Theatre that Transforms Us – 2016/17 Season Retrospective

Cotton candy cocktails, ghosts, riots, vans stuck in the snow, standing ovations, tears and a lot of laughter. It really is hard to believe that another season has gone by – our 17th one in Winnipeg to be exact! Just over a year ago, we launched a season themed on Transformation and it truly was life-changing.

Breaking Through
“They were commenting on how they thought they were the only ones feeling a certain way until seeing this play and being able to realize that they are not alone.” – Loveeza Arshad, Friends Housing

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The cast of Breaking Through takes a bow

Thanks to your support we enjoyed an incredibly successful run of the culmination of our Mental Health project. We hope the dialogue will continue outside the theatre for some time to come. We’ll keep you posted as we work towards publishing the play!

 

IWW 2017 Starting Over
“Engaging and inspiring, these powerful performances rooted in real experiences provided brilliant insight. In our case, the complex realities of both youthful and mature immigrant women were are the forefront. Exploring these themes is so vital, with increased cultural diversity and amid global striving for women’s rights. Women of all nations and cultures can relate to themes of place, space, marginalization, hope, potential…”– Pamela Hadder, Agape House-Eastman Crisis Centre

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A packed house at IWW2017: Starting Over

This year, we worked closely with newcomer women and girls and the results were some incredible pieces.  We were proud to provide a platform for women’s stories, to promote equity on Canadian stages and to provide access to the arts. A great big thank you goes out to Manitoba Status of Women and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg. Without them, this Cabaret would not be possible. Special thanks to Neighborhoods Alive! and NERI for supporting our North End performances.

One Night Stand Series
“Amazing job, everyone! And for those involved in [my piece], thank you so much for helping me bring that world to life… Truly an inspirational night!” –  Marjorie Roden, featured playwright

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One Night Stand Fringe Frenzy! at Carol Shields Festival of new Works

With the help of producer Tatiana Carnevale and Prairie Theatre Exchange we re-launched the One Night Stand playreading Series. The Series gives playwrights the opportunity to test their work, while giving audiences a chance to take part in their development process.  Look out for the launch of One Night Stand next season at closing night of FemFest! We will be featuring readings from Judith Thompson and our most celebrated local playwrights.

 

Workshops for Emerging Artists
“So much good info!”
“Extremely beneficial”
“It was great! More workshops!” – Feedback from workshop participants

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Our Artistic Director Hope McIntyre facilitates at Auditioning 101

We served 85 emerging artists with our Emerging Artist workshop series this season.
We tackled some of our most-requested workshops this year with Grantwriting & Taxes for Artists, Auditioning 101 and Mock Auditions for Advanced Actors.  We thank our partners Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, ACI Manitoba, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Projects Manitoba and Winnipeg Jewish Theatre for helping us support education opportunities for emerging artists. Plans for the 2017/18 Emerging Artists Workshop Series are already underway! Drop us a line if there is a workshop you’d like to see.

North End Workshop Series
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study theatre but now I’m sure!” – Sabil, youth participant

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Youth facilitator Erica Wilson offers direction as the youth participants work on their scene

We kicked-off 2017 with a focused series of theatre workshops for North End youth. Youth Coordinators Frances Koncan and Cherrel Holder alongside a series of guest artists, introduced theatre techniques and worked on scenes with youth. On February 22nd we celebrated with a showcase of the youth involved. We have already heard from multiple youth that they have decided to pursue theatre and we look forward to supporting them with mentorship in 2017/18.

 

 


Women’s Comedy Night Fundraiser

“Congratulations! What a great evening!!” – Brigit Krasovec
“Great turn out! Amazing show.” – Tim Gray

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Actions shots of some of the comedians at the Women’s Comedy Night Fundraiser

We took a leap and tried something brand new with our comedy fundraiser. We teamed up with Winnipeg’s hilarious women comedians to produce the Women’s Comedy Night. The event saw unprecedented success—selling out and packing the venue with an incredible mix of Sarasvàti supporters and comedy fans. We had a blast and you better believe we’ll be doing this again next year.

