Looking for Cooks in the Kitchen

Last year’s Bake-Off was a deliciously good time (pun intended). With a sold-out show featuring five incredible plays, it was a great night for everyone – especially the winner, barb janes. 

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barb janes at the 2019 Bake-Off

 This year, we’re bringing back the Bake-Off (with increased physical distancing, of course). If you’re not already familiar, the premise is simple: five playwrights will be given “ingredients” that they must include in an original sceneLast year’s ingredients were a flat tire, a “shhh” sound, and the quote “everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” For the next eight hours, the writers are left to work on their scripts. Scenes can be anywhere from five to ten minutes long. The scenes will then be performed as a staged reading by an ensemble at FemFest 2020: Engaging Community. the playwright with the most-developed piece will win 500 dollars and dramaturgical guidance to develop a full-length one-act script, which will be read publicly at FemFest 2021. 

A huge thank you to the Manitoba Association of Playwrights and the family of Janet Taylor, who continue to sponsor the Bake-Off every year.  

Speaking of readings, barb janes’ piece, Agency, won the 2019 Bake-Off and has spent the last year being developed. The play follows three “orphan” girls from three different eras and three different countries: Louisa (a British Home Child), Annie (a sixties scoop adoptee) and Natasha (adopted from Romania). Plagued by issues of abandonment and belonging, the three friends search for their mothers, their identity and their own agency. We’re so looking forward to seeing how her play has taken shape since writing it almost one year ago! 

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Brooklyn at the 2019 Bake-Off

If we haven’t sold you on how incredible of an experience the Bake-Off is yet, revisit Brooklyn Kilfoyle’s article about her time participating in the Bake-Off as one of the five playwrights.  

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.”  Brooklyn Kilfoyle 

We are looking for women, non-binary, and trans folks to apply for the Bake-Off! Even if you don’t have any formal playwriting experience, all you need to submit is: 

  1. A letter including your full contact information (address, phone & email) and anything you want to tell us about yourself & why you’re interested in the BakeOff  
  2. A 100-word bio for yourself  
  3. A 5 – 10 page writing sample (can be a scene or monologue) in PDF format. 

Please email the above to Cairn Moore at bakeoff@sarasvati.caOtherwise, you can check out more details about the Bake-Off or other FemFest shows and readings here! 

 

The Monster in All of Us

Who are you when you don’t know who you are? That’s the question Sarah Waisvicz asks in Monstrous.

Created and performed by Waisvicz, we’re incredibly excited to be featuring Monstrous in FemFest 2020: Engaging Community. Monstrous follows the protagonist’s journey across continents, centuries, and musical genres as she sifts through the facts and fictions of her mixed-up, mixed-race family history. Integrating storytelling, multi-genre dance, music, song, projections, and audience interaction, it is a quest for roots, remembrance, and belonging; it is also a cutting, hard-hitting provocation about “multiculturalism” in Canada. Monstrous is a startling wake-up call that puts pressure on how accepting we think we are.

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Sarah is a playwright, dramaturge, and multi-disciplinary performer with training in dance and physical theatre (classical ballet, puppetry, acrobatics, stilts, West African dance styles). Her solo script to Monstrous, about the Afro-diaspora experience and mixed-race identity, was published in Alt.theatre 13.3 and the show has been performed in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Sarah has been Artist-in-Residence at Great Canadian Theatre Company and at the National Arts Centre. Her most recent play Heartlines premiered to sold-out houses at Ottawa’s undercurrents festival.

“I was strongly moved by this piece — not leaving the studio with the same mindset I had upon entering… I found myself lost in thought about my background and place within this world. I felt as if I had also just explored my entire background and found a little more of myself in the process, too. If you are prepared for a deep, self-discovery performance — this play is a definite go see!” – Makinizi Hoover, Medium

MonstrousPromoPhotoPraiseGingerChrisSnowIn 2015, when Waisvicz began this project, she documented part of its development process. The full title was originally called Monstrous, or, The Miscegenation Advantage, and it was described as an “original 70-minute solo show: one woman, two races, four continents, and a suitcase full of secrets.” You can check out a video about the show’s development here.

“Waisvisc’s dynamic energy fills the minimalist set where music, projection and dance illustrate a global trek as stories, anecdotes, lies, hearsay and research are pulled from this trunk of family history.” Jennifer Cavanaugh, Apt613

In light of COVID-19, we’re excited to announce we’ll be moving forward with a virtual edition of Monstrous. Like previous reviewers, we know you’ll be moved by this show – no matter what part of the world you’re from. If you haven’t yet, be sure to watch the official Monstrous trailer and stay tuned on our website for the latest information on how to access FemFest programming.

