It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s SuperWomen!

Would you rather be extraordinary all the time or ordinary but do amazing things? Check out the mix of superheroines and women who have overcome great odds as we celebrate International Women’s Week! Our first presentation is only three short days away and we couldn’t be more excited to share these amazing stories with you. Between March 1st and March 8th we will be doing 11 performances. Here is a sneak peek of what we have in store:

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

In Scott Douglas’s monologue Glory Bound, Glory Girl acts like an actual superhero but she must battle more than just evil villains – “The point is – it’s about choice. And that’s what makes me a hero when you get right down to it: not the superpowers, or the costume, but choice. Instead of moaning about the inability of the Comple City Police Department to keep supervillians off the streets, I choose to put myself in harm’s way.”

Meanwhile, Loretta, the single mother of a teenage boy in Step Taylor’s monologue, is trying to reclaim her power by admitting she was wrong – “I always sensed that a mother shouldn’t lie to her child, but it was only after I did it that I knew a mother shouldn’t have anythin’ to hide from her child if that’s what she expects in return.”

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Christine Rodriguez in Dreaming in Autism at FemFest 2013

Linda in Christine Rodriguez’s heart wrenching monologue Of Heart and Tree is also struggling with feeling inadequate as a mother, especially as she tries to help her autistic son – “I did everything that a mother could do. I sought out therapy for him but we kept switching therapists because he didn’t like any of them. I was desperate to find him help. What more could I do?”

Ever heard of Isobel Gunn? She made a name for herself as a tripsman for the Hudson Bay Company, only they knew her as John. In Sandy Klowak’s monologue we find out all about Isobel’s adventure and the price she paid – “Stay calm. Stop shaking. You belong here, just like all these other men. For the first time I am looking at the island I was born on and I am not a part of it. I’ve left dry land.”

Zelda Fitzgerald is often overshadowed by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald but in Frances Koncan’s monologue Zelda with a Z she hosts her own TV talk show – “For those of you just tuning in, we’ve spent this week celebrating heroes of all kinds: super, ordinary, and otherwise. What makes a hero? How do you define a hero? And most importantly, how do you become a hero? For those of you watching at home, we just did an anonymous audience survey over the break, and now we’ll take a look at the responses.”

We also wanted to know the answers to this! So we asked our actors who their personal SuperWoman was and why. Check out this video to hear their answers and then leave a comment or tweet who your personal SuperWoman is!

For a full list of our community performances or to get tickets to the full show on March 7th click here! We tend to sell out, so get them now while you still can!

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Drum Roll for the Winner of SYTYCA 2015!

There were prizes, wine, food, and amazing celebrities bravely taking the stage for the first time! While they were all amazing, only one can go home with the trophy. This year’s vote was close and we were worried there would be another tie, but ANDRÉ LEWIS won by a nose!

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André Lewis and scene partner Danielle Savage were hysterical as a married couple who are only together to spite each other in a great scene from Jessy Ardern’s play Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests.

Our terrific judges Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gord Tanner entertained with many witty comments on height, English accents, safety and Chekhov’s crackers. Our host Jon Ljungberg kept everything on track as we announced the 12 lucky raffle prize winners! After all the winners were drawn and the SYTYCA winner crowned it was time for wine from AD Beverages and food from Bothwell Cheese and Jonnies Sticky Buns.

Group ShotIt was an amazing successful evening and the proceeds will help us continue to bring you transformative theatre! A huge thank you to all the celebrities who braved the stage, and our judges and host for all their hard work. We would also like to thank Cairn Moore for her great directing, Tori Popp for keeping everyone organized as stage manager, Sandy Klowak for assisting backstage, all the playwrights for allowing us to use their work, and all the actors who took the stage with our celebrities!

Raffle TableAnd of course we can’t forget to thank all the local businesses who donated raffle prizes, our amazing volunteers, our staff and board, and of course the SYTYCA committee members who organized it all! Finally, we’d like to thank you, the audience for coming out to support the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions!

We’ve got some fun twists planned for SYTYCA 2016 that we can’t wait to share with you, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we will be keeping busy with our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues coming up on March 7 and Miss’N Me, tickets for both are available on line now, just click here!

Are You Ready for the Power of SYTYCA 2015?

The stars, the judges, the wine, the raffles, the nerves! It’s all coming together. So You Think You Can Act 2015 is less than a week away (6 days and 7 hours to be exact, but who’s counting…). Most of the celebrities have all had their two hour rehearsals with director Cairn Moore and have met their scenes partners. All that’s left for them to do is bite their nails and practice at home.

It can be very frightening to step out onstage with little acting experience, which is why Kelly Linehan got smart and asked for some advice! But she didn’t want advice from her co-worker, last year’s CTV participant Kris Laudien – she wanted advice from the winners.

SYTYCA 2014 winners Troy Westwood & Big Daddy Tazz

SYTYCA 2014 winners Troy Westwood & Big Daddy Tazz

Big Daddy Tazz, who knows a lot about hair, suggested that the key to success was getting “your hair done professionally.” Meanwhile Ace Burpee offered reassurance. SYTYCA actor Lorraine James looped in with the best advice yet, passion is key and go big or go home! Troy Westwood also piped in to support fellow Bomber Chris Cvetkovic and told him to “just let go brother! No inhibition!”

