ENVISION – Sarasvàti Productions 2017/18 Season Launch

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Sarasvàti Productions invites you to envision a season of life-changing theatre that is inclusive, full of possibility and absolutely thrilling!

From FemFest 2017: Coming of Age to the 2018 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues: I Am Unstoppable, to a formidable season of workshops geared to supporting youth and emerging artists: we are so excited to get started! Join us on August 4th at the Saddlery on Market (114 Market Ave)–a beautiful new spot in the Exchange District. This party is absolutely free. Show up by 7pm to enjoy the entire evening, or pop in throughout your First Friday adventures.

We’ll be celebrating FemFest’s 15th birthday by having some of our staff and artists share things they wrote as a child.

Let us entertain you with a Cabaret-style line-up featuring artists from our season to come. RobYn Slade presents a sampling of 50/50 theatre-improv fusion from the FemFest 2017 Cabaret. Reena Jolly performs a monologue devised from interviews with young newcomer women as part of New Beginnings development. Melanee Deschambeault and Erica Wilson perform a teaser  from FemFest featured show Two Indians and much, much more!

See what you envision at our awesome build-your-own kaleidoscope station courtesy of ArtsJunktion mb.

And as always we’ll have plenty of decadent cupcakes supplied generously by Cake-ology.

So join us on Friday August 4th as we envision an incredible season of Winnipeg theatre.
See more event details here.

 

Handfuls of Highlights: FemFest 2013 Wrap-Up!

We are overwhelmed with the number of responses we have received over the past week from those who were involved in this year’s festival! Today’s post pays tribute to a wonderful run of FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution with a series of testimonials from various people who were involved with the festival and a short highlight video. Lastly, don’t forget that we are currently accepting submissions for FemFest 2014: She’s Got the Power! The deadline to submit is Thursday, October 31st. For complete details and information on how to submit, view our call for submissions page on our website.

fem2013_haroldvivian_IMG_0107 (3) (1024x683)“Working on Harold and Vivian for Femfest this year has been such a delight and incredibly fun opportunity. I’m super pleased it was a hit! My cast was so perfect, I couldn’t ask for more, I’d do it all over in a pinch.”

– Brenda McLean, Director

“I owe Sarasvàti a good deal, not just as a female artist but also as a young emerging playwright. This season saw the first production of a script that I had written solo. To be able to see my work professionally produced was a wonderful experience for me, and one that I would probably not have gotten for a long time without Hope McIntyre and Sarasvàti.” 

Jessy Ardern, Playwright Continue reading

Three Days Left to Join in on the Action at FemFest 2013!

FEMFEST2013 logoA great big thank you goes out to all of our audiences, volunteers, season subscribers, and board members who helped kick-off FemFest 2013 last weekend at the Opening Cabret and who have continued to support us throughout the week! Our in-house production of Harold and Vivian ,written by local playwright Jessy Ardern has been a tremendous hit with FemFest audiences this year and plays one last time this Saturday at 4:00pm!

We also have several other productions playing this weekend including another in-house production, Flood Control, and two incredible touring productions, The Aftermath, and pomme is french for apple. Keep reading to find out more about these performances.

Flood Control (4)Flood Control – On the eve of his fortieth birthday, lonely Ray stands on a bridge over a swollen river, building up the nerve to end his life. He’s interrupted by Gina, a highly-organized woman who has come to kill herself simply because she has nothing else left to do. Finding what is missing from their lives is a revelation for the characters. This play written by Marilyn Anne Campbell features local actors Elena Anciro and Grant Burr and is directed by our Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre. Only one chance left to catch Flood Control, Thursday, Sept. 19th at 7pm. Admission is $10.

Pomme6pomme is french for apple –  Created and performed by liza paul and bahia watson, it was a critic’s pick, patron pick and best of fringe at the Toronto Fringe Festival. pomme is french for apple is a vaudevillian and distinctly west indian exploration of the absurdity of women’s lives in settings diverse as the islands, downtown toronto, southeast london, and the too-tight crotch of the pants. What more could you ask for? Check out pomme is french for apple on Thursday, Sept. 19th at 9pm or on Friday, Sept. 20th at 9pm. Admission is $10.

