A Toast to 15 Years: Celebrating Winnipeg Playwrights

Are you aware of the talented playwrights Winnipeg has to offer?

This city is home to female playwrights who challenge us, question us, inspire us and make us laugh. As a toast to 15 years of FemFest, we are celebrating some of Winnipeg’s most accomplished playwrights in this special edition of the One Night Stand.

Coordinated by Tatiana Carnevale, Sarasvàti Productions’ One Night Stand series gives playwrights the opportunity to test their work, while providing audiences a chance to take part in the developmental process. On Saturday, September 23rd at 7pm Judith Thompson will join five local playwrights as they present readings of work in development. Be one of the first people to hear this exciting brand new work!

One Night Stand Playwright Sharon BajerSharon Bajer is a member of the playwright’s unit at Prairie Theatre Exchange. Her plays include Molly’s Veil, Burnin’ Love, Hersteria, To the Country, The Mother Load, Jesus Does Laundry Too and The Gingerbread Girl (in progress). Coming up, Sharon will direct The Best Brothers at Western Canada Theatre Company and Theatre Northwest and Fly Me to the Moon at Prairie Theatre Exchange.

 

 

One Night Stand Playwright Columpa BobbColumpa Bobb was born in Canada and is the great grand daughter of Chief Dan George who was chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Many of her plays have been produced all across Canada. She has been nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the James Buller Award. In 1997 she won a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

 

One Night Stand Playwright Ginny Collins Now

 

Ginny Collins has worked with English and French theatre communities. Ginny’s play The Flats (Les Flats) was produced by Prairie Theatre Exchange and Theatre Cercle Moliere in 2017. Ginny’s other works include Good Intentions (WJT 2014) The Good Daughter, MBTV: Histoire en Direct, Prairie Spirits, and Terroristas. Ginny is under commission by Prairie Theatre Exchange for Revenge and Co. She is a member of the Prairie Theatre Exchange Playwrights Unit.


One Night Stand Playwright Trish CooperTricia Cooper began writing sketch comedy with the Royal Liechtenstein Theatre Company and wrote for Fringe Festivals across Canada including The Comment Card and Homely Woman #2 (with Vanessa Macrae). Hey pay Social Studies, developed and produced at Prairie Theatre Exchange, went on to be produced by Centaur Theatre in Montreal, and Firehall Theatre in Vancouver. Social Studies won Best Play at the Manitoba Book Awards.

 


One Night Stand Playwright Primrose Knazan
Jewish Filipino-Canadian playwright Primrose Madayag Knazan has been featured at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, the International Writers Festival, CBC Radio, the Carol Shields Festival of New Works, and Sarasvàti’s
FemFest. She has been published in three anthologies and represented Manitoba at the first Asian-Canadian Theatre Conference in Toronto.

 

Some playwrights will be reading their own work and others will have our One Night Stand ensemble of actors at their disposal, including Anita Daher, Melanie Dean, Renee Hill, Melissa Langdon and Steve Yurkiw. Sarasvàti Productions would like to thank to PGC and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Play Connect program for supporting Judith Thompson and Ginny Collins’ participation. 

Play Connect

 

 

Join us in the lobby afterwards to celebrate another successful festival!

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Who’s Got the Power?

Banner SYTYCA 2015Superman, an environmental terrorist, a creepy date and a widow whose husband was eaten by a bear. These are just some of the characters that this year’s celebrities will tackle at So You Think You Can Act. This year’s event is only two short weeks away and rehearsals have begun! It’s been a pleasure introducing the celebrities to their acting partners and hearing these hilarious scripts come off the page. Under this year’s theme of Power Play, we have found writing by a mix of work by emerging Winnipeg writers and some of Canada’s most established playwrights. Although each get only 2 hours to rehearse under the direction of Cairn Moore, they have great material to work with. Keep reading to see what scenes and which actors each celebrity is working with!

Rana Bokhari will be playing Maria in Michael Healey’s political dark comedy Generous with Kevin Gabel. This play was produced a couple years ago by Theatre by the River and of course Healey’s play Proud was produced by Theatre Projects this past fall with Kevin Gabel also appearing in it. We are also pleased to announce that Kevin will be in our spring production of Miss N Me!

Chris Cvetkovic gets to play Superman opposite Lyle Morris in Ken Mitchell’s play Heroes. What happens when Superman and the Lone Ranger meet in their Chief’s office waiting room? We are pleased to have Lyle on board after his great performance in Launched at FemFest 2014.

André Lewis with Danielle Savage will be playing the title characters in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Ardern. This piece won our first Bake-Off at FemFest 2012 and was fully produced at FemFest 2013. Danielle Savage helped take Troy Westwood to victory last year – can she do the same this year?

