ENVISION – Sarasvàti Productions 2017/18 Season Launch


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!

Fem13 temporary web banner3

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


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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”


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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