Thank You for Another Super IWW!

Twelve performances, three cities and nine SuperWomen! Our 11th International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues was a success – lots of people came out to celebrate and hear the incredible stories of nine amazing women written by talented Canadian playwrights. Thank you to all of our wonderful audiences for joining us to hear the stories of perseverance, self-discovery and empowerment!

Kim Kakegamic, Lorraine James, Jenna Hill, Samantha Walters & Mallory James at the UM Womyn's Centre

Kim Kakegamic, Lorraine James, Jenna Hill, Samantha Walters & Mallory James at the UM Womyn’s Centre

Kicking off the week we performed to a great crowd at the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba High Tea fundraiser! We were happy to be able to support this amazing organization that does so much to empower women throughout Manitoba. We were happy to also perform at another organization that does a lot to empower women, the University of Manitoba’s Womyn’s Centre. We performed there not only once, but twice last week! During the two performances all nine monologues were performed for members and supporters of the Womyn’s Centre, which does so much to make the campus a safe place for all women.

Kim at Siloam

Kim Kakegamic at Siloam Mission

In addition we were hosted by Portage Place Shopping Centre and Siloam Mission to bring theatre to people who otherwise would not be able to see it. Many people from all walks of life stopped to watch Zelda Fitzgerald vent her frustrations and Glory Girl work her way out of her bounds. John Fubbister (aka Isobel Gunn) also told the youth drop in program at the Rainbow Resource Centre about her story of joining the HBC as a man in the early 1800s. Actor Mallory James and writer Sandy Klowak also held a talkback afterwards.

One of the most powerful presentations was Jenna Hill performing Mutated for the Young Adults Support Group at Cancer Care Manitoba. The piece launched the group in to an important discussion and many shared their personal experiences. It was a moving experience for the actor and our Assistant Director, Rachel Smith.

Some of our Cabaret cast with Nova House staff & cake in Selkirk!

Some of our Cabaret cast with Nova House staff & cake in Selkirk!

We also took a trip out to Selkirk to celebrate International Women’s Week with Nova House Shelter for Women and Children where the team was again treated to the most amazing deserts! For our final performance we traveled out to Winkler on International Women’s Day to join Genesis House Shelter’s celebration. This was the perfect end to our Cabaret of Monologues. Both organizations help abused women and children through a variety of programs and services and we were happy to bring these great monologues to them.

The Cabaret of Monologues wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection. We’d also like to thank all of our playwrights, actors, volunteers and of course audiences! And now, here in the office our attention is turning to the world premiere of Catherine Banks’ Miss N Me – tickets are on sale already because we’re just that excited! Hope to see you there!

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Come Celebrate International Women’s Week with Us!

Are we there yet? What more do you believe needs to change in order to achieve gender equality? It’s that time of year when the world can celebrate how far we’ve come and reflect on how far we all have to go to achieving gender equality. International Women’s Day has been celebrated by the UN every year on March 8 since 1977 and has since been expanded to include activities throughout the week. This year there has been some great steps forward in the fight for equality for all women everywhere such as the UN Women’s Solidarity Movement HeForShe, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (the largest summit of its kind), and Malala becoming the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her amazing work advocating for girls’ education.

With these achievements and others we certainly feel like celebrating, so come celebrate with us at our full performances of our annual Cabaret of Monologues on March 7th! Hear from nine ordinary and extraordinary SuperWomen in a line-up of thought provoking and funny monologues written by talented Canadian playwrights and performed by local actors.

These amazing SuperWomen have already been empowering people with our community performances of select monologues. We’ve performed at Siloam Mission, Portage Place Shopping Centre, Rainbow Resource Centre, U of M Womyn’s Centre, Cancer Care and that’s not all, we have three more to go! The monologues have been a hit everywhere we’ve been, from the historical figure Isobel Gunn talking about her time working for the HBC in Rupert’s Land to Bea having to make a difficult decision about her mutated cells to Glory Girl having to escape from her nemesis.

To purchase tickets to see these awesome SuperWomen and others on March 7th at 4pm or 8pm in the UW Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, click here!

And if you want to do something on March 8th consider going to Winnipeg’s International Women’s Day march! It is open to all genders and ages and will offer light refreshments and inspiring speakers. The rally is meeting at 1pm at Portage Place and is walking to Union Centre at 1:30pm. For more information check out the Facebook event.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S WEEK!

