Are You Ready for the Power of SYTYCA 2015?

The stars, the judges, the wine, the raffles, the nerves! It’s all coming together. So You Think You Can Act 2015 is less than a week away (6 days and 7 hours to be exact, but who’s counting…). Most of the celebrities have all had their two hour rehearsals with director Cairn Moore and have met their scenes partners. All that’s left for them to do is bite their nails and practice at home.

It can be very frightening to step out onstage with little acting experience, which is why Kelly Linehan got smart and asked for some advice! But she didn’t want advice from her co-worker, last year’s CTV participant Kris Laudien – she wanted advice from the winners.

SYTYCA 2014 winners Troy Westwood & Big Daddy Tazz

SYTYCA 2014 winners Troy Westwood & Big Daddy Tazz

Big Daddy Tazz, who knows a lot about hair, suggested that the key to success was getting “your hair done professionally.” Meanwhile Ace Burpee offered reassurance. SYTYCA actor Lorraine James looped in with the best advice yet, passion is key and go big or go home! Troy Westwood also piped in to support fellow Bomber Chris Cvetkovic and told him to “just let go brother! No inhibition!”

While the celebs have been getting support from SYTYCA alumni, here at the office we’ve been desperately searching for a Superman costume and wrapping raffle prizes. Lots of raffle prizes. Twelve raffle prizes. Here are a select few of them:

“The Power Play” Package: 2 tickets to Royal MTC’s The Woman in Black, Royal MTC’s 50th Anniversary Book, Winnipeg On Board Game, Leo Mol Card Set

“Training Day” Package: Goodlife Fitness for Women Gift Set, 10 Class passes from Moksha Yoga, Nails by Donna gift certificate, fused glass earrings & necklace set from Diane Longfield, Turquoise Handbag, Leo Mol Print

Raffle Prizes“Attitude is Everything” Package: 2 tickets to WJT’s Bad Jews, Winnipeg Squash Club apparel, 4 “All U Can Bowl” passes from Academy Lanes, $10 gift certificate to Shawarma Khan, 1 Gold Car Wash from The Chamois Car Wash

“Beginner’s Luck” Package: Free month of “Acting Essentials” classes from Actors Training Centre of Manitoba, 2 tickets to any show at Celebrations Dinner Theatre, Movie Village coupon book

And that’s only four of them! To see all of them make sure you come out to the Gas Station Arts Centre on February 18th! Plus a reception follows the show with wine from AD Beverages, Bothwell Cheese and Jonnies Sticky Buns. Buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment by clicking here or phoning 204-586-2236.

Raffle licence (#MGCC5542)

A big thank you to all donors: Academy Lanes, The Actors’ Training Centre, anARCHI Design, Assiniboine Park, Celebrations Dinner Theatre, The Chamois Carwash, C’est ta Vie Jewelry (formerly Leather and Lace), The Children’s Museum, Coteau Books, Cover to Cover, Andrea Geary, Girl Candy Shop, Goodlife Fitness for Women, Val Goodridge, Hollie’s Cakes, Corey Lakusiak, Landmark Theatres, Bill Lobchuk, Diane Longfield, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, Patrick McCauley, Moksha Yoga, Movie Village, Nails by Donna, Oak Hammock March, Radiance Gifts, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shawarma Khan, Scirocco Drama, Al Simmons, Tali Sitschkar, The WAG, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, and The Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club.

SYTYCA: Less Then One Week Away!

SYTYCA 2014 promo banner cropped

After months of planning, preparing, and patiently waiting, our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act is finally here! On February 19th, less than a week away, seven local celebrities will rock the stage at the Gas Station Arts Centre but only one will take home the trophy prize. Have you got your tickets yet? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Keep reading for more details on the event, how to purchase tickets, and for details on our amazing raffle prizes!

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For those of you who are not familiar with the event, So You Think You Can Act will feature seven local celebrities, famous for things other than theatre, testing out their acting chops on stage in front of a panel of judges and an audience. Each celebrity will be paired with a local actor to perform a scene and gets one rehearsal with our amazing director Cairn Moore. The night of the event our panel of judges will provide hilarious commentary in the style of many reality-television competition shows. The best part of it all? YOU get to vote for the winner of the trophy prize (and bragging rights of course)!

