Who’s Got the Power?

Banner SYTYCA 2015Superman, an environmental terrorist, a creepy date and a widow whose husband was eaten by a bear. These are just some of the characters that this year’s celebrities will tackle at So You Think You Can Act. This year’s event is only two short weeks away and rehearsals have begun! It’s been a pleasure introducing the celebrities to their acting partners and hearing these hilarious scripts come off the page. Under this year’s theme of Power Play, we have found writing by a mix of work by emerging Winnipeg writers and some of Canada’s most established playwrights. Although each get only 2 hours to rehearse under the direction of Cairn Moore, they have great material to work with. Keep reading to see what scenes and which actors each celebrity is working with!

Rana Bokhari will be playing Maria in Michael Healey’s political dark comedy Generous with Kevin Gabel. This play was produced a couple years ago by Theatre by the River and of course Healey’s play Proud was produced by Theatre Projects this past fall with Kevin Gabel also appearing in it. We are also pleased to announce that Kevin will be in our spring production of Miss N Me!

Chris Cvetkovic gets to play Superman opposite Lyle Morris in Ken Mitchell’s play Heroes. What happens when Superman and the Lone Ranger meet in their Chief’s office waiting room? We are pleased to have Lyle on board after his great performance in Launched at FemFest 2014.

André Lewis with Danielle Savage will be playing the title characters in Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests by Jessy Ardern. This piece won our first Bake-Off at FemFest 2012 and was fully produced at FemFest 2013. Danielle Savage helped take Troy Westwood to victory last year – can she do the same this year?

Kelly Linehan will be tackling the character of Lorrie in George F. Walker’s play Featuring Loretta with Spenser Payne. Lorrie’s husband has been eaten by a bear and she needs to figure out what to do with her life. Kelly should have a blast working with Spenser, who is also part of the Talentless Lumps.

Romi Mayes will be playing the wannabe terrorist Melissa with Cheryl Gensiorek in Terroristas by Ginny Collins. Last year we included Ginny’s piece Good Intentions, which had premiered at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2013. This will be Cheryl’s third time in this event and in 2013 she helped Kerri Salki win the trophy.

Doug Speirs will be playing Man in Eye to Eye by Christopher Graybill with Nan Fewchuk playing Woman in this hilarious ten minute play about a first date gone awry. Nan has appeared in multiple pieces with Sarasvàti Productions, most recently The Naked Woman at FemFest 2014. Hopefully she can stay focused as Doug Speirs lays it on thick.

Taz Stuart gets to try his hand at romantic comedy as Rudy in Norm Foster’s Wrong for Each Other with Liz Whitbread. Liz is about to appear in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. She also appeared in a Norm Foster scene at last year’s event, helping Big Daddy Tazz tie for first with Troy Westwood.

Between these hilarious scenes, the comedic talents of the judges, Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gordon Tanner, and witty hosting by Jon Ljungberg this will be one super fun night! And if that wasn’t enough we also have thousands of dollars’ worth of raffle prizes (raffle licence #MGCC5542). Don’t miss out, buy tickets now! Tickets can be purchased online here or by phoning us at 204-586-2236. Rana Bokhari started off strong in our blog polls, but was over taken by Kelly Linehan. Unfortunately Kelly wasn’t ahead for long before Romi Mayes beat her by a nose. And the guys really haven’t been feeling the love. Now that the scenes are revealed will that all change?

Celebrity Banner SYTYCA2015

SYTYCA Presents: Taz Stuart

Will his hair give him super powers or does his power lie in his ability to eradicate villainous insects? With this year’s theme of Power Play, there is a great fit with entomologist Taz Stuart. Taz has played himself on TV for years updating us on Manitoba’s pesky mosquito population, but will that help him win So You Think You Can Act? Taz has also started to break into politics after running for city council in October, so who knows, he might have a few tricks up his sleeve. Keep reading to learn more about Taz!

TAZ STUART– Entomologist
SONY DSCTaz Stuart is the Director of Technical Operations – Entomologist for Poulin’s Pest Control in Winnipeg. Taz’s list of acting accomplishments is short, not like his hair though. Taz has appeared many times on TV and in several documentaries on insects and their control but since then his ‘acting coach and manager’, these people do not exist, have been fielding calls on his nonexistent talent as an actor. This will be seen when you come out and watch all the other aspiring ‘actors’.

Taz will have to put the professionalism aside to get to the heart of a scene from Norm Foster’s romantic comedy! Don’t miss this chance to see Taz and six other local celebrities step out of their comfort zone on February 18th! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online here or by calling our office at 204-586-2236.

Wishing You an Inspiring Holiday Season!

