Jail Baby: Biographies

After months of biting our nails in anticipation, Sarasvàti Productions is proud to finally announce our cast for Jail Baby!  We are excited to work with this amazing group of local actors for the world premiere of this new work! This stellar cast will be working with acclaimed director Ann Hodges, who started her involvement with Jail Baby when it was workshopped in 2011 for FemFest. Sarasvàti Productions is also excited to announce their incredible design team who will bring this play to life!

Jail Baby
by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore
with Nan Fewchuk and Marsha Knight

Directed by Ann Hodges

Set/Costume Design by Abigail Myers

Lighting Design by Dean Cowieson

Sound Design by Chris Coyne

Starring: Ashley Chartrand, Melanie Dean, Shannon Guile, Daina Leitold, Megan McArton, Tracey Nepinak and Cory Wojcik.

Let’s take a look at the two actresses who will be playing the lead role of Jasmine. These two superb actresses will be playing young and present day Jasmine (respectively), and we couldn’t be more excited to see them take to the stage this May!

Ashley Chartrand photoEmerging theatre artist Ashley Chartrand made her Sarasvàti debut in 2008 with our school tour of Ripple Effect. In 2009/2010 she performed in No Offense…, the no-holds-barred play about racism in schools created as part of FemFest 2009. She also appeared in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues a coule years ago. Ashley is currently studying at the University of Winnipeg.

Melanie HeadshotIf you have seen some of our previous shows this past season, you will recognize Melanie Dean. Melanie was in FemFest 2012 favourite Empty, as well as in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues just a few short weeks ago!  Melanie was born in The Pas MB, and is a member of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (Pukatawagan, MB). Mel attained her BA at the University of Winnipeg (2002) majoring in Performing Arts and English Literature. Nowadays, she can be found dancing on the Powwow trail somewhere on Turtle Island with her two beautiful children Shanley and Jesse. Mel’s other credits include, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Doug Nepinak’s The Crisis in Oka Manitoba with Red Roots Theatre Company, Doug Nepinak’sThe Life of Ruth and BBQ, William Inge’s Picnic, Dale Lakevold’s and Darrell Racine’s Stretching Hide at the University of Brandon, Frederico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, and MTC’s production of Tracy Letts August Osage County.

Fundraising campaign update: To date, we have raised $2,168.20 for our campaign, which will go directly towards Jail Baby. With just over a week left to donate, we need every one of our readers and friends to show your support! We only require 19 donations of $150 or more to reach our goal! So, phone a friend, and get them to donate as well!  Help us make our target today!

Playwright’s Log – Opening Night

Opening night – an exciting, anxiety-ridden and thrilling experience for a playwright. Sometimes I think we must be masochists. It is a nerve-wracking experience watching your play performed on opening night. After years of work, hours and hours of laboring over the script, several readings and workshops… you finally find out if it works when it is before a live audience. You put it out there, your creation, for the world to judge.

Being the artistic director of the company as well as the playwright meant I had plenty of distractions the day of opening – dealing with the reception and final marketing. It also means I’ve had to wear two hats during the process and ultimately worry about both the script and the production as a whole. Lots of support from our great team though!

EDEN nightmare footage by Jordan Popowich

We certainly had a great audience to kick off the run! A full house with several of the company’s supporters and friends willing us to do well. The actors really shone and were able to feed off of that positive energy. The technical elements ran smoothly, despite the fact that the video had randomly decided to stop working mere moments before show time. Our tech genius, Chris Coyne, trouble-shot once again all the while remaining calm. It was up and running for performance. It’s amazing what he has been able to pull off in terms of video sequencing with the footage our video designer Jordan Popowich has provided.

Chris, along with myself and the director, chose to watch from the balcony. Removed from the audience so we wouldn’t need to expose everyone to our nervous energy. We all breathed a sigh of relief when it ran smoothly. Now just the rest of the run to go!

It felt great to see the play out there and all the components together. It’s thrilling, but you still second guess and see things that you may want to tweak down the road. What a crazy business this is! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the audiences respond.

EDEN Log – Week 3

EDEN Playwright’s Log – Hope McIntyre

Yesterday we moved out of the rehearsal hall! Monday we load in to the theatre and we open on Friday. Hard to believe how quickly the time is going. We have an intensive four days of tech coming up but it is exciting to see it take shape. Tracy Penner, our fabulous Delilah in the play, said to me yesterday “your baby is almost done.” After so many years of working on the piece it does feel very much like I’ve created something very personal, although I can’t compare it to a human child, it will be a very special thing to share it with the world as well as being extremely nerve-wracking. At the same time it won’t ever feel like it is complete. I’m sure there will be adjustments after seeing it before an audience and hopefully with publication and second production…

Andrea del Campo and Tracy Penner in EDEN; photo by Janet Shum

This week was a mix of run-throughs of the play, working sections that needed cleaning up, costume fittings and final videotaping. The actors have made huge leaps thanks to director Sharon Bajer. It was great to have Wab Kinew take on the role of Eduardo, a character who appears on video at a key moment in the play. Our tech genius, Chris Coyne, also brought cameras in so the actors could start playing around with the live video feed. It looks really cool and really helps capture the world of the play. A key idea in the play is the power that comes with the control of the air waves.

Music was also starting to be integrated by yesterday and it adds a whole other element to the play. It will be amazing to see it on stage and the lighting design by Dean Cowieson will certainly add a great deal to Kim Griffin’s stark set design. After seeing what great work Jordan Popowich did with the promo video, I can’t wait to see the video sequences he has created for the play. There are some pretty crazy dream sequences that I haven’t seen yet!

It’s also really neat to see how Ali Fulmyk, our props coordinator extraordinaire has dealt with some of the challenges like a video camera that gets smashed to the ground in every performance. Not to mention military uniforms, quick changes and an array of dirtied-up clothes that our costume designer, Kelsey Noren, has had to deal with.

Of course the week before opening also means ramping up with media coverage and promotions. Our administrator, Robyn Pooley, has been very busy in the office working on all of this. Actor Andrea del Campo was on both CKUW’s Say It Sista and Eat Your Arts and Vegetables last Thursday. Marsha Knight will be on the NCI morning show on Tuesday and we hope to have a wide array of media out to our media call on April 25th.

Marsha Knight and Ti Hallas in EDEN; photo by Janet Shum

I’m starting to feel like the host of a party, hoping lots of people will show up. Winnipeg is so great, but there is always lots going on. I can’t wait to share the play and mostly the great work all of these artists have been doing. Hopefully everyone can make it out!

For performance dates and tickets check out the EDEN web page.

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