Kelly Linehan will be tackling the character of Lorrie in George F. Walker’s play Featuring Loretta with Spenser Payne. Lorrie’s husband has been eaten by a bear and she needs to figure out what to do with her life. Kelly should have a blast working with Spenser, who is also part of the Talentless Lumps.

Romi Mayes will be playing the wannabe terrorist Melissa with Cheryl Gensiorek in Terroristas by Ginny Collins. Last year we included Ginny’s piece Good Intentions, which had premiered at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2013. This will be Cheryl’s third time in this event and in 2013 she helped Kerri Salki win the trophy.

Doug Speirs will be playing Man in Eye to Eye by Christopher Graybill with Nan Fewchuk playing Woman in this hilarious ten minute play about a first date gone awry. Nan has appeared in multiple pieces with Sarasvàti Productions, most recently The Naked Woman at FemFest 2014. Hopefully she can stay focused as Doug Speirs lays it on thick.

Taz Stuart gets to try his hand at romantic comedy as Rudy in Norm Foster’s Wrong for Each Other with Liz Whitbread. Liz is about to appear in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. She also appeared in a Norm Foster scene at last year’s event, helping Big Daddy Tazz tie for first with Troy Westwood.

Between these hilarious scenes, the comedic talents of the judges, Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gordon Tanner, and witty hosting by Jon Ljungberg this will be one super fun night! And if that wasn’t enough we also have thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle prizes (raffle licence #MGCC5542). Don’t miss out, buy tickets now! Tickets can be purchased online here or by phoning us at 204-586-2236. Rana Bokhari started off strong in our blog polls, but was over taken by Kelly Linehan. Unfortunately Kelly wasn’t ahead for long before Romi Mayes beat her by a nose. And the guys really haven’t been feeling the love. Now that the scenes are revealed will that all change?

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SYTYCA Presents: The Actors!

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Wondering who will help our celebrities shine on stage? Today, we are pleased to bring you our fabulous line-up of talented local actors for our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act fundraising event! In less than two weeks, seven local celebrity participants will test out their acting chops on stage in front of a panel of judges. Once all celebrities have performed, YOU will vote for the winner of the trophy (and bragging rights of course)! Keep reading to find out more about our actors.

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Grant Burr – Look familiar? You may have caught Grant playing the role of Ray in Flood Control by Marilyn Anne Campbell as part of FemFest 2013. Grant is sure to show Eva Kovacs the ropes in a scene from The Fighting Days by Wendy Lill.

Justin OttoAs a recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg Acting Honours program, Justin is the perfect candidate to play Jim Ingebrigtsen’s teaching assistant in a scene from The Essay by Hannah Moscovitch. Will this duo win over the audience’s vote?

Andrea Houssin We are pleased to have Andrea play the role of Hannah in a scene from Good Intentions by Ginny Collins. You may have seen Andrea in this very role earlier this season at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. Will Andrea’s experience give Kris Laudien a step-up above the rest?

Lorraine James – Lorraine is no stranger to Sarasvàti Productions! Last year she played the role of Kirsty in All My Day Jobs by Kirsten Van Ritzen as part of our IWW Cabaret of Monologues. Lorraine is sure to make former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan work for the prize in a scene from Riot by Andrew Moodie.

Cheryl Gensiorek – At last year’s So You Think You Can Act, Cheryl helped Kerri Salki of Clear FM shine on stage and take home the grand prize! Surely her expertise will give Alison Gillmor the upper hand. Catch these two in a scene from The Girl Who Loved Castro by Colleen Curran.

Elizabeth Whitbread – Elizabeth has appeared in a number of independent productions throughout the years. She is currently in the 4th year Acting Honours program at The University of Winnipeg. Elizabeth will be performing alongside Big Daddy Tazz in a hilarious scene from Kiss The Moon, Kiss The Sun by Norm Foster.

Danielle Savage – In a recent article, Troy Westwood stated that he is excited to be working with a pro like Danielle Savage in this year’s So You Think You Can Act. Having many years of experience on the stage, Danielle is sure to help Troy prove he can act in a side splitting scene from Why Torture is Wrong, and The People Who Love Them by Chirstopher Durang.

There will also be a special voice over appearance by local actor Kevin Anderson!

So You Think You Can Act will take place on February 19th, 2014 at 7:00pm at The Gas Station Arts Centre (445 River Ave). This unique fundraising event is sure to have your laughing in your seats! Tickets are $25 dollars and include a fabulous wine reception after the show. All money raised will go towards supporting the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions. There will also be thousands of dollars in raffle prizes donated by local businesses and a 50/50 draw (raffle licence #MGCC#5542). Help support local arts and get your tickets before it’s too late! Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling our office at (204) 586-2236. We’ll see you on February 19th!

