Thank You for Another Super IWW!

Twelve performances, three cities and nine SuperWomen! Our 11th International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues was a success – lots of people came out to celebrate and hear the incredible stories of nine amazing women written by talented Canadian playwrights. Thank you to all of our wonderful audiences for joining us to hear the stories of perseverance, self-discovery and empowerment!

Kim Kakegamic, Lorraine James, Jenna Hill, Samantha Walters & Mallory James at the UM Womyn's Centre

Kim Kakegamic, Lorraine James, Jenna Hill, Samantha Walters & Mallory James at the UM Womyn’s Centre

Kicking off the week we performed to a great crowd at the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba High Tea fundraiser! We were happy to be able to support this amazing organization that does so much to empower women throughout Manitoba. We were happy to also perform at another organization that does a lot to empower women, the University of Manitoba’s Womyn’s Centre. We performed there not only once, but twice last week! During the two performances all nine monologues were performed for members and supporters of the Womyn’s Centre, which does so much to make the campus a safe place for all women.

Kim at Siloam

Kim Kakegamic at Siloam Mission

In addition we were hosted by Portage Place Shopping Centre and Siloam Mission to bring theatre to people who otherwise would not be able to see it. Many people from all walks of life stopped to watch Zelda Fitzgerald vent her frustrations and Glory Girl work her way out of her bounds. John Fubbister (aka Isobel Gunn) also told the youth drop in program at the Rainbow Resource Centre about her story of joining the HBC as a man in the early 1800s. Actor Mallory James and writer Sandy Klowak also held a talkback afterwards.

One of the most powerful presentations was Jenna Hill performing Mutated for the Young Adults Support Group at Cancer Care Manitoba. The piece launched the group in to an important discussion and many shared their personal experiences. It was a moving experience for the actor and our Assistant Director, Rachel Smith.

Some of our Cabaret cast with Nova House staff & cake in Selkirk!

Some of our Cabaret cast with Nova House staff & cake in Selkirk!

We also took a trip out to Selkirk to celebrate International Women’s Week with Nova House Shelter for Women and Children where the team was again treated to the most amazing deserts! For our final performance we traveled out to Winkler on International Women’s Day to join Genesis House Shelter’s celebration. This was the perfect end to our Cabaret of Monologues. Both organizations help abused women and children through a variety of programs and services and we were happy to bring these great monologues to them.

The Cabaret of Monologues wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection. We’d also like to thank all of our playwrights, actors, volunteers and of course audiences! And now, here in the office our attention is turning to the world premiere of Catherine Banks’ Miss N Me – tickets are on sale already because we’re just that excited! Hope to see you there!

Come Celebrate International Women’s Week with Us!

Are we there yet? What more do you believe needs to change in order to achieve gender equality? It’s that time of year when the world can celebrate how far we’ve come and reflect on how far we all have to go to achieving gender equality. International Women’s Day has been celebrated by the UN every year on March 8 since 1977 and has since been expanded to include activities throughout the week. This year there has been some great steps forward in the fight for equality for all women everywhere such as the UN Women’s Solidarity Movement HeForShe, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (the largest summit of its kind), and Malala becoming the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her amazing work advocating for girls’ education.

With these achievements and others we certainly feel like celebrating, so come celebrate with us at our full performances of our annual Cabaret of Monologues on March 7th! Hear from nine ordinary and extraordinary SuperWomen in a line-up of thought provoking and funny monologues written by talented Canadian playwrights and performed by local actors.

These amazing SuperWomen have already been empowering people with our community performances of select monologues. We’ve performed at Siloam Mission, Portage Place Shopping Centre, Rainbow Resource Centre, U of M Womyn’s Centre, Cancer Care and that’s not all, we have three more to go! The monologues have been a hit everywhere we’ve been, from the historical figure Isobel Gunn talking about her time working for the HBC in Rupert’s Land to Bea having to make a difficult decision about her mutated cells to Glory Girl having to escape from her nemesis.

To purchase tickets to see these awesome SuperWomen and others on March 7th at 4pm or 8pm in the UW Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, click here!

And if you want to do something on March 8th consider going to Winnipeg’s International Women’s Day march! It is open to all genders and ages and will offer light refreshments and inspiring speakers. The rally is meeting at 1pm at Portage Place and is walking to Union Centre at 1:30pm. For more information check out the Facebook event.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S WEEK!

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s SuperWomen!