The Tita Collective: Essential Reading

We are incredibly lucky to have the Tita Collective present their musical sketch revue hit, Tita Jokes, at this year’s FemFest. Although it may not be the usual live performance due to the current situation, it will still be hilarious and a must-see! An all-Filipina collective composed of award-winning playwrights, comedians, musicians, dancers, theatremakers and actors, the Tita Collective explores different mediums to tell the stories about the Filipinx diaspora.

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The Tita Collective

Tita Collective won the 2019 Steamwhistle Producers’ Pick at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, Best Newcomer at the Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival, and the Second City Outstanding New Comedy Award.

To get you just as excited as us, we’ve gathered some interviews and videos of the Tita Collective (made up of Ann Paula Bautista, Belinda Corpuz, Isabel Kanaan, Ellie Posadas, Alia Rasul and Maricris Rivera). We highly recommend you watch and read the following and, as we get closer to FemFest, bookmark it so you can return to it again and again and again and… (you get the idea!)

Tita Collective: ‘We’re Like The Spice Girls Of Theatre,’ With A Filipino Twist
This article from the CBC tells you all the key facts about the Tita Collective and their show, from their origin story to their connection with each other.

Excerpt: “It’s a very inter-generational story. So our parents, our older aunts and uncles have come to the show . . . But even my niece and nephew who are eight and 11 years old also came to the show and they could still enjoy it and resonate with it and identify with that.”

5 Questions With… The Tita Collective
Get to know the Titas even better with this interview on comedy and Filipinx culture.

Excerpt: Filipinas of our parents’ generations are some of the bravest people out there, and there’s a lot to learn from their journeys: from making the choice to leaving their communities behind to move to a strange new place and starting a new life, having to deal with racism, classism and sexism in degrees that today is unacceptable but back then was the norm, and all of this to provide for their families and to prop the Philippine economy up. It’s time that their bravery is recognized and honoured.

FTV (Filipino TV) Exclusive Feature Tita Jokes at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival
This video features an interview with the Tita Collective spliced up with footage from their hilarious show.

“When we tell these stories I hear a lot of stories from people who aren’t Filipino, Filipina, or Filipinx and they’re like, ‘My sister-in-law is Filipina so I know what lumpia is,’ or, ‘I have lot of friends who are [Filipinx],’ so it just makes me feel like I’m not as invisible as I thought. This encouraged me to tell other people to tell their stories.”

#NowYouKnow YouTube Videos
#NowYouKnow is a series of videos the Tita Collective made that opens with a slide that says, “We asked titos and titas to explain a few words in Tagalog.” These short clips, featuring words like “ube” or “maganda,” are recommend by the Tita Collective to be watched before you see their show.

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Kristina Guevarra

So there you have it: essential reading (and viewing, technically) for those of you who are soon-to-be fans of the Tita Collective! Keeping in mind COVID-19 protocols, we are currently working on some additional (and very exciting!) virtual programming with them. We’re also excited to announce Kristina Guevarra, a multidisciplinary Filipinx artist, will be coordinating a panel featuring Filipinx creatives. Be sure to check out our new FemFest 2020 page to stay up to date on how each show will be uniquely executed!

Three, Two, One… Launchpad!

Creating space for the emerging artists in our city and province is an integral part of Sarasvàti and FemFest’s mandate. Looking back at the success of last year’s Launchpad, we’re thrilled that with the support of RBC Foundation and the Graham C. Lount Foundation we are able to continue this program during the upcoming season. This year’s cohort will debut at FemFest 2020: Engaging Community but we hope to keep them involved with unique mentorship opportunities all season. If you’re unfamiliar, Launchpad brings together ten emerging women and non-binary artists whose creative mediums range from a variety of disciplines: directors, dancers, performers, playwrights, technical crew, etc… This team then takes part in intensive workshops (taught by Winnipeg theatre professionals) including movement work, vocal work, improvisation, devised theatre, and writing. 

Like last year, the Launchpad team will produce material to be premiered at FemFest. However, the exciting change from this year is that these emerging artists will present climate change focused work as a walking tour in downtown Winnipeg. Using short scripts from Chantal Bilodeau (our FemFest guest artist!) or creating their own unique pieces.  