SYTYCA 2012 _Winner

SYTYCA 2012 Winner Ace Burpee with Scene Partner Jane Burpee

We are thrilled to have some of Winnipeg’s biggest names in this year’s event. Our celebrities include: Alison Gillmor (Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Radio), Jim Ingebrigtsen (radio/tv producer and host), Obby Khan (former Winnipeg Blue Bomber), Eva Kovacs (Global), Kris Laudien (CTV), Big Daddy Tazz (comedian), and Troy Westwood (former Winnipeg Blue Bomber). We are also extremely pleased to have Ace Burpee of Virgin Radio 103.1 as our emcee for the evening. Ace was the inaugural event winner in 2012 and is excited to be back on the stage!

Not only will the evening feature hilarious entertainment but a fantastic line-up of raffle prizes as well! Thanks to the generosity of so many local businesses and organizations, we have collected thousands of dollars in incredible raffle prizes which could be yours. Prizes have been donated by places such as Assiniboine Park Zoo, Aura Hair Salon, Celebrations Dinner Theatre, Children’s Museum, Fort Whyte Alive, FUDE, Goodlife Fitness for Women, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Winnipeg Jets just to name a few (licence MGCC#5542).

The evening will conclude with a complimentary wine reception in the lobby following the winner announcement and raffle prize draw!

SYTYCA Kerri and Cheryl with trophy

SYTYCA 2013 Winner Kerri Salki with Scene Partner Cheryl Gensiorek

So You Think You Can Act is truly a fun fundraising event! All money raised will go directly back to Sarasvàti Productions and support our transformative theatre work. Tickets are $25 dollars and can be purchased online by clicking here. You can also give us a call at (204) 586-2236 and make arrangements to come down to our office and pay with either cash or cheque. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door but we strongly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance in order to avoid disappointment! Box office open at 6:00pm and the show will begin promptly at 7:00pm.

We hope you’ll join us for a fantastic evening filled with plenty of laughter, great prizes, and free food and drink! See you on February 19th at So You Think You  Can Act!

                                                

SYTYCA: Meet the Judges and Emcee!

SYTYCA 2014 promo banner

Who will be this year’s Simon Cowell? Will the emcee be able to keep the judges from taking over the show? Find out at our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act fundraising event on February 19th, 2014! For those who are not familiar with the event, local non-actor celebrities are paired up with actors to perform scenes, our judges comment in a hilarious manner and then YOU get to vote for a winner! Last year Kerri Salki of 102.3 Clear FM took home the trophy prize and the audience was entertained by the carefully chosen scenes and from our celebrities,  the judges and host. Today we are pleased to feature this year’s judges and well known Winnipegger as our emcee! Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for our celebrity bios and to hear more about which scenes they’ll be working on!

Ace Burpee - HeadshotACE BURPEE – Emcee

We are pleased to welcome Ace back. He won the inaugural So You Think You Can Act trophy in 2012. Ace Burpee is from Cooks Creek, Manitoba. He currently works as the host of the Ace Burpee Show with Chrissy Troy on 103.1 Virgin Radio. Prior to that, he played in the NHL. This is not true. At all. Prior acting experience includes being on float with Beethoven the dog in Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure. Ace was cut from the scene prior to release.

Sharon Bajer - HeadshotSHARON BAJER – Judge

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

Ardith Boxall - HeadshotARDITH BOXALL – Judge

A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, Ardith has performed with many professional theatre companies and recently directed Our Country’s Good for the U of W Theatre Department. Selected acting credits include, Three Sisters (zone41/TPM), Shakespeare’s Dog at the Manitoba Theatre Centre/National Arts Centre, Zaidie’s Shoes and The Norbals at Prairie Theatre Exchange, Crave with English Suitcase and The Darling Family by Linda Griffiths. In 2005, Ardith took the reins as Artistic Director of Theatre Projects Manitoba where her directing credits include John and Beatrice, North Main Gothic, Age of Arousal, The Daffodil Man, God’s Country: Tales of Doom from the North End, The Monster Trilogy, Chekhov and Me, Area 51, Hi Diddle Dee Dee, Seeing Red, and Floodgates.

Kevin Klassen- HeadshotKEVIN KLASSEN – Judge

Kevin has been performing, producing, writing, and directing professional theatre in Winnipeg for 18 years now. He is currently working on “The Cherry Orchard” for Theatre By The River/Echo Theatre. He has been a member of Shakespeare in the Ruins for the past 10 years, and currently serves as Artistic Co-Chair. He thinks all competitive artistic events are terrible except this one.

So You Think You Can Act is just over one month away! Tickets are $25 dollars and include a wine reception. There will also be thousands of dollars in raffle prizes and a 50/50 draw! There is no better way to spend your evening on Feburary 19th. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or from our office by calling (204) 586-2236!

Local Celebrities Ham it Up!

