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.


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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!


 

Until Next Year, FemFest

It takes a village… to run a festival! We would like to extend a huge “Thank You” to everyone who helped make FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage possible! To our performers, playwrights, facilitators, directors, stage managers, choreographers, volunteers, donors and spectators, FemFest would not have been possible without all of you.

If you made it out to FemFest 2019 as a spectator this year, thank you! We hope you enjoyed this year’s programming of unique and progressive theatre. If you weren’t able to make it out, no worries! There’s always next year and all of the years to come.

This year 110artists and production folks made the festival happen. Add to that 39 volunteers working on site. We sold out our Bake-Off, sold out our first Like Mother, Like Daughter showing, and broke a record with our raffle! Over 1,200 people came out and with intimate shows that could only seat 4 people that’s pretty impressive. We packed 46 scheduled events in to 8 days and we certainly needed time to recover after.

From the eventful opening cabaret to the closing reception, we have compiled photos from this year’s festival for your viewing pleasure! Take a look…

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We also want to hear what your highlights were this year and what you would like to see more of in the future – send us an e-mail, tag us in social media, or heck even feel free to give us a call!

As the age old saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.” With FemFest 2019 closed, we now start looking into the future and ask artists from across Canada to submit for FemFest 2020! Submissions are open until the end of November, giving us plenty of time to review your hard work and make decisions for next year’s festival. See the call for scripts and proposals below…

FemFest 2020: Engaging Community- Celebrating Winnipeg’s 18th Festival of Life-Changing Theatre for Everyone

We are currently seeking submissions of scripts for production, short performance pieces for various showcases and expressions of interest from artists with unique ideas for engaging community. Our focus this year will be on productions and processes that build bridges with new artists or partners. All submissions must be from Canadian women. We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome pieces created by all who fit under either of these categories/identifiers. Technical and set requirements must be minimal due to the festival setting. A reading committee will assess submissions in order to program a balanced festival.

For more information on how to submit, visit our website HERE!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date on the rest of the season, including our Art of Reconciliation Fundraiser coming up in just two and a half weeks- Tickets available HERE.

From all of us at Sarasvàti Productions, thank you again for such a successful 17th annual FemFest. We can’t wait to see you next year!

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!

Everyone and Their Mother

Local Winnipeg mother/daughter pairs will play part in FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage! Like Mother, Like Daughter is coming to FemFest this year as one of our touring shows, with Why Not Theatre and Complicité Creative Learning. However all the mother and daughter participants are local.  Like Mother, Like Daughter takes real life mothers and daughters and through workshops, coffee dates and baking, build a production while still maintaining the improvised and authentic conversation on stage. This year, we have gathered indigenous and immigrant Winnipeg mother/daughter pairs for the production!

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Not only will you have the opportunity to sit in on a genuine and real conversation between the mother and daughter pairs, but each performance will be followed by a sit down dinner where audience members will have the chance to dine with the participants and continue conversation. A big shout out to Diversity Food Services for the yummy food that will be provided.


Now a brief introduction to the Mothers and Daughters…

Shirine Ali & Sabrina Bahadoosingh

Sabrina grew up in Winnipeg. She worked with (ISSA) Islamic Social Services Association as Operations Manager and managed several programs for newcomers and refugees. Shirine migrated to Winnipeg, Canada from Trinidad in the Caribbean in the mid- seventies. Shirine became a Family Therapist and has worked in the field for over twenty-five years.

Rubina Atif & Saleha Komal

Rubina Atif is from Pakistan and has been living in Canada for the last seven years with her 3 children while her husband was serving in the Pakistani Air Force. Saleha and Rubina love nature, Winnipeg’s prairie skies and the sunsets that come with it.

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the weekday you can find Dina working away at Pollard Banknote and Nadine on the 4th floor of the science library at the University of Manitoba. After a long day, the two are brought together by a big bag of dill pickle popcorn ready to catch up on the latest episode of Jane the Virgin.

Mary Alice Smith & Danielle Morrison

‘Niiobinessiik’ Danielle Morrison and ‘Waasegiizhigok’ Mary Alice Smith have been mother and daughter for 33 years, mostly spent in Treaty 3 territory. Danielle is Mary Alice’s youngest, and almost like an only child even though she has 8 siblings.

