Local Talent Wild Card

We’ve heard from four of six celebrity competitors as they prepare to kick butt and takes names in this year’s Rage on the Stage. They’re talented, they’re motivated, and they’re hungry for the win, BUT they aren’t the only factors in this competition…

It’s time we introduce the Local Talent Wild Cards! Each one of these wonderful, talented, Winnipeg-based actors will be teamed up with a non-actor celebrity in order to help them compete for the ultimate So You Think You Can Act title.

Thought you knew who was set to take this year’s trophy? You might want to think again.

“In it to Win It” Jenna Khan is the only competitor who mentioned working with her scene partner as part of her game-plan. This is likely music to the ears of local talent wild card Lyle Morris (The Dance-Off of Conscious Uncoupling and Launched, Sarasvàti Productions’ FemFest). But if Jenna Khan “channels her inner diva” as promised, this team’s co-operational advantage will quickly become a distant memory. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when Jenna and Lyle bring Michel Tremblay’s Johnny Mangano and His Astonishing Dogs to the stage.

Tracy Koga, a self-described “warrior” is not one to shy away from competition. Is her scene-partner-in-crime Grant Burr (For, Union Station Theatre; The Naked Woman, Sarasvàti Productions) prepared for the “blood, sweat, and tears” Tracy expects him to shed along their path to victory? This team will bring David Freeman’s Jitters to the stage and leave their own jitters at home.

Kerri “Angry Skills” Salki partners up with the mesmerizing Johanna “Beast of” Burdon (Mars One, Winnipeg Fringe 2015; Heartbreak, A Bizarro Cabaret) to bring us Sky Gilbert’s Lola Starr Builds Her Dream Home. These fierce challengers share an affinity for competition. What happens when you mix one lethal compound with another? Explosions, baby.

“Shakespeare like a butterfly–Chekhov like a bee” Al Simmons has been calling out the pretenders left, right, and centre! Will coach Simmons be able to take Ian Bastin (Lion in the Streets, Black Hole Theatre; The Club, FemFest 2015) from actor/pretender to ruthless contender in order to bring this title home? We’ll watch as they perform the fittingly titled Opening Night by Norm Foster.

The pressure’s on for Big Daddy Tazz as he prepares to face-off with Troy Westwood yet again. His right-hand man Kevin Ramberran (Tape, Rope, The 28th Minute; The Pinkertons, Buffalo Gal) better be prepared to go to any length in order to bring this title home. This dynamic duo cuts their chops on Zastrozzi by George F. Walker. And this time, it’s personal.

With stakes just as high, Tazz’s rival Troy Westwood joins forces with Cheryl Gensiorek (Launched, FemFest 2014; Empty, Sarasvàti Productions) to take a crack at the All-Star Edition victory.  They’ll be performing Self-Help by Norm Foster, and they’ll be seeking it if they fall short.

Lookout for these Local Talent Wild Cards spicin’ up the competition!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Not only does a ticket to So You Think You Can Act 2016 grant you the entertainment of seeing six celebrity non-actors compete for the championship title, it also grants you the chance to admire some serious Winnipeg acting talent. That’s double the entertainment! All for one good cause.

 

 

Who’s Got the Power?

Banner SYTYCA 2015Superman, an environmental terrorist, a creepy date and a widow whose husband was eaten by a bear. These are just some of the characters that this year’s celebrities will tackle at So You Think You Can Act. This year’s event is only two short weeks away and rehearsals have begun! It’s been a pleasure introducing the celebrities to their acting partners and hearing these hilarious scripts come off the page. Under this year’s theme of Power Play, we have found writing by a mix of work by emerging Winnipeg writers and some of Canada’s most established playwrights. Although each get only 2 hours to rehearse under the direction of Cairn Moore, they have great material to work with. Keep reading to see what scenes and which actors each celebrity is working with!

Rana Bokhari will be playing Maria in Michael Healey’s political dark comedy Generous with Kevin Gabel. This play was produced a couple years ago by Theatre by the River and of course Healey’s play Proud was produced by Theatre Projects this past fall with Kevin Gabel also appearing in it. We are also pleased to announce that Kevin will be in our spring production of Miss N Me!

