Bios

Bios

FemFest 2018: Staging Resistance
Artist and Production Bios

Learn more about the talented artists and production team members of FemFest 2018. We’re featuring both local and national artists, with over 65 participants!

 

Joseph Abetria (Design Consultant, The Game)

Joseph Abetria is a Filipino theatre designer currently based in the North End of Winnipeg. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre Honours program, his recent design highlights include: Two Indians and The Seduction Theory (Sarasvàti Productions); Last Train to Nibroc (RMTC); Richard III (SIR); Iceland (TPM); Concord Floral, Vinegar Tom, The Cassilis Engagement (UofW). He has also worked as an assistant designer for various productions such as Billy Elliot (RMTC), Romeo & Juliet, and Rocky Horror Show (Stratford Festival). At times, Joseph also works as a scenic artist with companies like Theatre by the River, and KOBA entertainment.

 

Elena Anciro (Performer, The Game)

Elena Anciro is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre & Film. She was recently seen on stage in Breaking Through (Sarasvàti), Alice in Wonderland (Theatre NorthWest), JONNO (Echo Theatre), and Chimerica (Royal MTC / Canadian Stage). Elena is also a member of Red Threads of Peace, a playback theatre troupe that merges artistry, social justice, and community building through improvised storytelling. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with this formidable, talented cast of women. To Shyamala, Sowmya, Cherissa, and Hope – thank you for your trust and vision!

 

Megan Andres (Director, “Shorts” and Our Home and Native Land)

Megan Andres is a Winnipeg based theatre performer, director & playwright with a BA in Theatre from the University of Manitoba and an MFA in Creative Writing and Theatre from the University of British Columbia. FemFest credits include, as director for the staged reading of Skin Deep (2014), as director for The Exchange (2013), and Is it Wednesday… (2012), as one of the playwrights for Bake Off (2013),and One Night Stand (2011)  and as production assistant (2010).  She is excited to be working with Sarasvàti Productions on this amazing festival once again!

 

Anju Aravind (Dancer, The Game)

Anju started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 4 from Jayakumar at Chembai School of Dance and Music in India. She studied abhinaya under Sandhya Rajendran, and performed her Arangetram at 13. In her teens she competed in dance competitions and started choreographing small items. She also has two years of training in MohiniAttam. Since moving to Winnipeg, Anju resumed her training under Shylaja Ramprasath at BRT Academy of Dance and Music. Last year her BRT group won First Place at the 2018 Canadian National Dance Championships and Gold at the Manitoba Dance Festival. She also performed in BRT’s student showcase Krishnaleela.

 

Sara Arenson (Playwright, Shorts)

Sara Arenson has been writing scripts for almost 20 years. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s theatre department and the Young Emerging Playwrights’ Program (Prairie Theatre Exchange and Manitoba Association of Playwrights), she writes about social justice, technology, families and Jewish themes. She has also acted in the Winnipeg Fringe and on film. Sara lives in Winnipeg with her partner Mark and their ever-expanding collection of books. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, learning languages, and swimming in nature. Sara is excited to be working with Sarasvàti Productions once more.

 

Amal Ayouch (Performer, La Civilisation, Ma Mere!…)

A theatre and film actress and storyteller, Amal Ayouch is a central figure in the Moroccan cultural scene. She has performed in many films and plays, including: Antigone, Waiting for Godot and Ophélia is not dead… She regularly stages poems by contemporary middle eastern authors. An engaged woman, she is the honorary chair of the association Solidarité Féminine for which she has collected testimonials from single mothers that she has transcribed in her theatrical play Violenscène. She is also a founding member of the Fondation des Arts Vivants, where she works for the promotion of theater in Morocco and its accessibility for all.

 

Sharon Bajer (Director, Our Home and Native Land)

Recent credits include directing Lunenburg at Festval Antigonish, Fly Me to the Moon at Prairie Theatre Exchange, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea for The Keep Theatre and The Best Brothers at Western Canada Theatre. Coming up Sharon will be directing the world premiere of Meet My Sister by Bonnie Green at Western Canada Theatre. Keep an eye out for a reading of Sharon’s new play The Gingerbread Girl this season! Sharonbajer.com

 

Jillian Boersch (Stage Manager, The Game)

Jillian is a Film major and Theatre minor at the University of Manitoba. Her latest projects include I ‘effed’ up and I’m sorry (Winnipeg Fringe Festival 2018), Marat/Sade (BHTC 2018), Pith! (BHTC 2018), Nothing Sacred (BHTC 2017) and Translations (BHTC 2017). She is thrilled to be a part of FemFest this year and to be working alongside Sarasvàti Productions.

 

Jane Burpee (Performers, Bake-Off)

Jane has watched Sarasvati embrace many marginalized corners of society in a respectful, honest way, and she has been pleased to be part of this societal exposure over the years.  Jane works for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, and is an advocate for those living with a mental illness, and their families.  Most recently, Jane played the role of Momo in The Humans at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

 

Grant Burr (Performer, Bake-Off)

Grant Burr is an acting graduate of the University of Winnipeg, where he completed the honours acting theatre program. Burr has appeared in many Winnipeg theatre productions, including multiple performances with Sarasvàti Productions, as well as One Trunk Theatre, Little Opera Company, Sixth Planet Productions, Theatre by the River, and several other Winnipeg Fringe Festival shows. Recently, Burr has made film and television appearances in The Pinkertons and the film, A Dog’s Purpose. Burr is an ACTRA member

 

Tatiana Carnevale (Director, One Night Stand)

Tatiana Carnevale is a local director, producer, and arts administrator. Her favourite credits include The Trump Card, Tigers Be Still (director, District Theatre Collective), You Were There, [title of show], (director and producer, Pocket Frock Productions), The Drowning Girls, Speech and Debate (producer, Pocket Frock Productions) and Godspell (director, Winnipeg Studio Theatre). She has assisted and apprenticed with RMTC, WJT, and Rainbow Stage, and studied at the University of Winnipeg (BA Theatre) and University of Guelph (MA Theatre Studies). By day, Tat is the Operations Coordinator for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

 

Giselle Charr (Performer, Shorts)

This is Gisele Charr’s first appearance in FemFest Shorts. She has previously performed in FemFest and the Cabaret of Monologues. Gisele has participated in readings for Millerfest and has enjoyed working with both the Cercle Moliere and the Tara Players Theatre in performances of Doubt. She has enjoyed roles in numerous plays in the Scirocco Dram Playwrights Competition, an activity she has enjoyed with both of her daughters. She is excited to once again be performing with Sarasvàti Theatre.