Returning to facilitate and coordinate the Launchpad are Victoria Hill and Lindsay Johnson. Lindsay Johnson is a Winnipeg-based actor, director, writer, and animal-lover. With a love of both devised and classical theatre, Lindsay has enjoyed working as a Director/Assistant Director on several projects including Purge (Geritheatrics), Little Dead Lady (Naked Theatre Productions), Home 2.0. (Sarasvàti Productions) Richard III (Shakespeare in the Ruins), and Vinegar Tom (University of Winnipeg).  

Victoria Emilie Hill is a creator, mover, and actor based in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory.  She is passionate about work that focuses on movement and the body as a place we hold and tell stories.  She is curious about the myriad ways we express and communicate with ourselves, our environments, and other creatures. Victoria is honoured to be working on the Launchpad Project again this year and looks forward to learning from these new collaborators.   

Both Victoria and Lindsay are ecstatic to be helping a new group of theatre artists break through and showcase their work at FemFest. 

Without further ado, here are the ensemble members for this year’s Launchpad: 

    • Kate Willoughby  
    • Anna Verbytska 
    • Kristian Cahatol 
    • Emma Welham 
    • Kimmy Martin 
    • Sarah Luby 
    • Taylor Gregory  
    • Lindsey Taylor  
    • Brittney Fredrickson  
    • Tara Streilein 
    • Plus Caitlyn Seymour, as a junior member 

We’re so excited to see what this talented group of artists will create together. We know it will be great! And, while we have you here, don’t forget to check our website for updates on FemFest 2020!  

The Rest of the Fest: Announcing The Full FemFest 2020 Program

Two weeks ago, we announced the touring artists of FemFest 2020: Engaging Community. While we’re so excited for those three incredible shows (Tita Jokesbug, and Monstrous), the festival wouldn’t be complete without our in-house productions. Without further ado, here are the shows and events rounding out the rest of our planned programming for FemFest 2020. 

Alice and the World We Live In 
By Alexandria Haber
Alice stands frozen on a dangerous mountain pass. Paralyzed, unable to move forward or turn back, she is suspended between multiple possibilities of what could have been and what is. Inspired by the topsy-turvy world Alice encounters in Wonderland when she falls down the rabbit hole, this moving allegory explores a woman’s struggle to push through the grief of losing the love of her life to a random act of terror. Echoing our collective fear of what lies ahead in these tumultuous and uncertain times, the play exalts our indefatigable resilience and endless capacity to love, once we find the courage to let go. 

 

Readings
The View From Here
By Hannah Foulger 
A new piece of documentary theatre about the Grandview School for Girls in Cambridge, ON – an examination of the institutional abuse that occurred there and its impact on the community.   

Agency 
By barb janes  
For those who attended last year’s Bake-Off – this was the audience selection to receive development and a reading. 
Three “orphan” girls from three different eras and three different countries: Louisa (a British Home Child), Annie (a sixties scoop adoptee) and Natasha (adopted from Romania). Plagued by issues of abandonment and belonging, the three friends search for their mothers, their identity and their own agency. 

 

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Chantal Bilodeau

Guest Artist
Chantal Bilodeau  
Chantal Bilodeau is a Montreal-born, New York-based playwright and translator, whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. Her plays and translations have been presented in a dozen countries around the world, and she is a recipient of the Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as the First Prize in the Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and the Uprising National Playwriting Competition. She serves as the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle and is currently at work on a series of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight Arctic states.  

 

 

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A snapshot from the 2018 Bake-Off

Bake-Off 
Coordinated and directed by Cairn Moore 
In partnership with the Manitoba Association of Playwrights.
Feast your eyes on the annual Bake-Off. We challenge selected playwrights with a list of ingredients and eight hours to cook up their own fantastic theatrical feasts! The results are an abundance of laughs and entertaining surprises. Plus, the audience gets to select the winner. 

(Psst… we’re still accepting submissions for Bake-Off. More details here!) 

 

The Launchpad Walking Tour
Yes, we are bringing back our emerging artist initiative and combining it with our

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A shot from last year’s walking tour!

walking tour. Short performances will tackle the theme of climate change. Next week’s blog will feature the announcement of this year’s ensemble.  

You can also expect fantastic opening and closing night cabarets featuring local artists and lots of laughs.  

So there you have it: FemFest 2020 is certain to be one to remember! Be sure to check out the FemFest page on our website regularly for information about ticket prices, performers, and how each show will be executed in regards to current health protocols. Although things will shift based on what September brings, we are committed to following through on this exciting programming in a unique way!  