Chris Cvetkovic gets to play Superman opposite Lyle Morris in Ken Mitchell’s play Heroes. What happens when Superman and the Lone Ranger meet in their Chief’s office waiting room? We are pleased to have Lyle on board after his great performance in Launched at FemFest 2014.

André Lewis with Danielle Savage will be playing the title characters in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Ardern. This piece won our first Bake-Off at FemFest 2012 and was fully produced at FemFest 2013. Danielle Savage helped take Troy Westwood to victory last year – can she do the same this year?

Kelly Linehan will be tackling the character of Lorrie in George F. Walker’s play Featuring Loretta with Spenser Payne. Lorrie’s husband has been eaten by a bear and she needs to figure out what to do with her life. Kelly should have a blast working with Spenser, who is also part of the Talentless Lumps.

Romi Mayes will be playing the wannabe terrorist Melissa with Cheryl Gensiorek in Terroristas by Ginny Collins. Last year we included Ginny’s piece Good Intentions, which had premiered at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2013. This will be Cheryl’s third time in this event and in 2013 she helped Kerri Salki win the trophy.

Doug Speirs will be playing Man in Eye to Eye by Christopher Graybill with Nan Fewchuk playing Woman in this hilarious ten minute play about a first date gone awry. Nan has appeared in multiple pieces with Sarasvàti Productions, most recently The Naked Woman at FemFest 2014. Hopefully she can stay focused as Doug Speirs lays it on thick.

Taz Stuart gets to try his hand at romantic comedy as Rudy in Norm Foster’s Wrong for Each Other with Liz Whitbread. Liz is about to appear in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. She also appeared in a Norm Foster scene at last year’s event, helping Big Daddy Tazz tie for first with Troy Westwood.

Between these hilarious scenes, the comedic talents of the judges, Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gordon Tanner, and witty hosting by Jon Ljungberg this will be one super fun night! And if that wasn’t enough we also have thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle prizes (raffle licence #MGCC5542). Don’t miss out, buy tickets now! Tickets can be purchased online here or by phoning us at 204-586-2236. Rana Bokhari started off strong in our blog polls, but was over taken by Kelly Linehan. Unfortunately Kelly wasn’t ahead for long before Romi Mayes beat her by a nose. And the guys really haven’t been feeling the love. Now that the scenes are revealed will that all change?

Celebrity Banner SYTYCA2015

SYTYCA Presents: The Actors!

SYTYCA 2014 promo banner cropped

Wondering who will help our celebrities shine on stage? Today, we are pleased to bring you our fabulous line-up of talented local actors for our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act fundraising event! In less than two weeks, seven local celebrity participants will test out their acting chops on stage in front of a panel of judges. Once all celebrities have performed, YOU will vote for the winner of the trophy (and bragging rights of course)! Keep reading to find out more about our actors.

Grant Burr – Look familiar? You may have caught Grant playing the role of Ray in Flood Control by Marilyn Anne Campbell as part of FemFest 2013. Grant is sure to show Eva Kovacs the ropes in a scene from The Fighting Days by Wendy Lill.

Justin OttoAs a recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg Acting Honours program, Justin is the perfect candidate to play Jim Ingebrigtsen’s teaching assistant in a scene from The Essay by Hannah Moscovitch. Will this duo win over the audience’s vote?

Andrea Houssin We are pleased to have Andrea play the role of Hannah in a scene from Good Intentions by Ginny Collins. You may have seen Andrea in this very role earlier this season at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. Will Andrea’s experience give Kris Laudien a step-up above the rest?

Lorraine James – Lorraine is no stranger to Sarasvàti Productions! Last year she played the role of Kirsty in All My Day Jobs by Kirsten Van Ritzen as part of our IWW Cabaret of Monologues. Lorraine is sure to make former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan work for the prize in a scene from Riot by Andrew Moodie.

Cheryl Gensiorek – At last year’s So You Think You Can Act, Cheryl helped Kerri Salki of Clear FM shine on stage and take home the grand prize! Surely her expertise will give Alison Gillmor the upper hand. Catch these two in a scene from The Girl Who Loved Castro by Colleen Curran.

