An Array of Artists for IWW 2016

Monologues, slam poetry, spoken word… Sarasvàti Productions has been busy working with both playwrights and community members to compose a powerful event for International Women’s Week. The 2016 Cabaret of Monologues: Stolen Sisters will run March 6 to 11 in community venues and culminate in two public performances on March 12th. The Cabaret features ten performance pieces written and brought to the stage by women. Each piece explores the realities and absurdities of systemic violence as well as the inequality that shapes women’s lives. This year’s selections share wisdom, highlight hard truths, pose difficult questions, and even use humour to inspire change.


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Featured writers include:
Mary Black
Shamin Brown
Helena Kelly
Frances Koncan
Lynne C. Martin
Alison McEvoy Murray
Robyn Pooley
Melaina Sheldon
Makrenna Sterdan

If you are interested in hosting pieces as part of your own organization’s event contact us for details or take in the full line-up on March 12th at 4pm or 8pm at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Tickets are only $10. You can get yours in advance here.

Come early to explore and participate in a lobby full of art installations including a #WeCare photo booth, and visual art surrounding Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.

Faceless Dolls Installation from Nova House

Faceless Dolls campaign from Nova House

Announcing Sarasvàti’s 2016 Workshop Series

Emerging as a theatre artist in this city can be incredibly fulfilling and exciting. Other times, you run into road blocks that can make you feel intimidated, doubtful, and alone. This year, our workshop series is aimed at you, emerging artists. We want to help provide the skills, networks, and encouragement to help you keep on keepin’ on. All of our workshops are either low-cost, or free! We’ve got something for emerging actors, directors, designers, and artists in general. As always, we’re open to your feedback and questions. Email Angie at to inquire or register.

Without further ado, here’s our 2016 Workshop Series…

Ray Headshot burgundy shirtThis January, Sarasvàti Productions is excited to partner with Rainbow Stage to present a workshop in Strategic Career Planning. Artistic Director Ray Hogg facilitates this interactive workshop, providing individual feedback throughout the sessions. This free workshop takes place over Sunday, January 3rd and Sunday, January 10th at the Koral Studio inside Pantages Playhouse Theatre (180 Market Avenue). Each session will run from 1pm-4pm. Participants will receive worksheets in advance and the benefit of individual feedback from Ray on their plans. We will also have room for 20 people to audit the workshop (sit in and observe). The deadline to register for this workshop is Friday, December 11th. Those wishing to audit may register after the deadline has passed. If you’d like to participate, we recommend registering ASAP. Spaces will fill up quickly for this free and awesome workshop.

Note: This workshop is open to artists who are; emerging artists, students in their fourth year of studies, or those with equivalent professional experience; must be 19+. Email Angie at to register. Please include which category of emerging artist that you belong to.

Stay tuned for details on the rest of our Workshop Series including:
How to Market Yourself: Expert advice on how to market yourself from established theatre professionals.
Coffee with a Pro: A fun, new, informal approach to fostering mentorship between established and emerging theatre artists.
Work It Nights: Present. Support. Socialize. Third Monday of every month from 7pm-9pm at the ACI Manitoba Classroom (4th Floor, 245 McDermot Ave). This is our second season partnering with ACI Manitoba to invite artists of any medium to present their works in progress. Come for feedback, support, networking, collaboration, and inspiration! Admission is by donation. This season’s Work It Nights are:
Monday December 14
Monday January 18
Monday February 14
Monday March 21
Monday April 18

Hope to see you there!

Working to End Gender-Based Violence at Home

10402001_10153153802764864_2752920112123748507_nHold up a sign. Wear orange. Talk about it! There are many small ways you can add your voice to those speaking out against gender-based violence. There have been far too many tragic cases in Winnipeg lately, then there is the global situation… This battle should be over but it’s not and so we all have to keep doing what we can. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is just around the corner. Whether you’re a local artist, or working in the field, or any citizen of Manitoba; Sarasvàti wants to hear about your ideas and your activism surrounding the prevention of gender-based violence here at home.

untitledThe 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is happening from November 25 to December 10. Sarasvàti wants to know what you’ll be doing to participate. Tell us about your contributions to the movement before December 10th and we’ll enter you in a draw to be featured in our blog, as well the winner will receive two tickets to our next production – our 2016 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues.

The 16 Days campaign begins on November 25th: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and runs until Human Rights Day on December 10th. In past years, people and organizations have participated in many unique ways; from holding forums to holding up signs with their ideas to stop gender-based violence. This year’s theme is Focusing on Prevention. How do you work to prevent gender-based violence? How do you change attitudes? What ideas do you have when it comes to prevention?

To find out more about 16 Days of Activism:

Check out what others are doing here in the Facebook group:

Or on Twitter at #OrangeTheWorld:


The Power of Stories

Sarasvàti Productions is excited to be working in partnership with so many amazing groups as part of the current community-based Mental Health Project. It is our first time working with Red Threads of Peace Project. They are a playback theatre troupe in Winnipeg. Their diverse community of actors, musicians and facilitators do workshop facilitation and community performances with a goal of allowing people to see their own stories played out for them. Here is their report on the project to date:

SMHC PlaybackSelkirk Mental Health Centre, in partnership with Artists in Healthcare and Gas Station Arts Centre programs, generously welcomed Red Threads of Peace Project facilitators Bequie Lake and Dana Rungay along with movement therapist Karissa Martens to do “Playback Tuesdays.” Cairn Moore of Sarasvàti Productions also attended the sessions as a writer and observer. The project kicked off with a playback performance on September 22 followed by one hour playback theatre workshops for six weeks in each of the health centre areas. The final performance will be November 10th. The Red Threads performers included: Elena Anciro, Nick Kowalchuk, Bequie Lake, Dawn Lavand, Loc Lu, Dana Rungay and Martial Tougas.

The participation of the patients and staff has been heartwarming. The groups warm up with movement to their choice of music from Karissa’s huge repertoire – and if Karissa doesn’t have it this week, she gets it for you next week! This individual attention and caring is really appreciated by the patients. Theatre games then build group safety, confidence and esprit de corps between the patients, staff and facilitators. Moments and experiences of the participants are offered for playback in one of the playback forms.

Participants tell of past experiences and present day happenings and feelings. Playback Theatre honours the individual voices in the group through the simple improvisational performance. Often these stories resonate with other members of the group. It’s gratifying to see the patients enjoying their involvement; seeing their story performed; or playing the music; or performing with the troupe. Several patients and staff have spoken about how much having Playback Tuesdays has meant to their well-being and the need for these types of programs in the health centre.

All of the moments, experiences and stories shared in the groups, stay in the groups. “Playback Tuesdays” has deepened our awareness, insight, understanding and compassion of issues in mental health.

Sarasvàti Productions is so pleased to hear about the impact of this work and to have had Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre, travel out to Selkirk to sit down and do individual interviews with the Geriatric and Acquired Brain Injury Programs. Since it is difficult for these patients to participate in the group sessions, it has been a wonderful way to make sure they are also included. She’s been touched by this amazing group of individuals and their stories. Upon thanking one individual he said “we should thank you for letting us get it out.” This is the hope for this phase of the project, a chance to share, be heard and have some fun. Another has shared after playback sessions – “on this side of the wall is joy and on the other side tedium and boredom.”

All of this work, plus workshops and interviews in Winnipeg, will be compiled by Sarasvàti Productions and put in to script format for a workshop presentation in May! The challenge will be to reflect so many powerful stories and insights! If you want to participate join our open sessions in November – check out details here!