IWW Thank You!

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Packed audiences, 10 young actors, 10 writers and plenty of community hospitality – including cheesecake! Last week, Sarasvàti Productions helped celebrate International Women’s Week once again with our 10th Cabaret of Monologues event! With two sold out public performances and several community presentations throughout Winnipeg and the surrounding area, this year was certainly one of our best yet. The response from audience members has been very inspiring and we would like to thank all of you who joined us to hear the voices of these young women, to explore the challenges they face in today’s society, and be inspired by the ways they Rise Up.

Shanley Spence, Ashley Kowalchuk, Hailley Rhoda and Ali Tataryn getting ready to perform at the U of W's IWGS event!We were invited to help celebrate Int’l Women’s Week on campus with The University of Manitoba’s Womyn’s Centre and The University of Winnipeg’s Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies. Both groups consisted of engaged audience members, many of whom were young up-and-coming female leaders themselves with a desire to create change in their communities.

We also had the opportunity to travel out to Selkirk and help the many supporters of Nova House celebrate the week. Nova House is a shelter for abused women and children in the Interlake Region of Manitoba. They provide temporary shelter, counselling, support groups, and referral to community resources. It was such a pleasure to perform at this fundraiser for an organization that is doing so much to help women in their community. We were also set to venture out to Gimli to help the Interlake Women’s Resource Centre celebrate. Unfortunately, due to the snow storm and unsafe highway conditions, the event was canceled. We do hope to be able to reschedule the event in the future.IWW Selkirk

The West Central Women’s Resource Centre in Winnipeg also brought us out for an afternoon performance! The WCRC exists to empower women to help themselves, their families and their community to safer, healthier lifestyles. This performance was met by avid audience members who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend a professional theatre production.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to those involved in “The Girls Project” at Kanikanichihk in Winnipeg. “The Girls Project” is a program that aims at building leadership in young Aboriginal women in the community between the ages of 15—21. Many of the girls involved in the project attended the event while others chose to volunteer as box office attendants and ushers.

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The official theme for this year’s IWD was “Inspiring Change”. We hope these stories inspired you to make change in some way, shape or form! Thank you once again to everyone who helped make this event a huge success. We couldn’t have done it without you. Stay tuned for our final production of the 2013/2014 season. The much anticipated Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes will run from May 22nd – June 1st and will feature and entire cast of 8 incredible local female theatre artists! Mark your calendars, save the date or book now! With only 60 seats per performance, this one-of-a-kind production it is bound to sell out fast.

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Happy Int’l Women’s Week 2014!

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It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! A time when Canadians, alongside millions of others all over the world, celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives. This week is International Women’s Week and Sarasvàti Productions is thrilled to be part of the celebrations once again with our 10th Cabaret of Monologues event.

We invite you to join us on March 7th and 8th at 8pm for an entertaining evening filled with a diverse line-up of monologues by Canadian playwrights, performed by a talented local cast. This year’s theme is Rise Up! which means all stories explore the diversity of the next generation of women!

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One of our favourite things about performing the Cabaret of Monologues event, as opposed to a full-length play, is that we have the incredible opportunity to celebrate the voices and stories of several women from all walks of life. This year’s theme has given us the privilege to hear the voices, experiences, and challenges of young women characters in particular. It has been an eye-opening experience to work on these pieces and to explore the issues young women face today, especially with a talented cast of 10 young women.

It is also exciting to see the community come together to celebrate these women, and women across the globe. This week, we have had the privilege to tour selected monologues from our line-up to various IWW events in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. We have already helped the U of M’s Womyn’s Centre and the U of W’s IWGS celebrate the week and will be heading out to the West Central Women’s Resource Centre tomorrow afternoon. We also made the trek to Selkirk and Gimli earlier this week and were pleased to be a part of Nova House and The Interlake Women’s Resource Centre’s celebrations.

