. Come hear the empowering stories of Zelda Fitzgerald, Isobel Gunn, a young Mennonite woman, and even a superhero! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ve got two chances to see it on March 7th, the Cabaret has a history of selling out, so click here to purchase tickets now.

5. BUST BARRIERS!

Catherine Banks

Catherine Banks

Who says a 50 year old can’t bust a rhyme inspired by Missy Elliott? We will challenge the status quo with the world premiere of Miss’N Me May 21 to 31! Miss’N Me is a brilliant and unique new play from two time Governor General Award winning playwright Catherine Banks. The play follows Dawna, a hairdresser, who steals her husband’s plumbing van and heads for New York City to meet Missy Elliott. On the way there she crosses paths with a host of wacky hitch-hikers. You don’t want to miss this one, so mark your calendars!

This will keep us busy for the first part of the year but we won’t stop there. FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar! is already in the works and the line-up will be announced in May. The festival will run September 12 to 19 and will feature life-changing plays by women for everyone. We are also embarking on a new community collaboration exploring mental health with Artists in Health Care, Red Threads Playback Theatre and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

Join us in making 2015 an inspiring, transformative and life-changing year!

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Wishing You an Inspiring Holiday Season!

It’s been an exciting year for Sarasvàti Productions, made all the better by our incredible board members, volunteers, artistic teams and of course our great audiences! We cannot thank you enough for your ongoing assistance and encouragement. Over the holidays we want to give thanks for all of our supporters and celebrate a wonderful year!

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The year began with our first ever tie between two celebrities for So You Think You Can Act when Troy Westwood and Big Daddy Tazz wowed the audience with their acting skills. Who knows what this year has in store with our diverse range of celebrity guests! Will the Taz name carry good luck and bring the trophy to Taz Stuart? Will dance beat out music as RWB’s André Lewis competes against musician Romi Mayes? Or will it be a second year for a former Bomber to adorn their mantelpiece with Chris Cvetkovic? Tickets are now on sale and make great gifts for loved ones!

Group Selfie of 2014 IWW Cabaret of Monologues Actors

Group Selfie of 2014 IWW Cabaret of Monologues Actors

Last March 10 talented actors took the stage in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. The theme was Rise Up, which meant the stories focused on young women. This year the theme is SuperWomen and will feature stories of women who have done incredible things! There will be a rebellious nun, a pioneering woman and an actual superhero, don’t miss it on March 7th!

Fefu Ensemble

Fefu Ensemble

We have been so pleased with the success of our annual spring production. Last year Fefu and Her Friends sold out many performances at the historic Ralph Connor House. It was a long awaited for production and the marvelous 8 women cast did an amazing job of it. This year we’re changing it up and will be bringing a completely new play to the stage in the premiere of Catherine Banks’ Miss’N Me. We can’t wait! Don’t miss Dawna’s road trip to meet Missy Elliot and all the strange characters she meets along the way.

Janis and Jujube lead the closing cabaret in song.

Janis and Jujube lead the closing cabaret in song.

Of course we rolled right in to a summer of planning FemFest 2014. Full of unforgettable moments capped by the audience sing along at the closing cabaret. Believe it or not planning has already begun for FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar!

GV Group Shot

Giving Voice Team

We are ready for a holiday rest, after finishing off our fall with the results of our two year long collaborative production Giving Voice. We performed for over 4,400 people at 33 high schools and communities. This project was created in partnership with VOICES: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network to help give youth in and from care a voice. Many students had their eyes opened and youth in care were empowered. It was amazing to see that show completed after years of hard work.

It has truly been a transformative year for us as we continue to challenge artists, audiences and society while promoting and reflecting diversity. Thank you all for helping to make this such a great year, and from all of us at Sarasvàti, we wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!

Fascinating Theatre Lives of Krista Jackson and Rod Beilfuss

Emerging artists, ever wonder how theatre professionals made it to where they are today? Well, not only do we have two workshops and three Work It Nights planned in the New Year, but also a free Q&A session! This is your chance to ask Krista Jackson and Rod Beilfuss about their careers, their work on Private Lives and get tips as artists. Krista is directing Private Lives at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre for CowardFest and Rod is apprentice directing with her. They are both multitalented and accomplished artists, read on to learn more about them.

 

Krista Jackson

Krista JacksonKrista is a graduate of Ryerson’s acting program and founded zone41 theatre in Winnipeg in 2009. As she transitioned into directing, she joined the Shaw Festival for the 2012 Neil Munro Intern Directors’ Project where she assisted directed Hedda Gabler, His Girl Friday, Misalliance. In the Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, she was assistant director on Mother Courage and her Children. Her work with zone41 includes: Three Sisters, The Miser of Middlegate (both with TPM) and Village Wooing. She has directed The Seagull, Private Lives – Upcoming (MTC), Dying to be Thin (MTYP). Krista is the artistic associate at the Grand Theatre for the 2014/2015 season where she will direct Much Ado About Nothing in the spring. Next summer she returns to Stratford to assist John Caird on Love’s Labour’s Lost Krista is the proud recipient of the 2013 Gina Wilkinson Prize for female directors.

 

Rod Beilfuss

Rod BeilfussRodrigo is an actor-director, and was last seen onstage at the Fringe in the dance piece “La Belle Laide”. Recent projects as an actor include The Comedy of Errors (SIR) and About Love & Champagne (ChekhovFest). Directing credits include Venus in Fur (Tristan Bates-UK), Lungs, Generous, Cock and Bull (TBTR). Additionally, he is the apprentice director of the RMTC production of Private Lives.

