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!

The ‘Wild Women’ Are Here!

What do Supergirl, Mae West and an international soccer super star have in common? They will all take the stage at Sarasvàti Productions’ ninth cabaret of monologues. International Women’s Week is next week and we are very excited to be presenting our Cabaret of Monologues once again! This year the focus is on stories of wild women.  Past performances have sold out and have been booked as part of International Women’s Week celebrations across the province. Our audiences will be treated to a line-up of powerful and hilarious pieces while celebrating women breaking boundaries.

With a full public performance on March 8th at 8pm, this year’s Cabaret features monologues from playwrights from different regions of the country performed by some of the best in local female talent! We are proud each year to present both emerging and established theatre artists in our line-up, and this year is no exception! Take a look beyond the cut to learn more about the unbelievably talented women who were born to be wild!

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WILD WOMEN take the stage!

International Women’s Week, the annual celebration of women’s achievements and progress throughout the world, is coming up fast! We are excited to be hosting our annual Cabaret of Monologues as part of the city-wide festivities! Sarasvàti Productions has a proud history of celebrating women’s voices in Winnipeg (and beyond), and we look forward to this year’s unique offering: Wild Women.

This is the 9th time we have presented our Cabaret of Monologues and it’s about time we featured women breaking boundaries! Women from all walks of life are featured in what is sure to be a night to remember! Our Cabaret of Monologues will be shown for one night only, on March 8 at the Gallery at Manitoba Hydro Place (360 Portage Avenue). Tickets are just $10 and the show starts at 8pm! We are also doing a sneak-peek on March 8th at noon for those who just wanna stop by!

We are particularly excited to announce several partnerships with community organizations in and around Winnipeg! We’ll be performing selected pieces at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Sage House, Portage Place Mall and at a fundraiser for Genesis House in Winkler. The full schedule is available on our website. If you are looking however, to get the full Wild Women experience, you’ll need to get tickets to our evening show on the 8th which features Elena Anciro, Alexandra Bolton, Jane Burpee, Melanie Dean, Nan Fewchuk, Cheryl Gensiorek, Cherrel Holder, Lorraine James, Danielle Savage and Samantha Walters tackling characters from Supergirl to Mae West! Buy now!

Changing Lives: Students and Teachers Respond to ‘Diss’

Yesterday was the last show of our tour of Diss and we have completed 28 shows to 4000+ students, teachers and community members! This tour has been a success because of the wealth of encouragement and support we have received thus far! We wanted to take the time to show you some of the ways Diss has affected students and teachers. Compiled here is only a sample of the responses we have received. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have!

photo by Janet Shum   photo by Janet Shum

“Great performance – great cast!”

“The actors were highly engaging, and the creative team on the whole did a great job with the storytelling.  The forum theatre approach offered the students an opportunity to explore in depth the hard hitting issue of new immigrant gang involvement.   Those who took part in the interventions experienced on a personal level the struggles that surround the issue.  The ensuing discussion was authentic and informed in a way that would not have been possible without the forum theatre model.”

“[The students] said at first they thought it was going to be lame but they all really got into it.  The part where the mom kicked Sam out was the part that they all commented on.  I think they can all imagine (or have had) that type of fight with their parents and it really resonated with them.”

“The next day I talked some of the students to get some feedback, and I only heard positive praise. One student is sixteen and last year was wearing gang colors and had dropped out of school. Shortly after the play I approached this same student and asked him what he thought of the the play, and he responded with honesty, “It was good”. Another student the next day confessed that he had family members involved in the gang life and was more open to talking about his concerns with the school counsellor. I believe that this play might have been the turning point in possibly changing someone’s life.”

“It was funny, interactive and it made you want to pay attention.”

“Our reaction to the production was very positive and enthusiastic. Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre, succeeds in having youth actors fully engage with the community’s youth, and thus creates positive, much needed discussion around the issues of youth and gangs. Interesting and productive discussion was very much alive within our very interactive and lively audience. Their openness to youth coincided nicely with play’s theme of newcomer youth and their struggles with integration and gangs. Overall a very positive, informative experience… it would be great to see what else Winnipeg’s art scene has to offer!”

“Showed a good message and it was super enjoyable to watch.”

“I just wanted to thank you again for helping bring DISS to our school yesterday.  We had a diverse mix of students in the audience and this helped create a productive, positive, and memorable dialogue.  Such a great play and a great cast that connected well to our high school kids. Loved it.  Just loved it.”

Thanks again to all of those who attended shows at their school, community groups or the free show at the Winnipeg Public Library! Thank you as well to ArtCity, Evolution AV, the Manitoba Arts Council, The Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Community Services Council Inc, the Richardson Foundation and the Winnipeg Foundation! Stay tuned for even more inspiring and energetic productions throughout our 2012-2013 theatre season! For more information on what we have to offer, visit www.sarasvati.ca!

Diss Evolution AV thanks