 

 


Shattered
High School Tour

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The cast of Shattered

“Things aren’t what they seem and we should never assume things about people. I learned a lot and I
could tell my fellow audience members also learned something new. I realized a lot more people in our
school had experience with mental illness than I thought.” -Student at Fort Richmond Collegiate

We broke pervious records by performing to 6,161 youth and educators in Manitoba. Shattered has received overwhelming praise from teachers and students alike. It was also transformative for the cast who were touched by the number of youth who approached them after performances to share their own struggles with mental health.


FemFest2016: Transformation

We were proud to present such provocative touring shows as Miss Understood, Mouthpiece, as well as clown favourites Morro & Jasp Do Puberty. The world premiere of the previous year’s Bake-Off winner Sherry MacDonald’s The Seduction Theory made a huge impact as audiences discussed the ways we continue to victim-blame.

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These are just a few of our highlights. What stood out for you? Save the date for August 4th at 7pm and stay tuned for exciting details about our 2017/18 season launch.

Workshops to the Rescue!

There are two things are inevitable for an Artist – grant writing and taxes.
Do you ever find yourself wondering…
-Which grants am I eligible for?
-Are there grants I should be applying for?
-How do I write a grant??
-Should I be filing my taxes as an Artist?
-What can and can’t I write off?
Do you then turn into an ostrich because it’s nice and quiet under the sand?

Writing grants and filing your taxes can be incredibly intimidating, but the benefits can most certainly outweigh the costs, so Sarasvàti has put together a workshop to help. It is just the first in this year’s series of workshops to support emerging artists!

On Sunday November 20th from 2pm-5pm come on down to the 4th floor classroom at ACI and we will get you started at the Grant Writing and Taxes for Artists Workshop.

Martine Friesen from Manitoba Arts Council and Dominic Lloyd from Winnipeg Arts Council will present on the grant programs each of their organizations offer, who is eligible and how you apply for them, particularly as Emerging Theatre Artist’s.  You will also have the opportunity to hear a presentation by an expert on filing taxes as an Artist. Presentations will be followed by ample time for Q&A with the experts.

Cost is $15. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 9th. Register with Angie at associate@sarasvati.ca or by calling 204-586-2236.

And that’s not all! Check out what we have in store for the rest of our workshop season.

Auditioning for Theatre 101
This May, Sarasvàti Productions Artistic Director Hope McIntyre delivers a concise workshop on auditioning for theatre targeted to beginners.

Artistic Directors Audition Panel
This spring, Sarasvàti Productions will bring the Artistic Directors of some of the major theatres in Winnipeg together for an audition info panel.

Coffee with a Pro
This informal mentorship series continues with dates and Artists to be announced throughout the season. Send us an email if there’s an established Artist in your field that you would like to talk shop with.

The One Night Stand Series returns!
Sarasvàti Productions is pairing up with PTE and MAP to produce a series of readings of new works in progress. The series will begin in January with specific dates to be announced. Playwrights can submit excerpts from a work in progress to be read by actors in front of an audience at Prairie Theatre Exchange’s Colin Jackson Studio Theatre! It is being coordinated by Tatiana Carnevale. The first One Night Stand will take place on Tuesday February 2nd at PTE’s Colin Jackson Studio.
Stay tuned for more information and check out these photos from last year’s Workshop Series!

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Fascinating Theatre Lives of Krista Jackson and Rod Beilfuss

Emerging artists, ever wonder how theatre professionals made it to where they are today? Well, not only do we have two workshops and three Work It Nights planned in the New Year, but also a free Q&A session! This is your chance to ask Krista Jackson and Rod Beilfuss about their careers, their work on Private Lives and get tips as artists. Krista is directing Private Lives at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre for CowardFest and Rod is apprentice directing with her. They are both multitalented and accomplished artists, read on to learn more about them.

