The Fest so Far

Sold out performances, a glitter-filled opening night, home-made cookies at the Bake-Off – we are more than halfway done FemFest 2019! As always, it is a bittersweet feeling. The fest has been a wonderful experience so far with plenty of highlights and thoughts to share. We asked two Sarasvàti employees to share their experience working towards and during the festival.

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In May 2019, we brought on two new team members to help with the preparation of FemFest. Sami Desiree worked as a Production Assistant for the festival and Brooklyn Kilfoyle worked as the Marketing and Communications Assistant. The whole experience has been an exciting and informative experience for both as their work finally comes to life before their eyes.

“It’s surreal, I’ve always attended theatre festivals and productions in the past but I had no idea just how much hard work goes into it” said Kilfoyle who has worked in the industry mostly as an actor and playwright.

“There are so many moving parts. It is truly inspiring to watch strong, hard working women be an integral part of the process” said Desiree who manages her own theatre company Beau Theatre Co.

image2Some highlights from the festival so far include the annual Bake-Off that completely sold-out! Congratulations to Barb Janes, this year’s winning playwright. Another highlight was the front row of the opening for Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia, we had the pleasure of hosting three audience members accompanied by their guide dogs right in the front row! The Launchpad Project features emerging artists and so far, it has been a success. This group made a production out of nothing but their own creativity and dedication, bravo Launchpad!

Having the opportunity to share theatrical art with ASL Interpretation is something Sarasvàti is very proud of. Inclusiveness is key! We are offering one last ASL Interpreted production for Like Mother, Like Daughter tonight at 6:30! Another program we are proud to offer this year was child minding! Free childcare during 3 selected image1performances. We have 2 performances left with child minding being offered, Baby Box at 8:30 on September 20th and Like Mother, Like Daughter at 2pm on September 21st. If you’d like to take advantage of childminding, call (204) 586-2236 or email us at info@sarasvati.ca. 24 hours’ notice is required to guarantee adequate staffing.

When asked what have been highlights for the FemFest new blood, here’s what they had to say:

“It’s been a major highlight to have the opportunity to connect with artists from all over Canada. To speak with them about what they are doing in their community with their art. It’s been my favourite part so far.”- Sami Desiree, Production Assistant.

“Hearing the audience members as they come out of the theatre, discussing what they just saw and sharing thoughts and praise, it feels good to part of something that is so positive in the community.”- Brooklyn Kilfoyle, Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant.

Both women expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to make FemFest 2019 a reality and both plan to continue working with Sarasvàti in the future.

There are still 3 days left to enjoy FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage so if you’ve been waiting, now’s the time to go!

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The remaining FemFest schedule:

September 19th:
5:00- 4inXchange
6:30- Like Mother, Like Daughter
7:00- 4inXchange
8:30- Baby Box
9:00- 4inXchange

September 20th:
2:00- Like Mother, Like Daughter
3:00- 4inXchange
5:00- 4inXchange
6:30- Like Mother, Like Daughter
7:00- 4inXchange
8:30- Baby Box
9:00- 4inXchange
10:00- Bastard Reading

September 21st:
1:00- 4inXchange
2:00- Like Mother, Like Daughter
3:00- 4inXchange
3:30- All Winnipeg’s a Stage Walking Art Tour
5:00- 4inXchange
6:30- Like Mother, Like Daughter
7:00- 4inXchange
8:30- Leaping Off the Page with Yvette Nolan

Book your advance tickets HERE or call (204) 586-2236 to reserve!

Everybody’s Got a Plan, Until They Get Punched in the Face

By Brooklyn Alice Lee

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The night before the Bake-Off, I could hardly sleep. “What are the three ingredients going to be?” “What are my competitors like?” “What if I don’t come up with anything?” All of these questions and more were racing through my mind. When I sent in my application for the “Bake-Off,” I hadn’t considered the reality of the competition! 5 of us in one room for 8 hours, writing. AH!

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All of my worries melted away when I arrived at The Asper Centre for Theatre and Film and entered the writing room (well, most of my worries. There was still the ‘will I come up with anything?!’ panic). All of the playwrights were in good spirits, everyone brought snacks, there was coffee, water and sunlight to keep us going. Meeting the other playwrights for the first time was a huge help to calming my nerves. Everyone was so kind and supportive of each other, the energy in the room was electric. Being surrounded by a group of such positive women; passionate about theatre set fire to my determination. Then came the ingredients.


The sound, “shhh,” a flat tire, and the quote, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.”

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Well… alright then! As a writer, I had a few ideas in my head. The trick was which idea would these three ingredients work best with?

The timer begins.

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I take my blanket (taken right off my bed at home) and my pillow (also taken right off my bed at home) and I plop myself down in the corner. I will confess. The first half-an-hour was spent scrolling through Twitter and Facebook. What? I was 68803677_10157631014417533_6195709625510133760_olooking for inspiration! Then I came across a photo of my five-year-old brother and I remembered a story I had been toying with for quite some time that involved the two of us, but never actually got around to writing. I was immediately inspired (see, scrolling can spark inspiration)!

68706456_10157631014072533_5099784042023223296_nThe room was mostly quiet throughout the writing process. With the exception of a little chatter around lunch time and the occasional “Bless you,” everyone was hard at work. Seven hours, approximately thirty different seating positions, two bottles of water and one phone call to my mum for encouragement later and I was done. I read over the script quite a few times, which I’m so glad I did because initially my script included a “spare tire,” very different from a “flat tire”! I was sure to make that adjustment, read it over a few more times and then pressed send!

Everyone completed their scripts in a timely fashion, some finishing earlier than others. By the end of it, you could feel the thickness in the air, the stress that comes with sending DSC_0227.JPGoff your work to not only be displayed in front of an audience, but no more adjustments can be made! Now, all there is left to do is wait to watch the actors bring our pieces to life and see who the audience choice winner is.

All in all, I am feeling proud, terrified, motivated and excited to see what my competitors brought to the table! It is sure to be an exciting FemFest! The performances of each playwrights Bake-Off piece will take place on September 16th at 6:30PM and you can purchase tickets HERE! Make sure to check out all of the other amazing shows going on during FemFest 2019.