Former Bombers, morning show hosts, radio personalities, and a comedian!? We’ve got it all at this year’s 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act fundraising event! Join us on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 as local celebrities are paired up with theatre actors to test our their acting chops in front of a panel of judges – much like your favourite reality television competition shows! The judges will provide insightful feedback, positive reinforcement, and side-splitting commentary. Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better then this, we let the audience take matters into their own hands and let YOU choose the winner! Today, we are pleased to announce our celebrities and judges. We would also like to welcome back the hilarious Ace Burpee to the stage! Ace was the inaugural event winner back in 2012 and will be hosting this year’s event. For a list of complete bios, please click here.

INTRODUCING…

THE EMCEE: Ace Burpee – Host of the Ace Burpee Show with Chrissy Troy on 103.1 Virgin Radio

Ace Burpee - Headshot

THE JUDGES: Sharon Bajer (Actress, Playwright, and Director), Ardith Boxall (Artistic Director of Theatre Projects Manitoba) and Kevin Klassen (Artistic Co-Chair of Shakespeare in the Ruins)

Judges banner 

THE CELEBRITIES:

  • Alison Gillmor – Winnipeg Free Press and CBC radio
  • Jim Ingebrigtsen – TV Producer/Host
  • Obby Khan – Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber
  • Eva Kovacs – Global Morning News
  • Kris Laudien – CTV Morning Live anchor
  • Big Daddy Tazz – Comedian
  • Troy Westwood – Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber

Celebrity Banner

Get your tickets now before it’s too late! Just $25 gets you into the show as well as the after-show wine reception. All proceeds go to Sarasvàti Productions. Tickets can be purchased online from our website or from our office by calling (204) 586-2236. Don’t forget, tickets to So You Think You Can Act make a fabulous holiday gift for that hard to buy for person on your list!

We hope you’ll help support Sarasvàti Productions and join us for a fun filled evening on Feburary 19th at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Who do you hope will take home the grand prize?

Ace Burpee Takes Home the Trophy!

What an amazing evening packed full of entertainment! The first annual So You Think You Can Act was a huge success. All the celebrities brought their A-game to the event and surpassed expectations with solid performances of the nine scenes in the evening. In addition, emcee Big Daddy Tazz kept the audience entertained every moment and played off the panel of judges. Lee White, Kayla Gordon and Bob Metcalfe were impressive in terms of their ability to come up with insightful, hilarious and bizarre commentary that had the audience booing, cheering, laughing and thoroughly engaged.

Although for some celebrities the event was their first foray on stage, they all took risks and really enjoyed themselves. They all deserve an award for having the guts to take on this challenge and for being such great sports no matter what the judges threw at them. Ultimately the audience did cast their ballots and select the first ever So You Think You Can Act winner. Although Al Simmons was the favourite to win in the advance polls, it was Ace Burpee who walked away with the trophy. His scene with mother, Jane, was certainly a big hit. Perhaps it was just his bad wig, bizarre character physicality and ridiculous southern accent but the performance won over the audience. This will likely be the only time the Hot 103 morning host wins an Oscar (the trophy had an Oscar figure perched on top).

Jane Burpee and Ace Burpee accepting the trophy. Photo by Janet Shum.

John Lu, who had flown in from Montreal that very day, and Sylvia Kuzyk, who was a convincing vixen, were the runners-up. John wowed the audience with his natural stage ability and great parody of bad Asian films opposite scene partner Alissa Watson. Sylvia had the grace and airs down pat for a famous actress, a lovely contrast to Toni Reimer’s mousy character who has come pleading for her husband back.

Every celebrity was memorable though. Al Simmons was first on stage and not only did he make an entrance but he also threw himself at the judges afterwards, to the shock of his scene partner Nan Fewchuk. Tracy Koga was charming and a joy to watch as she sped through a relationship with actor Tyhr Trubiak. Laurie Mustard was so natural on stage, everyone had to wonder if he’d missed his calling, plus he played beautifully off scene partner Lois Brothers. Howard Mandshein had a chance to rock out and was the perfect straight man to partner Danielle Savage’s neurotic character in How It Works. In yellow rain coat, boots and covered in mud Judy Wasylycia-Leis made quite the entrance for her scene with Kevin Anderson. Of course the judges were able to play off of the notion of a former politician playing a character involved in a cover-up! Randall King brought his brother’s words to life in David King’s Life Skills and managed to remain focused even when opposite him Cheryl Gensiorek was eating fettuccini with her bare hands.

If all of that wasn’t enough the audience also partook of the raffle featuring amazing prizes, enjoyed violinist John Racaru in the lobby before the event as well as wine and cheese post event.

