Virtual Dating for Playwrights

ONS graphic

We are excited to announce the line-up for our first virtual One Night Stand: A Series of Readings Focused on the Development of New Works! We had a wonderful array of work submitted to us for consideration, so we hope this will be just the start of a revised version of our initiative to support playwrights. Each edition will offer excerpts of new works in early stages of development, read by an ensemble of actors, and tested before an audience. The goal is to focus on the playwright and what would help them get to the next stage with the script they are working on.

Jonathan Mourant photo


On Thursday, June 11th at 7pm we will share ten minute excerpts from 5 plays in progress. It will be hosted by our new One Night Stand coordinator Jonathan Mourant. We are welcoming folks to either join in to provide feedback on Zoom or simply tune in to listen on our Facebook Page.



Learn about our first round of playwrights:

Love Letters for Juliet
by Makrenna Sterdan
conceived by Makrenna Sterdan and Joanne Roberts 

Makrenna Rose Sterdan is a producer and writer. Sterdan has had her work produced in South Korea, Canada, and America. Sterdan also owns and operates Red Lips Productions (RLP), a company that creates theatre and film pieces internationally, both in person and remotely. For more information, go to RLP’s website at or Sterdan’s personal site



The Bridge
by Veralyn Warkentin

Veralyn’s plays have been produced by the Manitoba Association of Playwrights, Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre and Tara Players who commissioned her script about the Irish Famine, Like the Sun, which was then produced in Winnipeg, Milwaukee, Chicago and Limerick; and published in Canadian Mosaic II: 6 Plays. Additional scripts have had staged readings by MAP (Land of Hope); Theatre Projects Manitoba (Criminal Element); and Sarasvati presented Quite an Undertaking, based on the memoir of Canada’s first female mortician, at FemFest 2009. Other scripts have placed 1st (Mary & Martha, 2002) and 2nd (The Death of Polly Anna, 2012) in Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre Playwriting Contests.



Seekers of Atlantis
by Kevan Bowkett

Kevan Kenneth Bowkett’s work has been presented at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival (Time’s Fancy, 2017), at the Carol Shields Festival of New Works by SIR (Time’s Fancy, extended version, 2013), and at Wine and Words 2015 by Theatre by the River (“Bacchus’ Song”). His Fringe-length Time’s Fancy was read in-house by the Knavish Hedgehogs (2016). He wrote his first Shakespeare-esque scene at age 14. Since then he’s been in the Canadian Forces Reserves, washed dishes, planted trees, collided with an open car door while bicycle couriering, done door-to-door sales, weeded gardens, slept in an igloo, worked in a daycare, and run for Parliament.



Strawberries & Cream
by alison mcLean 

alison has a BA (Film & Theatre) from the U of M, and an MFA in Playwriting from UBC. Her plays Chick Night and Bond Night premiered as staged readings at FemFest ’03 and ’04. Her monologue “Hockey Mom” was part of the International Women’s Week Cabaret produced by Sarasvàti Productions in ’11, the same year her scene “Sister Wars” was published in the anthology Generation NeXXt. Her most recent play, Skin Deep, was given a staged reading at FemFest ’14. She attended a Masterclass with Judith Thompson as part of FemFest 2017. alison is also the lead singer for the cover band Nameless + Shameless.



The Planet
by Ty Ballingall

Ty is a queer and gender unbound actor and artist living on Treaty One Territory on the land we call Canada. The Planet is the first play they have ever wrote and are very excited for this opportunity! They are currently living life in Osborne and are just going with the flow, hanging with friends and hugging trees. They practice witchcraft, they like the colour green and are happy to be here.

Keep up to date on our FB Event as we finalize the ensemble cast and other details!

FemFest – Planning for the Unknown

Yes, there will be a FemFest! What that will look like is still a work in progress. Our amazing team is developing multiple contingencies depending on the reality that we may be in come September. We are optimistic that there still may be live events. Perhaps smaller audiences nicely spread out. Maybe it will be a hybrid year with some live and some virtual offerings. Like many other festivals and performing arts organizations we are exploring, experimenting and ready to offer the best programming we can.