 

AL Connors (Sound Design, Burnt)

An energetic, passionate, creative partner in everything he does, AL Connors is one of Canada’s most respected names in improvisation. He’s an educator, producer, director, performer, and designer, who enjoys working in all aspects of live performance. Recent design credits include Will Somers, Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates and Far & Near & Here at Undercurrents in 2015, and Lavender Railroad & HROSES for Evolution Theatre which garnered a Prix Rideau Awards nomination and a win respectively for Design.

 

Darla Contois (Performers, White Man’s Indian)

Darla Contois is a Cree/Salteaux artist from Misipawistik Cree Nation in Manitoba. She graduated from Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Theatre in 2014, attended David Smukler’s National Voice Intensive and premiered her solo show White Man’s Indian at Summerworks 2017 earning her the Emerging Artist Award. She is an internationally recognized Indigenous theatre artist having traveled recently to Germany to share her unique perspective with the Theaterformen festival’s fellowship program.

 

Liz Cooper (Contact Improv Coach/Fight Choreographer, The Game)

Liz Cooper is a graduate of the Senior Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers.  She is also an aerial circus arts performer and teacher at Monica’s Danz Gym and co-director of Momentum Aerial & Acrobatic Performance Troupe.  She has performed her aerial choreography locally and internationally.  Liz is delighted to be working with Manohar Performing Arts and Sarasvati Productions’ collaboration of The Game, bringing her background in martial arts and partnering into the choreography.
Domonique Coughlin (Set and Costume Design, Burnt)

Dominique Coughlin is a Montreal based scenographer and visual artist. Being a contemporary art enthusiast, her emphasis on concept rather than realism is shaping a true interest in multidisciplinary, immersive and visually evocative environmental design. In addition to theatre, she designs for television, events, exhibits and visual display. More of her work on dominiquecoughlin.com

 

Hilary Anne Crist (Performer, Walking Tour)

Hilary’s unique style can be attributed to her wide range of global influences. She has travelled to Tel Aviv, New York, Switzerland, Germany and France, and across Canada to perform with and learn from the world’s leading dance professionals. Originally from Toronto, Hilary has been working and performing in Winnipeg since 2012, and has, in that short time, become an important contribution to the dance milieu. In 2017 she co-founded Art Holm, a semi-annual performance series with Alexandra Elliott.

 

Ntara Curry (Performer, The Game)

Ntara is a multi disciplinary artist, working primarily in professional theatre as a stage hand, stage manager and actor.  She is delighted to also be bringing her skills as dancer and writer to FemFest 2018.  Ntara grew up in Saskatchewan, trained and began her career in Alberta, and has been living, working and\or studying in Winnipeg since 2005.  Favorite local productions include: Stripped Down MacBeth (Lady, Banquo, Others), Peg and the Yeti (Mom), Dirty Dancing (Dresser), Passion (Julia Brewster), Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Head of Properties), Savage in Limbo (April), Phasewash (Assistant Stage Manager), and most recently Animosity (Co-director).

 

Shyamala Dakshinamurti (Playwright and Performer, The Game)

Shyamala is a Winnipeg performer and choreographer of classical Indian dance trained in Canada and India, with experience in other styles including modern dance and aerial. A literature aficionado who studied modern drama in university, Shyamala has 25 years of scripting and staging dance productions in Manohar Performing Arts of Canada, where she has performed in 21 productions, with senior scriptwriter credit in 14. Her aesthetic as a dancer is improvisational and character-driven; her forte as a writer is the visually emotive, tightly précised narrative of dance theatre. She excels in dance to the spoken word, especially poetry.

 

Sowmya Dakshinamurti (Playwright and Performer, The Game)

A founding member of Manohar Performing Arts of Canada, Sowmya has trained in India and Canada, and performs the classical Indian dance styles Bharatanatyam and Kathak in Winnipeg, Ottawa and at dance festivals across the country. Her love of poetry and epic literature has inspired many of Manohar’s dance theatre productions. Sowmya has storyboarded and co-written 16 of Manohar’s scripts, and she is particularly involved with music and lyric selection, source translation, arrangement and soundtrack editing. With Manohar, Sowmya has created and choreographed a number of challenging male roles that utilize her command of space and rhythm.

 

Karam Daoud (Performers, Bake-Off)

Engineer by trade, actor by birth.

 

Melanee Deschambeault (Performer, One Night Stand)

Melanee Deschambeault is French, Scottish and Ojibwe from Dauphin, Manitoba. Melanee is currently entering her fifth year at the University of Manitoba. Her work in the Arts have been inspired and influenced by indigenous artists such as Frances Koncan, Margot Kane, Tantoo Cardinal and Ian Ross. Selected theatre credits include: Marat/Sade (2018), Translations (2017) and Doubtful House (2016) with the Black Hole Theatre Company, Two Indians (2017) with Sarasvàti Productions and Riot Revolt Resist Repeat (2017) with Vault Projects. Melanee plans to pursue theatre and acting in the coming years. She thanks you for coming out and enjoy the performances.

 

Alexandra Elliott (Performer, Walking Tour)

After performing her own work in New York Alexandra Elliott and Hurricane Sandy came face to face. Physically demanding and emotionally charged, her work made it back to her hometown of Winnipeg and beyond. With over ten original works under her belt, her dances have been produced in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Alex thanks Tedd Robinson for his ecstasy charged commission Logarian Rhapsody. She is the co-founder of Art Holm, a semi-annual performance series that showcases artists of different disciplines. Alex shares the role of curator and producer with fellow artist Hilary Anne Crist.

 

Victoria Emilie Hill (Cabaret)

Victoria Emilie Hill has been an artist since she was 10 years old performing (arguably the worst) rendition of Grease in her basement.  She loves to make theatre fun, always remembering her childlike sense of enthusiasm while also aiming to connect to humans through storytelling and exchanging personal experiences.  One of her favourite ways to do this is with THE PATRIARCHY. Victoria is an avid student of life, challenging herself to experience everything from white water rafting, to skydiving, to knitting.  Her newest endeavour is roller derby, which is almost as scary as singing overly personal songs to large audiences. Cheers!