Elizabeth Whitbread – Elizabeth has appeared in a number of independent productions throughout the years. She is currently in the 4th year Acting Honours program at The University of Winnipeg. Elizabeth will be performing alongside Big Daddy Tazz in a hilarious scene from Kiss The Moon, Kiss The Sun by Norm Foster.

Danielle Savage – In a recent article, Troy Westwood stated that he is excited to be working with a pro like Danielle Savage in this year’s So You Think You Can Act. Having many years of experience on the stage, Danielle is sure to help Troy prove he can act in a side splitting scene from Why Torture is Wrong, and The People Who Love Them by Chirstopher Durang.

There will also be a special voice over appearance by local actor Kevin Anderson!

So You Think You Can Act will take place on February 19th, 2014 at 7:00pm at The Gas Station Arts Centre (445 River Ave). This unique fundraising event is sure to have your laughing in your seats! Tickets are $25 dollars and include a fabulous wine reception after the show. All money raised will go towards supporting the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions. There will also be thousands of dollars in raffle prizes donated by local businesses and a 50/50 draw (raffle licence #MGCC#5542). Help support local arts and get your tickets before it’s too late! Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling our office at (204) 586-2236. We’ll see you on February 19th!

 Which pair do you think will steal the spotlight? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and/or on Twitter using the #SYTYCA!

FemFest Features Fabulous Talent!

Fem13 temporary web banner3

With FemFest just two months away, we are excited to start featuring some of our fabulous artists who will be performing! In order for you to get to know them a little better, we posed some interesting questions and we’ll post highlights in various blog entries in the coming weeks. Here is a few to get things started:

Kevin Anderson Kevin Anderson has appeared in several Sarasvàti works including EDEN in 2012, Ripple Effect in 2008 and some FemFest readings. This year he will be in our FemFest 2013 short-list readings:

What is your favourite play? Generous  by Michael Healey
What is your favourite word? pedantic
If you had one wish, what would it be? That the next 65 years are even better.
Fun Fact: What Kevin wants audiences to take away after viewing is work the feeling that he did his job well.

Cheryl Gensiorek

Cheryl Gensiorek was most recently seen in Wild Women, our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues, with some interesting props. She is also in our short-list readings: 

What is your favourite play? MTC – Gone With The Wind
If you had one wish, what would it be? To Always be happy/content despite challenges in life.
Fun Fact: Cheryl works as an educational assistant

Brittany Thiessen's photo (3)Brittany Thiessen was seen last year in Empty. She is a recent U of W graduate and will be presenting a devised piece in our opening cabaret and performing in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests:

What is your favourite play? This is a very difficult question! Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov.
What is your favourite word? “Yes.”
If you had one wish, what would it be? A paid trip to travel the world for a year!
Fun Fact: Here is how Brittany would introduce herself to a stranger: “If the stranger was from Winnipeg, I would tell them my name, ask for theirs, and find out how we already know each other.”

DSC_5887David Fox is currently playing Tommy in The WHO’s TOMMY at the Winnipeg Fringe and will be making his debut with Sarasvàti Productions in Harold and Vivian.

What is your favourite play? Fat Men in Skirts by Nicky SIlver
What is your favourite word? Frisky
If you had one wish, what would it be? To lead a long life as a professional actor.
Fun Fact: David is a member of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Society and Rainbow Pride Mosaic

Alissa Watson (3)Alissa Watson was also seen in Empty last year as well as having done a couple years of our cabaret of monologues. She will be coming back from performing The Anger of Ernest and Ernestine at the Edmonton Fringe to perform in Harold and Vivian:

What is your favourite play?  Currently:  The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine by Robert Morgan, Martha Ross and Leah Cherniak
What is your favourite word? Laughter
If you had one wish, what would it be? I’d wish that every person could have the capability and courage to follow their dreams.
Fun Fact: Alissa attended Brandon University, School of Music and majored in Classical Percussion

For more information on our artists, shows, and performers, visit www.femfest.ca

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!

Continue reading

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!