FemFest 2020 logoFemFest 2020 will run from September 19 to 26. Our theme this year is Engaging Community. We chose it two years ago as part of long-term planning. Now of course this theme means something very different. Ways to engage have certainly changed, but at the core of our work has been and will always be community. Before the world paused we had lined up three amazing touring shows and a stellar guest artist. We’ll be announcing these acts with our brochure later this month as our ideal for September. It is a mix of work that tackles identity in terms of the struggle to fit in to a community; work that continues to allow us to pursue our commitment to reconciliation; and even some sketch comedy to lighten the mood.

Most exciting is working with guest artist Chantal Bilodeau. She is truly living through the crisis, as a former Canadian now in New York. Whether live in Winnipeg or virtually, we have an array of activities planned with her facilitating on the theme of climate change and the arts.

Chantal Bilodeau photoChantal 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. 

“I really look forward to FemFest! I’m excited to connect with people in Winnipeg and start to imagine together the just and sustainable future we want to create.” – Chantal Bilodeau

Ah, the FemFest ramp up is beginning! This time of year is always fun for us as we welcome the energy and enthusiasm of summer youth positions. Although they won’t be physically in our office quite yet, we are excited that Samantha Desiree – our PA from last year – is returning. Sami runs Beau Theatre Co. and is finishing her degree in theatre at the University of Winnipeg. Stay tuned for news on our Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant summer position. You can expect to hear more from both of them as the journey to the festival continues.

In the meantime, we still have a couple slots in our Producing 101: Virtual Workshop and save the date for our first virtual One Night Stand reading series on June 11th at 7pm.

Long Distance Work

It’s the 7th week that our staff are working remotely! It’s hard to believe, but we have all adjusted to a new normal. Only our Artistic Director is working out of the empty and much too quiet office. This week’s blog is dedicated to the thoughts, discoveries, and advice from our amazing staff.

1. What things do you never want to have to do again post-isolation?


Wren’s home office

Wren Brian, Administrator

  • Stress about keeping 2 meters away from people (hard on sidewalks & in apartment buildings).
  • Resist the urge to pet cute dogs out with their humans.
  • Limit grocery shopping to once every three weeks – it’s a lot to carry (my shoulders are definitely getting stronger though).

Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director

  • Zoom multiple times a day – so many tiny faces on the screen
  • Avoid people, which has led to the most bizarre game of ‘stay away’ in grocery stores
  • Postpone work we love to do!

Fawnda Neckoway, Administrator


Fawnda’s home office

  • Feel like it’s wrong to visit my family, worry about hugging my nieces.
  • Deem taking my son grocery shopping unsafe.
  • Be restricted from places I enjoy going (lockdowns/checkpoints aren’t fun).

Liz Whitbread, Assistant Artistic Director

  • Stand six feet away from my loved ones
  • Clean my oven ‘as a fun treat’ on a Friday night

2. What things do you want to keep doing that you started due to the isolation?


  • Keep more of a routine, particularly some of the treat days I set up to help me keep track of the days of the week (Whiskey Wednesday, Take-Out Friday, Strolling Saturday, etc.)
  • Watch more recordings of theatre productions in other parts of the world (if they are made available still…I hope they are!)
  • Connect with friends in other cities more regularly.


  • Going for long walks – it’s become an end of work day ritual with my partner and we’ve discovered new parts of our neighbourhood
  • Evenings at home – my cats have never been so happy
  • Buying local – we’ve made an effort to order from local restaurants


  • Beading, I put them down for some time but it’s nice to start again.
  • Long drives just because. We explore when we can.
Liz's WFH

Liz’s home office


  • Talking to my friends on the phone! I’ve rediscovered my junior high love of long telephone conversations with loved ones.
  • Journaling every day

3. What are three things you can’t wait to do again post-isolation?


  • Go visit Whitehorse, Yukon, my hometown.
  • Going for a drink and some food with a group of people (particularly the theatre units!).
  • Plan my life. Well, more just plan more than a month into the future with a bit more certainty.


  • Teach in person
  • Meet in person
  • Go to live theatre


  • Go to the gym!
  • Have a big BBQ somewhere.
  • Let my son play freely with his friends in our backyard


  • Hug my friends!
  • Go dancing!
  • Hold hands!