 

Daphne Finlayson (Coordinator, Walking Tour)

Daphne is a graduate of the University of Manitoba’s theatre program specializing in directing, stage managing, and performance. Directing credits include Deadly Politics (or a Murder Mystery Murder Mystery), Empathy, Pith! (Black Hole Theatre Company); and Praised be the Playwright! (The 4th Wall Wrecking Balls). Stage managing credits: Matt and Ben (Black Hole Theatre Company); Starman (WTFunk Productions); and The Last 48 (ArtLaunch Theatre Company). She prides herself on finding puns in everything she does and discovering new ways to make the ordinary, special.

 

Lou Gandier (Performer, Cabaret)

DJ Louie Lovebird- Whatever your vibe may be, leave it to Louie to pick up what you’re throwing down. This Lovebird prefers to nest in queer and inclusive spaces- With a keen eye on what the crowd is feeling, they bring both the the fun and the funk to whatever event they play. If you want a smooth sensitive empath making you groove Louie has it covered. Often quoted as saying “Donna Summer is my Queen” be sure to expect the gamut of disco all the way to reggae and modern hip hop.

 

Katie German (Performer, One Night Stand)

KATIE GERMAN is very excited to be a part of FemFest 2018 One Night Stand! Katie is a Winnipeg based performer, director and educator who received her training in Musical Theatre Performance at Grant MacEwan University. Katie is the owner and director of Junior Musical Theatre Company (JMTC) and has taught Musical Theatre and Voice at many schools and theatres across the prairie provinces.

Select acting credits include; Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, South Pacific (Rainbow Stage), Women of the Fur Trade (Carol Shields Festival), American Idiot (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Dry Cold Productions), Evil Dead (Wasteland Productions).

 

Reid Girard (Production Assistant, FemFest)

Reid is an English and Theatre student at the University of Manitoba.  Past acting credits include Marat/Sade, The Rover, After Magritte (Black Hole Theatre Company), and Confessional (The 28th Minute).  He is extremely grateful to have been able to work for such an amazing organization this summer and hopes you enjoy FemFest!

 

Shalaka Godse (Dancer, The Game)

Shalaka began her Bharatnatyam training at the India School of Dance, Music and Theatre at the age of eight and completed her Aradhana in 2011 under Guru Shanta Ponnudurai. Since joining Manohar Performing Arts of Canada in 2011, she has performed in the company’s second rendition of The Game (2012), Manohar’s 20th anniversary show, 20/20 AfterImages (2013) and Sunset Moonrise (2016 & 2017). In addition to dancing Bharatanatyam, Shalaka has also performed folk and Bollywood dances at various cultural events, such as Folklorama, and has taken classes in hip-hop and Latin dance to enhance her dance abilities.

 

Tamera Grace (Props and Costume Coordinator, The Game)

 Tamera Grace is so thankful to Sarasvàti for producing such meaningful and relevant work, and also thankful for being able to be a part of the team! Working with and supporting artistic endeavours that aim to create positive social change and thought is something Tamera wants to continue to do. Originally focusing on acting, she now does the technical aspects in theatre and film but hopes to keep acting in her back pocket for another time. Happy FemFest!

 

Alexandria Haber (Playwright, Shorts)

Alexandria’s plays include:  Mouth to Mouth ( co- written with Ned Cox)  Montreal Fringe Fest 2017 and The White Bear Theatre London, England. Alice and The World We Live In, second place winner Infinite Theatre’s Write-on-Q 2016 playwriting Competition. On This Day, Centaur Theatre during 2015 season. Life Here After, (Imago, Centaur Theatre’s Wildside 2012, 2010 winner of Infinite Theatre’s Write-on-Q! playwriting Competition) Closed for Urgent and Extraordinary Work, Theatre Yes , Edmonton, National Elevator Play project. I Don’t like Mondays, Game Changers, (Geordie Theatre,) Housekeeping & Homewrecking (Theatre Ste. Catherine) Ordinary Times, (Centaur Wildside and Sarasvàti’s Fem Fest)

 

Dione C Haynes (Performer, Cabaret)

Dionce C. Haynes is a poet/writer who got into the comedy game, prompted by the heartache of racism, sexism, and other unsuitable “suitors”. Xhe delivers pointed observations and acerbic retorts to oppressive forces.  Dione is the co-founder/co-producer of WOKE Comedy Hour, a collective for BIPOC Comedy and Improv artists. Xhe recently performed for Drag the Red fundraised and the Winnipeg Fringe (2018).

 

Ivan Henwood (Performer, Shorts)

Ivan is an actor, director, producer, and theatre administrator. Past acting credits include: Confessional (28th Minute); Thom Pain (Based on Nothing), The Flick, Hamlet, Wang Dang, The Wife, Mary Rose, Fool for Love (Snakeskin Jacket); The Pillowman, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, A Lie of the Mind, Escape from Happiness, Landscape of the Body (BHTC). Caesar and Cleopatra (Nomadic Players); Buried Child (PTE School). Past directing credits include Tape (28th Minute); Lion in the Streets, Catastrophe, Footfalls (BHTC); The Wife, States of Shock: A Vaudeville Nightmare (Snakeskin Jacket).

 

Sue Hoang (Artists, Cabaret)

Sue Hoang is an emerging Winnipeg artist who recently completed a year long mentorship program with MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art). Her multidisciplinary work has a comical way of looking at the world in order to create a sense of belonging. Her love in bringing the serious and silly sides of her ideas and experiences to her storytelling can be heard on CKUW and she hopes also to bring her stories to a stand up comedy stage. Over the next year, she plans to complete a project that focuses on shame with her first piece titled Nobody Nose.

 

Tyshana Hobson (Performer, Cabaret)

 

Patricia Hunter (Performer, Our Home and Native Land)

 

Matt Irvine (Performer, Home 2.0)

Matthew Paris-Irvine is thrilled to be making his second appearance with Sarasvàti Productions! Last appearing in the “Giving Voice” tour, Matt is ecstatic to be touring again with such a powerful story.  A recent graduate of the Honours Acting program at the University of Winnipeg, selected past credits include: Time and The Conways, Concord Floral, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (University of Winnipeg) Tuedays and Sundays (Beau Theatre Co) and The Laramie Project (Meraki Productions). He would like to thank those who have shared their stories and hopes this show can serve as a catalyst for even more voices to be emboldened.