Would you rather be extraordinary all the time or ordinary but do amazing things? Check out the mix of superheroines and women who have overcome great odds as we celebrate International Women’s Week! Our first presentation is only three short days away and we couldn’t be more excited to share these amazing stories with you. Between March 1st and March 8th we will be doing 11 performances. Here is a sneak peek of what we have in store:

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

Sam Walters as Super Girl in our Cabaret of Monologues in 2013

In Scott Douglas’s monologue Glory Bound, Glory Girl acts like an actual superhero but she must battle more than just evil villains – “The point is – it’s about choice. And that’s what makes me a hero when you get right down to it: not the superpowers, or the costume, but choice. Instead of moaning about the inability of the Comple City Police Department to keep supervillians off the streets, I choose to put myself in harm’s way.”

Meanwhile, Loretta, the single mother of a teenage boy in Step Taylor’s monologue, is trying to reclaim her power by admitting she was wrong – “I always sensed that a mother shouldn’t lie to her child, but it was only after I did it that I knew a mother shouldn’t have anythin’ to hide from her child if that’s what she expects in return.”

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Christine Rodriguez in Dreaming in Autism at FemFest 2013

Linda in Christine Rodriguez’s heart wrenching monologue Of Heart and Tree is also struggling with feeling inadequate as a mother, especially as she tries to help her autistic son – “I did everything that a mother could do. I sought out therapy for him but we kept switching therapists because he didn’t like any of them. I was desperate to find him help. What more could I do?”

Ever heard of Isobel Gunn? She made a name for herself as a tripsman for the Hudson Bay Company, only they knew her as John. In Sandy Klowak’s monologue we find out all about Isobel’s adventure and the price she paid – “Stay calm. Stop shaking. You belong here, just like all these other men. For the first time I am looking at the island I was born on and I am not a part of it. I’ve left dry land.”

Zelda Fitzgerald is often overshadowed by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald but in Frances Koncan’s monologue Zelda with a Z she hosts her own TV talk show – “For those of you just tuning in, we’ve spent this week celebrating heroes of all kinds: super, ordinary, and otherwise. What makes a hero? How do you define a hero? And most importantly, how do you become a hero? For those of you watching at home, we just did an anonymous audience survey over the break, and now we’ll take a look at the responses.”

We also wanted to know the answers to this! So we asked our actors who their personal SuperWoman was and why. Check out this video to hear their answers and then leave a comment or tweet who your personal SuperWoman is!

For a full list of our community performances or to get tickets to the full show on March 7th click here! We tend to sell out, so get them now while you still can!

9 Super Monologues, 9 Amazing Actors!

With winter settling in March feels a long way away, but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy working on our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues! A few weeks ago we announced the monologue line up, now we get to tell you who will be bringing these awesome monologues to life!

Elena Anciro has performed in our annual Cabaret of Monologues twice before and performed in our spring production Fefu and her Friends. We’re happy to have her back performing At the Gate by Sandra Drag about a remarkable woman’s tale of wrestling a family away from a horrific car accident.

Christine Rodriguez’s The Autism Monologue will be brought to life by Cabaret of Monologues newcomer Shanley Jardine. You may remember Shanley from the short piece The Exchange in FemFest 2013. The monologue is a heart-wrenching story of a mother attempting to make sense of her autistic son’s life. It’s a beautiful piece and we know that Shanley will do it justice.

Another newcomer, Kim Kakegamic, will be performing our FemFest 2014 Bake-Off winner’s energetic monologue Zelda with a Z. Frances Koncan lets us hear Zelda’s side of the story as she talks to us about her life with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s a fun piece that Kim can really go crazy with!

Samantha Walters, Sarasvàti’s past Associate Producer and Emerging Artist in Residence, is back for her third Cabaret of Monologues in a row. You’ve seen her as Super Girl and now as Glory Girl, a comic book character come to life. Glory Bound by Scott Douglas sees Glory Girl attempt to escape her captors, although she discovers that she may not be bound against her will. We’re thrilled to have Sam back to the stage and can’t wait to see what she does with the role!

For Step Taylor’s Loretta we’ll be welcoming Lorraine James back to the Cabaret stage. Lorraine has done the Cabaret multiple times, including our trip to The Pas in 2008. She will play Loretta who has lied to her drug addicted son about losing her job so that he can focus on passing his exams, but what will happen when he finds out? Come and see for yourself on March 7th!