Hazel Perrie & Victoria Perrie

Hazel and Victoria Perrie are Manitoba grown Metis/Swampy Cree/Icelandic/English women. They have primarily resided on Treaty 1 Territory and are from the Wolf Clan. They come from a long line of very strong matriarchs, with lineage back to the arrival of the colonizers.

6BbVwwlA.jpegSybil Ramprashad & Shereen Ramprashad

I am a Colonial child born in 1943 in British Guyana. I came to Canada in 1965 to London Ontario, two London’s were never so different. My career has been mostly in the Fashion Industry working for some Canada’s Leading Clothing Companies. Miss Shereen, a dyslexic, self-taught Canadian writer based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her writings are a lively blend of performance, wit, intelligent metaphor with under currents of subtext and observation.

April Seenie & Sienna Seenie

April Seenie is Anishnaabe (Ojibway), a mother, nursing student, and actor from Roseau River Anishnaabe Nation, raised in Winnipeg. Currently, she works for the St. Amant Centre and the First Nation Health & Social Secretariat of Manitoba, while he continues within the nursing program at Red River College. Sienna Henderson-Seenie is an Anishnaabe/Cree student, actor and dancer. She will be entering grade 11 and aspires to become a veterinarian.

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We’re a trio with a Fommy and a pair of Irish twins. We are dramatic, multilingual and full of spicy Pakistani and Trinidadian flavours. Our family is definitely a unique one with our stories of adventures on the trains, subways and planes. We embrace all weird qualities and appropriate them for our unique individual selves.

Lucy Kaikai & Marvel Yeboah-Appiah

L: I came to Canada 15 years ago, a few months pregnant with my daughter. I was excited to be reunited with family in Canada, after living on a refugee camp, in Ghana, for almost seven years. M: I’m very thankful for my mother because she has done the best for me all my life. Who knew I would play over five instruments, work as a missionary or learn another language.

For the mother/daughter full bios, visit the show page HERE.

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Like Mother, Like Daughter has 5 shows during FemFest…

September 19th 6:30pm
September 20th 2:00pm
September 20th 6:30pm
September 21st 2:00pm
September 21st 6:30pm

The mothers and daughters have already met over a potluck meal and to bake bannock together. Rehearsals are continuing and we can not wait for you to see some authentic theatre with our own local participants!

To buy tickets visit our website HERE or call (204) 586-2236 to reserve!

FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage starts in only 2 days!

The Count Down to FemFest 2019

The count down to FemFest is on and we want to share some tips and tricks on how to prepare for the festival! In this blog, we will cover everything that is FemFest2019, from performances and tickets to venue and parking. We want to make sure that FemFest 2019 is a fun, informative, moving and safe experience for all performers and attendees.

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DON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!
First thing’s first, productions. Have you taken a visit to our website yet and scheduled which performances you plan on attending? We understand that you’re busy, this is why we offer a variety of matinee and evening performances both on weekdays and weekends throughout the FemFest week. It’s important to take a look at the SCHEDULE in advance, so you can plan accordingly and make sure you can attend the performances that interest you most! Purchase or reserve your tickets in advance to ensure the time you have selected will not sell out. A spotlight production on booking in advance is 4inXchange. An interactive performance that allows only 4 audience members per performance, so booking in advance is crucial! You can find more information on 4inXchange, HERE.

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GETTING THERE
Another topic we want to discuss is transportation. Luckily, there are plenty of bus routes surrounding the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. If you’re a driver, parking Downtown can be stressful. Street parking is offered for $2.50 an hour, or free after 5:30PM on weekdays, on Saturdays you are given two complimentary hours and Sundays are completely free! If you would prefer to park your car in a lot, the University has plenty of parking lots surrounding and within walking distance. You can find a map to these parking lots on our website, HERE.

ACCESSIBILITY
Did you know that FemFest also offers ASL Interpretation for most of our shows? Baby Box, The Launchpad, Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia and Like Mother, Like Daughter each offer one ASL Interpreted performance per show! The dates of these shows are as follows:

Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia: September 15th 2:00pm
Launchpad
: September 17th 8:30pm
Baby Box: September 18th 8:30pm
Like Mother, Like Daughter: September 19th 6:30pm

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Join the cast of Baby Box following their performance on September 20th for a live discussion on the themes of the play. Share your own thoughts, opinions and interpretations. As well, a special panel talk-back will be offered following the Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia performance on September 15th, with community members working in the community to make the world a little more accessible for all.

