FemFest 2012 to wrap up this weekend!

We could not be more thrilled with the incredible amount of support and encouragement we have received this week as part of FemFest 2012! There are only two days left of the festival but there are still tons of incredible performances to see!

Friday, September 21:

7pm – Empty: Created with the assistance of the Winnipeg Arts Council WithArts Program, Empty tells the true and poignant stories of people at a local food bank and explores the human side of poverty.

8:15pm – The Possible Lives of Dolores Garcia Rodriguez: a reading by playwright Jordan Hall, Co-created with ACTvist Theatre Collective’s Zoe Green, Possible Lives explores the 2006 repeal of therapeutic abortion rights in Nicaragua and their effects on the lives of three different women. When do we decide to create change, and when do we decide to ignore the issues?

9pm – My Pregnant Brother: a one-woman show by Montreal playwright and actor Johanna Nutter, this stranger than fiction story is based off of the true events that took place when one day on a park bench, Johanna’s brother revealed that he was pregnant! Absolutely heart wrenching and mesmerizing!

My Pregnant Brother; photo by Pam Price

Saturday, September 22:

2pm – Empty

7pm – Immigration Stories: SOLD OUT!: Created in partnership with the Immigrant Women’s Association of Manitoba, Immigration Stories tells the true stories of senior immigrant women and their experiences coming to and navigating through their new lives in Winnipeg. Experience the trials, tribulations and triumphs of these amazing, head strong women. Although tickets are sold out audiences are welcome to take a risk and come just before the show in case there are no-shows.

9pm – Closing Cabaret: Hosted by Virgin Radio’s Chrissy Troy, the closing cabaret is a celebrating of female talent from across disciplines! Including: Gear Shifting Performance Work, MAWA artists Cindy Dyson and Nora Kobrinsky, slam poetry by Ali Tataryn, Prairie Caravan Tribal Bellydance, a short film by Leslie Supnet and musical guest Flo!

Tickets can be purchased online at www.femfest.ca or you can try your luck by purchasing at the door! (We recommend buying ahead of time – shows are filling up quickly! Tickets bought ahead of time will be available at the box office)

In Depth: FemFest Workshops

Every year when planning FemFest, Sarasvati Productions looks for new and exciting ways to connect with Winnipeg communities. We strive on representing as many communities as we can and helping them tell their stories. FemFest 2012: Staging Identity is so much more than just some actors on a stage. Women’s storytelling aims to engage the audience and force them to see something inside themselves and create their own artistic viewpoints and spaces. We are pleased to present, as part of our already stellar festival line-up, two excellent, hands-on workshops from two of our touring performers and companies.

Another exciting aspect about FemFest is the opportunity to present readings and lectures from distinguished and established playwrights and artitsts. It is importanting to attend readings of works in progress in order to better understand and appreciate the writing process. We are proud to be presenting writers from across Canada and across genres as part of the line-up of FemFest ancillary events!

johanna nutter Continue reading

Say it loud, say it proud with festival SHORTS!

Sarasvàti Productions is excited to announce the line-up of Shorts for FemFest 2012: Staging Identity. Shorts will be showcased throughout the festival as “fillers.” This is a great way to fill time as you wait to see the two shows in each FemFest evening. But don’t fret, these weren’t just chosen to fill space – each  was carefully selected.

Is It Wednesday? by Pam Calabrese MacLean will begin each Shorts slot. This ten-minute play will be directed by Megan Andres and feature Miriam Bronstein and Jane Burpee. Two elderly women meet at a bus stop, as they chat they struggle to hold on to their memories. A hilarious short piece full of word play, misunderstandings and poignant exploration of the aging process.

The second half of each Shorts slot will feature readings of excerpts from plays that were shortlisted for this year’s FemFest. There were so many great plays we wanted to include but just didn’t have room. This will allow you to see some of the amazing work being written by playwrights across the country. We’re excited to announce the Short-List Shorts are:

Hungry Wolf by Cornelia Hoogland
In the Valley by Natasha MacLellan
Naked by Lisa Rose Snow
The Possible Lives of Dolores Garcia Rodriguez by Jordan Hall and Zoe Green
Virgin by Joan Kivanda

For more information about the Shorts (as well as the rest of the festival), check out www.femfest.ca.

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Kendra Jones will be directing the Short-List Shorts for FemFest 2012. Kendra is just finishing up her MA at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. In between writing her dissertation, working full time in project management and raising a family, Kendra has also worked with the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre By The River, Shakespeare in the Ruins and countless other organizations.

What is one thing every actor needs to know? Not getting cast doesn’t mean you aren’t any good, it just means you might not be right for the part. Keep preparing work, and do so in as thoughtful a manner as possible. If you don’t feel engaged with a play, a connection with the characters or story, sit this one out and wait for a piece where you do feel the connection. Theatre is something you have to love to keep doing, because it can really hurt at times.

What does every great story have to have? I just want it to hold my attention. Don’t put all the cards on the table from the start, but don’t try to be too clever with how you reveal things either. And, something I learned from playwright Lin Coghlin, don’t let the characters leave. If you think the scene has finished, don’t let the characters leave – make them stay and see what happens next. You’ll be surprised where they take you.

What is your favourite word? Lugubrious

If I could grant you a single wish, what would it be? I would have an unlimited pool of funding for arts related endeavors.

Complete the sentence: If I wasn’t typing this email interview right now, I would be… Working on my dissertation. Or procrastinating work on my dissertation.

A common misperception of me is… That I am really serious. I am actually quite silly, and for every philosopher I can quote or theatre practitioner I can reference, I can tell you about some really ridiculous question I asked or thing I did that will cause you to question my sanity.

You know me as an actor but in truer life I’d have been… A professional athlete.

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