4. Anything you want to share in terms of tips or lessons learned from working at home.

If you can, have a work station, one area of your home where you only do work. And when you’re done for the day, try to create a separation (personally I put a light blanket over the turned off computer & hide my lists & notebooks under there too).
If you’re feeling stressed by the situation, find a comforting quote or two that keeps you grounded in the moment and have them near your workspace to refer to (taped to your desk or computer, even the wall). I used to work contracts and often found myself unemployed for a few weeks or months with nothing lined up, so once I made a collage featuring a quote I really like, it’s in a frame on my desk now.

As mentioned above, I’ve enjoyed and found it helpful to label days with treats (food, drink, fun activity, etc.) for yourself to keep track of days of the week.

Sarasvati office

Empty Sarasvati office

Routine, boundaries, get away from the computer at the end of the work day! I’m lucky as I was able to keep working in the office, but the pitfall was the temptation to work much longer hours and sit at the computer for way too long. I felt it in my back and eyes!

Music helps 🙂

For me, creating a morning routine has been essential:
Changing out of pyjamas (even if it’s just into a slightly more structured pair of pyjamas); getting outdoors first thing in the morning – usually just for a stroll around the block while my coffee is brewing; trying not to look at my phone for a good half hour after waking up to ease myself into the day; starting work around the same time each day. It’s helped me retain a sense of structure and given me something to focus on.

We hope you are all managing and staying healthy. We look forward to all being together again when it is safe. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at

Producing – From Home

As our staff work remotely to produce our programming from their homes, it seems like the ideal time to explore how to share knowledge with others in their homes! Thus far we’ve had a virtual roundtable, we’ve moved forward with the script for Songide’ewin by hosting an on-line reading, our staff have done virtual tutorials, and there is a lot more to come. Although we can’t wait to be together again, our team is learning new platforms that can help us meet our goals of greater accessibility and inclusion – even when the theatres open again.

Before we get ahead of ourselves though – we are excited to announce our next virtual workshop! Have you ever wondered how to produce your own theatre? Where to start? What steps to take? Producing 101 will happen online from the comfort of your own home. On Saturday, May 30th from 1pm-3pm. Unlike a panel, this will be a skill-development session and as a result will only be open to a limited number of participants.

Coming up with a script or show idea is half the work, but once you have that, what then? If you’re thinking of self-producing this workshop is for you! It will provide a helpful breakdown of the fundamentals required to take your vision to the stage. Through this virtual training experience industry professionals will provide participants with an overview of producing their own theatrical performance from A-Z. Topics for discussion include budgeting, scheduling, production tech planning, plus marketing and communications. Our goal is to equip artists with helpful knowledge in preparation for future self-producing, as well as creating an opportunity for discussion between artists in our local community.

We know money is tight right now so the cost is up to participants. You decide! Artists can choose their registration fee – $20, $15, $10, $5 or free depending on what you can afford. We believe in paying artists, so monies earned from registration will be used to pay facilitators and to continue similar programming.

E-mail now to register or stay tuned for details on the co-facilitators and hope there is still space left.

We are so grateful to be able to bring art and knowledge to the arts community during these difficult times. If self-producing isn’t your thing we have lots of other opportunities coming up!

Don’t forget, for female and non-binary emerging artists, our Launchpad Project is still accepting applications HERE until tomorrow (May 1st). For both emerging and established playwrights, our One Night Stand reading series is also taking submissions HERE until May 8!

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! 


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! 


Postponed, Cancelled, Thriving

It is with a heavy heart that we recently announced the postponement of our May 2020 performance of Songide’ewin, the culmination of our Reconciliation Through Theatre Project at the Forks. We have been holding on with great hope and optimism. We have amazing stories compiled from over 70 Indigenous youth. We have an incredible artistic team and community partners all lined up. We would like to say we are making this choice, however it ultimately was out of our hands as permits and regulations were no longer allowing gatherings in to May and June. We do believe it is the safest decision and what is best for all involved.


