Happy Int’l Women’s Week 2014!

IWW 2014 Postcard2_For Facebook.pdf-page-001

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.

Local Young Women Take The Stage!

Winnipeg women are certainly making an impact on this year’s theatre season! With the debut of works by Winnipeg’s Group of Seven female playwrights, it is clear that there is no shortage of female talent in this city. Although women continue to be underepresented in Canadian Theatre, Sarasvàti Productions is doing its part to provide opportunities to both emerging and established female artists. Today, we are pleased to announce our cast for this year’s International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues which features 10 young Winnipeg women!

This year’s theme is Rise Up! which means that the stories focus on young women, the next generation of subversion, new forms of advocacy, and ways young women tackle adversity. Our theme has provided us with the rare opportunity to cast several up and coming local women, many of whom have worked with Sarasvàti in the past. We are pleased to have these 10 women on board and are looking forward to providing them with the opportunity to continue developing their craft and to be seen throughout the community. Check out the slideshow below to meet our cast!

2014 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues

Samantha Walters in Something’s Not Right by Wren Hookey

Ashley Kowalchuk in Teen Trucker by Sara Arenson

Kaeleigh Ayre in Hide Away by Kendra Jones

Andrea Houssin in Black and White by Cairn Moore

Brittany Thiessen in Who Killed Snow White (Excerpt) by

Judith Thompson

Shanley Spence in #WhiteGirlProblems by Frances Koncan

Shae Burstow in I am not Malala by Hope McIntyre

Victoria Hill in What Being a Girl Means by Hannah Burns

Hailley Rhoda in Reflection by Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill

and

 Ali Tataryn in her own slam poetry piece – The Entanglement: The Nature of a Woman

We will be touring the monologues across Winnipeg and the surrounding areas to different International Women’s Week events from March 3rd-9th, 2014 with public shows on March 7th and 8th at the Colin Jackson Studio Theatre (at Prarie Theatre Exchange, 3rd floor Portage Place). For more info on how you can bring the monologues out to your event, tickets, and group rates, please contact us by calling (204) 586-2236 or by e-mail at associate@sarasvati.ca.

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!

One Director’s Perspective on Directing New Writing

Kendra Jones will be directing a number of Shorts that will be read throughout the festival. These are exciting excerpts from the festival short-list that we just weren’t able to fit into FemFest but wanted to introduce to our audiences. To find out the schedule for the Shorts click here.

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Directing is one of the most challenging jobs in theatre; it is our job to ensure that the message of the play is understood and shared by the artistic team, that the actors, designers, etc have what they need, and most importantly, that we communicate all of this to the audience. The approach each director has differs, and I know from my experience, the type of play I am working on will determine exactly how I go about bringing it to life for the audience.

With new writing, one of my foremost concerns is ensuring that my directorial voice does not overshadow the voice of the writer. In these instances, the director’s job is to help the writer’s story shine – to show it off, so to speak, and allow the text to work for the audience on its own terms, and not as a result of imposition from the director in terms of style. For a project like the Shorts, where I have to select a brief portion of a longer work to share, my main goal is to showcase the tone, style, and skill of the larger work, while keeping within time limitations, and ensuring that nothing I’m selecting is going to be clunky or awkward in a staged-reading situation. Some things just don’t work properly with the text in hand!

Read more!

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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