FemFest Recovery

Well…we did it! FemFest 2020 happened. It happened in a very different way. It happened safely, outdoors, in the streets, online, and from across the country – plus New York!

Our team worked so incredibly hard! It took learning new skills, creating new support roles that we’ve never had in theatre before – showrunner, livestream monitor, health officer… Mostly it took everyone fully committing to the importance of theatre and supporting each other.

There are many, many people to thank. There were many lessons learned. Now that we are on the other side of it, we can see clearly what an incredible feat it was. It was a joy to share the work with a broader audience, to allow for a return to creation and to do the work we love to do. There is no other way to describe it other than blessed. The weather cooperated for all of our outdoor events, although a bit chilly for those who joined us at Assiniboine Park after nightfall. We also wrapped things up before the need to return to tighter restrictions.

Perhaps one of our volunteers said it best:

I’m proud to volunteer for FemFest. The shows not only push the boundaries of traditional theatre, but they showcase the full spectrum of talent this city (and the world) has to offer — actors and writers from different backgrounds each sharing their skills and stories. To say FemFest is diverse is an understatement; I not only see representation, I feel it. I also feel like I have a sort of “premier pass” to Winnipeg’s local talent because FemFest offers a literal stage to those who are just starting their careers (writing, creating, and acting). I’m proud to be a part of it and I’m happy to contribute, even in a small way, to theatre that simultaneously inspires change and strengthens community. – Saz Massey

And because we are not willing to rest on our laurels, or maybe because we are lacking in good sense, we have come off the festival right in to sweeping changes. We are packing up our office of the last 18 years for a new home. We are transitioning to our new leadership team. Plus shifting our biannual school tour to an interactive virtual offering.

We also are thinking ahead. FemFest 2021 is in the works! We don’t know what the fall of next year will bring, but we are committed to finding the best way to continue to showcase artists and share the power of theatre. Our theme is ‘Celebrating Difference’ and the festival is set for September 20-27. We’ve just released our call for submissions – spread the word!

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