While Elizabeth Whitbread is new to the Cabaret of Monologues she just recently participated in our FemFest 2014 Short List reading. Jennica Grienke’s An Inheritance is a challenging piece that will see Elizabeth play a character in three different stages of her life. While challenging, it will be fascinating to see what Elizabeth brings to it.

Another FemFest 2014 actor, Mallory James, participates in her first Cabaret of Monologues as John Fubbister (aka Isobel Gunn) in Sandy Klowak’s riveting monologue. Mallory will play a remarkable woman who wouldn’t let anything stop her from adventuring into the wilds of Rupert’s Land. We can’t wait to see this strong historical figure come to life!

Cabaret of Monologues newcomer Jenna Hill will play Bea in Mutated by Carly Pokoradi. Bea is an adventurous young woman whose plans are put on hold when she’s faced with a life-altering situation. This is a very interesting piece and Jenna will bring a lot of depth and humour to it. Last year Jenna was seen in the world premiere of Trish Cooper’s play Social Studies at PTE.

Finally, Jane Burpee is back at the Cabaret after an amazing performance at this year’s Bake-Off. Jane has participated in multiple productions with us over the years, from So You Think You Can Act, to FemFest, to the Cabaret of Monologues, including a performance in the Portage Correctional Centre for Women in 2008. This year Jane will be playing the coolest nun in the convent who reveals her thoughts on life and God while at a nun retreat in Dave Carley’s Urban Nun.

There you have it, the monologues have been selected, the cast has been chosen and believe it or not the first IWW rehearsals start this week! We couldn’t be any more excited to see what these 9 talented actors bring to the stage as they lift these brilliantly written Super Women off of the page. You’ll get a chance to see the final product March 7th at 8pm, so mark your calendar and visit our website for more information by clicking here!

 

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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!

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Where did the time go?! It’s hard to believe 2013 has finally come to an end. One of the greatest parts about a New Year is the opportunity to reflect upon all that you accomplished in the last 365 days. What was your greatest artistic achievement in 2013? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

Our achievements include:

– The 2nd annual (and wildly entertaining) So You Think You Can Act fundraiser

– The successful sold out IWW Cabaret of Monologues: Wild Women performance

-The world premiere of the much awaited Jail Baby

FemFest 2013: Revelation and Revolution which featured the world premiere of Harold and Vivian by Jessy Ardern who is one of Winnipeg’s Group of 7 Female Playwrights

-The creation and workshop presentation of Giving Voice, our latest youth based play created in partnership with VOICES: Manitoba Youth in Care Network. In November, Giving Voice did a test run in three Winnipeg High Schools for our upcoming fall tour and received an incredible amount of positive feedback and rave reviews!

It was truly a fantastic year but we are just as excited (if not more) for 2014! Be sure to check out our website for a list of upcoming events. First up is our 3rd annual So You Think You Can Act fundraiser which we promise will be just as fun, fabulous, and gut-wrenching as last year! With that, let’s take a look at our resolutions for 2014.

Andrea Geary (President, Board of Directors): The Board’s focus for 2014 is to keep growing our audience base, in other words – get more bums in the seats – and to keep our board structure strong. I resolve to keep spreading the word on behalf of Sarasvàti Productions in hopes of increasing our audience numbers and our committee and board membership. I suggest that all readers resolve to come out to see one of our performances this year, and also support us by attending our upcoming annual So You Think You Can Act fundraiser at the Gas Station Theatre on Feb. 19.

Hope McIntyre (Artistic Director): As I research the amazing Maria Irene Fornes in preparation for our May production of Fefu and Her Friends, I am resolving to turn off the producer brain when I enter the rehearsal room and find that deep place Fornes talks about in the gut that tells us what needs to be on stage.

Samantha Walters (Associate Producer): Coming on board with Sarasvàti Productions in September has been an incredible opportunity for me. It has given me so much insight into how much hardwork, time, and dedication it takes to do what we do! My resolution for 2014 is to help Sarasvàti grow by educating others on what we do and the importance of our work, particularly those who are not involved in the arts. I also hope to provide more opportunities for emerging artists to develop their skills and career. First up is our workshop with Stratford actor Bethany Jillard on How to Get from Here to There on January 31st, 2014!

On behalf of our team at Sarasvàti Productions, we wish you all the best in 2014! Also, thank you for continuing to support our blog! Take a look at our wonderful 2013 report below.

Report Excerpt – “A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.”Click here to see the complete report.