Standing with our Stolen Sisters

How can you show your solidarity? This year’s International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues is built around the theme of Stolen Sisters, and we do not take that lightly. We want our audiences at our performances on Saturday March 12 to not only hear these stories of gender-based violence, but to also expand their learning of other initiatives in our community. This year we received the help from practicum student Erin Schwartz to set up a variety of art installations and advocacy information for our audiences to interact with in the lobby, keep reading to find out what you’ll see!

 


Handmade felt faceless dolls from Nova House
: You may have seen them on our posters, but you’ll get to see them in person on March 12. These dolls represent the silencing of women, particularly those who are murdered and missing. They have been created by a variety of people, including those out of town sending them in to Nova House. Their target is to have a total of 1,200.

 

‘Mine is but a tear in a river’ photo exhibit by Tracey-Mae Chambers: Erin shared that “these photographs elicit a very visceral response” as they honour the 1,181 murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada. Experience it for yourself in our lobby or at the Edge Gallery and Urban Arts Centre where they are also being displayed. Tracey-Mae will also be doing an artist talk on Friday at this gallery, learn more here!

 

The red ribbon project to remember and honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: We will be demonstrating our support for this campaign that was started by Jennifer Flett, Pauline McGillivary, Janet Head and Rhonda Head from Opaskwayak Cree Nation by hanging red ribbons from the ramp railings that lead into the lobby at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Erin hopes that seeing this will inspire people to hang red ribbons in their communities as an act of remembrance and support.

 

We Care Quilt#WeCare Quilt: This quilt was created in collaboration with the #WeCare Campaign, The Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Manitoba Crafts Museum, and the community. Erin was part of the team to coordinate this initiative last year that brought members of the community together to create “squares for the quilt to show their care for all who are missing and the need for immediate action.” To read more about this initiative and the team involved click here!

 

These projects all raise awareness, but we couldn’t stop there! There are three other components we’ve included to help keep the conversation going and to encourage everyone to take action. There will be a hands on writing response area for audience members to reflect, honour and show their care; Amnesty International Winnipeg will have a display with petitions and Stolen Sisters campaign materials; and there will be No More Stolen Sisters campaign material from the Canadian Federation of Students for people to take with them and place in their communities.

 

If you want to see all of this, ten powerful monologues, and the Buffalo Gals drumming group from the North End Women’s Centre, come down to the Asper Centre of Theatre and Film on Saturday March 12 at 4pm or 8pm. Tickets are available online here, by phone at 204-586-2236, or at the door and are only $10.

 

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IWW a Great Success!

Last week Sarasvàti Productions marked International Women’s Week with performances of our Cabaret of Monologues celebrating Wild Women across Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. The response has been very inspiring as audiences relished stories of women who truly represent and reflect the “wild” side in all of us!

We were invited to celebrate IWW with both the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba Womyn’s Centres celebrations. Both groups made for excellent audiences and we were thrilled to be performing for young feminists and up and coming community leaders.

We were also privileged to share the work with important community groups. We performed for the women at Sage House, a community health, resource and community outreach centre for women and transwomen in the North End. This performance was met with much enthusiasm from the audience, who may not otherwise be able to attend a professional theatre performance. There were hoots, hollers and even some tears. Later in the week, we performed at a fundraiser for Genesis House, a women’s shelter serving the Winkler and Morden area of Manitoba. The event, with keynote speaker former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis was a great way for us to bring the monologues to our rural fans and friends, all while supporting a great organization. We appreciated their heartfelt standing ovation.

photos by Janet Shum

photos by Janet Shum

As part of our goal to bring theatre to the community we also performed free sneak-peek shows at both Portage Place and the Gallery at Manitoba Hydro Place. These were both great opportunities for folks “on the go” to catch a monologue or two and really soak up the power of live theatre!

The big show, of course, was on International Women’s Day at the Gallery at Manitoba Hydro Place. People lined up in droves to be able to see this special one night only engagement of the Cabaret of Monologues. We were literally bursting at the seams with fans and friends! The audience responded enthusiastically to the show! Special thanks to the Buffalo Gals Drumming group and to artist Anna-Celestrya Carr who rounded out the evening with their powerful messages.

Once again, thank you to everyone who made last week’s monologues a great success! We look forward to seeing you in years to come. And stay tuned for even more “wild” women when Jail Baby makes its world premiere in May!

Happy IWW 2013!

Tomorrow, alongside millions all over the world, Sarasvàti Productions will be celebrating International Women’s Day with our annual Cabaret of Monologues. We have already performed sneak-peeks of the show to community groups in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas! The monologues have been received very well, and we are exciting to end this wonderful week with a bang with our full show line-up tomorrow.

Jane Burpee, Cherrel Holder, Danielle Savage

photos by Janet Shum

One of our favourite things about performing the Cabaret of Monologues each year, as opposed to a full-length play, is that we have the incredible opportunity and privilege to celebrate many women’s voices and stories. Not only that, but because of the diversity in our monologues, we are also able to work with so many different actors, and to showcase their diversity as well.

This has allowed us to create a line-up of monologues that is just as varied as the actors involved! For example, Jane Burpee will be playing the role Rita, an older woman who sells alcohol to minors in Hannah Foulger’s Booze Hound. Up and coming actor Cherrel Holder will play Bilguisa Simpore, a Nigerian soccer superstar who faces a gender challenge in Donna-Michelle St. Bernard’s Bilguisa Speaks Up. Finally, Danielle Savage will play an extremely sleep deprived new mom on her first night away from her baby in Nicolle Nattrass’s Mama’s Night Out. These three monologues alone show that there is a need to tell different stories, because women come from all different walks of life and have so many different stories to tell!

Not only is it a great thing to see and hear the stories of all of these women, but it is also exciting to see the community at large gather together to celebrate these women, and women across the globe. We have been talking to folks all over the place – from just down the street in the North End to our friends in Winkler, Manitoba. Though organizations and individuals may differ in objectives or geography, one thing is clear: everyone everywhere is hungry for more stories about women, by women, for everyone! We are proud to be a part of a supportive community that embraces the voices of these women, no matter how wild they may be!

Tomorrow is the big day! The full show line-up will be performed for one night only at the Gallery at Manitoba Hydro Place (360 Portage Avenue). Plus we are excited to have the Men’s Banner Project by Anna-Celestra Carr present and Buffalo Gals Drumming Group to start off the evening! We are almost sold out so be sure to get your tickets from www.sarasvati.ca or by calling 204-586-2236!

Happy International Women’s Week and Happy (early) International Women’s Day to all!