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s SuperWomen!

Would you rather be extraordinary all the time or ordinary but do amazing things? Check out the mix of superheroines and women who have overcome great odds as we celebrate International Women’s Week! Our first presentation is only three short days away and we couldn’t be more excited to share these amazing stories with you. Between March 1st and March 8th we will be doing 11 performances. Here is a sneak peek of what we have in store:

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

In Scott Douglas’s monologue Glory Bound, Glory Girl acts like an actual superhero but she must battle more than just evil villains – “The point is – it’s about choice. And that’s what makes me a hero when you get right down to it: not the superpowers, or the costume, but choice. Instead of moaning about the inability of the Comple City Police Department to keep supervillians off the streets, I choose to put myself in harm’s way.”

Meanwhile, Loretta, the single mother of a teenage boy in Step Taylor’s monologue, is trying to reclaim her power by admitting she was wrong – “I always sensed that a mother shouldn’t lie to her child, but it was only after I did it that I knew a mother shouldn’t have anythin’ to hide from her child if that’s what she expects in return.”

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Christine Rodriguez in Dreaming in Autism at FemFest 2013

Linda in Christine Rodriguez’s heart wrenching monologue Of Heart and Tree is also struggling with feeling inadequate as a mother, especially as she tries to help her autistic son – “I did everything that a mother could do. I sought out therapy for him but we kept switching therapists because he didn’t like any of them. I was desperate to find him help. What more could I do?”

Ever heard of Isobel Gunn? She made a name for herself as a tripsman for the Hudson Bay Company, only they knew her as John. In Sandy Klowak’s monologue we find out all about Isobel’s adventure and the price she paid – “Stay calm. Stop shaking. You belong here, just like all these other men. For the first time I am looking at the island I was born on and I am not a part of it. I’ve left dry land.”

Zelda Fitzgerald is often overshadowed by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald but in Frances Koncan’s monologue Zelda with a Z she hosts her own TV talk show – “For those of you just tuning in, we’ve spent this week celebrating heroes of all kinds: super, ordinary, and otherwise. What makes a hero? How do you define a hero? And most importantly, how do you become a hero? For those of you watching at home, we just did an anonymous audience survey over the break, and now we’ll take a look at the responses.”

We also wanted to know the answers to this! So we asked our actors who their personal SuperWoman was and why. Check out this video to hear their answers and then leave a comment or tweet who your personal SuperWoman is!

For a full list of our community performances or to get tickets to the full show on March 7th click here! We tend to sell out, so get them now while you still can!

9 Super Monologues, 9 Amazing Actors!

With winter settling in March feels a long way away, but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy working on our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues! A few weeks ago we announced the monologue line up, now we get to tell you who will be bringing these awesome monologues to life!

Elena Anciro has performed in our annual Cabaret of Monologues twice before and performed in our spring production Fefu and her Friends. We’re happy to have her back performing At the Gate by Sandra Drag about a remarkable woman’s tale of wrestling a family away from a horrific car accident.

Christine Rodriguez’s The Autism Monologue will be brought to life by Cabaret of Monologues newcomer Shanley Jardine. You may remember Shanley from the short piece The Exchange in FemFest 2013. The monologue is a heart-wrenching story of a mother attempting to make sense of her autistic son’s life. It’s a beautiful piece and we know that Shanley will do it justice.

Another newcomer, Kim Kakegamic, will be performing our FemFest 2014 Bake-Off winner’s energetic monologue Zelda with a Z. Frances Koncan lets us hear Zelda’s side of the story as she talks to us about her life with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s a fun piece that Kim can really go crazy with!

Samantha Walters, Sarasvàti’s past Associate Producer and Emerging Artist in Residence, is back for her third Cabaret of Monologues in a row. You’ve seen her as Super Girl and now as Glory Girl, a comic book character come to life. Glory Bound by Scott Douglas sees Glory Girl attempt to escape her captors, although she discovers that she may not be bound against her will. We’re thrilled to have Sam back to the stage and can’t wait to see what she does with the role!

For Step Taylor’s Loretta we’ll be welcoming Lorraine James back to the Cabaret stage. Lorraine has done the Cabaret multiple times, including our trip to The Pas in 2008. She will play Loretta who has lied to her drug addicted son about losing her job so that he can focus on passing his exams, but what will happen when he finds out? Come and see for yourself on March 7th!