 

Krista Jackson

Krista JacksonKrista is a graduate of Ryerson’s acting program and founded zone41 theatre in Winnipeg in 2009. As she transitioned into directing, she joined the Shaw Festival for the 2012 Neil Munro Intern Directors’ Project where she assisted directed Hedda Gabler, His Girl Friday, Misalliance. In the Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, she was assistant director on Mother Courage and her Children. Her work with zone41 includes: Three Sisters, The Miser of Middlegate (both with TPM) and Village Wooing. She has directed The Seagull, Private Lives – Upcoming (MTC), Dying to be Thin (MTYP). Krista is the artistic associate at the Grand Theatre for the 2014/2015 season where she will direct Much Ado About Nothing in the spring. Next summer she returns to Stratford to assist John Caird on Love’s Labour’s Lost Krista is the proud recipient of the 2013 Gina Wilkinson Prize for female directors.

 

Rod Beilfuss

Rod BeilfussRodrigo is an actor-director, and was last seen onstage at the Fringe in the dance piece “La Belle Laide”. Recent projects as an actor include The Comedy of Errors (SIR) and About Love & Champagne (ChekhovFest). Directing credits include Venus in Fur (Tristan Bates-UK), Lungs, Generous, Cock and Bull (TBTR). Additionally, he is the apprentice director of the RMTC production of Private Lives.

Rod trained at England’s London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and the University of Winnipeg. More info at rodrigobeilfuss.com

 

So put your thinking caps on, come up with some questions and come to the Royal MTC Mainstage on February 5th at 5:30pm to learn from Krista and Rod! This event is being presented with support from the Royal MTC. While it is free, space is limited so please RSVP.

For more information on this or our other awesome opportunities for emerging artists click here! To register phone or email Wren at 204-586-2236, wren@sarasvati.ca

Sharon Bajer and Jan Skene Share Their Knowledge!

Are you an emerging artist? We are offering a chance to get inside information from the pros through a wonderful series of workshops this season! We’re excited to report that our first workshop, The Wonderful World of Grants 101, filled up completely well before the registration deadline! A good reason for emerging artists to sign up ASAP for our next two workshops:

How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Sharon Bajer
Tuesday, January 27th 4:30pm to 6:30pm
$15 Fee
Sharon Bajer HeadshotSharon is an actress, playwright and director and currently the Directing Artist-in–Residence at Rainbow Stage. Recent credits include acting in The Seagull and A Christmas Story at RMTC, directing Portage and Munsch (PTE), Run for Your Wife (Festival Antigonish), Bloodless (White Rabbit Productions), Riddle Me Home (Tapestry New Opera), The Ends of the Earth (PTE@PTE) and Cry After Midnight and Eden for Sarasvàti. Sharon was a participant in Stratford’s Michael Langham Workshop in Classical Direction for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Sharon is a member of the Playwrite’s Unit at PTE. She has written several plays including Hersteria, Burnin’ Love and Molly’s Veil. Sharon is a graduate of Studio 58.

With all her experience as an actress, playwright and director she will teach participants how to make sure their cover letters, resumes, headshots, and scripts are actually considered. Sharon will teach participants about formatting standards, tips on writing great cover letters, and how to layout their resume to conform to industry standard and stand out from the others. Deadline to register and pay is January 13th!

Get Your Act Together – Introduction to Business Basics for Theatre Artists with Jan Skene
Sunday, March 8th 4pm to 6pm
$15 Fee

As a working theatre artist, you are essentially your own small business! Being self-employed brings many challenges but also many benefits over the course of an artist’s career. This introductory workshop offers an opportunity for artists to have their questions answered in relation to self-promotion, membership in EQUITY/ACTRA, dealing with taxes and accessing resources.