The Touring Artists of FemFest 2020

The last few weeks (and months!) have been overwhelming. We do not want to get back to normal but be part of creating a different, better, and more equitable future. We want to start off this blog post by acknowledging the pain and violence Black and Indigenous folks and people of colour have suffered at the hands of the police as a result of systemic racism. If you didn’t read our official statement on the Black Lives Matter movement, you can do so here 

Representation and diversity have been at the heart of Sarasvàti since the beginning, of its inception, but we know we have not done enough and must do better through action and not just words. Our theme for FemFest 2020 is Engaging Community, which we found particularly fitting given recent world events. We had exciting programming in the works since the fall of 2019. Although we are preparing contingencies and know thing may have to shift, we’re thought it important to share our planned touring artists for this year’s FemFest. Whether live in Winnipeg or participating in some other way we want to showcase the amazing work of these BIPOC artists: 

 

Monstrous

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Montrous featuring Sarah Waisvicz  

Created and performed by  Sarah Waisvicz
Directed by Eleanor Crowder 

Who are you when you don’t know what you are? Monstrous follows the protagonist’s journey across continents, centuries, and musical genres as she sifts through the facts and fictions of her mixed-up, mixed-race family history. Integrating storytelling, multi-genre dance, music, song, projections, and audience interaction, it is a quest for roots, remembrance, and belonging; it is also a cutting, hard-hitting provocation about “multiculturalism” in Canada. Monstrous is a startling wake-up call that puts pressure on how accepting we think we are.  

 

bug

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bug featuring Yolanda Bonnell

Produced by Manidoons Collective 
Created and Performed by Yolanda Bonnell
Directed by Cole Alvis 

 bug is a 60 minute solo show about women of an Indigenous family navigating addiction and inter-generational trauma. When their addictions manifest as manidoons (Ojibwe word for bug, insect or worm), the creature burrows beneath their skin, pushing them beyond the brink. Using movement, poetry, and prose, creator/performer Yolanda Bonnell weaves stories of women grappling with their painful past and making tough choices to survive. This work is honest, unflinching, and raw; it will take your breath away.  

 

Tita Jokes

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Tita Jokes featuring the Tita Collective

Created and Performed by the Tita Collective: Ann Paula Bautista, Belinda Corpuz, Isabel Kanaan, Ellie Posadas, Alia Rasul and Maricris Rivera 
Director: Tricia Hagoriles

Tita Collective are an all-Filipina collective composed of award-winning playwrights, comedians, musicians, dancers,  theatremakers and actors. They explore different mediums to tell the stories about the Filipinx diaspora. 
A Filipinx-focused musical sketch revue inspired by the Tita Collectives’ real-life Titas, Tita Jokes is a hilarious and heart-warming love letter to the womxn in the creators’ lives – their aunts, moms, daughters, and partners. Itshows their struggles and heartaches, but also how they cope through comedy and songs. Featuring original music and laugh-out-loud sketch comedy. 

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While we may not have all the details as to how these shows will be executed, we do know we’re so lucky to be sharing such immense talent with our audiences in Winnipeg. 

As always, we’ll be kicking off with our Opening Cabaret on September 19 which will feature a variety of local performers! Stay tuned as we announce more details on the festival which runs September 19 – 26.  

 

Fresh(ish) Faces

Yes, summer is approaching and we can always tell because our team expands – although this year it’s a remote expansion. This month we welcomed two members to the Sarasvàti team! We have Samantha Desiree returning as our Production Assistant and Riva Billows joining us as the Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant.

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Sami Desiree, Production Assistant

You may recognize Sami as she filled the same position leading up to and during FemFest 2019. Sami is currently working towards her BAH at the University of Winnipeg, with speciality in Stage Management. She is an artist with many interests and has been working in production, directing, acting and producing. She started in theatre at a young age, performing as Buttercup in The Princess Bride. After that performance she received handwritten letters from young girls who had seen the show and “wanted to grow up to be like Buttercup.” That was when she learned the power of theatre. She founded Beau Theatre Co. in 2017 and since has produced six full productions with them and was slotted for a 5 stop Canadian Fringe tour this year (which has been postponed). She thanks her cat Zella and partner Matt for their support.

Riva Billows is a local improviser, comedian, and a recent graduate of the Creative Communications program. She was voted the second funniest person in Winnipeg in this year’s Uniter 30. She’s performed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Montreal Sketch Festival, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival the last four years.