On April 1st we had a wonderful reading of the draft script under the guidance of our director Tracey Nepinak and with actors Sara Demers, Katie German, Braiden Houle, Jessica McGlynn, Akalu Meekis and Josh Ranville. Incredible designs are underway thanks to Production Designer Louis Ogemah and we have such beautiful art ready to share from so many talented youth.

91609969_10158340738552533_7649438720994574336_nWe are 100% committed to seeing the show through, but at this time cannot provide new dates as we are working with our venue to sort out what is realistic and feasible. We will continue to share all the inspiring work happening in the interim and cannot wait to celebrate when the time is ready! We are grateful for how the community is rallying at this time, thankful for all those working so hard to provide essential services, and for all our supporters, funders, partners for their belief in our work.

These are truly uncertain times we’re in! The arts are taking a hit as performances, workshops, festivals and more are being cancelled or postponed on the daily. In times like these, we understand it’s a challenge to remain positive. But, not all hope is lost. In fact, it is more alive than ever! There are still plenty of resources on creative ways to keep your mind and the arts active. Here are just some examples:

Watch theatre at home!

Free virtual acting classes!

Art from a distance!

Our friends at I Like Hue created a documentary following the process of our reconciliation through theatre project. The documentary outlines the Seven Visions art workshops at our partner youth organizations, eventually resulting in our final production Songide’ewin. You can watch the video HERE on our Facebook with closed captioning or HERE on our Youtube account! [Poster] Sarasvati - 7 Circles

Songide’ewin may be postponed, but the conversation on reconciliation is not. We want to continue to support our artists and collaborators anyway that we can, which is why we will be introducing “Songide’ewin Sunday”! Every Sunday, starting next week, we will be featuring a Songide’ewin artist on our social media platforms. You can keep up with Songide’ewin Sunday on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned for updates on Songide’ewin once more information is available to us. We hope you are all remaining in good health and high spirits!



Accessibility Online

Lots of companies are offering free virtual workshops, discussions and play readings. We were so grateful to host the accessibility panel discussion, “Accessibility On Stage and Off” on Saturday, April 4th along with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre.

91937880_10158356493302533_3700888570668515328_nWe hosted the discussion online so panellists and workshop participants could participate from the comfort of their own home! We were even able to broadcast the discussion to or Facebook livestream so folks could choose to just watch and observe. It was nice just to do something beyond the usual quarantine routine and to have an important and valuable conversation pertaining to accessibility in the theatre industry. We were even able to have ASL interpretation for the Deaf.


Joanna Hawkins

Some of the points and ideas brought up included a calendar of events specifically for accessible performances and productions, suggested by Joanna Hawkins, a local Deaf performer. She also brought up the idea of using ASL videos to announce local events, in order to appeal more to the Deaf community. Joanna also shared insights on the importance of communication, “communication is something we all do, we are human beings!” One of the other disability advocates, Hannah Foulger, also mentioned the importance of communication, “the more we talk about what some venues are already doing, the more the other venues will listen and change.” As did our Sick + Twisted Theatre host and moderator, Debbie Patterson, “it’s all about connections and communication. We observe, we pay attention, it’s a network it’s not any one person!” While our other partner Jenel Shaw from Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba expressed the importance of venues and organizations understanding the need for accessible spaces, “if more organizations saw accessibility not as a burden or expensive but as an opportunity to grow, it would really benefit everyone. More than a quarter of the Canadian population has a disability.”

Panellists Hailley Rhoda and Hannah Foulger also discussed the importance of hiring


Hailley Rhoda

disabled performers. “Seeing people with disabilities on stage reminds me I am worthwhile, my life is worthwhile and we have important things to say,” Hannah Foulger. “The difference between knowing you’re allowed in a space and knowing you’re welcome in a space, is a huge difference,” Hailley Rhoda.

This discussion was incredible informative and beneficial in many ways. We want to thank the panelists, the participants and everyone who tuned in! We are grateful to be able to keep conversations like these going and we hope to have many more! It is also important to move it beyond talk and walk the walk. Here are some amazing resources:

Stay tuned for more updates on our season. We hope you all are happy and healthy!