 

Lorraine James (Performer, Cabaret)

Master Playwright Festival appearances: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (ChurchillFest), August Strindberg‘s Flying Circus (StrindbergFest) & The Mousetrap (Christiefest). Stage: Timon of Athens (Shakespeare In The Ruins), Bake-Off & International Women’s Week Cabaret Of Monologues, (FemFest 2017); Recycled, Vampire Lesbians Of Sodom, When God Comes For Breakfast You Don’t Burn the Toast, The Appointment (Winnipeg Fringe Festival 2016).  Film and television appearances: Nomis, Into Invisible Light and the made-for -tv movie, Gone: My Daughter. Lovesick, Bravetown.

 

Lindsay Johnson (Assistant Director, Home 2.0)

Lindsay Johnson is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg and a cofounder of Fill The (W)hole Theatre Company, who are a Winnipeg-based collective that aim to share women’s stories through collaborative, multidisciplinary theatre. Some of Lindsay’s acting credits include Channel Zero: Dream Door and No End House (Universal Cable Productions), A Christmas Carol (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Passion (Red Hen Collective), Shattered (Sarasvàti Productions), The Time In-Between, The Palatine, The Writing on the Stall (Fill The (W)hole Theatre), Quickies with Chekhov, Antigone (This Reality Theatre Co.)

 

Reena Jolly (Performer, Home 2.0)

Reena is keeping herself very busy this year when it comes to theater. She is currently working on Sarasvàti’s touring production of Home 2.0 and couldn’t be more excited! Later in the year, Reena will be doing another touring show with MTYP called Torn Through Time. When Reena is not out saving the world one smile at a time, she enjoys things like hanging out with her family, singing in the shower and being a decent human being. Reena feels very blessed to be surrounded by such talented and inspiring performers all year round.

 

Kimberly Kakegamic (Performer, One Night Stand)

Kim is thrilled to be a part of FemFest once again! Trained at Providence University College (BFA), Kim has appeared in over 13 Fringe Festivals in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Winnipeg. She most recently performed in RMTC’s 2018 Master Playwright Festival with Broken Record Productions. Other favourite roles to date include: Stella, A Streetcar Named Desire (Regina Little Theatre); Zelda Fitzgerald, 2015 Cabaret of Monologues (Sarasvàti Productions); Fraulein Kost, Cabaret (Crosswalk Players); and Lia, The National Elevator Project (Theatre Yes). By day Kim works as a writer for the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and spends far too much time binge watching shows on Netflix.

 

Sahana Kandeepan (Dancer, The Game)

Sahana started learning Bharatanatyam when she was 9 at BRT Academy of Dance and Music. She is currently 14 years old and is actively working towards completing her Arangetram. Her Bharatanayman group placed first in the 2018 Canadian National Dance Championships. Sahana has performed folk dances at many cultural events and has been involved in all her school drama productions. Sahana enjoys taking part in many sports including swimming, basketball, volleyball, badminton and is proud of her accomplishments in the Manitoba Provincial Honor Band as a French Horn player.

 

Ady Kay (Performer, Cabaret)

Ady Kay is a multidisciplinary artist who is especially interested in physical theatre and clown.  Ady is currently studying dance at the School of Contemporary Dancers and is so grateful to have studied clown at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance this past summer as an artist in residence.  Ady plans to continue moving forward with positivity in life and expand her craft as an artist and performer.

 

Leigh-Anne Kehler (Playwright, One Night Stand)

Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton, Prairie Theatre Exchange and Theatre Projects Manitoba have commissioned and produced several of Leigh-Anne’s plays. She’s also toured several one-woman shows with assistance from the MB Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts including BABY BLUES; the story of her birthing experience, VOICES ON THE WIND; the stories of Mennonite women settling in her home village of Neubergthal, FIRE WOMEN; cultural tales of strong women from around the world and THE FINAL HOUR (currently touring to hospitals as THE MAN WHO COULDN’T DIE.)   FIRE WOMEN and THE FINAL HOUR were invited to the National Arts Centre in 2016.

 

Elissa Kixen (Performer, Cabaret)

Elissa Black Wolf Kixen is an Anishinaabe Two Spirit Comedian who’s roots lay in Couchiching First Nation, Ontario. They have travelled across Canada and the USA as a Comedian and improviser. They use comedy as a tool in dealing with racism, homophobia and sexism. They are the Co-founder/producer of WOKE Comedy Hour, featured on APTN’s The Laughing Drum, The Manitoba Ambassador for Canadian Association Of Standup Comedians and Co-produces Queer and Present Danger with Chantel Morastica.

 

Marsha Knight (Performer, Our Home and Native Land)

Marsha’s theatre work has included both on- and off-stage ventures. Some on-stage highlights include: Eden, Breaking Through (Sarasvàti); Time’s Fancy (Kevan Bowkett, Winnipeg Fringe); Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare in the Ruins); Crees in the Caribbean (Magnus Theater); and Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun (Theatre Northwest). Marsha is currently the Indigenous Community Outreach Coordinator for Sarasvàti Productions and is studying Anthropology, Psychology and Film at the University of Winnipeg.

 

Frances Koncan (Playwright, One Night Stand)

Frances Koncan is an Indigenous writer, director, & producer of Anishinaabe and Slovene descent. She is the Artistic Director of Vault Projects, a transdisciplinary arts collective devoted to the exploration of the decolonization of creation methods and making nifty lil shows. Select Credits include stuff and things. Next up: Women of the Fur Trade (writer/director), Untitled Hedda Gabbler Project (writer/director), A Doll’s House Part 2 (assistant director), and hosting the monthly Drunk Play Reading series at Wee Johnny’s because we gotta stay classy.

 

Melissa Langdon (Performer, The Game)

Melissa Langdon is thrilled to be back with Sarasvàti Productions. A recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film program, she loves singing, dancing, and playing the violin. You might have seen her in past productions as Kay in Time and the Conways, Nearly Wild in Concord Floral, or Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz Guildenstern Are Dead and the Original New Beginnings cast. She would love to extend her greatest gratitude to the entire cast and creative team as well as all of her friends, family, and the prayer plant on the dinner table which has somehow managed to survive without regular watering.

 

Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie (Performer, Cabaret)

Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie is a 24 year old Anishinaabe Two-Spirit from Sagkeeng First Nation, and holds a BA in Indigenous Studies and Political Science at the University of Winnipeg. Sadie-Phoenix is currently the Community Coordinator with Waniskatan: Alliance of Hydro Impacted Communites, and Co-Founder of Red Rising Magazine. They are formerly the National Executive Representative of the Circle of First Nations, Mètis and Inuit Students with the Canadian Federation of Students, the largest student union in Canada, as well formerly the VP External of the University of Winnipeg Students Association. Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie goes by They/Them pronouns.

