Theatre that Transforms Us – 2016/17 Season Retrospective

Cotton candy cocktails, ghosts, riots, vans stuck in the snow, standing ovations, tears and a lot of laughter. It really is hard to believe that another season has gone by – our 17th one in Winnipeg to be exact! Just over a year ago, we launched a season themed on Transformation and it truly was life-changing.

Breaking Through
“They were commenting on how they thought they were the only ones feeling a certain way until seeing this play and being able to realize that they are not alone.” – Loveeza Arshad, Friends Housing

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The cast of Breaking Through takes a bow

Thanks to your support we enjoyed an incredibly successful run of the culmination of our Mental Health project. We hope the dialogue will continue outside the theatre for some time to come. We’ll keep you posted as we work towards publishing the play!

 

IWW 2017 Starting Over
“Engaging and inspiring, these powerful performances rooted in real experiences provided brilliant insight. In our case, the complex realities of both youthful and mature immigrant women were are the forefront. Exploring these themes is so vital, with increased cultural diversity and amid global striving for women’s rights. Women of all nations and cultures can relate to themes of place, space, marginalization, hope, potential…”– Pamela Hadder, Agape House-Eastman Crisis Centre

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A packed house at IWW2017: Starting Over

This year, we worked closely with newcomer women and girls and the results were some incredible pieces.  We were proud to provide a platform for women’s stories, to promote equity on Canadian stages and to provide access to the arts. A great big thank you goes out to Manitoba Status of Women and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg. Without them, this Cabaret would not be possible. Special thanks to Neighborhoods Alive! and NERI for supporting our North End performances.

One Night Stand Series
“Amazing job, everyone! And for those involved in [my piece], thank you so much for helping me bring that world to life… Truly an inspirational night!” –  Marjorie Roden, featured playwright

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One Night Stand Fringe Frenzy! at Carol Shields Festival of new Works

With the help of producer Tatiana Carnevale and Prairie Theatre Exchange we re-launched the One Night Stand playreading Series. The Series gives playwrights the opportunity to test their work, while giving audiences a chance to take part in their development process.  Look out for the launch of One Night Stand next season at closing night of FemFest! We will be featuring readings from Judith Thompson and our most celebrated local playwrights.

 

Workshops for Emerging Artists
“So much good info!”
“Extremely beneficial”
“It was great! More workshops!” – Feedback from workshop participants

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Our Artistic Director Hope McIntyre facilitates at Auditioning 101

We served 85 emerging artists with our Emerging Artist workshop series this season.
We tackled some of our most-requested workshops this year with Grantwriting & Taxes for Artists, Auditioning 101 and Mock Auditions for Advanced Actors.  We thank our partners Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, ACI Manitoba, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Projects Manitoba and Winnipeg Jewish Theatre for helping us support education opportunities for emerging artists. Plans for the 2017/18 Emerging Artists Workshop Series are already underway! Drop us a line if there is a workshop you’d like to see.

North End Workshop Series
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study theatre but now I’m sure!” – Sabil, youth participant

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Youth facilitator Erica Wilson offers direction as the youth participants work on their scene

We kicked-off 2017 with a focused series of theatre workshops for North End youth. Youth Coordinators Frances Koncan and Cherrel Holder alongside a series of guest artists, introduced theatre techniques and worked on scenes with youth. On February 22nd we celebrated with a showcase of the youth involved. We have already heard from multiple youth that they have decided to pursue theatre and we look forward to supporting them with mentorship in 2017/18.

 

 


Women’s Comedy Night Fundraiser

“Congratulations! What a great evening!!” – Brigit Krasovec
“Great turn out! Amazing show.” – Tim Gray

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Actions shots of some of the comedians at the Women’s Comedy Night Fundraiser

We took a leap and tried something brand new with our comedy fundraiser. We teamed up with Winnipeg’s hilarious women comedians to produce the Women’s Comedy Night. The event saw unprecedented success—selling out and packing the venue with an incredible mix of Sarasvàti supporters and comedy fans. We had a blast and you better believe we’ll be doing this again next year.

