IWW 2020 Tickets Are Here!

Get your tickets for this year’s Cabaret of Monologues!

There are two public performances taking place on Saturday, March 7th at 4pm and 8pm. ASL interpretation will be offered at the 8pm show. Tickets are $15.

Both performances will take place at the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, and both will feature 9 fabulous performances by local artists!

Rehearsals are well underway, tickets are on sale, and tour dates are quickly filling up. From March 2-8, audiences will have a chance to see these pieces performed in a range of spaces including women’s centres, clinics and community hubs.

Last year our performers traveled to Flin Flon and the Pas; each year brings something a little bit different, and we’re so thrilled that this event allows us to connect with so many communities. We can’t wait to take these incredible performances to venues across the province!

You can learn more about this year’s playwrights and performers by scrolling through our blog.

Buy your tickets for the performances on March 7th here OR get in touch with us at the office for more information: by phone – 204-586-2236 OR by email – info@sarasvati.ca






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Looking Forward to 2020

Happy New Year! 2020 marks Sarasvàti Productions’ 20th year in Winnipeg –  we are so proud to continue to connect with people and create art in this community. For over 20 years we’ve created real social change through theatre, and that’s what we plan to keep doing in 2020 and beyond!

We have some exciting discussions coming up in the next few months – the only way we grow and change is by listening and engaging in critical discussion. The first one is co-produced and facilitated by Out From Under the Rug, Sarasvàti’s first Emerging-Company-in-Residence. ‘Theatre in Colour: A Roundtable Discussion on the Importance of Diversity in Theatre’ will happen in February, stay tuned for details very soon! In April, we’ll be partnering with Arts Accessibility Network of Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre for a discussion about Accessibility in the Arts focusing on strategies not only for making theatre accessible for audiences, but also for artists. More info to come.

Rehearsals for the International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues have officially begun and we can’t wait to take a wide assortment of stories and performances into all sorts of community venues. In addition to the community performances, there will be two performances at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (at the University of Winnipeg) on March 7th – you can buy your tickets here!

Currently in development is Songide’ewin, a multi-disciplinary piece based on youth stories and compiled by playwright Jo MacDonald (with consultation by Darla Contois) and directed by Tracey Nepinak. Over a number of months, seven incredible local Indigenous organizations worked with Sarsavàti to create safe workshop spaces for youth to create art. They shared their feelings about and experiences of reconciliation. We’ve been so honoured that they’ve agreed to share their perspectives with us and we continue to work with many of them as a youth advisory. It will be exciting for all of us to see it all come together at The Forks from May 21-24.

Of course, many other things are on the horizon for 2020 – an office move, a leadership transition, FemFest in September – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! We’re just so thrilled to get to share another year of transformative theatre with all of you.

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A Proud Part of Winnipeg

The holidays offer such a great opportunity to take advantage of all Winnipeg has to offer. Although we are hard at work preparing for multiple projects in the new year, our Sarasvati team is also taking some time off to enjoy our local winter wonderland. Have you checked out the skating trails around the Forks, the fabulous Kent Monkman’s exhibit at the WAG, and don’t forget for the kids The Paper Bag Princess is running into January at PTE.

We can’t wait to share all that we are working on for the start of 2020, including our huge production at the Forks in May, then in September we launch our 20th season in Winnipeg!! We are very proud to be one of so many long-standing arts and cultural institutions in the city.

As seen in Flightnetwork‘s Article – A Whirlwind of Experiences in Winnipeg – we are also just one of so many active experiences happening in Winnipeg throughout the year.

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Happy Holidays from Sarasvàti Productions!

As this decade comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the incredible year that was 2019!

We hosted our annual International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues, with the theme Here I Am! The pieces toured to a record number of organizations and communities including The Pas and Flin Flon. We also partnered with the Canadian Museum of Human Rights for a successful free evening of performances throughout the Museum.

We celebrated our 17th FemFest, featuring theatre and theatre creators from across the country. Some highlights included another fun and successful Bake-Off, a unique community piece featuring real-life mothers and daughters, and a very sweet guide dog performer named Tulia (featured in Raising Stanley/Life With Tulia

This year we continued our Emerging Artist Workshop Series, putting on a variety of workshops and panels. We were also able to partner with some fantastic community organizations, including the Norwest Youth Hub and SEED, to do workshops for youth.