 

Emilie Lemay (Performer, Walking Tour)

French-Canadian painter Emilie Lemay grew up on the shores of Brome Lake near the picturesque village of Knowlton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. After studying at Concordia University, she received a BFA with honours from the University of Manitoba. She has lived and found inspiration under the extraordinary Manitoba sky since 2002. Emilie is a proud member of La Maison des Artistes Visuels Francophones, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, and the Cloud Appreciation Society. Her work in cultural mediation reflects her commitment to the francophone artistic community. Her artwork can be found in public and private connections throughout Canada.

 

Dawn Lavand (Performer, Walking Tour)

Born and raised in Winnipeg; this city slicker is of Cree and Ojibwe descent. A former youth in care, child actress and a former great deal of other things; she strives to share her Teachings/lessons learned along her journey in a good way.  She possesses a bright and extroverted personality with a quick wit that contributes to her ability to engage and build community by sharing her story through humourous anecdotes you are sure to enjoy. Dawn believes that laughter is medicine so come out and get a dose. Miigwetch.

 

Thilini Kaushalya Livera (Dancer, The Game)

Thilini has been dancing from the age of three. Under the guidance of her mother Priyanthi Waidyasekara, herself a classical and folk dance instructor, Thilini had performed in many school concerts, talent shows and local dance competitions while growing up in Sri Lanka. Subsequently a Bharatanatyam student of Natya Bhooshan Guru Sri Jayantha Karunasekara, she completed her Arangetram in 2016. She has also studied Sri Lankan traditional dance, and completed her Udarata Wes Mangalya. Her interests include piano, guitar and badminton; she also sings in St Mary’s Academy Con Spiritu Choir. Thilini joined Manohar Performing Arts of Canada in 2017.

 

Brad Long (Co-dramaturg, Burnt)

Brad Long is an Ottawa based theatre artist. Recent credits include The December Man (NAC, Assistant Director) Re:Union at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival 2015, The End of Civilization (Gladstone Theatre) This is War (GCTC) and WE GLOW (Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding Male Performance, Outstanding New Creation, 2013). As an instructor he has worked with The Ottawa Theatre School, Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa.

 

Joanne MacDonald (Playwright, Our Home and Native Land and One Night Stand)

Jo is Anishinaabe, a mom, theatre fan, writer, and an educator. She gave up dreams of Super villainy as it wasn’t as lucrative as depicted at the job fairs (false advertising…but then again what can you expect from an evil genius job pitch). She received her BA and B.Ed. from the University of Winnipeg.  Jo had her Winnipeg Fringe debut with her comedy play Mother’s Little Secret this past July.

 

Heidi Malazdrewich (Dramaturg, Our Home and Native Land)

Heidi Malazdrewich is a director, dramaturg, actor, and theatre educator. Selected directing credits: The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night- Time (Canadian Premiere, RMTC/ Citadel Theatre), Ladies Foursome (Theatre Baddeck), Di and Viv and Rose (RM TC), Romeo and Juliet (SIR), Myth of the Ostrich (RMTC), The New Canadian Kid (MTYP), and The Secret Annex (RMTC). She was the dramaturgy intern at the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre’s 2018 Playwriting Colony and has worked as dramaturg on several new Canadian plays. Heidi holds an MFA in directing from the University of Calgary and currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg.

 

Sarah Mansikka (Lighting Design, Burnt)

Sarah is a graduate of Concordia university and has been working as a Professional Lighting Designer for the last twelve years. She has worked with IFT Theatre in Toronto, Progress Lab 1422 in Vancouver and as the Lighting Director for Rimini Protokoll’s world tour of Best Before. Sarah was also an Assistant Lighting Designer with the Stratford Festival and Vancouver Opera.

 

Jen McDonald (Playwright, Shorts)

Jen McDonald is a Winnipeg born Actor, Videographer, and Writer. She is a graduate of the U of W Honours Theatre program. She participated, as an actor and playwright, in 6 plays produced at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Two shows she co-wrote and acted in received 4 and 5 star reviews and were awarded best of fest. She has taught acting at PTE and MTYP for 6 years. Jen studied Media Production and has been nominated for best short documentary at the U of W film festival. Most recently she has worked with Ghost River Theatre developing her skills in performance, creation, and multimedia design.

 

Hope McIntyre (FemFest Artistic Director)

Hope McIntyre is currently launching in to her 20th year as Artistic Director of Sarasvàti Productions. She has a BFA and MFA in theatre. She completed a performance apprenticeship at ARTTS International in England. She is an award winning playwright and director who specializes in community collaboration. She has received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Bra D’Or and the Women Helping Women Award. She has taught at Mount Allison, Brandon University, University of Manitoba and Prairie Theatre Exchange. She currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg. She is a former President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

 

Andy McKim (Sound of the Beast, Artistic Director)

Andy McKim has spent his professional life developing, dramaturging and directing new Canadian plays. For 23 years he was the Associate Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre, Canada’s pre-eminent playwright’s theatre.  Since 2007, he has been the Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille, Canada’s oldest theatre for developing and producing new work. Andy was Toronto Theatre Alliance’s President from 1997-1999 and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres’ President from 2002-2005. Andy has been recognized with the Playwrights Guild of Canada Bras D’or Award (for Playwright Gender Equity), the George Luscombe Mentorship Award and the Silver Ticket Award for Lifetime Achievement.

 

Simba Meng (Performers, Bake-Off)

Zhaopeng Meng is from China and goes by the nick name Simba, given to him when he was 10 years old. Simba is in Canada studying Theatre at The University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre and Film. He finds studying abroad rewarding, and challenging, with English being his second language. As he started studying theatre, his whole brain was enlightened. Simba is fascinated about acting. He really likes to share his characters’ story through his performance.

 

Cairn Moore (Director, Bake-Off)

Cairn is a director and playwright and teaches first year performance at the University of Winnipeg. Her award winning play SHIKSA premiered with Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2016. Breaking Through, co-written with Hope McIntyre, premiered in May 2017 with Sarasvati Productions. With the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, Cairn is currently re-writing her first play HABsolute Perfection. (Catch a sneak peek at FemFest 2018’s One Night Stand). After directing a successful run of To Kill a Mockingbird with Prairie Theatre Exchange’s Youth Conservatory in 2018, Cairn is honoured to return to direct this band of young thespians. 

