Accessibility On Stage and Off

The world is changing but the arts continue to stay alive. Everything has moved to the virtual world as folks social distance and work on flattening the curve. We want to do our part, but we also want to keep the arts alive! That’s why this Saturday, April 4th at 12pm, we will be hosting a discussion on Accessibility On Stage and Off with guest panelists and disability advocates via Zoom! More is being done to address accessibility in theatre and the arts in Winnipeg, but is it enough? How accessible are performances for audiences? How exclusionary are the spaces and processes we use in making theatre? Why is the inclusion of artists with disabilities essential to the continued development of the art form? Join Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, Sarasvàti Productions and Sick + Twisted Theatre for a frank discussion with guest artists and Disability advocates.zoom-how-use-online-classes

Zoom is an online video chat platform. Participants can choose to join in the discussion and be seen and heard from the comfort of their own homes; or watch without any pressure to join in! The choice is yours. Debbie Patterson of Sick + Twisted Theatre will be moderating. Jenel Shaw representing our other partner, Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, will be part of the panel will . Along with Debbie and Jenel, we have a selection of disability advocates who will be sharing their insights.


joannaHailing from Poland, a University of Manitoba Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, Joanna Hawkins has always felt a strong connection to the arts. She is a skilled artist (drawing & painting), graphic designer and photographer but her real dream had always been with acting. Joanna has performed as a lead in a children’s show for young deaf children and has been involved in several films in Manitoba as a featured extra as well as two television commercials. Joanna has been professionally trained in mime, physical comedy and storytelling by the award winning Hot Thespian Action’s Shannon Guile. Recently Joanna performed as Mrs. Peachum in Sick + Twisted/AA Battery production’s “The Threepenny Opera”. Joanna’s aim is not only to entertain audiences with her incredibly crisp and clean physical illusions but to reach-out with the beauty of Deaf Culture and build bridges between the hearing and Deaf worlds. Joanna continues enjoying working in theatre/film industry as an actor, ASL translator and ASL coach.


Hailley Rhoda is a theatre artist focused on storytelling, puppeteering and reimagining _MG_0615traditional myths. She has a fringe company, Chronically Ch(ill) Productions, entering its third year of existence. She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film department. Hailley has two invisible illnesses, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Classic) and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Quasi the tripod cat will likely be appearing in this live stream. She has yet to develop artistic passions, and mostly enjoys biting Hailley and chasing the laser pointer.


Hannah Foulger is a British Canadian theatre artist and writer from Cambridge, Ontario on the Haldimand Tract of Treaty 3 territory. She studied Theatre and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg, and is a winner of the Bertsinger award. Her theatre projects have appeared at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the PTE Festival of New Works and Sick + Twisted Theatre’s Lame Is… Cabaret. Her creative writing has been featured in Prairie Fire Magazine, Matrix Magazine, Juice and the Disability Voices Anthology from Rebel Mountain Press. She lives in Winnipeg on Treaty One territory with a brain injury and epilepsy.


Also joining the panel is Diane Driedger, Ph.D. Diane Driedger is Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. She is a visual artist, poet and disability activist.


To join the panel, email info@sarasvati.ca to get the link! All you will need is a computer or cellphone so you can access the Zoom app or website and the meeting code. If you wish to interact live with the panelists you will also need a camera and microphone. If you can’t do a Zoom and prefer to just watch, you can also tune in via Facebook livestream. We hope to see you virtually on April 4th from 12pm-2pm!