Going to the Dogs!

Actor W.C. Fields famously said never to work with children or animals. Mostly because they steal the show! FemFest disagrees and argues you can’t go wrong with a dog on stage. We are excited to have our first animal on stage for FemFest 2019, but even more exciting is that this particular dog is integrated in to the compelling storytelling of Kim Kilpatrick in Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia.

02karenbailey_atthetheatre_highres“Kilpatrick peppers her intimately personal stories with humour and pathos that draws the audience into her world and the diverse personalities of her dogs.” – Brian Carroll (APT613.ca)

When the show played in 2018 at Great Canadian Theatre Centre, it was so popular you couldn’t get tickets for love or money. It has since gone on to be featured at festivals including Toronto Next Stage Festival and the undercurrents festival in Ottawa. Now Winnipeg has a chance to experience it.

In Raising Stanley / Life With Tulia storyteller Kim Kilpatrick, painter Karen Bailey and director Bronwyn Steinberg vividly document the journey from puppy to working guide dog for the blind. Delving into issues of identity, accessibility and canine service, this storytelling show incorporates original paintings through video with audio description and music. The show offers a totally accessible experience for adults and children that both informs and entertains.

Kim Kilpatrick, a blind storyteller, performs stories of life with the four guide dogs she has handled: Gia, Margaret, Gwenny and Tulia. Kilpatrick is a former Paralympian and disability rights activist. As a woman who was born blind, she brings a fresh and unique approach to the art of storytelling.

Karen Bailey, a visual artist, painted Stanley, a puppy she raised for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, engaging in a multitude of activities that mirror his future working life. Wall-sized enlargements of Karen’s paintings are projected using video visual effects behind her, with voice-over audio description that integrates seamlessly with Kim’s live storytelling. Part of the show takes place entirely in the dark.

uc19_raisingstanley_photocred_justinvanleeuwen-e1542135997754“This play is a joy to watch. It is important to watch. It is a story of trust and partnership between humans and animals. It is a nuanced story by a blind woman about her experiences clear from clichés and filled with funny anecdotes and depictions of loss and challenges…” – Alejandra Vargas García (APT613.ca)

There will be three opportunities to catch the show in Winnipeg from September 15th to 17th. Get you tickets now! It is just one of an array of touring shows and unique productions featured at the festival this year. FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage runs from September 14-21 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film!

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