 

Hera Nalam (Performer, Shorts)

Fresh graduate of the University of Winnipeg Theatre Honours Program, Hera Nalam is extremely excited to be part of FemFest for the very first time! She was last seen on the stage in Shakespeare In The Ruins’ production of Timon of Athens, the University of Winnipeg’s production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Concord Floral and Time & The Conways. Also an aspiring singer-songwriter, Hera has successfully written and recorded her original music, which are all available on soundcloud.com.

 

Tiana Northage (Performer, Walking Tour)

Tiana Northage – 22-year-old English student, Tiana Northage has been sharing her innermost feelings, for better or for worse, on Canadian stages since 2013. Two-time Winnipeg Fringe Slam! Champion, she was a member of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam’s team for the 2016 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and will soon be publishing her first chapbook, “(un)professional poet”.

 

Manuel Ortega (Performer, Home 2.0)

Manuel Ortega (Michael, Joel, Dad, Kampta) is proud to collaborate with Sarasvàti Productions. Arriving as refugees with his family in the winter of 1990, he finds this play to strike a certain chord in his heart. Manuel is a graduate of U of M and has worked under the directions of Bill Kerr, Chris Johnson, Gary Jarvis and Kelly Jenken. Fluent in English and Spanish, Manuel enjoys Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, singing, and dancing, in no particular order.

 

Jivesh Parasram (Producer, Sound of the Beast)

Jivesh Parasram (He/Him/His) is multidisciplinary artist, community activator, and facilitator of Indo-Caribbean descent. His work has played across Canada, and Internationally. He is the Artistic Producer at Pandemic Theatre and the Associate Artistic Producer at Theatre Passe Muraille. Parasram has received two “Harold Awards” for his contributions to the Independent Theatre Community in Toronto, including the Ken McDougall Award for Direction. He was a member of the second cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre and was the recipient of the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award.

 

Norah Paton (Performers, Burnt)

Norah Paton is a theatre artist based in Ottawa. Her solo creations include an extended love-letter to Stephen Harper (Stephen and Me) and a group fortune-telling experience (Readings). As a collaborator, her work has appeared at DIY spaces in Montreal, with the SMASH Collective in Berlin and at Fringe Festivals in Ontario, Quebec and Edinburgh. She first attended Burning Man in 2014 and does not know how to stop…

 

Emily Pearlman (Co-dramaturg, Burnt)

Emily is a theatre maker from Ottawa whose previous undercurrents credits include directing Thunk’s Bread and Far and Near and Here, dramaturging Sarah Waisvisz’ Monstrous and creating Live from the Belly of a Whale with her company Mi Casa. She is pretty sure she missed her burning man window, though she is also easily peer pressured into adventures.

 

Tori Popp (Production Manager)

After another busy year, Tori is looking forward to another great FemFest! Fresh off her 4th year with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival as their Assistant Festival Manager, Tori is poised and ready to do it all again. After FemFest concludes, she’s off to participate in a 6 month practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity commencing in October. Recent Credits include: Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Morning After Grace (RMTC 2018, Apprentice Stage Manager); A Christmas Carol (RMTC 2017, Apprentice Lighting Designer); The Heidi Chronicles (UofW 2017, Lighting Designer).

 

Alexa Potashnik (Producer and EMCEE, FemFest)

Alexa Joy Potashnik has been a leader in the arts community creating programming that promotes diversity and inclusion for artists of colour in Winnipeg. As the Founder of Black Space Winnipeg, Host of Raw Colours (CKUW) and vocal percussionist known as MC Woke, Alexa’s work involves creating safe spaces for people of colour while challenging white/male privilege, dominance and supremacy through grassroots activism. Since 2016, as her role with Black Space Winnipeg, Alexa has been the coordinator for Nuit Noire an Afrocentric artist showcase that promotes Black visual and performing artists in the city and was the coordinator for the Afro Prairie Film Festival.

 

Connor Price-Kelleher (Stage Manager, Burnt)

Connor Price-Kelleher is an Ottawa-based Stage Manager, Technician, Creator and general clown. His most recent project, What’s Cooking (Spirt of the Fest Award 2018), recently premiered at the Kingston Store Front Fringe Festival. Typically, he can be found stage managing for Aplombusrhombus, an Ottawa-based physical theatre company. Past productions with Aplombusrhombus include; Ethel (Outstanding Production Award, Outstanding New Work Award at Ottawa Fringe 2017 and Pick of the Festival Kingston Store Front Fringe 2018) and Cardinal (Emerging Artist Award at Ottawa Fringe 2016).

 

Rebecca Quinn-Davis (Administrator, Sarasvati Productions)

Rebecca is Sarasvàti’s full-time administrator. She holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Manitoba, with a minor in Spanish, and spent several years working in property management. Outside of work and school, she has worked with the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba, co-hosted the UMFM show The F Word, and enjoys knitting. She’s very excited for the opportunity to work with Sarasvàti and to be part of the organization’s wonderful work.

 

Saira Rahman (Performer, The Game)

Saira Rahman grew up in Winnipeg, and was a teacher and principal before pursuing filmmaking. In 2005, she was writer of a 3-part documentary series about Muslim Canadians called A New Life in a New Land (Milo Productions), which aired nationally. After completing the Digital Film Production program at Langara College in Vancouver in 2009, Saira and her sister, Nilufer, established Snow Angel Films, producing their first feature, Arctic Mosque (CBC, APTN). Saira is also an emerging actor involved with Prairie Theatre Exchange’s Adult Company, which performed at the Fringe Festival this year, and One Trunk Theatre’s production, Boundary Avenue.

 

Cherissa Richards (Director, The Game)   

Hot on the tails of her success as director for Sarasvàti’s New Beginnings, Cherissa spent the early summer as an apprentice director at Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach, assisting in Meg Roe’s Timon of AthensThe Game is Cherissa’s second show directing with Sarasvàti this year and you can catch her as an actor in three shows on the RMTC, MTYP and WJT’s stages this season. In 2019 Cherissa will be one of two apprentice directors at the prestigious Shaw Festival in Ontario. What an honour this is, to be working with these talented artists at FemFest 2018!

 

Joanne Roberts (Performer, Home 2.0)

Joanne approaches acting like one does an extreme sport. Not one to shy from away from drama, her first performance was as Sawda in Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched. Reviews stated that her performance “hit everyone in the theatre with intense emotion[.]” In 2018 Joanne joined Théâtre Cercle Molière for their De Bouche à oreille Manitoba tour. She also returned to film with a short titled Deadbolt produced by CBC’s New Indigenous Voices. Joanne is proud of her work, but also of her music studio where she teaches and coaches. Her students are regularly seen performing and have gone onto professional careers.