In fact the audience was amazing and helped to make it a perfect night out!

The response overall has been overwhelming. It will be difficult to top it next year, but we will certainly try!

Who Will Win the Raffle Prizes at So You Think You Can Act? It Could Be You!

Learn about the So You Think You Can Act Raffle from Sarasvàti Productions’ Administrator Robyn Pooley!

A big part of So You Think You Can Act on February 16th, aside from watching our celebrities rock the stage, is the raffle!

The prizes we have are amazing – the generosity of theatres, companies, and individuals has been astounding! The outpouring of support from the places approached for So You Think You Can Act donations will go a long way to help fund Sarasvàti Productions’ upcoming projects! With March’s International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues, the world premiere of EDEN coming up fast, FemFest’s 10th anniversary in the fall and plans for another school tour tackling the issue of gang recruitment, there is certainly a lot of important work that the event will be supporting.

All of the prizes really are amazing, but there are a couple that I think everyone is going to want! One of the big prizes is a voucher for a Fall 2012 Acting Class at Prairie Theatre Exchange valued at $400! If any aspiring actors are out there, this is the prize they’ll want to win!

All of the arts organizations in the city were incredibly generous, and it just goes to show how tight the community really is. We all support each other, and want to see one another thrive! The prizes up for grabs from the arts community include:

  • Two tickets to Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Next To Normal
  • Two tickets to Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Giselle
  • Two tickets to Manitoba Opera’s The Daughter of the Regiment
  • Two tickets to Prarie Theatre Exchange’s Till It Hurts
  • Two tickets to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Parker Plays Brahms
  • Four tickets to Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers’ 97 Positions of the Heart
  • Two tickets to Winnipeg Studio Theatre’s My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding
  • Two tickets to Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s MacHomer
  • And much much more!

There is also some lovely schwag, that we’ve been looking at longingly in the office. Many of these donations are likely to ignite ticket buying. For the ladies, we’ve got a giant gift basket from Love Nest valued at $200 that will be the perfect post Valentine’s Day pick me up. We have a beautiful Italian ring with a tiny diamond from Vandenberg’s Fine Jewlery, we have chocolates from the best place in the city, Chocolatier Constance Popp Shop,  a beautiful package from Sonya’s Flowers that includes a purse, and MUCH more!

For the men, we’ve got an Italian sterling silver and wood bracelet from Vandenberg’s Fine Jewelry, comic books from Cover to Cover, tickets to Rumours Comedy Club, and a GORGEOUS Sun Ice TSN winter coat donated by John Lu! There’s so much more that has been so graciously donated to us for So You Think You Can Act, but you’ll have to come to the event to see it!

To view the full list of So You Think You Can Act Raffle Prizes, click here!

Tickets for the Raffle will be priced at 1 for $2, 3 for $5, and 15 for $20!  You can buy them in the lobby before the event, and at intermission. At the end of the night, we draw for the winners!

All these donations are going to make up twelve fantastic packages -the winners will be beyond happy!

So, will you be one of the lucky winners at So You Think You Can Act? We hope so! We hope to see you on February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or call us at 586-2236.

Raffle License # MGCC-5542-RF

Image of Winner by Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net Salvatore’s portfolio can be found here

Who Do You Think Will Win So You Think You Can Act? Vote Here!

Who do you think will win Feb. 16th???

Elections have polls to help predict the results so we thought it would be fun to see who the frontrunners are for our first annual So You Think You Can Act. Although the audience at the event will have the final say after watching our celebrities’ performances, let’s see if you can predict the strongest performer in our advance poll.

Vote here to predict the winner of So You Think You Can Act and you could win a Sarasvati Prize Package! Prize Package includes tickets to the World Premiere of EDEN!

All voters will be put into a draw and the winner will be chosen randomly.  VOTE NOW!

(if you would like to be eligible for the prize draw you must submit your name and e-mail address to info@sarasvati.ca after voting, the winner will then be contacted to pick-up the prize)

So You Think You Can Act runs Feb. 16th 8:00 pm at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Tickets are $25 and include a wine reception. There is limited seating so don’t forget to buy tickets online at www.sarasvati.ca or reserve by calling 586-2236.

Will Ace Burpee Be Aces?

Everyone knows and loves listening to Ace Burpee on HOT 103, but will everyone love his acting skills? Will Ace earn the judges praise?  It’s time to meet everyone’s favourite radio personality, Ace Burpee!