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Riva Billows, Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant

 

Riva was an actor in “Can You See Me Now?”, a partnership between Sarasvàti and West Central Women’s Resource Centre that told women’s experiences of homelessness. “Looking back, doing that show and collaborating with these incredible women just solidified how important it is to tell the untold stories,” she said. “That was probably the first time that I really saw, firsthand, how theatre can be a vehicle for change.”

Sami believes theatre can change perspective and create empathy and compassion which is something she incorporates into all her work. She is so grateful to be back working on FemFest for a second year, with such brilliant humans!

The two are looking forward to seeing the exciting (but still secret!) performers featured in FemFest 2020 – no matter what shape that may be.

We’re excited to have these two on board as we move closer to FemFest 2020FemFest will run in some shape or form from September 19 – 26. Stay up to date by following us on one of our many social media platforms or check out our website as we start to announce the line-up for our 18th festival. 

We Want YOU!

There are so many exciting things to look forward to in the near future. From workshops, to festivals, we can’t wait to gather once again as a community and share our art. We would love for you to join us! We are currently accepting submissions for our One Night Stand playwright development series and applications for our Launchpad Project! 

one-night-stand-poster-april-11-e1524149136777Every year, we host our One Night Stand reading series as a way for emerging and established playwrights to share their work and gain some feedback. We are seeking 10-minute scenes from Manitoban playwrights of all ages, genders, and backgrounds! Our first virtual, One Night Stand will take place in June, 2020. All submissions must be received by 11:59pm on May 8th, 2020. More details on how and what to submit HERE. 


We are so excited to welcome former Launchpad participant Jonathan Mourant in helping to coordinate future ONS editions! 

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Jonathan Mourant in the 2019 Launchpad Project

Jonathan Mourant is a trans-disciplinary performer, producer, and also a robot learning how to be human. They have been improvising for just under a decade and have performed and learned at festivals and workshops across Canada, including the Winnipeg Improv Festival and Toronto SketchFest. This year, Jonathan wrote and directed Here Together for the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and created Jon After Hours, an experimental late night talk show featuring local personalities. Recently, they have begun performing drag as Nora Vision, and are thrilled at the opportunities to combine improv, theatre, and drag into their own unique performance.


You may recall our Launchpad Project from FemFest 2019. A group of emerging female and non-binary identifying artists gathered weekly for a series of workshops, before creating and performing their final work To Kill a Lizard during FemFest 2019. After a successful pilot project that supported ten young artists, we are excited to change it up this year with a new focus. This intensive residency will take place in August/September 2020. Participants will be working on performance pieces that explore climate change. They will perform them in site-specific locations in downtown Winnipeg during our fall festival of FemFest 2020. The best part is participants are paid – as all artists should be!. For more details on who, what and how to apply, click HERE. 

We hope you will consider submitting for one (or both!) of these exciting initiatives. It is important to remember that there is still a lot of exciting things to look forward to and so much art and theatre still to create! 


 

New Year, Same Us

It is officially a new year AND a new decade! Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!

2019 has come and gone which means the second half of our 19/20 season is underway. We are so excited to tell you a little bit about what we have in store for all of you in the upcoming months…


IMG_5259International Women’s Week 2020 Cabaret of Monologues: Changes

Have you heard? Our annual Cabaret of Monologues is happening from March 2-8, 2020! We have been doing our best to update you on our performers and playwrights, if you’ve missed any of our past blogs, you can meet some of this year’s artists HERE and HERE.

This year we have monologues but also music, dance, mime, and comedy!

Stay tuned for our tour schedule, but in the meantime, tickets are now available for our public performance on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 4pm and 8pm. Get your tickets HERE!


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As always, we have a ton of workshops in the works for you for 2020. Have you registered for our Movement for Actors Workshop with Ali Robson? This workshop will take place on January 19th, 2020 for $25. If you want more info, click HERE, if you want to register email liz@sarasvati.ca

It doesn’t end there! Coming soon, we will be hosting workshops on the following topics…

Accessibility in Theatre Panel, April 4th, 2020

Diversity Panel, February 16th, 2020

Fringe Production 101, May 16th, 2020

And more!


Jo MacDonald

Jo MacDonald

Reconciliation Through Theatre

We completed our Seven Visions workshops in 2019, now comes the process of creating one big final production! We are so excited to be working with Playwright Jo MacDonald and Director Tracey Nepinak to create our final performance piece for May 2020!

The performance, entitle Songide’ewin (Courage), will take place at The Forks and feature art created by youth during our workshops. We are so excited to share the voices of Winnipeg’s youth and tell a story of reconciliation in a time that gravely needs it.

More on the reconciliation project HERE!