 

 


Shattered
High School Tour

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The cast of Shattered

“Things aren’t what they seem and we should never assume things about people. I learned a lot and I
could tell my fellow audience members also learned something new. I realized a lot more people in our
school had experience with mental illness than I thought.” -Student at Fort Richmond Collegiate

We broke pervious records by performing to 6,161 youth and educators in Manitoba. Shattered has received overwhelming praise from teachers and students alike. It was also transformative for the cast who were touched by the number of youth who approached them after performances to share their own struggles with mental health.


FemFest2016: Transformation

We were proud to present such provocative touring shows as Miss Understood, Mouthpiece, as well as clown favourites Morro & Jasp Do Puberty. The world premiere of the previous year’s Bake-Off winner Sherry MacDonald’s The Seduction Theory made a huge impact as audiences discussed the ways we continue to victim-blame.

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These are just a few of our highlights. What stood out for you? Save the date for August 4th at 7pm and stay tuned for exciting details about our 2017/18 season launch.

Acing Your Next Audition

This spring, Sarasvàti Productions delivers audition workshops to best serve you!

“This is what we’ve seen the greatest demand for”, says Angie St. Mars, Associate Producer and workshop coordinator for Sarasvàti. “We are pleased to respond to the needs of local actors with two levels of audition workshops, and we’re excited to be working with these Winnipeg theatres to do so!”

Artistic Director of Sarasvàti Productions, Hope McIntyre will facilitate Auditioning 101: The Basics for Beginners on Sunday April 23rd. This workshop is designed for those who are new to auditioning, who have only done a few auditions, or who have yet to audition for a professional theatre. After twenty years of auditions, our Artistic Director has seen a lot of the same mistakes made over and over again. As part of our goal to support emerging artists we want emerging actors to be able to put their best foot forward. The workshop will cover do’s and don’ts from choosing a monologue to etiquette, as well as provide tips to getting the part! If you have a headshot and resume you can bring them along for critique. Those who have prepared monologues will also have a chance to present an excerpt for direct coaching!

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Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director of Sarasvati Productions

Auditioning 101 will take place at the Asper Centre for Theatre & Film on April 23rd from 1pm-4pm. The registration fee is $30 and the deadline is April 10th. To register, please call 204-586-2236 or email associate@sarasvati.ca.

In order to serve theatre actors who have advanced experience auditioning we’ve partnered with the Artistic Directors from three theatres in Winnipeg to present a Mock Audition Workshop for Advanced Actors. Sarasvàti Productions is thrilled to be working with Ardith Boxall, Artistic Director of Theatre Projects Manitoba, Krista Jackson, Associate Artistic Director of Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Ari Weinberg, Artistic Director of Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in order to deliver a comprehensive mock audition-style workshop on Wednesday, June 14th.

In the first half, participants will have a 5 minute slot where they each perform one 1-2 minute monologue for the panel of Artistic Directors and receive individual feedback. The second half of the workshop will be devoted to group feedback and a moderated Q&A .

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The Mock Audition Workshop for Advanced Actors will take place on June 14th at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre rehearsal hall from 4pm-8pm.  Applicants must have experience auditioning for a professional theatre. The registration fee is $30 and the deadline to register is May 10th. Please include  a list of any auditions done for a professional theatre with your registration. To register, please call 204-586-2235 or email associate@sarasvati.ca.

We’re looking forward to helping you put your best foot forward at your next audition!

Going Above and Beyond in 2017!

Happy New Year! We are excited to announce our goals for 2017! We aim to break new ground and cover uncharted territory in order to realize our vision of transforming society through theatre. Check out what we are setting our sights on this year:

1.PROMOTE DIVERSITY ON THE STAGE

If you think the Equity in Theatre stats on women in the industry have a long way to go, wait until you see the stats on diversity. Promoting diversity in the local theatre scene generates growth, equity and human understanding within the arts community and audiences.  We are proud to produce a season of theatre and workshops that respond to the lack of equity on Canadian stages proactively. January 11th marks the launch of our second round of free theatre workshops for Indigenous and newcomer youth in Winnipeg’s North End.  This March, we highlight the stories of newcomer women throughout International Women’s Week with the 2017 Cabaret of Monologues: Starting Over.