While Elizabeth Whitbread is new to the Cabaret of Monologues she just recently participated in our FemFest 2014 Short List reading. Jennica Grienke’s An Inheritance is a challenging piece that will see Elizabeth play a character in three different stages of her life. While challenging, it will be fascinating to see what Elizabeth brings to it.

Another FemFest 2014 actor, Mallory James, participates in her first Cabaret of Monologues as John Fubbister (aka Isobel Gunn) in Sandy Klowak’s riveting monologue. Mallory will play a remarkable woman who wouldn’t let anything stop her from adventuring into the wilds of Rupert’s Land. We can’t wait to see this strong historical figure come to life!

Cabaret of Monologues newcomer Jenna Hill will play Bea in Mutated by Carly Pokoradi. Bea is an adventurous young woman whose plans are put on hold when she’s faced with a life-altering situation. This is a very interesting piece and Jenna will bring a lot of depth and humour to it. Last year Jenna was seen in the world premiere of Trish Cooper’s play Social Studies at PTE.

Finally, Jane Burpee is back at the Cabaret after an amazing performance at this year’s Bake-Off. Jane has participated in multiple productions with us over the years, from So You Think You Can Act, to FemFest, to the Cabaret of Monologues, including a performance in the Portage Correctional Centre for Women in 2008. This year Jane will be playing the coolest nun in the convent who reveals her thoughts on life and God while at a nun retreat in Dave Carley’s Urban Nun.

There you have it, the monologues have been selected, the cast has been chosen and believe it or not the first IWW rehearsals start this week! We couldn’t be any more excited to see what these 9 talented actors bring to the stage as they lift these brilliantly written Super Women off of the page. You’ll get a chance to see the final product March 7th at 8pm, so mark your calendar and visit our website for more information by clicking here!

 

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Super Women in Monologue Form

By Victoria Hill

 

Sarasvàti Productions’ International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues is back, with an incredible lineup for 2015! The theme this year is Super Women, which can mean incredibly different things to different people as we learned from the richly diverse selection of monologue submissions we received. It’s not just sword wielding dragon slayers with capes (which is exactly how I picture my mother in ultra super-hero form), but an array of powerful, provocative, confused, and of course heroic women who paint the canvas that is to be this year’s exciting show. The Cabaret will feature the work of Canadian playwrights brought to life by Winnipeg’s local talent. What makes a woman super? Here is a synopsis of the 9 monologues we have chosen to represent this year’s theme at the Cabaret of Monologues:

 

At the Gate by Sandra Drag
A remarkable woman’s tale of wrestling a family away from a horrific car accident. Poetically and ambiguously weaved, the story is related with increasing difficulty, until the truth unfolds.

 

The Autism Monologues by Christine Rodriguez
A mother attempts to make sense of her autistic son’s life through this heart-wrenching story

 

Zelda with a Z, by Frances Koncan
The audience becomes… the audience, of a talk show! Zelda with a Z, is an exuberant and flustered host as she talks to us about her life with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

Glory Bound by Scott Douglas
A comic book come to life! Glory Girl attempts to escape her captors, but is she really bound against her will?

 

Loretta by Step Taylor
Loretta lies to her drug addict son about losing her job so that he can focus on passing his exams and graduating, but the jig is now up.

 

An Inheritance by Jennica Grienke
Get to know a little girl struggling with the death of her mother and a new understanding of what her father truly is. Meet a young woman, angry with God, and faced with a horrifying decision. Now meet Ida, reliving her trauma in the hopes of healing before it’s too late.

 

John Fubbister (also known as Isobel Gun) by Sandy Klowak
They said it was impossible- that the grueling work of a fur trader in the wilds of Rupert’s Land would break a European woman like a twig. Not if Isobel Gunn has anything to say about it.

 

Mutated by Carly Pokoradi
Travel the world! Go on adventures! Have a f$*k ton of… well, never mind. Bea’s exciting life plans are put on hold when she’s faced with a life-altering situation.

 

Urban Nun by Dave Carley
Probably the coolest nun at the convent in her day, this wildly rebellious woman reveals her thoughts on life and God through her time at the nun retreat.

 

Photos from last year’s IWW Cabaret of Monologues: Rise Up!