There are only two chances for you to catch this incredible event – Friday, March 7th and Saturday, March 8th at 8:00pm inside the Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (at Prairie Theatre Exchange, 3rd Floor Portage Place)! Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or you can give us a shout at 204-586-2236 to reserve your tickets over the phone. This popular event is almost sold out so be sure to get your tickets now before it’s too late!

Happy International Women’s Week and International Women’s Day from all of us at Sarasvàti Productions!

Looking for more ways to celebrate IWW? On Saturday March 8, 2014, self-identified women, girls and theirs allies in Winnipeg will be marching in celebration of the 103rd International Women’s Day (IWD), starting at 12:00PM. For more information on the march, click here.

Cabaret of Monologues: 10 Young Women Rise Up!

Teen truckers, therapy sessions, beauty pageants, and literary obsessions! Find out what 10 young women have to say about the state of the world. Next week, we will be producing and taking to the community our Cabaret of Monologues event in celebration of International Women’s Week. The evening will offer a diverse line-up of monologues by Canadian playwrights and will be performed by a talented local cast. We are pleased to have these 10 young, up-and-coming women on board! Keep reading to find out more about our cast and about how you can catch these hilarious and inspiring performances.

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Cast:

Kaeleigh Ayre is thrilled to be working for Sarasvàti and to be bringing Kendra Jones’ words to life again, after being a part of FemFest in the fall. After taking a much needed break following Lion in the Streets at the Black Hole Theatre, Kaeleigh is looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

Shae Burstow is an aspiring actor and theatre student at the University of Winnipeg. This is her first appearance with Sarasvàti Productions and she is thrilled to be a part of this year’s cabaret of monologues. She is set to appear as Isabella and Win in the U of W’s upcoming production of Top Girls.

Victoria Hill is 23 years old, and is currently pursuing a double major in Theatre and Politics at the University of Winnipeg. Victoria has not only managed to put herself through school, while working, and doing theatre and film projects but she also enjoys volunteering in her community, and feels that love and compassion are so valuable in this life.

Andrea Houssin is very excited to be joining Sarasvàti Productions in celebrating International Women’s Week. Recently returned from Vancouver, Andrea made her hometown debut in Ginny Collins’ play Good Intentions at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre this season. Coming up: Waiting for the Parade at Western Canada Theatre.

Ashley Kowalchuk is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film programme. Her latest feminist theatre foray was during ChurchillFest in 2010 with an appearance in Skyline Theatre’s Owners.

Hailley Rhoda is a recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film Department. She has worked with Sarasvàti Productions several times in the past, and is happy to be back on such a fun project.

Shanley Spence is a 21 year old Cree and Ojibwa woman who was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba originally from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation on her mother’s side and Lake St. Martin First Nation on her father’s. She is a student at the University of Winnipeg, working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and International Development.

Ali Tataryn is an Actor, Performance Artist, and a Founder of Frame Arts Warehouse. Ali works as an actor for film and television and has been included in such projects as CBC’s Mr. Hockey and Less Than Kind. Ali graduated from Red River College Applied Counseling Skills Program with Honours in 2006 and the Academy of Acting in 2007.

Brittany Thiessen is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Acting Honours Program. She was last seen in The Samovar at this year’s Master Playwright Festival. Acquetoré: Swan Doll and Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests mark her most recent credits with Sarasvàti.

Samantha Walters is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Acting Honours program and of Canada’s National Voice Intensive. She was last seen playing the role of Irina in Three Sisters (Chekhovfest 2014). Samantha is currently working as the Associate Producer for Sarasvàti Productions.

Don’t miss these 10 women rock the stage on March 7th and 8th at 8:00pm at the Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (at Prarie Theatre Exchange, 3rd Floor Portage Place)! This popular event has sold out in the past so we highly recommend you purchase and/or reserve your tickets NOW to avoid disappointment. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online by clicking here. To make a reservation or to purchase tickets from our office, please give us a call at 204-586-2236! Our typical office hours are Monday to Friday from 9am-3pm.