Accessibility On Stage and Off

The world is changing but the arts continue to stay alive. Everything has moved to the virtual world as folks social distance and work on flattening the curve. We want to do our part, but we also want to keep the arts alive! That’s why this Saturday, April 4th at 12pm, we will be hosting a discussion on Accessibility On Stage and Off with guest panelists and disability advocates via Zoom! More is being done to address accessibility in theatre and the arts in Winnipeg, but is it enough? How accessible are performances for audiences? How exclusionary are the spaces and processes we use in making theatre? Why is the inclusion of artists with disabilities essential to the continued development of the art form? Join Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, Sarasvàti Productions and Sick + Twisted Theatre for a frank discussion with guest artists and Disability advocates.zoom-how-use-online-classes

Zoom is an online video chat platform. Participants can choose to join in the discussion and be seen and heard from the comfort of their own homes; or watch without any pressure to join in! The choice is yours. Debbie Patterson of Sick + Twisted Theatre will be moderating. Jenel Shaw representing our other partner, Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, will be part of the panel will . Along with Debbie and Jenel, we have a selection of disability advocates who will be sharing their insights.

joannaHailing from Poland, a University of Manitoba Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, Joanna Hawkins has always felt a strong connection to the arts. She is a skilled artist (drawing & painting), graphic designer and photographer but her real dream had always been with acting. Joanna has performed as a lead in a children’s show for young deaf children and has been involved in several films in Manitoba as a featured extra as well as two television commercials. Joanna has been professionally trained in mime, physical comedy and storytelling by the award winning Hot Thespian Action’s Shannon Guile. Recently Joanna performed as Mrs. Peachum in Sick + Twisted/AA Battery production’s “The Threepenny Opera”. Joanna’s aim is not only to entertain audiences with her incredibly crisp and clean physical illusions but to reach-out with the beauty of Deaf Culture and build bridges between the hearing and Deaf worlds. Joanna continues enjoying working in theatre/film industry as an actor, ASL translator and ASL coach.

Hailley Rhoda is a theatre artist focused on storytelling, puppeteering and reimagining _MG_0615traditional myths. She has a fringe company, Chronically Ch(ill) Productions, entering its third year of existence. She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film department. Hailley has two invisible illnesses, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Classic) and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Quasi the tripod cat will likely be appearing in this live stream. She has yet to develop artistic passions, and mostly enjoys biting Hailley and chasing the laser pointer.

Hannah Foulger is a British Canadian theatre artist and writer from Cambridge, Ontario on the Haldimand Tract of Treaty 3 territory. She studied Theatre and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg, and is a winner of the Bertsinger award. Her theatre projects have appeared at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the PTE Festival of New Works and Sick + Twisted Theatre’s Lame Is… Cabaret. Her creative writing has been featured in Prairie Fire Magazine, Matrix Magazine, Juice and the Disability Voices Anthology from Rebel Mountain Press. She lives in Winnipeg on Treaty One territory with a brain injury and epilepsy.

Also joining the panel is Diane Driedger, Ph.D. Diane Driedger is Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. She is a visual artist, poet and disability activist.

To join the panel, email to get the link! All you will need is a computer or cellphone so you can access the Zoom app or website and the meeting code. If you wish to interact live with the panelists you will also need a camera and microphone. If you can’t do a Zoom and prefer to just watch, you can also tune in via Facebook livestream. We hope to see you virtually on April 4th from 12pm-2pm!


World Theatre Day at Home

“Together, let’s transform the stage into a world of echoes, a world where laughter, pain, brutality, gentleness and complexity can all spring forth.” – Geneviève Pelletier, World Theatre Day Canadian Message

This year, we celebrate World Theatre Day from the comfort of our own homes. In these uncertain times it’s important to keep the arts alive, and to continue to live and fully experience every single day. We may no longer be able to gather in groups, but we can keep the spirit of Canadian theatre alive online!