It’s been an exciting year for Sarasvàti Productions, made all the better by our incredible board members, volunteers, artistic teams and of course our great audiences! We cannot thank you enough for your ongoing assistance and encouragement. Over the holidays we want to give thanks for all of our supporters and celebrate a wonderful year!

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The year began with our first ever tie between two celebrities for So You Think You Can Act when Troy Westwood and Big Daddy Tazz wowed the audience with their acting skills. Who knows what this year has in store with our diverse range of celebrity guests! Will the Taz name carry good luck and bring the trophy to Taz Stuart? Will dance beat out music as RWB’s André Lewis competes against musician Romi Mayes? Or will it be a second year for a former Bomber to adorn their mantelpiece with Chris Cvetkovic? Tickets are now on sale and make great gifts for loved ones!

Group Selfie of 2014 IWW Cabaret of Monologues Actors

Group Selfie of 2014 IWW Cabaret of Monologues Actors

Last March 10 talented actors took the stage in our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. The theme was Rise Up, which meant the stories focused on young women. This year the theme is SuperWomen and will feature stories of women who have done incredible things! There will be a rebellious nun, a pioneering woman and an actual superhero, don’t miss it on March 7th!

Fefu Ensemble

Fefu Ensemble

We have been so pleased with the success of our annual spring production. Last year Fefu and Her Friends sold out many performances at the historic Ralph Connor House. It was a long awaited for production and the marvelous 8 women cast did an amazing job of it. This year we’re changing it up and will be bringing a completely new play to the stage in the premiere of Catherine Banks’ Miss’N Me. We can’t wait! Don’t miss Dawna’s road trip to meet Missy Elliot and all the strange characters she meets along the way.

Janis and Jujube lead the closing cabaret in song.

Janis and Jujube lead the closing cabaret in song.

Of course we rolled right in to a summer of planning FemFest 2014. Full of unforgettable moments capped by the audience sing along at the closing cabaret. Believe it or not planning has already begun for FemFest 2015: Hear Her Roar!

GV Group Shot

Giving Voice Team

We are ready for a holiday rest, after finishing off our fall with the results of our two year long collaborative production Giving Voice. We performed for over 4,400 people at 33 high schools and communities. This project was created in partnership with VOICES: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network to help give youth in and from care a voice. Many students had their eyes opened and youth in care were empowered. It was amazing to see that show completed after years of hard work.

It has truly been a transformative year for us as we continue to challenge artists, audiences and society while promoting and reflecting diversity. Thank you all for helping to make this such a great year, and from all of us at Sarasvàti, we wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!

We’ve Got the Star Power

Banner SYTYCA 2015

Politicians, athletes, musicians, media personalities and even an entomologist – we put out the call and Winnipeg celebrities have answered. We are happy to be able to announce the celebrity line up for the fourth annual So You Think You Can Act Fundraiser. This year all of the scenes selected for our brave celebrities will focus around Power Play. Without further ado, here is our celebrity line up:

Power Play is familiar territory for Rana Bokhari, the Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. Last year she became the youngest ever to lead the provincial party. We’ll see if her experience as a politician and a lawyer gives her a leg up on her competition.

Chris Cvetkovic is used to a different type of play, professional football to be exact. Chris just retired last year from a 12 year CFL career, 11 of those spent playing with the Blue Bombers. We are excited to see him try his hand at play acting!

With 17 years as the Artistic Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet under his belt André Lewis will be stretching his acting muscles with us. . With all that discipline and dedication we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table on February 18th.

Recently Kelly Linehan has been doing more reporting behind a computer instead of in front of a camera, but we’re sure this social media wiz will still bring her A-game!

Romi Mayes is no stranger to performing having toured the globe throughout her successful music career. We’re glad she’s coming to our stage to do a different type of playing before launching her album!

He’s funny in writing, but we’ll see if he can still make us laugh onstage! Doug Speirs has been writing for the Winnipeg Free Press for many years. We’re happy to have him on the Sarasvàti stage!

And last but not least, we are welcoming Taz Stuart to the stage! He spent nine years working for the city as an entomologist as a part of the insect control branch. Let’s see how he does up against his fellow celebrities instead of mosquitos.

Jon Ljungberg will be hosting SYTYCA, a professional comic he is sure to have us laughing. As for our expert judges, Toby Hughes, Trish Cooper and Gordon Tanner will be scrutinizing the game plans and tactics of our celebrities.

With all of this talent, especially comedic talent it is sure to be a night full of laughs and surprises. Make sure you don’t miss it on February 18th at 7pm in the Gas Station Theatre. Tickets are only $25 and that includes a wine reception. Pretty great deal for a night of laughs, wine and supporting a local theatre company!

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