Rod trained at England’s London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and the University of Winnipeg. More info at rodrigobeilfuss.com

 

So put your thinking caps on, come up with some questions and come to the Royal MTC Mainstage on February 5th at 5:30pm to learn from Krista and Rod! This event is being presented with support from the Royal MTC. While it is free, space is limited so please RSVP.

For more information on this or our other awesome opportunities for emerging artists click here! To register phone or email Wren at 204-586-2236, wren@sarasvati.ca

Sharon Bajer and Jan Skene Share Their Knowledge!

Are you an emerging artist? We are offering a chance to get inside information from the pros through a wonderful series of workshops this season! We’re excited to report that our first workshop, The Wonderful World of Grants 101, filled up completely well before the registration deadline! A good reason for emerging artists to sign up ASAP for our next two workshops:

How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Sharon Bajer
Tuesday, January 27th 4:30pm to 6:30pm
$15 Fee
Sharon Bajer HeadshotSharon is an actress, playwright and director and currently the Directing Artist-in–Residence at Rainbow Stage. Recent credits include acting in The Seagull and A Christmas Story at RMTC, directing Portage and Munsch (PTE), Run for Your Wife (Festival Antigonish), Bloodless (White Rabbit Productions), Riddle Me Home (Tapestry New Opera), The Ends of the Earth (PTE@PTE) and Cry After Midnight and Eden for Sarasvàti. Sharon was a participant in Stratford’s Michael Langham Workshop in Classical Direction for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Sharon is a member of the Playwrite’s Unit at PTE. She has written several plays including Hersteria, Burnin’ Love and Molly’s Veil. Sharon is a graduate of Studio 58.

With all her experience as an actress, playwright and director she will teach participants how to make sure their cover letters, resumes, headshots, and scripts are actually considered. Sharon will teach participants about formatting standards, tips on writing great cover letters, and how to layout their resume to conform to industry standard and stand out from the others. Deadline to register and pay is January 13th!

Get Your Act Together – Introduction to Business Basics for Theatre Artists with Jan Skene
Sunday, March 8th 4pm to 6pm
$15 Fee

As a working theatre artist, you are essentially your own small business! Being self-employed brings many challenges but also many benefits over the course of an artist’s career. This introductory workshop offers an opportunity for artists to have their questions answered in relation to self-promotion, membership in EQUITY/ACTRA, dealing with taxes and accessing resources.

Jan Skene HeadshotJan Skene is best known as an accomplished actor/singer and director, having appeared on almost all of Winnipeg’s main stages over the past 25 years. Recent highlights include Peter Pan (MTYP), White Christmas (RMTC), The Brink (PTE), Footloose (Rainbow Stage), Hersteria at the Winnipeg Fringe, Follies (Dry Cold). Jan has been working steadily as an actor, puppeteer and voice performer in Manitoba’s film and television industry. She has many film, tv and radio credits to her name including series lead on Fred Penner’s Place and Tipi as well as principal roles on Strings, The Plague, The Atwood Stories, The Many Trials of Jane Doe.

Jan is currently Vice President of the ACTRA Manitoba Council and head of the Training Committee. She has co-developed and delivered ACTRA’s Apprenticeship Training Course over the past several years is currently a member of the Film Training Manitoba Board. In addition to her work as a performer, Jan is co-founder and business manager of Skene Stunts Inc. with her husband Rick Skene. Together with their sons Daniel and Sean they have worked on over 150 film and television productions.

For more information on these or are other awesome opportunities for emerging artists click here! To register phone or email Wren at 204-586-2236, wren@sarasvati.ca

We’ve Got the Star Power

Banner SYTYCA 2015

Politicians, athletes, musicians, media personalities and even an entomologist – we put out the call and Winnipeg celebrities have answered. We are happy to be able to announce the celebrity line up for the fourth annual So You Think You Can Act Fundraiser. This year all of the scenes selected for our brave celebrities will focus around Power Play. Without further ado, here is our celebrity line up:

Power Play is familiar territory for Rana Bokhari, the Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. Last year she became the youngest ever to lead the provincial party. We’ll see if her experience as a politician and a lawyer gives her a leg up on her competition.

Chris Cvetkovic is used to a different type of play, professional football to be exact. Chris just retired last year from a 12 year CFL career, 11 of those spent playing with the Blue Bombers. We are excited to see him try his hand at play acting!

With 17 years as the Artistic Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet under his belt André Lewis will be stretching his acting muscles with us. . With all that discipline and dedication we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table on February 18th.

Recently Kelly Linehan has been doing more reporting behind a computer instead of in front of a camera, but we’re sure this social media wiz will still bring her A-game!

Romi Mayes is no stranger to performing having toured the globe throughout her successful music career. We’re glad she’s coming to our stage to do a different type of playing before launching her album!

He’s funny in writing, but we’ll see if he can still make us laugh onstage! Doug Speirs has been writing for the Winnipeg Free Press for many years. We’re happy to have him on the Sarasvàti stage!

And last but not least, we are welcoming Taz Stuart to the stage! He spent nine years working for the city as an entomologist as a part of the insect control branch. Let’s see how he does up against his fellow celebrities instead of mosquitos.

Jon Ljungberg will be hosting SYTYCA, a professional comic he is sure to have us laughing. As for our expert judges, Toby Hughes, Trish Cooper and Gordon Tanner will be scrutinizing the game plans and tactics of our celebrities.

With all of this talent, especially comedic talent it is sure to be a night full of laughs and surprises. Make sure you don’t miss it on February 18th at 7pm in the Gas Station Theatre. Tickets are only $25 and that includes a wine reception. Pretty great deal for a night of laughs, wine and supporting a local theatre company!