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!

The format of the Bake-Off is intense. The competitors meet at 10am to receive their “ingredients” that must be included in their script; anything from specific relationships to activities like ballroom dancing or even zombies. Then for the next 8 hours the playwrights will write like mad to submit a draft by 8pm. Cairn Moore will be coordinating this year’s competition again by giving the playwrights feedback on their scripts, a little extra time to polish up by the end of the weekend and voilà! A finished script!
The quick little dishes are then rehearsed and performed as a staged reading less than a week later for an audience and a winner is declared. Who would want to miss the smorgasbord of scenes that will result from their impressive efforts? Frances Koncan, winner of last year’s Bake-Off, will receive a full production of The Dance-off of Conscious Uncoupling at this year’s FemFest. You can read some of the past blog entries from participants here and get a sense of the fun mixed with a smidge of stress that comes from writing on a tight deadline.

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This year, the competitions will get just a bit sweeter with the arrival a new grant prize for the Bake-Off winner. For the first time we will be offering the Janet Taylor Bake-Off Award , in honour of our former Board member who passed away in 2013. Janet was so influential in developing Sarasvàti’s work, and we want to pass on this same support to an emerging playwright. And we’ll never say no to too many cooks who want to help out by contributing to the fund. One of the best parts of FemFest is helping to nurture the voices of female playwrights in Manitoba. Right now when you donate to the fund through Canada Helps you also make us eligible to win $10,000 as part of The Great Canadian Giving Challenge.

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We’re still accepting applications from playwrights to be a part of this year’s Bake-Off Challenge. We can’t wait to get cooking! Not to mention, all these food references are making us hungry…

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