GetInlineThe Aftermath – Written and performed by Lisa Codrington, Black Row Theatre Collective of Toronto, ON presents this one woman show about Jane who is preparing for the Apocalypse and she wants you to be ready too.  By spinning The Great Flood, Hurricane Katrina, and her own personal experience with zombies and chicken pox into a comprehensive cautionary tale, Jane presents a fresh and frank lecture on how to survive the unimaginable. Check out The Aftermath on Friday, Sept. 20th at 7pm and Saturday, Sept. 21st at 7pm. Admission is $10

Then don’t miss our Closing Cabaret on September 21st at 9pm to celebrate another successful year with fabulous female artists, food by New Host Restaurant and our much anticipated raffle draw!

There truly is something for everyone at this years FemFest! We hope you will be able to join in on the action at some point over the next three days. For more information on our full line-up this weekend and to reserve or purchase tickets, vist our website at www.femfest.ca . Tickets are also available at the door!

Count Down to FemFest 2014: Revelation and Revolution!

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Believe it or not, we are just two days away from kicking-off FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution! The festival starts this Saturday, Sept. 14th at The University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony Street). Our first day will feature a reading of Perfect Love a new play written by Winnipeg playwright Talia Pura, a workshop presentation of Giving Voice, a new forum theatre piece, and our crowd pleasing Opening Cabaret and reception! Keep reading to find out more about this Saturday’s line-up.

1:00pm Perfect Love by Talia Pura

Is love ever perfect? This new play written by Talia Pura features a collection of playlets which were inspired by the Miss Lonelyhearts colomn in the Winnipeg Free Press!

“All those people with all those love-life issues! They are all far from perfect, but wonderful fodder for the imagination. Just picture the scene when she takes the advice and goes for it. Or imagine what happened that prompted him to write in the first place.” – Talia Pura

Perfect Love is being directed by Winnipeg actor, director and playwright Sharon Bajer and features four fabulous local actors: Gordon Tanner, Sarah Constible, Justin Otto, and Samantha Walters. Admission is by donation!

3:00pmGiving Voice

Giving Voice is our much anticipated workshop presentation of a new forum theatre piece developed with VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network. The script explores issues that youth in care have had to deal with from the stigma of being in care to the transition to a new home. We invite you to join us for this unique presentation and to provide feedback on this important subject matter. The play features Emily Barker, John Echano, Mark Head, Dawn Lavand, Alexis Martin, Victoria Perrie and Kerri Potter. Admission is by donation!

7:00pmOpening Cabaret and reception

Each year our Opening Cabaret and reception is a FemFest hit! Our Cabaret will feature amazing performances, teasers from other FemFest shows, visual art, great music, guest speakers, and so much more. Afterwards, we invite you to join us for a reception in the lobby for a chance for you to meet and celebrate with the artists, connect with other audience members, and even pamper yourself a little with a mini manicure and scalp/head/arm massages by the students at MC College! All this for only $10 a ticket!

Saturday is going to be one kick-off you won’t want to miss! To reserve or purchase tickets to any of these events, visit us online at http://www.femfest.ca .

Former ‘Pegger Showcased at FemFest

We are very excited to include pomme is french for apple in the FemFest line-up. Created and performed by liza paul and bahia watson, it was a critic’s pick, patron pick and best of fringe at the Toronto Fringe Festival. pomme is french for apple is a vaudevillian and distinctly west indian exploration of the absurdity of women’s lives in settings diverse as the islands, downtown toronto, southeast london, and the too-tight crotch of the pants. What more could you ask for? Plus presenting the show means a chance for artist bahia watson to return to Winnipeg!

bahia watson

bahia watson

“i left winnipeg a few years ago to escape the winter and to chase my dreams. working primarily in the toronto theatre scene means that most of the people who grew up with me and raised me haven’t been able to see what it is that i do. it thrills me to be able to return to my beloved hometown to share pomme is french for apple with everyone who knew me first. as a dancer, the caribbean communities of winnipeg were my first audiences. they supported, encouraged and inspired me deeply. we are grateful to femfest for inviting us and allowing us to add a likkle something to di pot.

ya ready, pegcity? let’s get into it. xo”

– bahia watson, co-creator of pomme is french for apple

 

Check out the pomme website for more videos and pomme news. There are just three performances of the show at FemFest so get your tickets early!