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Meet Christine Rodriguez of “Dreaming in Autism”

Christine Rodriguez

Christine Rodriguez

In the weeks leading up to FemFest 2013, we asked some of the performers to write about what participating in FemFest means to them. We start this series off with Christine Rodriguez, writer and performer whose play Dreaming in Autism has placed her on the proverbial map.  The play was awarded third prize at Ottawa Little Theatre’s 72nd National One-Act Playwriting Competition. Adjudicator Garry Davey says the play is a “strongly imagined piece with a distinctive style” and that it is “both funny and heart-breaking at times.” Dreaming in Autism was also nominated for Chapters Best English Script and won the Théâtre Denise-Pelletier Fred-Barry Award for Best Production Design at the 2012 Montreal Fringe Festival. Christine’s work is largely informed by her mixed-race heritage and her multicultural environment.

Here’s what Christine had to say about being part of FemFest 2013:

“I’m very excited about bringing Dreaming in Autism to FemFest 2013.  It’s an opportunity to perform and to share my story with an entirely new audience.  I’m looking forward to exchanging thoughts and ideas with the Winnipeg theatre community, to share with fellow Canadians.  I hope that the play continues to create awareness about autism issues and reach out to people dealing with autism.  I’m interested in hearing about people’s experience with autism in Manitoba.  How different are things there compared to Québec?

Beyond the issue of autism, I think that Winnipegers will enjoy the show not only for the drama or the story about a mother dealing with a mildly autistic child, but also for the theatre, the conception, the unique and daring way Liz (director), Jody (technical director) and Logan (set designer) chose to interpret the play.  We’re very proud of our work, humbled by the opportunity to show our work at FemFest alongside other great artists and thrilled to be taking our creation beyond Montreal’s English theatre community.

Art knows no boundaries.

See you all soon!”

For more information on Christine and her play, Dreaming in Autism, please visit http://sarasvati.ca/fem-fest-showsdreaminginautism/

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Full FemFest 2013: Revelation & Revolution Lineup!

We are thrilled to present this year’s FemFest 2013: Revelation & Revolution lineup!

This year’s festival includes an exciting mix of artists who are using performance to see the world in a different light and explore notions of revolution. It will be an amazing showcase of talent from across the country as well as a celebration of local female artists.

We’ve already given you a sneak peek at some of our exciting pieces, but here’s a more comprehensive overview of what you can look forward to:

FULL PRODUCTIONS

Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Arden
Harold and Vivian married out of spite. The absurd world they have created for themselves is disrupted when new neighbours, newlywed Mike and Janet, come to say hello

Flood Control by Marilyn Anne Campbell
Lonely Ray stands on a bridge, building up the nerve to end his life, when he’s interrupted by Gina, a highly-organized woman who has come to kill herself simply because she has nothing left to do.

DEVELOPMENTAL WORK:

Bake-Off Coordinated and Directed by Cairn Moore
Selected playwrights are given a list of ingredients and have two weeks to mix up a script!

Giving Voice with VOICES
This new play will be developed in the Forum theatre method with workshop sessions with youth in foster care.

Perfect Love by Talia Pura
An exploration of the role gender plays in relationships. If the sexual orientation continuum is a sliding scale, is relationship-based dialogue any different for male and female characters

SHORTS:

The Exchange by Katherine Koller
Shauna doesn’t know Molly, but Molly knows Shauna by appearance, by reputation, and by name. Molly has come to trade lives.

Short-List
As fillers throughout the festival, we will offer audiences the chance to hear excerpts from scripts from the FemFest shortlist

TOURING PIECES:

Dreaming in Autism by Christine Rodriguez
La Tigressa Productions (Montreal)
Enter the world of a mother who has high hopes for her new baby boy but soon learns that he has autism. Sad, funny, but mostly full of love.

pomme is french for apple by liza paul and bahia watson
paul watson productions (Toronto)
Comprised of fast-paced series of vignettes, this vaudevillian two-woman show is a fresh, funny, irreverent and distinctly west indian look at womanhood in all its glory: its perils, its pleasures and all kinds of madness in between.

The Aftermath by Lisa Codrington (Toronto)
After an unexpected tragedy, Jane a reclusive yet outspoken middle-age woman prepares for an impending apocalypse by lecturing the audience on the important of emergency preparedness.

Cabarets
Plus our exciting opening and closing cabarets featuring women artists in all disciplines!

For our complete lineup and more information on FemFest, go to http://femfest.ca!


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