As we move in to the fall of 2020, we will actually be launching our 20th season in Winnipeg!! Yep, we’ve been creating transformative theatre for two decades. This anniversary season will see the transition to a new Artistic Director, new community-building processes, and some of our usual offerings.


School Tour

DSC_0398Every second year we hit the road with an interactive performance, using Forum Theatre principles. It is an amazing way to engage youth in a discussion about how to be active participants in their community. This year’s touring show will be built from the material gathered as part of our Reconciliation Through Theatre project. Stay tuned for full details.


FemFest 2020opening

And of course, 2020 will play host to our 18th annual FemFest! 18 years of transformative feminist theatre AND counting! As always, the festival won’t happen until September, but the work starts now as we begin to read scripts and performance pieces and choose our line-up for the 2020 festival.


Thank you all for making 2019 such a fantastic year, here’s to 2020 and all of the exciting new theatre to come!


 

A Year in Review

What a year it has been! As 2019 comes to a close, we reflect on all the wonderful successes the year brought. Some of which, we will carry on into 2020…


International Women’s Week 2019 Cabaret of Monologues: Here I Am

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It might sound odd to hear about our last Cabaret of Monologues as the 2020 line-up has already been announced, but it’s a year ago already that the last round of monologues were in the works and preparing for the 2019 tour!

We were so grateful and fortunate to take the cabaret to places we had never gone before! Such as the Women’s Resource Centre in Flin Flon and Aurora house in The Pas. We also took every single one of our monologues to The Canadian Museum of Human Rights for an evening. This tour was incredibly rewarding and we can’t wait to do it all again in a few short months!

Interested in this year’s monologues? Public performance tickets are on sale now. Get them HERE!


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Every year, we host a set schedule of fun and educational workshops for the theatre community. In 2019, we were happy to host five workshops.

This included workshops with panelists like Queering Theatre and How to Make a Living in Theatre. Both allowed us to try out a more inclusive approach with professionals talking amongst workshop participants.

Our annual One Night Stand Series also played a role in 2019 as playwrights were able to meet and work together to improve and workshop their craft.

FemFest 2019 hosted some workshops of it’s own! The Launchpad Project was initiated as a pilot project. It allowed a group of emerging artists to work with established professionals to create and perform their own production, To Kill a Lizard, during FemFest 2019. As well, our guest artist, Yvette Nolan hosted a playwriting masterclass, which culminated in Leaping Off the Page! Where playwrights were able to create and share work, then have it read aloud before an audience.

We also loved working with community groups to use theatre techniques in training settings. A big thank you to SEED Winnipeg, Nor’West Youth Hub, St. John’s High School, and the Manitoba Drama Educators Association for welcoming us!

Find upcoming workshop details HERE!


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On top of our regular workshop schedule, we were happy to start our Reconciliation Through Theatre project! Last spring we hosted consultation circles, then a public sharing with the reading of Jo MacDonald’s OUR HOME & native land. This important community-building work then allowed us to appropriately structure arts-based workshops at seven Indigenous youth organizations all in the name of Reconciliation.

The seven organizations were, Children of the Earth High School, Wahbung Abinoonjiiag, Ndinawe, Knowles Centre, Manitoba Youth Centre, Marymound, and Indigenous Leadership Development Institute.

All of the art created and stories shared are in the works to be curated into a final piece, Songide’ewin, which will be performed at The Forks in May, 2020. You can find more on the upcoming performance HERE!


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Of course, that brings us to FemFest 2019. Our annual festival of transformative feminist theatre! 2019 brought a whole new range of performances to FemFest.

For the first time in FemFest history, we were happy to host a visually impaired performer and her guide dog for, Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia. This production was moving and inspiring for audience members. We were even fortunate enough to host 4 visually impaired spectators and their guide dogs! Who wouldn’t love that?

Pop Art made its debut at FemFest 2019 as well. 4inXchange with company xLq was a unique interactive performance involving only 4 audience members and $1000 cash!

Lastly, Like Mother, Like Daughter warmed our hearts as local Winnipeg Indigenous and Newcomer mother/daughter pairs sat down in front of an audience and answered intimate questions.

FemFest has always had a way of bringing people together and celebrating various types of Canadian theatre, but this year it truly excelled!

The process of FemFest 2020 begins now! We can’t wait to show you what we have in store…


So long 2019, you were a good year for theatre! We hope your year was as good to you as it was to us. We wish you all nothing but the best for 2020 and look forward to sharing more transformative theatre with you in the months to come.

See you next year!