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INCLUSIVE
Our main venue, The Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, is accessible with gender-neutral restrooms. We want to make sure that anyone and everyone can enjoy the festival in a safe and welcoming environment!

Click HERE for an informative video covering all things FemFest and Downtown Winnipeg!

For updates on Sarasvàti and FemFest, be sure to check out our website HERE and follow our social media accounts on TWITTER, FACEBOOK and on Instagram at @sarasvati_wpg. See you in 9 days!

Launch in T-Minus 17 Days

The date is September 19th, 2019. Allergies are at a record high. In what is claimed to be an anti-allergy program, the government begins restricting access to EpiPens. In doing so, it exposes an entirely new species to the world’s stage.

This synopsis covers the production of To Kill a Lizard, a one-of-a-kind piece of theatre created by some of Winnipeg’s up-and-coming actors, directors and writers. This hour long devised production was created from scratch by our amazing Launchpad team; the new generation of Winnipeg theatre! The production is the result of intensive workshops, mentorships with professional artists, and collaboration amongst a selected group representing the future of FemFest.


Here is a little bit about The Launchpad. First up the Coordinators/Facilitators and Stage Managers of the team …

Victoria Emilie Hill (Coordinator/Facilitator)

Victoria Emilie Hill is a creator, mover, and actor based in Winnipeg. 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 also a founding member of The Patriarchy, a two-woman acapella band that sings songs and tells stories that challenge the status quo through a comedic and playful lens. Victoria is an avid student of life, and loves adventures in new things which have included roller derby, making jewelry, sky diving, knitting, white water rafting, and trying to keep her plants alive. She enjoys collaborating with new artists, and is so very honoured to be a part of the Launchpad Project with this amazing team of humans.

Lindsay Johnson (Coordinator/Facilitator)

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. (Sarasvati Productions) Richard III (Shakespeare in the Ruins), and Vinegar Tom (University of Winnipeg). Some of Lindsay’s acting credits include Palm House (+friendsprojects), Channel Zero: Dream Door and No End House (Universal Cable Productions), A Christmas Carol (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Passion (Red Hen Collective), Shattered (Sarasvati Productions), The Time In-Between, The Writing on the Stall (Fill The (W)hole Theatre), Quickies with Chekhov (This Reality Theatre Co.).

Ridge Romanishen (Stage Manager)

Ridge is thrilled to be working with Sarasvàti Productions on Launchpad for FemFest 2019. As a previous audience member of past FemFest shows, Ridge is excited to be a part of the ground-breaking work the festival puts on. His previous credits include Time and the Conways (U of W, Assistant Stage Manager), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Arcadia (U of W, Stage Manager). Most recently he worked on Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold Productions, Apprentice Stage Manager) and Growing Op (Winnipeg Fringe 2019, Stage Manager). A big thanks to Sarasvàti Productions for this opportunity!

Bennette Villones (Assistant Stage Manager) 

Bennette Villones is currently studying theatre and film at The University of Winnipeg. She has worked with Sarasvati Productions in the past before on a high school touring show, Home 2.0 as the understudy. Now she has an opportunity to be an assistant stage manager for The Launchpad project. Recently, she was also part of Twelfth Night, a Shakespearean play with Indifferently Reformed for Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival 2019. She found it a fun and challenging experience and she hopes to use theatre as a way to inspire, tell stories and spread awareness


Now, The Launchpad Team…

Karam Daoud (Performer/Creator)

Karam Daoud is a Moroccan-Canadian actress who moved from Morocco to Canada over Karam Daoud - Headshot6 years ago. She has played numerous roles, from army generals to teenage stalkers. More recently, she was a part of her first feature film in 2019 coming out soon to Canadian festivals. Fluent in English, French and Arabic, she loves to sing and she spends her free time painting, reading, writing or playing the violin or the piano. Karam has always been a fervent theatre lover, and has been a part of multiple productions in Winnipeg. She also happens to be a big fan of World of Warcraft when she is not filling her spare time with her mechanical engineering job.