Ace Burpee is from Cooks Creek, Manitoba. He currently works as the host of the Ace Burpee Show with Chrissy Troy on HOT 103. Prior to that, he played in the NHL. This is not true. At all. Prior acting experience includes being on float with Beethoven the dog in Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure. Ace was cut from the scene prior to release.

So…now that we know Ace’s prior acting experience, we wait with baited breath to see him act! We are pleased to announce that Ace will be performing a scene with his mom, actor Jan Burpee! Not only that, but they will be performing a scene from For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls by Christopher Durang! This parody of Tennesse Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is sure to have the audience rolling in their seats with laughter. Here’s a teaser to give everyone something to look forward to:

LAWRENCE: I can’t work, mama. I’m crippled.

AMANDA: There is nothing wrong with your leg, Lawrence honey, all the doctors have told you that. This limping is an affectation.

LAWRENCE: I only know how I feel, mama.

AMANDA: Oh if only I had connections in the Mafia, I’d have someone come and break both your legs.

LAWRENCE: Don’t try to make me laugh, mama. You know I have asthma.

Will Ace and Jane Burpee will the coveted trophy?  Will they be the pair to beat?  You must come to So You Think You Can Act to find out! Join us February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or by calling 586-2236.

Sylvia Kuzyk – Actor in So You Think You Can Act!

We all know and love Sylvia Kuzyk from her nearly thirty-eight year career with CTV, but in February we will be able to see her in a new role – actor! Sylvia is taking part in our inaugural fundraiser So You Think You Can Act, taking place on Febrary 16th 8pm at the Gas Station Arts Centre.

Sylvia will take part in So You Think You Can Act Feb. 16th!

So You Think You Can Act is a fun fundraiser that features local celebrities testing out their acting chops in front of a panel of judges and an audience. The line up includes Ace Burpee, Randall King, Tracy Koga, John Lu, Howard Mandshein, Laurie Mustard, Al Simmons, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, and….Sylvia Kuzyk!

The theme of this year’s So You Think You Can Act is “Love Gone Wrong”, and we are excited to see our celebrites take on scenes with local actors about unrequited love, bad break-ups and failed wooing. As the holidays approach, we think it’s a perfect time to get to know one of our celebrities better. Sit back and relax as we take a look at Sylvia’s amazing life!

Sylvia Kuzyk is a veteran television news broadcaster who spent most of her nearly 38 year career at CTV Winnipeg, formerly CKY Television.

For years Sylvia was CTV’s weather specialist, endorsed by the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. She was committed to bringing Manitobans forecasts they could trust. She was also a news interviewer and host/producer of CTV Winnipeg’s arts and entertainment segment “Spotlight”. One of western Canada’s first women in news broadcasting, Kuzyk started her career at CTV as a weather anchor. Over the years she performed many roles including late night and 6:00 p.m. news anchor/editor/producer and host/producer of several daily and weekly interview shows.

Over the years, Sylvia Kuzyk has won numerous public service awards from such organizations as the Kidney Foundation of Canada (1988), the John Alexander Media Award for her interview series “Multiple Sclerosis: The Baffling Disease” (1994)… and the Manitoba Volunteerism Award for Media (1996). She was awarded the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award in 1999.

Sylvia has also won numerous awards and honours for her work. In 2004, Kuzyk won the YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Media and Communications. In 2005 the Broadcasters Association of Manitoba honoured Kuzyk with the Broadcast Excellence Award for her work in the Manitoba broadcast industry… and in 2010 she was presented with the RTNDA Canada (Canadian Radio and Television News Directors Association) Lifetime Achievement Award, Prairie Region.

This year in September 2011, Sylvia was again honoured by the Broadcasters Association of Manitoba with the Hall of Fame Award for significant contribution to the broadcast industry in Manitoba. Most recently, in October 2011, she was awarded the Inspiring Life Award by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Fort Garry and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International “for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”

One of Sylvia’s great honours came in 2009 when she was invested into the Order of Manitoba.

She was born in Berlin, Germany and immigrated to Manitoba as a young child.  She is still fluent in German. Sylvia loves to call Winnipeg home and is an ardent promoter of this city and province.

Sylvia on CTV

We think Sylvia Kuzyk is a Winnipeg gem. She is well deserving of all her accolades and she was a comfort to so many people every night on CTV. We are so excited to have Sylvia on board for So You Think You Can Act, and we can’t wait to see her on stage!

To buy tickets to see Sylvia in So You Think You Can Act go to our website or call 586-2236. So You Think You Can Act runs February 16th 8:00 pm at the Gas Station Arts Centre.  Tickets are $25 and include a wine reception.

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