In the fall we completed the first phase of the Reconciliation Through Theatre Project, which included readings of the piece Seven Visions in the spring. Throughout the process we’ve been able to partner with seven wonderful community organizations in the city. We met, talked and created art with over 70 youth about their experiences of and feelings about reconciliation. As we move into 2020, the creative and production teams (including playwright Jo MacDonald and director Tracey Nepinak) are hard at work. We look forward to presenting a piece honouring those youths’ experiences for our performances in May at The Forks.  

2020 is sure to be a thrilling year for us here at Sarasvàti! A lot of changes are on the horizon – a new office, a leadership transition – and we are so grateful and excited to have such an amazing team of supporters, community members, artists and friends surrounding us.

Coming up in 2020 – the International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues: Changes! This wide variety of solo performances will explore how we navigate a changing world. In addition to touring throughout Manitoba, there will be two community performances on March 7th at 4pm and 8pm. You can buy tickets or find more details on the line up here.

Please note that the Sarasvàti Productions office will be closed from December 24, 2019 to January 1st, 2020 inclusive.

Thank you for all your support this year, and we wish you all the best for 2020!

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Movement Workshop with Ali Robson

Registration is officially open for our first workshop of 2020! On January 19th, join Ali Robson for a movement workshop for actors and movers of all skill-levels.

Activating the Performer’s Body: An Introduction to Movement for Actors
Facilitator: Ali Robson
Sunday January 19th, 1-4pm
Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, 400 Colony Street
Room 2T15
Fee: $25

This workshop will attempt to address the range of physicality that an actor may be asked to explore as part of the creative process. By working with movement systems and abstract movement, participants can begin to identify where meaning can be found for the performer through the physical body and its relationship to the performance space, fellow performers and the script.
We’re thrilled to have Ali Robson leading this exploration. She works in both dance and theatre and is curious about collaborating across disciplines and creating work with and for people of all ages. Ali is a collective member of Weather Parade Dance Theatre, is the Associate Artistic Director of Company Link and is a board member for Young Lungs Dance Exchange.

This workshop is intended to be introductory – artists of all levels of experience are welcome! If you have questions regarding access needs or anything else, please email liz@sarasvati.ca.

Deadline to register is January 8th!

To register:  pay online, email liz@sarasvati.ca with your name and contact info, OR call the office at 204-586-2236.



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Monologues and More

Our March 2020 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues: Changes is gearing up to be an exciting and eclectic event beyond the constraints of traditional monologues. The menu for this year’s event will include four monologues brought to life by local performers and five performances by artists in other creative mediums. These creative pieces will range from dance to song, from spoken word to mime.

We announced the monologues a couple of weeks ago with full details on the IWW webpage, in addition exciting new work is being created – here’s a little sneak peak to help whet your appetite on who and what you can expect to see…

Kweskina by waNda Wilson – Some of you may remember waNda from last year’s Cabaret. WaNda recently received her Red Seal as a mechanic, and her title for this year’s piece means “change your thoughts” in Cree. She performs a beautiful combination of storytelling and musical performance, stemming from her own personal life experiences.

Bringing movement to the stage, is a dance piece by Maria Grant. Maria runs Drop In Dance Winnipeg and will Choreograph a piece to perfectly fit this year’s cabaret and the theme of “Change”.

The bold, beautiful and Deaf by Joanna Hawkins – As a deaf artist and member of 100 Decibles, Joanna will explore the world of mime and bring to life the art of silent storytelling.

Oversharer by Kristen Einarson – Kristen has had a really big year. She split up from her partner, she got a whole new career path, she started filling in her eyebrows, she had a mini nervous breakdown at her friend’s bachelorette party and started doing stand-up comedy. This is a monologue of things she has told people that she probably should not have. In her signature comedic style, Kristen is vulnerable and hilarious, and her piece will take you on a ride of social anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty. She probably shouldn’t be writing such big promises in a show description. She probably shouldn’t have said she has a signature style. She also wishes she gave her character a more interesting name, like maybe “Harriet” or “Susan”.

The art of spoken word poetry will have a place in this year’s line-up. Writer, activist and member of Red Rising Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie will share her original work.