Jan Skene HeadshotJan Skene is best known as an accomplished actor/singer and director, having appeared on almost all of Winnipeg’s main stages over the past 25 years. Recent highlights include Peter Pan (MTYP), White Christmas (RMTC), The Brink (PTE), Footloose (Rainbow Stage), Hersteria at the Winnipeg Fringe, Follies (Dry Cold). Jan has been working steadily as an actor, puppeteer and voice performer in Manitoba’s film and television industry. She has many film, tv and radio credits to her name including series lead on Fred Penner’s Place and Tipi as well as principal roles on Strings, The Plague, The Atwood Stories, The Many Trials of Jane Doe.

Jan is currently Vice President of the ACTRA Manitoba Council and head of the Training Committee. She has co-developed and delivered ACTRA’s Apprenticeship Training Course over the past several years is currently a member of the Film Training Manitoba Board. In addition to her work as a performer, Jan is co-founder and business manager of Skene Stunts Inc. with her husband Rick Skene. Together with their sons Daniel and Sean they have worked on over 150 film and television productions.

For more information on these or are other awesome opportunities for emerging artists click here! To register phone or email Wren at 204-586-2236, wren@sarasvati.ca

Unleash Your Inner Muppet and Find Your Super Power

This year for FemFest we have extremely talented artists coming to share their stories, and some of them would like to help you tell yours! Everyone deserves an opportunity for their stories to be heard regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, and cultural background. This is why Sarasvàti Productions is dedicated to supporting all emerging artists as they grow and develop their skills. Whether you are interested in good old fashioned storytelling, telling your stories through the mouths of fuzzy puppets or just listening to someone else’s creative process, this year’s FemFest touring artists have something for you. Read on to learn more about the workshops and lecture that will foster unique theatrical education and social awareness. And stay tuned for exciting emerging artist programming all season as we welcome Emerging Artist in Residence Wren Hookey to the staff team!

Michaela croppedStorytellers are Superheroes facilitated by touring artist, Michaela Di Cesare
Sunday, September 14th 1pm-3pm $15 fee; contact wren@sarasvati.ca to register (please note registration is limited)

What superpower have you always wanted? Turning back time, telling the future, mind reading, x-ray vision? What if I told you all of these are possible achievements through the magic of storytelling? Well, maybe not x-ray vision. In this workshop you will learn how the storyteller shapes and influences history and how to unleash the power of your personal stories. Participants will come away with at least one original story that can be performed, as well as a toolkit of skills that can be built on for future storytelling greatness. Participants must be comfortable with performance, improvisation and sharing personal stories.

Learn to Puppet, Muppet Style!
facilitated by touring artist, Tara TravisTara and puppet
Wednesday, September 17th 4:30pm-6:30pm $15 fee; contact wren@sarasvati.ca to register (please note registration is limited)

Professional actor/puppeteer Tara Travis teaches the basics of hand and rod (“Muppet”-style) puppetry. Students will apply their knowledge of physical theatre to the art of puppetry as they explore the many elements of bringing a puppet to life. Students are encouraged to bring their own puppets from home if they’d like to learn how to get the most life out of them! Rehearsal puppets and “Basics of Puppetry” booklet provided by the instructor. http://www.stickyfingersproductions.org @TaraCreative

The Real Thing Lecture
September 18th, 12:30-1:20pm

Sponsored by the University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre and Film, The Real Thing lecture will provide emerging artists with the opportunity to get a sense of what the theatre industry is really like. The lecture will be delivered by Tara Travis, a playwright, puppeteer and performer from Vancouver, BC with years of experience in all facets of the theatre industry. Don’t miss this fun factual, and free learning opportunity!

Sarasvàti is dedicated to offering relevant and affordable skill development opportunities for emerging artists, which is why the FemFest workshops are only $15 each! The Real Thing Lecture is sponsored by the University of Winnipeg Theatre and Film Department, and is free, just show up to claim a seat. For more information or to reserve a spot in one of the workshops please email: wren@sarasvati.ca