The Power of Dreams

If you missed the amazing production or want to compare notes on your response, check out guest blogger Meg Crane’s review of A Side of Dreams. Due to the festival nature each show only has three performances. Be sure to check out the rest of the FemFest schedule so you don’t miss out and the remaining pieces!


A Side of Dreams is an incredibly powerful and stunning story of reconciling with ancestors and of healing.

Aina, played by Jessica Barrera, is upset that her mother has not spoken since Aina’s father’s death. After she storms to her room, her mother, Haisa, begins her journey.

The multimedia aspects, including video and audio, make the show incredibly stimulating without being overwhelming. The performers acted, sang and danced, incorporating a hanging hoop into the movements in several pieces. Playwright Jani Lauzon said she wrote a list of all the things she had not done on stage before that she wanted to do and incorporated them into her roles as Haisa, Pudlums, Fog Man and Haisa’s mother.

For part of the show, the role of Haisa was performed by a puppet, handled by puppeteer Trish Leeper. Though her facial expressions predictably did not change throughout the performance, it was easy to tell what emotions she was feeling in each scene. Her movements ranged from adorable to eery and always fit the scene.

At one point, the lights go dim and an eery creature takes the stage, mounting the hoop and screeching. When the lights go on, a not very intimidating dragon is perched there.

When asked after how the dragon made it into the show, Lauzon said, “Going inside the body to find intersecting stories is how I work.” She felt the dragon should be involved in the play, so she didn’t fight it.

A Side of Dreams has been evolving for several years. The devotion of the woman working on the show comes through. This is a beautiful piece that should not be missed.

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A Speculative Dictionary of Production Terminology with A Side of Dreams

Read the latest from behind the scenes from FemFest guest blogger Davis Plett.


What do a bar stool, dream catchers, an inedible apple pie (though I had to check twice), a bed, a bone, spiders on adjustable wires, and a terrifyingly humanoid doll have in common?

I’m really not sure either.

What I do know is that they are all involved in A Side of Dreams, which opens at FemFest on September 15th at 7:00 pm at the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Two more performances will be held on September 16th at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm. Out of this incomprehensible mass of objects, something will emerge, something that, by all indications, will be extraordinary.

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I encountered these items on Monday afternoon, during the tech for the show. A Side of Dreams not only has its fair share of props, but also extensively incorporates multimedia: I witnessed the techs clambering up ladders to adjust projectors, saw a fog machine lurking behind a scrim, and watched as the light design was painstakingly assembled.  Continue reading

The sound of what’s to come: Hear Her Roar!

Traditional stories from Afghanistan and non-traditional teen love stories. Moving explorations of relationships between mother and daughter and an elevator dance party! At this year’s FemFest, we bring you stories of women’s resilience, voice and power! We are excited to officially announce the programming for FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar! Our festival’s diverse line-up includes plays, workshops, as well as readings that redefine and re-imagine the status quo. Stories written by emerging and renowned female playwrights from Winnipeg, across Canada and around the world will explore the notion of female empowerment through tragedy, humour, and gravity-defying performances. The FemFest2015 website will be launched very soon but as your reward for following our blog, we are releasing the festival line-up here first! Tell us what you’re looking forward to at FemFest 2015 by tweeting at us or commenting on Facebook.

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Read on if you want an overview of the full line-up or check out our festival brochure. The full website will be up and running for June 15th! Continue reading

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