FemFest Cabarets Feature an Array of Talent!

It has become a tradition that each year FemFest will open and close with a cabaret celebrating female artists from multiple disciplines. These are amazing evenings featuring performers, dancers, visual artists, comedians and film-makers. FemFest 2013 will not disappoint. We have put together a unique line-up of artists to showcase to launch the festival on September 14th and to ceremoniously end the festival on September 21st.

Here is the exciting line-up for both but stay tuned for more details and news!

Opening Cabaret and Reception – Saturday, September 14, 7 p.m.

Host: Susan Tymofichuk (CTV)

  • visual art by MAWA artists
  • The Exchange a short play by Katherine Koller
  • Accalia Robertson – tribal dance
  • Samantha Halas – contortionist
  • Melanie Dahling – comedian
  • Acquetore: Swan Doll – devised theatre by Devan Gingrich, Megan Sekiya and Brittany Thiessen
  • Van Kunder – music
  • The Craftastics: Agents for Social Change by Jennie O and Valley Gardens Middle School Grrlz Club – Art Installation in lobby and Trading Card Deck – Developed through the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Community WITH ART Program
  • Plus teasers from other FemFest shows

Tickets:$10

Closing Cabaret and Reception – Saturday, September 21, 9 p.m.

Host: Kerri Salki (Clear FM)

  • visual art by MAWA artists
  • Adi Sara Kreindler – music
  • Heather Witherden – comedian
  • Renée Vandale – dance
  • Teresa-Lee Cooke – prose writing
  • Danishka Esterhazy – short film “Fallen”

Tickets:$10

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/

FemFest Features Fabulous Talent!

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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

Great Theatre – Fringe and FemFest

Great Theatre Begins at the Fringe But Certainly Does Not End There!

Next week the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival begins! It’s been a while since Sarasvàti Productions was able to produce at the Fringe but FemFest in September makes our summer a little crazy. On the plus side it means our team get to enjoy the Fringe and see a large number of great shows. Our Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre, is excited to see work by some of her former students as well as the many talented Winnipeggers she has worked with before. Our volunteers will be out in full force distributing surveys and buttons in order to start the FemFest buzz. Look for the survey boxes at Urban Forest and the Winnipeg Free Press Café.

survey box photo2

There is also a large number of FemFest artists who are in the Fringe.

  • Megan Andres is directing our short piece The Exchange at FemFest and is involved with 3 Fringe shows (Offices by Ethan Coen, Kissing Sweet & Other Silliness by John Guare and Raising Roger an original play by local writer C. Jones for which she served as dramaturg)
  • Nan Fewchuk will be acting in our short-list reading series and can be seen in Dog Act at the Fringe produced by her own Nancan Boogie Productions
  • Talia Pura’s new play Perfect Love will be read at FemFest and she is performing in Rope at the Fringe.
  • Brittany Thiessen will be performing a new devised piece at our opening cabaret plus performing in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests, see her Fringe in Quickies with Chekhov
  • Speaking of Harold and Vivian, playwright Jessy Ardern’s company The Struts and Frets Players is Fringing with The Hounds of Ulster
  • David Fox is also in Harold and Vivian and will be playing Tommy in The Who’s Tommy produced by Winnipeg Broadway Theatre
  • Melanie Dahling is doing stand-up for one of our cabarets and can be seen in her own Fringe show Dirty and True
  • Our production assistant, Jonathan Kindzierski is stage managing both Quilters and The Collectors
  • In fact almost all of our production team is also doing Fringe shows or venue tech work
  • Plus we are still confirming other actors and artists!
  • Plus dozens of past FemFest artists we can’t wait to see again!
  • Plus some of our friends will have FemFest ads in their programs including fellow WIT (Winnipeg Independent Theatre) member Theatre by the River who are producing 7 Stories!

So check out the Fringe and then save the dates of September 14-21 for FemFest!

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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