 

Ed Roy (Director and Dramaturg, White Man’s Indian)

Ed’s activities as a theatre practitioner include directing, writing, dramaturgy, acting, teaching, lecturing, and producing. His productions have toured extensively nationally and internationally. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards and nominations including, The Pauline McGibbon Award for Directing: Dora Award Outstanding Direction, 3 Dora Awards Outstanding Productions, Chalmers Outstanding Play Writing Award, and Toronto’s Harold Alternative Theatre Award.

 

Denisse Samaniego (Performer, Home 2.0)

Denisse is a Theatre and Education student at University of Winnipeg. As a part of the original cast of New Beginnings, she is excited to work with Sarasvàti Productions once again to bring you the revised version, Home 2.0. As an immigrant herself coming to Winnipeg at the age of 3, she finds the stories very close to her heart and is so honoured to be sharing these stories to all audiences. She would like to thank her parents for always being supportive and bringing her to the beautiful country of Canada to live her dreams and to her sister for always being her number one fan.

 

Anaka Sandhu (Performer, The Game)

Anaka Sandhu is 19 years old, and will be appearing in her first Sarasvàti production as Yudhishtira. Anaka is beginning her second year at the University of Manitoba, studying theatre and political studies. She hopes to finish her political studies degree at the U of M, and then further her theatre education at a performing arts university, such as NTS or Ryerson. Her most recent performances have been at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and in several Black Hole Theatre Company productions. Anaka Sandhu is thrilled to be performing in FemFest, and hopes you enjoy the show!

 

Katie Schmidt (Stage Manager, Cabaret and Bake-Off)

Katie Schmidt is a recent graduate of the University of Winnipeg. While she loves to Stage Manage, Katie loves to sew and hang with her cat. She is ecstatic to be working with Sarasvàti for a second time. Her recent credits include The Sport of the Engineer (Stage Manager, Winnipeg Fringe), Hang Me Out to Dry (Stage Manager, Winnipeg Fringe), and The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg’s Yeomen of the Guard (Stage Manager.) Thanks to Sarasvati for this opportunity!

 

Taesia Scratch (Performers, Bake-Off)

Born and raised in Vancouver Taesia Scratch got her first job in television when she was 16, this paid her way through acting school under the mentorship of William B Davis. Taesia then moved to Ottawa with her husband. Although she had an extended hiatus while she raised her four brilliant and charming children, she kept busy in the arts community coaching and school productions. In 2012 Taesia and her family moved to Winnipeg. Taesia was in Sarasvàti’s production of Tyler White’s Launched in 2013. Always training and making changes developing an honest and disciplined approach to her art.

 

Monica Sharma (Dancer, The Game)

Monica was four years old when she started learning Bharatanatyam at Winnipeg’s India School of Dance, Music, and Theatre. She completed her Aradhana in 2011 under Guru Shanta Ponnudurai. Monica has performed at many events such as Asian Heritage Month, Folklorama, and Diwali Mela. 2012 marked her first year dancing with Manohar Performing Arts of Canada; she appeared in the revised The Game, and in 2013 she appeared in 20/20 Afterimages. In 2016 and 2017 she also appeared in Sunset Moonrise.

 

Shivani Sharma (Dancer, The Game)

Shivani has been dancing since the age of four, studying Bharatanatyam at Winnipeg’s India School of Dance, Music, and Theatre, as well as bhangra, folk dance and performing in Bollywood dance teams. She has also been a competitive soccer player. Shivani performed her Aradhana in 2012 under Guru Shanta Ponnudurai. Shivani has frequently danced at Folklorama and other community events. In 2015 she joined Manohar Performing Arts of Canada and has appeared in Sunset Moonrise in 2016 and 2017.

 

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (Performers, Sound of the Beast)

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is an emcee, playwright and agitator. Notable works for the theatre include Cake, They Say He Fell, A Man A Fish, The First Stone, Roominhouse, Salome’s Clothes, and Gas Girls. She has rhymed onstage at CMW, NXNE, WCMA, Urbanfest, Under the Volcano and Scream in High Park. DM is Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions, playwright in residence at lemonTree creations and emcee in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille.

 

Allison Stier (Playwright, Bake-Off)

Allison Stier is a fledgling playwright who prefers the eating of baked goods, rather than the mixing and kneading and baking. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she has loved putting words into delicious arrangements for the greater part of her existence. Fascinated by the fantastic and strange, her writing leans most often toward the speculative and science fictional. She is quite thankful that the ingredients for this Bake-Off are of the word variety, which, in most cases, don’t result in a sink full of dirty dishes.

 

Maribeth Tabanera (Performer, Cabaret)

With over 20 years of dance experience, Maribeth Tabanera has a diverse repertoire of street style moves and a passion for teaching with specialties including hip hop, breaking, house, dancehall, waacking, vogueing and afrobeat. She began her dance training at the age of 8 with a Filipino folk dance group. From 2006 – 2013 she was a member of Define Movement. In 2015, Maribeth represented Canada with Project Company at Hip Hop International in San Diego. Maribeth now choreographs and performs as a core member of B.O.S.S. Dance Team. She continues to train and battle across North America.

 

Jane Testar (Performer, Our Home and Native Land)

 

Rychelle Thompson-Folkes (Cabaret)

Rychelle Thompson-Folkes is a twenty-one year old singer of Jamaican heritage who has been performing all her life. From an early age, she has sang at cultural events, black history month venues and has been an active member of the Caribbean community for several years. Rychelle has been playing trumpet for almost 9 years, and has played at festivals around central Canada and Cuba. Her passion for Blues and Jazz has shaped her as a performer and made her the singer she is today.

 

Matsya Ruppari Thulasiram (Dancer, The Game)

Matsya has been learning Bharatanatyam since age 5. She began with Mohyna Dookun at Manohar, and pursued her formal dance training at the India School of Dance, Music, and Theatre Inc. under the tutelage of Guru Shantha Ponnudurai. Matsya completed her Aradhana  in 2012, and performed her Arangetram  in 2015. As a Senior Dance Instructor and Co-Dance Representative, Matsya currently teaches beginner, intermediate, and senior Bharatanatyam students at India School of Dance Music and Theatre, and is involved in dancing in and choreographing its multiple Alumni Showcase performances. Matsya is excited to be participating in The Game as a Guest Artist.