While the celebs have been getting support from SYTYCA alumni, here at the office we’ve been desperately searching for a Superman costume and wrapping raffle prizes. Lots of raffle prizes. Twelve raffle prizes. Here are a select few of them:

“The Power Play” Package: 2 tickets to Royal MTC’s The Woman in Black, Royal MTC’s 50th Anniversary Book, Winnipeg On Board Game, Leo Mol Card Set

“Training Day” Package: Goodlife Fitness for Women Gift Set, 10 Class passes from Moksha Yoga, Nails by Donna gift certificate, fused glass earrings & necklace set from Diane Longfield, Turquoise Handbag, Leo Mol Print

Raffle Prizes“Attitude is Everything” Package: 2 tickets to WJT’s Bad Jews, Winnipeg Squash Club apparel, 4 “All U Can Bowl” passes from Academy Lanes, $10 gift certificate to Shawarma Khan, 1 Gold Car Wash from The Chamois Car Wash

“Beginner’s Luck” Package: Free month of “Acting Essentials” classes from Actors Training Centre of Manitoba, 2 tickets to any show at Celebrations Dinner Theatre, Movie Village coupon book

And that’s only four of them! To see all of them make sure you come out to the Gas Station Arts Centre on February 18th! Plus a reception follows the show with wine from AD Beverages, Bothwell Cheese and Jonnies Sticky Buns. Buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment by clicking here or phoning 204-586-2236.

Raffle licence (#MGCC5542)

A big thank you to all donors: Academy Lanes, The Actors’ Training Centre, anARCHI Design, Assiniboine Park, Celebrations Dinner Theatre, The Chamois Carwash, C’est ta Vie Jewelry (formerly Leather and Lace), The Children’s Museum, Coteau Books, Cover to Cover, Andrea Geary, Girl Candy Shop, Goodlife Fitness for Women, Val Goodridge, Hollie’s Cakes, Corey Lakusiak, Landmark Theatres, Bill Lobchuk, Diane Longfield, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, Patrick McCauley, Moksha Yoga, Movie Village, Nails by Donna, Oak Hammock March, Radiance Gifts, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shawarma Khan, Scirocco Drama, Al Simmons, Tali Sitschkar, The WAG, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, and The Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club.

IWW SuperWomen Lift Up Communities

Rebellious Isobel Gunn, feisty Zelda Fitzgerald, and powerful Glory Girl are on the loose and are spreading a message of empowerment! For all of International Women’s Week these fascinating characters, and others, will be doing community performances around Winnipeg and surrounding areas in addition to the two public performances on March 7th at 4pm and 8pm. Keep reading to learn more about the community performances!

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Sarasvati SuperWoman – Designed by Emily Ormonde

Sunday, March 1st 3-5pm the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba fundraiser will be showcasing “At the Gate” and “Zelda with a Z”. This Council does a lot to help women empower themselves, their families and society. If you want to support the Council and hear two great monologues click here!

Monday, March 2nd 12:30pm Portage Place Shopping Centre is hosting us again for “Glory Bound” “Zelda with a Z” “Loretta” and “John Fubbister”, this performance is free and open to the public!

Monday, March 2nd 7:30pm Rainbow Resource Centre is having us present “John Fubbister” at their Youth Drop In session. This performance will be followed by a talkback with actor Mallory James and playwright Sandy Klowak. We are very excited to be presenting at Rainbow Resource Centre for the first time!

Tuesday, March 3rd 10am this lucky U of M History Class will be getting an intimate performance of “John Fubbister” to help bring the history of Canada to life.

Tuesday, March 3rd 4:30pm will be the first of two performances the U of M Womyn’s Centre is hosting. First up is “Glory Bound” “John Fubbister” “Zelda with a Z” “Mutated” and “Loretta”

Wednesday, March 4th at 10:30am we are happy to be making our first visit to Siloam Mission to present “An Inheritance,” “Zelda with a Z” and “Loretta”

Thursday, March 5th 6pm we will be performing the unique monologue, “Mutated,” for the Cancer Care Young Adult Support Group. This is our first performance at Cancer Care and it will be followed by a talkback with actor Jenna Hill and assistant director Rachel Smith!

Anna Pazdzierski of Nova House in Selkirk and Kaeleigh Ayre, Andrea Houssin, Victoria Hill in 2014

Anna Pazdzierski of Nova House in Selkirk and Kaeleigh Ayre, Andrea Houssin, Victoria Hill in 2014

Thursday, March 5th 7pm is our first out of town performance where we will be visiting Nova House Women’s Shelter fundraiser in Selkirk. We will perform four monologues, “An Inheritance” “John Fubbister” “Glory Bound” and “Loretta”!