 Which pair do you think will steal the spotlight? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and/or on Twitter using the #SYTYCA!

SYTYCA Presents: Kris Laudien

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Broadcasting live is certainly different then performing in front of an audience on stage. But will being the co-host of a live morning show give Kris Laudien an advantage? Find out at our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act on February 19th at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Keep reading to find out more about Kris, one of our seven local celebrity participants. Kris will take on the role of Peter in an excerpt from Good Intentions written by local playwright Ginny Collins! Ginny is a member of Winnipeg’s Group of 7 female playwrights. Sound familiar? Good Intentions premiered at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre back in the fall. You won’t want to miss Kris Laudien in this hilarious scene!

Peter just isn’t good at asking a beautiful women out on a date. Will he get the girl?

Kris Laudien – CTV Morning Live Anchor

Kris Laudien - HeadshotKris Laudien joined CTV Winnipeg in the summer of 2011 as the station’s co-host of CTV Morning Live. He was born in Europe, but grew up in Vancouver, B.C. During his senior year, Kris was voted most likely to host a talk show by his high school peers. After spending a year at University, he followed that advice by jumping to the Broadcast Program at BCIT in Vancouver. Before joining CTV, Kris was a sports anchor in Edmonton and spent many years in radio including a memorable 4-year stint as the morning show co-host & producer of Mojo Radio in Vancouver. Kris says interviewing Prime Minister Paul Martin, covering the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs and 2010 Winter Olympics are the highlights of his career so far. Outside of work, Kris enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle when the weather permits. He also loves movies and travelling, especially in Central and South America.

Will the trophy go to the football player, comedien, journalist, or live news anchor? YOU get to decide only at So You Think You Can Act! Tickets to this entertaining evening are $25 and include a wine reception after the show. All funds raised will go towards supporting the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions, including our spring production and Winnipeg premiere of Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes in May 2014. Help support local arts and purchase your tickets today.

SYTYCA Scenes Announced!

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Fighting for women’s rights, worst way to get a date, unplanned pregnancies, underpants, and more! We bet we’ve got your attention now. Today, we are pleased to announce the scenes we will be featuring in this year’s So You Think You Can Act fundraising event. Each celebritiy will be paired with an actor to perform one of these contemporary plays. This year’s theme is The Revolution Starts Now and has resulted in a collection of scenes with something for everyone! The scenes feature an array of works by Canadian playwrights including a scene from local playwright Ginny Collins piece Good Intentions which premiered at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre this fall, and  a piece by Christopher Durang who is known for his outrageous and absurd comedy. Keep reading to find out which scene your favourite celebritity will be featured in!

SYTYCA 2014 Featuring:

Alison Gillmor as DEB in The Girl Who Loved Castro by Colleen Curran
Deb is sipping a Mojito in a small cantina in Havana, Cuba boasting about her admiration for Fidel Castro. What will Maria, the fed-up cantina keeper, do when she’s finally had enough?

Jim Ingebrigtsen as GALBRAITH in The Essay by Hannah Moscovitch
What is history? It’s up for debate as Galbraith and Jeffery, his teaching assistant, argue the merits of a female student’s paper.

Obby Khan as WENDLE in Riot by Andrew Moodie
If you ask Wendle, the first thing he’ll say is “*$@# Quebec”! After all, English is the international language of business. Who needs French?

Eva Kovacs as FRANCIS in The Fighting Days by Wendy Lill
Francis is loud, Francis is proud, and Francis will NOT make a spectacle of herself at the suffrage parade! She believes change is coming, great change, but we must keep fighting!

Kris Laudien as PETER in Good Intentions by Ginny Collins
Peter just isn’t good at asking a beautiful women out on a date. Will he get the girl?

Big Daddy Tazz as SIMON in Kiss The Moon, Kiss The Sun by Norm Foster
You’re what??!! Simon swears this must mean only one thing. He does in fact have lasersperm.

Troy Westwood as LEONARD in Why Torture Is Wrong, And The People Who Love Them by Christopher Durang
Leonard is on a serious mission with his trusty side-kick Hildegarde. He only wishes her panties would stop falling down.

So You Think You Can Act: The Revolution Starts Now will be held on Feburary 19th, 2014 at 7:00pm at the Gas Station Arts Centre (445 River Ave.). There will be thousands of dollars worth of raffle prizes donated by local businesses plus a wine reception afterwards! Tickets are $25 dollars and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling our office at (204) 586-2236. We hope you will join us for a fantastic evening in support of the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions!