Hot Out of the Oven: How A Play is Baked

We wrote last week about our preparations for the FemFest 2015 Bake-Off, so this week we’ve invited Frances Koncan to write about her experience as the winner of the challenge. Frances has an MFA in Playwriting from City University of New York Brooklyn College and she is also putting up her play How To Talk to Human Beings at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival this year. Continue reading

Can you handle the heat?

Things are heating up with our preparations for FemFest 2015 and our annual Bake-Off playwriting challenge. If you’ve never experienced the pressure cooker that is the 8-hour writing competition, this year is the 5th installment and we have a few treats lined up. Read on to learn about submitting as well as the inaugural Janet Taylor Bake-Off Award!

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The sound of what’s to come: Hear Her Roar!

Traditional stories from Afghanistan and non-traditional teen love stories. Moving explorations of relationships between mother and daughter and an elevator dance party! At this year’s FemFest, we bring you stories of women’s resilience, voice and power! We are excited to officially announce the programming for FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar! Our festival’s diverse line-up includes plays, workshops, as well as readings that redefine and re-imagine the status quo. Stories written by emerging and renowned female playwrights from Winnipeg, across Canada and around the world will explore the notion of female empowerment through tragedy, humour, and gravity-defying performances. The FemFest2015 website will be launched very soon but as your reward for following our blog, we are releasing the festival line-up here first! Tell us what you’re looking forward to at FemFest 2015 by tweeting at us or commenting on Facebook.

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Read on if you want an overview of the full line-up or check out our festival brochure. The full website will be up and running for June 15th! Continue reading

Thank you, Missy!

What a crazy ride! It was an incredible run for our final production of the season, Catherine Banks’ Miss N Me, and we want everyone to know how much we appreciated their support. So much hard work, dedication and care from a huge number of people made it a success. Plus there was crazy wig-making, bubble wrapping, intense dance-offs and lots of tea! Please join us in thanking:

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Our lovely volunteer Cheryl Soluk.

Our volunteers! By taking tickets at the door, ushering patrons to their seats, helping to put up posters all over the city, we certainly would be lost without our fabulous volunteers. Many of the friendly faces you saw at the Asper Centre have been volunteering with us for a long time (but we are always looking for more!)

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The Miss N Me cast are super thankful!

Our funders! Miss N Me would never have left the driveway without the generous support of the Winnipeg Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Winnipeg Free Press, 102.3 Kiss FM and the Enterprise Foundation. We are also grateful for the in-kind donation of our massage chair from Massage Therapy College of Manitoba. And of course we cannot forget the tasty pies from Gozie’s Bread. It was definitely the best butter pecan pie the team had ever tasted! Thank you to all of our friends, supporters and patrons who have given generously to Sarasvàti to help get the show on the road.

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The fabulous cast and crew!

Our incredible, talented cast and crew! Melanie, Alissa, Kevin and Colin, you brought the play to life. Hope and Angie, without your expert direction, who knows where this road trip may have ended up? Ainza, James and Dean, Holly, Garrett, Brenda, Aaron, Khaeler and everyone work worked so hard backstage to make sure all of the elements came together. We cannot forget our playwright. Catherine’s generosity, intelligence and support were integral to the production. Having her here for the start of rehearsals and opening meant a lot to the team. Being a playwright is a challenge, a lot of effort for little reward. Check out her open letter exploring the struggle to write the next piece.

And finally, to you, our audience. Thanks for joining us once again, and stay tuned for more news about our upcoming season!