Anika Dowsett (Performer/Creator)

Anika Dowsett is a queer theatre artist and drag performer located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  In face she goes by Petty Davis and performs a neurotic and hyper-idealized house wife femininity.  They’ve studied playwriting, theatre, and film at the University of Winnipeg but their heart will always be at Manitoba Theatre for Young People where they took their first classes.  From Club 200 to the Asper Theatre Centre to the Local library where she always has at least two holds, Anika Dowsett is committed to making the world a queerer and artier place.

Sarah Flynn (Performer/Creator)

SARAH FLYNN - HeadshotSarah Flynn recently finished her BaH in performance with a specialization in Devised Theatre and a minor in Classics at the University of Winnipeg. She toured the Interlake with TPM’s Interlake Chautauqua, studies Clown on Manitoulin Island and with the Village Conservatory for Music Theatre. Sarah co-founded Naked Theatre Productions in 2014 and has produced and performed in 7 shows since then. Sarah enjoys breathing fresh forest air, lighting things on fire and playing with her food.
Recent credits: Pippin (ViC/WST), Little Dead Lady (NTP), Mary’s Wedding (TPM), Luna’s Suitcase (WPG Fringe)

Sara Groleau (Performer/Creator)

Sara Groleau is a 28-year old Winnipeg actor and proud to be a part of Sarasvàti Productions’ Launchpad Project! Her first theatrical role was in a play produced by The Manitoba Association of Playwrights in 2018. Since 2018, she has been in several short films. In May 2019, she appeared as Daisy in Student Body produced by Beau Theatre Co.; she also appeared as June in Farrago, produced by Dark Horse Theatre, during the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and Gimli Summer Theatre Festival. Sara is looking forward to FemFest 2019!

A.J. Hotomani (Performer/Creator)

I always had an interest in the arts but, it was during my high school years, when I fell in love with film. I took every course related to it, and that included the theatre technician courses. After high school, I applied to the University of Winnipeg with an interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking, and this is how I was introduced to Theatre Performance. I took an intro course in my first year and was gifted the opportunity to work with Sarasvàti Productions. Now here I am, entering my second year of University exploring a newly found interest, in acting.

Jonathan Mourant (Performer/Creator)

Jonathan Mourant is a non-binary, multidisciplinary artist and also a robot learning how to be human. They first began improvising at 14, travelling across Canada to perform in festivals and train with professionals from Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver and more. As an independent performer and producer, Jonathan has worked with local companies Common Crow Improv, Family Dinner, and Unexpected Results, which they formed in 2015. They are also an emerging playwright, and this year produced their play Here Together at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Jonathan is thrilled to be a part of this incredible team of emerging artists!

Andi Lea (Leaf) Pankratz (Performer/Creator) Headshot

Andi Lea (Leaf) Pankratz is an emerging non binary performer and creator currently training in aerial arts with the eventual goal of running away with the circus. They are entering into their second year of theatre at the University of Winnipeg. They took this past year to complete their Deaf Studies Certificate with the goal of participating in and contributing to theatre accessible to the Deaf community. They started performing at the age of eight, being lucky enough to have parents who enabled them, and never stopped.

Makrenna Rose Sterdan (Performer/Creator)

Makrenna Rose Sterdan is a director and playwright born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. After graduating from the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film department in 2014, she moved to South Korea to teach kindergarten and work on the expat theatre scene. She has directed plays and films in Canada and South Korea, and runs the theatre/film production company Red Lips Productions. She has participated previously with Sarasvàti Productions as a playwright, writing Doing It for the Fame and Who’s Driving? for the 2016 and 2019 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues.

Emma Welham HeadshotEmma Welham (Performer/Creator)

Emma is an emerging artist who is about to enter her final year in the University of Winnipeg’s Honours Acting Program. Since beginning her journey in theatre she has been lucky to be a part of many amazing shows, most notably House at Pooh Corner with MTYP and School of Rock the Musical with Winnipeg Studio Theatre. Emma is also a member of La Troupe Jeunesse; a French Canadian Gigue group that performs locally and international at various festival and events. She is very excited to be a part of this project and to be working with so many wonderful people!


The Launchpad Project will be presenting their work as part of FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage, with 3 shows. Sunday, September 15th at 4:00PM, Tuesday, September 17th at 8:30PM and Wednesday, September 18th at 6:30PM. Support local emerging artists by purchasing your tickets for the show, HERE!