26167280_1114217765381168_994219125870190171_nWorld Theatre Day was brought to life in 1961 by International Theatre Institute and occurs every year on March 27th by theatre communities around the world. This day is meant to celebrate the power of theatre as a bridge for international understanding and peace. Every year, this day brings together theatre lovers from around the globe to celebrate and appreciate the art.

pelletier-genevieve-04-1Manitoba’s very own Geneviève Pelletier, is the author of this year’s Canadian message. Geneviève is an Actor, Director and Artistic and Executive Director of Winnipeg’s Cercle Molière Theatre. You can check out the full message in French or English on Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s website [] For more inspiration, this year’s international message is by Pakistan’s leading Playwright Shahid Nadeem []. “In South Asia, the artists touch with reverence the floor of the stage before stepping onto it, an ancient tradition when the spiritual and the cultural were intertwined. It is time to regain that symbiotic relationship between the artist and the audience, the past and the future.”

The Playwrights Guild of Canada is offering a “Play Reading Relay” to celebrate the day, x6lSUUM8_400x400“The show must go on…line.” 29 different playwrights will livestream 10-minute readings from their plays over the course of 7 hours! Running from 10am-5pm Central time. You can find the line-up of plays by clicking HERE and find the Zoom link by clicking HERE! This is an amazing way to bring folks together to celebrate theatre and a creative way to spend a good chunk of the day at home!

There are many other ways you can celebrate World Theatre Day this year. Read a play, write down future ideas, join in a livestream, watch a production online or simply discuss the world of theatre today with a friend. These are all amazing ways you can celebrate the day from home. You can read more about World Theatre Day and how you can celebrate on the World Theatre Day website, HERE.

pngguru.comIt’s important to keep our spirits lifted and theatre in motion. We hope you are all staying safe and healthy and wish everyone a Happy World Theatre Day! Don’t forget if you’re looking for more discussion on accessibility in theatre, we are hosting an online webinar/discussion through Zoom on accessibility on April 4th! Join in the conversation or simply watch and listen. Email to register and for full details.


Keeping the Arts Alive

In light of recent events surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we find ourselves with a myriad of questions and dilemmas. The arts industry has taken a huge hit and will continue to be effected during this time of social distancing. There are plenty of things you can do in order to help support local companies taking a hit.

The virus outbreak affects us all. Specifically in the theatre community, most companies in Canada have had to either reschedule, postpone or cancel productions for an unforeseen amount of time. This is a huge issue as it forces people out of work, from the performers on stage to the crew behind the scenes. So the question is, what can we do? How do we help? Some ways you can help the industry to stay afloat is through donations. For example, if you purchased tickets for a cancelled production, consider donating the refunded money back to the theatre. In need of childcare or freelance work? Consider hiring an arts industry worker for the time being. This will not only give them work, but assists with your own needs.

COVID-19 (Corona Virus)If you are an artist put out of work, consider reaching out to folks who may be in need of childcare during the school and daycare closures. Take this time to reflect on past work and create new work! Lots of arts companies have created online systems to host virtual workshops, book clubs, classes and more to keep you busy, occupied and creative. Some examples can be found HERE and HERE. Keeping up a routine is most important in not letting isolation get the best of you during this time of stress.

Spread kindness, understanding and positivity. In the face of a pandemic, anxieties and panic can be high. It is crucial to stay calm and do what you need to do in order to keep yourself and those around you positive and safe. Be sure to do your research and know the facts of the virus and how it has affected your area. Follow health regulatory body directives. Wash your hands regularly, avoid unnecessary social interaction and mass gatherings, strive for a balanced approach and if you are feeling ill seek medical attention and avoid contact with others. Find creative ways to fill any void knowing that we will soon come together again to connect through the arts.

Songide'ewin(3)At this time, we have not cancelled or postponed our May 2020 performance of Songide’ewin. It is a huge initiative and we will wait to see how all the amazing action to flatten the curve pans out, then make an informed decision when and if it becomes necessary. In the meantime, you can support the work by purchasing tickets for the performance at The Forks. You can read more about the project through our website HERE! If you’re interested in group bookings, please call (204) 586-2236 or email us at

As for our Accessibility On Stage and Off, our roundtable discussion with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre on April 4th, we are currently exploring ways to bring the discussion to you virtually! Stay tuned for updates and developments coming soon. Then tune in and join in the discussion.


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