How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD)? Share your celebrations with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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!

Get The Inside Scoop!

What teen playwright will be showcased at this year’s Cabaret of Monologues? Join our mailing list and find out! Worried about our messages flooding your inbox? Don’t be! We know people receive far too many e-mails, so we will only send you our quaterly newsletter with information on what is keeping us busy and a limited number of special news updates leading up to our events. Still not convinced? Keep reading for more reasons why you should join our mailing list and for a special sneak peek at our latest December 1st newsletter sent out earlier this week!

Top 5 Reasons Why YOU Should Join Our Mailing List:

1. It’s easy! Simply click here and provide us with your name and e-mail. That’s it! If you prefer to provide your information over the phone, feel free to call our office at (204) 586-2236 and request to be added to our list. We are happy to help!

2. Be the first to know! All our mailing list subscribers will receive The Pulse, our quaterly newsletter, which includes exciting news about upcoming events and what’s in the works for Sarasvàti Productions.

3. Find out about upcoming talent in Winnipeg! In each newsletter, we feature a Rising Star to watch out for in Winnipeg. Read more about this months Rising Star below in a special sneak peek.

4. We appreciate you! We understand you have many options to choose from when it comes to mailing lists and we greatly appreciate that you’ve chosen ours. Becoming a subsciber will allow us the first of many opportunities to connect with you and thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement.

5. It’s easy and safe to unsubscribe. If you ever decide you don’t want to receive updates from us, simply click the unsubscribe option at the bottom of the e-mail.

Join our mailing list now and stay on the lookout for our next issue of The Pulse to be released on March 1st, 2014! Before you go, be sure to check out the Rising Star section of our recent December 1st newsletter below.

Rising Star

Hannah Burns

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We are excited to have Hannah on board as one of our teen writers for this year’s Cabaret of Monologues. Who better to write about young women taking a stand then a young woman herself?

Hannah Burns is a seventeen year old student at St. Mary’s Academy. Last year she took her first year of drama and stumbled upon her passion. Auditioning for a small part in a school play, she enjoyed acting, but really found joy in writing. Her play Schitz won first place in the Scirocco Playwriting competition and since then she has been writing as much as possible.

Click here for the full newsletter!

Sneak Peek at International Women’s Week!

Teen truckers, gender therapy, white girl problems from the perspective of a mixed-race girl and Judith Thompson! This March will mark Sarasvati Productions’ 10th Cabaret of Monologues in celebration of International Women’s Week. This year’s theme is Rise Up, which means that stories will focus on young women, the next generation of subversion, new forms of advocacy and ways young women tackle adversity! We are excited to offer a diverse line-up of monologues by Canadian playwrights, performed by a talented local cast. We love presenting this unique event as it gives voice to women of all backgrounds and covers topics from the hilarious to the inspiring. Today, we offer you a sneak peek into some of the pieces we will be featuring as part of our line-up! Keep reading to find out more.

Something’s Not Right by Wren Hookey – Our mothers raised us with the best intentions, but somehow, it’s just not really working out how everyone thought it would. Instead of being strong and confident, we’ve turned out insecure and confused. How many therapy sessions is this going to take?

Teen Trucker by Sara Arenson – Ever since she was young, 19-year old Genevieve knew what she wanted to be. This piece explores her dream career as a long-haul truck driver in the face of social expectation and family struggle.

Hide Away by Kendra Jones – Katie, a 23 year old prostitute, finds herself on the run hiding from local police. She finds a safe place and confides in a friend about the events that ultimately drove her to the streets.

#White Girl Problems by Frances Koncan – A stream–‐of–‐consciousness rant by a Mixed–‐race girl growing up in a largely Caucasian world.

Plus new pieces by the amazing Judith Thompson, teen writers Hannah Burns and Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill, and a special slam poetry performance by Ali Tataryn!

Getting excited? Stay tuned for details on the remaining three pieces! Join our mailing list, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date as we announce more information over the coming weeks!