 

2. SUPPORT EMERGING ARTISTS

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Coffee with a Pro

After successfully piloting Coffee with a Pro, an informal mentorship series that sets emerging artists up with an established artist in their field to talk shop over coffee, we look forward to expanding the series into even more disciplines in 2017.

We have received ample requests for an Audition workshop geared to those who have never auditioned before. This Spring, Hope McIntyre will facilitate just that with Auditioning 101. Stay tuned for details.

3. HAVE SOME FUN AND RAISE SOME FUNDS

audience-shotWe’re rolling into uncharted territory with a brand new fundraising event. On April 9th at Academy Lanes some of the most well-known CEO’s and business leaders in Winnipeg will square-off in a Strike-a-Thon with pledges and proceeds going to Sarasvàti Productions.

Plus last year’s Women’s Comedy Night was such a success that we can’t wait for round two in the fall of 2017!

4. BUST BARRIERS

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Staged reading of Breaking Through, May 2016

After over two years of community-based research, workshops, and interviews we are thrilled to present the full production of Breaking Through May 23-38, 2017.

The Mental Health is Everyone’s Health project saw Sarasvàti’s artists team up with Artists in Health Care, Red Threads Playback Theatre and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre as well as multiple community organizations and members of the public to create a play that takes a realistic look the way mental health issues affect us all. The result is a bold theatrical experience that is guaranteed to spark dialogue.

5. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES

FemFest turns 15 this year! We are working on the line-up that will appropriately celebrate our landmark festival of plays by women for everyone! You can look forward to some exciting surprises and special guest artists.

 

That’s our top 5, but when all is said and done we are basically going to produce kick-ass art and we want you to be a part of it!  Stay posted on our events by following us here!

 

Workshops to the Rescue!

There are two things are inevitable for an Artist – grant writing and taxes.
Do you ever find yourself wondering…
-Which grants am I eligible for?
-Are there grants I should be applying for?
-How do I write a grant??
-Should I be filing my taxes as an Artist?
-What can and can’t I write off?
Do you then turn into an ostrich because it’s nice and quiet under the sand?

Writing grants and filing your taxes can be incredibly intimidating, but the benefits can most certainly outweigh the costs, so Sarasvàti has put together a workshop to help. It is just the first in this year’s series of workshops to support emerging artists!

On Sunday November 20th from 2pm-5pm come on down to the 4th floor classroom at ACI and we will get you started at the Grant Writing and Taxes for Artists Workshop.

Martine Friesen from Manitoba Arts Council and Dominic Lloyd from Winnipeg Arts Council will present on the grant programs each of their organizations offer, who is eligible and how you apply for them, particularly as Emerging Theatre Artist’s.  You will also have the opportunity to hear a presentation by an expert on filing taxes as an Artist. Presentations will be followed by ample time for Q&A with the experts.

Cost is $15. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 9th. Register with Angie at associate@sarasvati.ca or by calling 204-586-2236.

And that’s not all! Check out what we have in store for the rest of our workshop season.

Auditioning for Theatre 101
This May, Sarasvàti Productions Artistic Director Hope McIntyre delivers a concise workshop on auditioning for theatre targeted to beginners.

Artistic Directors Audition Panel
This spring, Sarasvàti Productions will bring the Artistic Directors of some of the major theatres in Winnipeg together for an audition info panel.

Coffee with a Pro
This informal mentorship series continues with dates and Artists to be announced throughout the season. Send us an email if there’s an established Artist in your field that you would like to talk shop with.

The One Night Stand Series returns!
Sarasvàti Productions is pairing up with PTE and MAP to produce a series of readings of new works in progress. The series will begin in January with specific dates to be announced. Playwrights can submit excerpts from a work in progress to be read by actors in front of an audience at Prairie Theatre Exchange’s Colin Jackson Studio Theatre! It is being coordinated by Tatiana Carnevale. The first One Night Stand will take place on Tuesday February 2nd at PTE’s Colin Jackson Studio.
Stay tuned for more information and check out these photos from last year’s Workshop Series!

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This one goes out to all the Emerging Theatre Artists

We know you’re out there workin’ hard and trying to make a name for yourself in this big, old world. It’s not easy for an emerging artist like yourself; trying to hold down a 9-5 or finish school while daydreaming of a professional career in the Arts. That’s why we’d like to dedicate this year’s workshop series to all our emerging theatre artists out there. We just wanted to let you know…

The Business of Being an Artist – Sunday February 28, 2016  1-4 pm @ the Rory Runnell’s Studio (Manitoba Playwright’s Association, 100 Arthur St.)

We think this workshop will be especially helpful to emerging artists.
Established director Ann Hodges shares her expertise on self-presentation when auditioning and applying for work in the theatre.
Founding member of Outside Joke Andrea del Campo presents on ‘branding’ and harnessing the power of social media.
Business expert from the Women’s Enterprise Centre shares the business perspective on marketing yourself.
Cost: $30  Registration deadline is Sunday February 14

Coffee with a ProDate and time TBD @ Elements Restaurant (599 Portage Avenue)

We’re so excited to be piloting this new and informal approach to mentorship!

Coffee with a Pro will pair a two to three emerging directors with established director Mariam Bernstein to talk shop over coffee and snacks.
Email Angie with your directing resume and cover letter to apply.

Work It Nights @ ACI Manitoba (4th floor of 245 McDermot Avenue) Continue taking place the 3rd Monday of every month. Drop in to share your work-in-progress, come to get inspired, collaborate, or just to socialize. Artists of all mediums are welcome. The next Work It is Monday December 14th.

Strategic Planning for Emerging Artists (January 3rd and 10th)
is full at the moment, but you can still register to audit the workshop, and/or sign up for the wait list.

Email Angie at associate@sarasvati.ca to register.

Check out our website or visit us on Facebook

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Thank you to Rainbow Stage, ACI Manitoba, Elements, Women Enterprise Centre and Manitoba Community Services Council for their support.

 

 

Looking Forward to a Transformative Year

Happy New Year everyone! What are your resolutions? Here are our top 5 resolutions for 2015!

1. NURTURE EMERGING ARTISTS!

Work It Night!

Work It Night!

The first item for our 2015 calendar is our third Work It Night event that we created in partnership with ACI Manitoba on January 19th. Artists from all disciplines, emerging and established, have brought their works in progress to present for audience reactions or feedback. It’s been amazing to see the work of so many diverse artists including animators, videographers, and poets! Join us and come out to share your work or support the presenting artists with your insights. It is a fun, relaxed and supportive environment to connect with other artists. Work It Night is the third Monday of every month at 7pm!

2. LAUNCH NEW ARTISTIC CAREERS!

Sharon Bajer

Sharon Bajer

We are excited to have the multitalented Sharon Bajer facilitate How to Get Your Foot in the Door, a submissions workshop for emerging artists to learn how to format cover letters, resumes, scripts and headshots to industry standards while still standing out. Deadline to register and pay for this workshop is January 13th, so don’t delay! For more information and to read about the other fantastic workshops we have planned click here!

3. RAISE A GLASS AND RAISE SOME FUNDS!

Our fourth annual So You Think You Can Act Fundraiser on February 18th will be a chance to have a great time while helping us do amazing work. See celebrities face off in scenes about power play and at the end – you get to choose who goes home with the trophy. There are also going to be amazing raffle prizes and a wine reception! Click here for information on how to get tickets.

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4. EMPOWER SUPER WOMEN!

sarasvati (3)In March nine dynamic women will take the stage to bring the stories of nine amazing women to life in celebration of International Women’s Week. Come hear the empowering stories of Zelda Fitzgerald, Isobel Gunn, a young Mennonite woman, and even a superhero! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ve got two chances to see it on March 7th, the Cabaret has a history of selling out, so click here to purchase tickets now.

5. BUST BARRIERS!

Catherine Banks

Catherine Banks

Who says a 50 year old can’t bust a rhyme inspired by Missy Elliott? We will challenge the status quo with the world premiere of Miss’N Me May 21 to 31! Miss’N Me is a brilliant and unique new play from two time Governor General Award winning playwright Catherine Banks. The play follows Dawna, a hairdresser, who steals her husband’s plumbing van and heads for New York City to meet Missy Elliott. On the way there she crosses paths with a host of wacky hitch-hikers. You don’t want to miss this one, so mark your calendars!

This will keep us busy for the first part of the year but we won’t stop there. FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar! is already in the works and the line-up will be announced in May. The festival will run September 12 to 19 and will feature life-changing plays by women for everyone. We are also embarking on a new community collaboration exploring mental health with Artists in Health Care, Red Threads Playback Theatre and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

Join us in making 2015 an inspiring, transformative and life-changing year!

Sharon Bajer and Jan Skene Share Their Knowledge!

Are you an emerging artist? We are offering a chance to get inside information from the pros through a wonderful series of workshops this season! We’re excited to report that our first workshop, The Wonderful World of Grants 101, filled up completely well before the registration deadline! A good reason for emerging artists to sign up ASAP for our next two workshops:

How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Sharon Bajer
Tuesday, January 27th 4:30pm to 6:30pm
$15 Fee
Sharon Bajer HeadshotSharon is an actress, playwright and director and currently the Directing Artist-in–Residence at Rainbow Stage. Recent credits include acting in The Seagull and A Christmas Story at RMTC, directing Portage and Munsch (PTE), Run for Your Wife (Festival Antigonish), Bloodless (White Rabbit Productions), Riddle Me Home (Tapestry New Opera), The Ends of the Earth (PTE@PTE) and Cry After Midnight and Eden for Sarasvàti. Sharon was a participant in Stratford’s Michael Langham Workshop in Classical Direction for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Sharon is a member of the Playwrite’s Unit at PTE. She has written several plays including Hersteria, Burnin’ Love and Molly’s Veil. Sharon is a graduate of Studio 58.

With all her experience as an actress, playwright and director she will teach participants how to make sure their cover letters, resumes, headshots, and scripts are actually considered. Sharon will teach participants about formatting standards, tips on writing great cover letters, and how to layout their resume to conform to industry standard and stand out from the others. Deadline to register and pay is January 13th!

Get Your Act Together – Introduction to Business Basics for Theatre Artists with Jan Skene
Sunday, March 8th 4pm to 6pm
$15 Fee

As a working theatre artist, you are essentially your own small business! Being self-employed brings many challenges but also many benefits over the course of an artist’s career. This introductory workshop offers an opportunity for artists to have their questions answered in relation to self-promotion, membership in EQUITY/ACTRA, dealing with taxes and accessing resources.

Jan Skene HeadshotJan Skene is best known as an accomplished actor/singer and director, having appeared on almost all of Winnipeg’s main stages over the past 25 years. Recent highlights include Peter Pan (MTYP), White Christmas (RMTC), The Brink (PTE), Footloose (Rainbow Stage), Hersteria at the Winnipeg Fringe, Follies (Dry Cold). Jan has been working steadily as an actor, puppeteer and voice performer in Manitoba’s film and television industry. She has many film, tv and radio credits to her name including series lead on Fred Penner’s Place and Tipi as well as principal roles on Strings, The Plague, The Atwood Stories, The Many Trials of Jane Doe.

Jan is currently Vice President of the ACTRA Manitoba Council and head of the Training Committee. She has co-developed and delivered ACTRA’s Apprenticeship Training Course over the past several years is currently a member of the Film Training Manitoba Board. In addition to her work as a performer, Jan is co-founder and business manager of Skene Stunts Inc. with her husband Rick Skene. Together with their sons Daniel and Sean they have worked on over 150 film and television productions.

For more information on these or are other awesome opportunities for emerging artists click here! To register phone or email Wren at 204-586-2236, wren@sarasvati.ca