Friday, March 6th 2:30pm is our second performance at the U of M Womyn’s Centre where we will be presenting the rest of the monologues: “An Inheritance” “At the Gate” “Urban Nun” and “Of Heart and Tree”

Sunday, March 8th 2pm is our second out of town performance. We will be driving out to Genesis House Women’s Shelter for their fundraiser in Winkler. We will be performing three monologues for them: “Of Heart and Tree” “An Inheritance” and “Zelda with a Z.” Click here for more info!

To see all of these amazing monologues performed be sure to mark your calendars for March 7th, we have a show at 4pm and another at 8pm. Tickets are on sale now and are available online here or by phoning 204-586-2236! We tend to sell out, so get them sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment!

Who’s Got the Power?

Banner SYTYCA 2015Superman, an environmental terrorist, a creepy date and a widow whose husband was eaten by a bear. These are just some of the characters that this year’s celebrities will tackle at So You Think You Can Act. This year’s event is only two short weeks away and rehearsals have begun! It’s been a pleasure introducing the celebrities to their acting partners and hearing these hilarious scripts come off the page. Under this year’s theme of Power Play, we have found writing by a mix of work by emerging Winnipeg writers and some of Canada’s most established playwrights. Although each get only 2 hours to rehearse under the direction of Cairn Moore, they have great material to work with. Keep reading to see what scenes and which actors each celebrity is working with!

Rana Bokhari will be playing Maria in Michael Healey’s political dark comedy Generous with Kevin Gabel. This play was produced a couple years ago by Theatre by the River and of course Healey’s play Proud was produced by Theatre Projects this past fall with Kevin Gabel also appearing in it. We are also pleased to announce that Kevin will be in our spring production of Miss N Me!

Chris Cvetkovic gets to play Superman opposite Lyle Morris in Ken Mitchell’s play Heroes. What happens when Superman and the Lone Ranger meet in their Chief’s office waiting room? We are pleased to have Lyle on board after his great performance in Launched at FemFest 2014.

André Lewis with Danielle Savage will be playing the title characters in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Ardern. This piece won our first Bake-Off at FemFest 2012 and was fully produced at FemFest 2013. Danielle Savage helped take Troy Westwood to victory last year – can she do the same this year?

Kelly Linehan will be tackling the character of Lorrie in George F. Walker’s play Featuring Loretta with Spenser Payne. Lorrie’s husband has been eaten by a bear and she needs to figure out what to do with her life. Kelly should have a blast working with Spenser, who is also part of the Talentless Lumps.

Romi Mayes will be playing the wannabe terrorist Melissa with Cheryl Gensiorek in Terroristas by Ginny Collins. Last year we included Ginny’s piece Good Intentions, which had premiered at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2013. This will be Cheryl’s third time in this event and in 2013 she helped Kerri Salki win the trophy.

Doug Speirs will be playing Man in Eye to Eye by Christopher Graybill with Nan Fewchuk playing Woman in this hilarious ten minute play about a first date gone awry. Nan has appeared in multiple pieces with Sarasvàti Productions, most recently The Naked Woman at FemFest 2014. Hopefully she can stay focused as Doug Speirs lays it on thick.

Taz Stuart gets to try his hand at romantic comedy as Rudy in Norm Foster’s Wrong for Each Other with Liz Whitbread. Liz is about to appear in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. She also appeared in a Norm Foster scene at last year’s event, helping Big Daddy Tazz tie for first with Troy Westwood.

Between these hilarious scenes, the comedic talents of the judges, Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gordon Tanner, and witty hosting by Jon Ljungberg this will be one super fun night! And if that wasn’t enough we also have thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle prizes (raffle licence #MGCC5542). Don’t miss out, buy tickets now! Tickets can be purchased online here or by phoning us at 204-586-2236. Rana Bokhari started off strong in our blog polls, but was over taken by Kelly Linehan. Unfortunately Kelly wasn’t ahead for long before Romi Mayes beat her by a nose. And the guys really haven’t been feeling the love. Now that the scenes are revealed will that all change?

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SYTYCA Presents: Taz Stuart

Will his hair give him super powers or does his power lie in his ability to eradicate villainous insects? With this year’s theme of Power Play, there is a great fit with entomologist Taz Stuart. Taz has played himself on TV for years updating us on Manitoba’s pesky mosquito population, but will that help him win So You Think You Can Act? Taz has also started to break into politics after running for city council in October, so who knows, he might have a few tricks up his sleeve. Keep reading to learn more about Taz!

TAZ STUART– Entomologist
SONY DSCTaz Stuart is the Director of Technical Operations – Entomologist for Poulin’s Pest Control in Winnipeg. Taz’s list of acting accomplishments is short, not like his hair though. Taz has appeared many times on TV and in several documentaries on insects and their control but since then his ‘acting coach and manager’, these people do not exist, have been fielding calls on his nonexistent talent as an actor. This will be seen when you come out and watch all the other aspiring ‘actors’.

Taz will have to put the professionalism aside to get to the heart of a scene from Norm Foster’s romantic comedy! Don’t miss this chance to see Taz and six other local celebrities step out of their comfort zone on February 18th! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online here or by calling our office at 204-586-2236.