Drum Roll for the Winner of SYTYCA 2015!

There were prizes, wine, food, and amazing celebrities bravely taking the stage for the first time! While they were all amazing, only one can go home with the trophy. This year’s vote was close and we were worried there would be another tie, but ANDRÉ LEWIS won by a nose!


André Lewis and scene partner Danielle Savage were hysterical as a married couple who are only together to spite each other in a great scene from Jessy Ardern’s play Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests.

Our terrific judges Trish Cooper, Toby Hughes and Gord Tanner entertained with many witty comments on height, English accents, safety and Chekhov’s crackers. Our host Jon Ljungberg kept everything on track as we announced the 12 lucky raffle prize winners! After all the winners were drawn and the SYTYCA winner crowned it was time for wine from AD Beverages and food from Bothwell Cheese and Jonnies Sticky Buns.

Group ShotIt was an amazing successful evening and the proceeds will help us continue to bring you transformative theatre! A huge thank you to all the celebrities who braved the stage, and our judges and host for all their hard work. We would also like to thank Cairn Moore for her great directing, Tori Popp for keeping everyone organized as stage manager, Sandy Klowak for assisting backstage, all the playwrights for allowing us to use their work, and all the actors who took the stage with our celebrities!

Raffle TableAnd of course we can’t forget to thank all the local businesses who donated raffle prizes, our amazing volunteers, our staff and board, and of course the SYTYCA committee members who organized it all! Finally, we’d like to thank you, the audience for coming out to support the transformative theatre work of Sarasvàti Productions!

We’ve got some fun twists planned for SYTYCA 2016 that we can’t wait to share with you, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we will be keeping busy with our International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues coming up on March 7 and Miss’N Me, tickets for both are available on line now, just click here!

SYTYCA: Meet the Judges and Host!

Who will be the cranky Brit this time? Who will gush over everything? Will the emcee keep the judges on track? We’ll find out at our 4th annual So You Think You Can Act fun fundraising event on February 18th! This hilarious evening will pair up local non-actor celebrities with actors to perform scenes. Although our stellar judges will judge them, you get to vote for the winner! In the coming weeks we will introduce you to our celebrities, but for this blog we’re proud to introduce our host and judges:

Jon Ljungberg photoJon Ljungberg has been entertaining audiences on comedy stages across North America for over 25 years including a stint at the Riviera Hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He has worked in television and film including a role in Samuel L. Jackson’s film Reasonable Doubt shot here in Winnipeg this past December but most of you will remember Jon as the host of Breakfast Television. He’s the Father of two grown children and has a passion for gardening, vintage toys and Politics.


Tricia Cooper Nov29 (3)A Theatre graduate from the University of Winnipeg, Trish has worked as an actor and a writer in Winnipeg and Toronto. She began writing sketch comedy with the Royal Liechtenstein Theatre Company (RLTC) and wrote for the Fringe Festival circuit including The Year of the Panda, The Comment Card and Homely Woman #2. Recently, she was both a writer and performer on the web series, Wind City, and last year she toured all over Manitoba as an actor in Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production, Miracle on South Division Street. Trish’s first full-length play Social Studies was first produced last year at Prairie Theatre Exchange and just finished its run at The Centaur in Montreal. She is thrilled it will also be programmed next season in Vancouver at the Firehall. Trish is excited to be performing soon in Blythe Spirit for Cowardfest with an all-star Winnipeg cast.

Toby Hughes photoToby is a Winnipeg-based actor and improvisor, and a graduate of the University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre and Film. He has performed with almost every professional theatre in Winnipeg and is a co-producer of the Outside Joke Season of Yuks (2012-2015) at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Recent theatrical credits include Le Jardin (Cercle Moliere), The Cherry Orchard (Theatre by the River, Little Echo Theatre), Maple Route (Theatre Incarnate), Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, Henry V and Henry IV 1&2 (Shakespeare in the Ruins), The Valley, The Dishwashers (Prairie Theatre Exchange), The Walworth Farce (Incompletely Strangled Theatre) and The Courier (Fringe Festival 2012). Toby is a founding member of the musical improv company Outside Joke and has travelled across Canada performing improv.

Gordon Tanner 2 printGordon Tanner is an actor and writer who has lived in Winnipeg his whole life long. He has performed on every stage in the city – some that no longer exist – and on others across the country. Sometimes he appears in films and on television, which can be quite a lot of fun. He is also very experienced at judging people. It took you this long to read five sentences? No, no, I’m sure that’s totally normal. Somewhere.


With their depth of improvisation and sketch comedy experience you can bet that cranky or gushing, these judges will certainly be entertaining. Tickets are $25 and include a wine reception. There will also be thousands of dollars in raffle prizes (raffle licence #MGCC5542)! There is no reason to miss this great event, so get your tickets now by clicking here or calling our offices at 204-586-2236.

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!