 

Tracy Tomchuk (Performer, Cabaret)

Tracy “Trigger Tray” Tomchuk has been dancing over 20 years. Originally studying Ballet and Jazz, she left technical dance training (2008), shortly after she began her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree (2007-2012). After volunteering overseas (2012) she found herself involved with one of Winnipeg’s African Dance communities and soon after discovered Winnipeg’s Hip Hop Scene (2014). Tracy has since been intensively studying street dances including Hip Hop and Breaking. She is an assistant choreographer & member of BOSS Dance Team, instructs at local schools, and runs a weekly nonprofit Female Breaking Sesh with Maribeth Tabanera. Please visit www.tracytomchuk.com

 

Karim Troussi (Director, La Civilisation, Ma Mere!…)

He began his artistic career in Morocco before joining the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique de Paris and the Centre National du Cirque de Chalons. He has worked with many researchers to develop his artistic and pedagogical approach. As a director, he develops his own projects but also responds to requests from companies, artists and festivals. He has more than thirty productions to his credit. He has taught in several theatre schools (Comédie de Saint-Etienne, ENSATT, ISADAC …) and regularly accompanies artists in their professional projects. An integral part of his work is international, where he participates in various exchange projects (Canada, Togo, Germany, Romania, China, Brazil …).

 

Bennette Villones (Performer, Home 2.0)

Just a girl who want to inspire people and wants to pursue her dreams in the arts. To make and create art that’ll have an impact on people. A way to make people smile, laugh, feel understood, that they’re not alone and that they have a voice of their own they can share to world.

 

Colleen Wagner (Playwright, Shorts)

Colleen Wagner is a multi-award winning writer including the Governor General’s Award for The Monument (translated into numerous languages and produced nationally and internationally). Other selected plays include down from heaven, (Playwrights Canada Press, MECCA nomination for best new play); The Morning Bird, (Scirocco Drama); Home (Scirocco Drama); a documentary play, The Living, (Talonbooks in spring 2019). She has written numerous screenplays, is a past recipient of a SSHRC research/creation grant for a feature documentary film, Women Building Peace; (best documentary award, Silver Wave Film Festival, 2016) and an interactive website www.thelivingplay.com   She’s currently working on two new projects. Website: www.colleenwagner.ca

 

Allisa Watson (Playwright, Bake-Off)

As a Winnipeg born actress, educator, and now writer, Alissa has studied theatre at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance and is an alumna of the Professional Training Ensemble (PTE@PTE). She also holds a Bachelor of Education and Music (Classical Percussion) from Brandon University. Alissa is a member of the sweet and cheeky, Fu Fu Chi Chi Choir, the all female Bouffon ensemble, The Talentless Lumps and co-founder of The Red Nose Diaries (Maple & Sticky’s Amazing Olympic Race and The Polka Dots of Death: The Making of a Supervillian).

 

Tyler White (Playwright, Shorts)

Tyler’s educational background is Social Work. Throughout her career, her focus has been on empowering people to make positive change in their lives. As a playwright, Tyler wants to continue to focus on empowerment issues.  She hopes her plays will inspire, challenge, and encourage people to make positive change in their lives.  While also being entertaining and funny! The Dance is Tyler’s fifth play.

 

Melanie Whyte (Performer, The Game)

Melanie Whyte is enriched by delving into the rich tradition of the Maharabata with Manohar Performing Arts and the rest of the team of The Game. She played in Timon of Athens for Shakespeare in the Ruins in the spring and early summer and in Fly Me To the Moon at PTE last season. She has also acted with other local companies including Dry Cold, Rainbow Stage, and RMTC, and teaches singing too. The last time Melanie wore a track suit was on stage in Sarasvàti’s Miss N Me and she is glad to be back with the company, and in comfy clothes.

 

Colin Wiens (Sound Designer, The Game)

Colin Wiens is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s production program. He does production work of all kind but specializes in Sound Design. Colin is looking to make a career out of Sound Design of all kinds and is proud to be using his talents alongside Sarasvàti once again.

 

Erica Wilson (Performer, One Night Stand)

Erica is an opportunist in Winnipeg, starting with theatre classes at MTYP and its former Aboriginal Arts Mentor-ship program. Erica has worked with several theatre companies including Urban Indigenous Theatre Co, Sarasvàti Productions where she has been on tour with their mental health project Shattered, and in Two Indians for their FemFest 2017, Vault Project’s Riot Resist Revolt Repeat, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre assisting directing Sarah Ballenden, Castlereigh theatre project’s God’s Lake and Timeless Weaver’s Fractured expectations. Current projects include stage managing for The Mariachi Ghost at the Prismatic festival and preparing for the High Performance rodeo.

 

Cory Wojcik (Performer, Our Home and Native Land)

 

Pamela Wolk (Playwright, Bake Off)

Pamela completed a BA Honours in Theatre Studies from the University of Regina with stars in her eyes of life on the stage. Funny how plans change.  She was swept off her feet by a military man and followed him from posting to posting.  Twenty years later she is back on the theatre scene, most recently acting in Jo McDonald’s fringe comedy Mother’s Little Secret.

 

Tess Zeiner (Stage Manager, Shorts and Our Home and Native Land)

Tess is completing an Advanced Major in Theatre at the University of Manitoba. Tess has acted in multiple productions, stage managed Translations, Marat/Sade and directed Protest by Vàclav Havel for the Black Hole Theatre Company. Recently she stage managed Murder by Poe, performed by the PTE Adult Company at the Fringe Festival. She is currently working on two set designs for Sawa Theatre and the BHTC. Tess is an avid outdoor photographer but also enjoys doing media shoots to promote upcoming plays.

 

Vicki Zhang (Playwright, Shorts)

Vicki Zhang is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto with a special interest in narrative-based mathematical education. She is the author of Uncalculated Risks (Canadian Scholar’s Press, 2014), which was nominated for a Myrdal Prize. Aside from academic publications, she has written essays and short fiction about the Chinese diaspora for Rookie Magazine and Theread. Her ten-minute play The Male Root won the 2012 InspiraTO Festival’s juried ten-day playwriting competition. Her play Oracle Jane was selected for production at Alumnae Theatre’s 30th New Ideas Festival. Her plays have also received staged readings at InspiraTO, FOOT festival, and University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama.

 

 

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