Save the Date! These pieces will be performed from March 2-8 for International Women’s Week with just two opportunities to see the full line-up on March 7th. Keep up to date as we travel across the province to various stages, organizations and venues to bring these pieces to life in the name of women everywhere.
What better way to celebrate International Women’s Week, than to host a performance yourself? To host any number of the monologues above, contact info@sarasvati.ca for details on availability and price. We would love to perform for you!

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IWW Cabaret of Monologues: Changes

We are excited to be lining up an amazing selection of pieces for our March 2020 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues. This year’s theme is… Changes. A wide variety of solo performances will explore how we navigate a changing world . Four monologues have officially been accepted into this year’s cabaret, while others are in the process of being curated and workshopped. The decision not to have a child, coping with the reality of a newborn, a satirical look at what climate change might mean to children, and a woman who uses an elevator to out-maneuver a predator. These are just a few of the topics covered with plenty more to come! Until we have a full menu of monologues for you to devour, here are the official first four to whet your appetite…

Masks by Makrenna Sterdan
Ms. Jones works to keep positive as she teaches a school of children about air pollution. But, when she is alone with fellow teachers and staff, the dark truth about the day’s lesson is revealed.

Yearning-Distance by Beth Lanigan
A new mother struggles to describe her changing world and herself. She simultaneously experiences and explores the detachment and dissociation of her postpartum depression.

The A Word by Brooklyn Alice Lee
A young woman enters The Women’s Hospital, alone and afraid she struggles to complete paperwork while questioning the nurse and herself about her decision to terminate her pregnancy.

Ping by Larissa Hikel
Jessamyn returns home from a late shift at the bar she works at. She is cautious entering her apartment building as she recounts the terrifying events from the night before. Events that women today know are far too common.

International Women’s Week: Cabaret of Monologues will take place from March 2-8, 2020. We will once again tour the monologues to various locations around Manitoba and offer two public performances of the full line-up on March 7th. Last year we were excited to travel as far as Flin Flon and to perform in tiny classrooms as well as huge museums. If you’re interested in hosting any of this year’s monologues, give us a call at (204) 586-2236 or email us at info@sarasvati.ca!

Stay tuned for updates and more information on International Women’s Week: Cabaret of Monologues 2020, coming soon!

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FemFest 2019 Hightlights

We would like to take a moment to look back at a few of the many highlights of FemFest 2019: All the World’s a Stage!

This year was a dynamic festival that included new works, touring shows that pushed the boundaries of traditional theatre, and many opportunities for creative inspiration and development.

Our touring shows included real life mothers and daughters and a Pop Art performance in a setting that included an audience of only 4 people! Both of these shows challenged the way we look at theatre and audience interaction, and were each inspiring in their own unique way. We also had our very first canine performer! Tulia, a guide dog who played the part of herself in Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia.

Our workshops gave emerging artists a chance for mentorship and show development, a devised creation, many new works in progress, performances, and readings.

And this year we took FemFest to the streets with our walking tour! Making Winnipeg’s downtown a stage for music, spoken word poetry, comedy, ASL dance, and puppet theatre.

Thank you to our many amazing volunteers, artists and festival patrons, you all made FemFest 2019 a tremendous success.

If you’d like to be part of FemFest 2020: Engaging Community, the submission deadline is November 30th! More information here.

And check out our gallery for more photos of FemFest 2019!

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Our Fundraising Dinner

Thanks to everyone who attended our fundraising dinner: The Art of Reconciliation.

This was a wonderful evening to mingle with the community, share a delicious meal, and be inspired by the creativity of award-winning multi-media artist KC Adams!

The 1491 menu, created by Chef Steven Watson of the Common Wealth College, was a very special experience that included 3 sisters soup, Sumac rubbed smoked pickerel on duck fat fried wild rice cake, Bison with burned sage, tobacco, berries, fired parsnip, and roasted potatoes.Wild rice pudding with corn, blueberries, hazelnuts, and maple. Such a delicious and unique experience!

And the evening capped off with an engaging talk by KC Adams, sharing her art and her story with all who attended.

We are grateful for the amazing artists who were part of our evening, and for the incredible community of people who came out to support us.


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Workshops 2019/2020

We have an exciting array of emerging artist workshops for the 2019/2020 season.

We began the year with the Launchpad Project!  Our new emerging artist program that brought together 10 emerging artists under the fabulous guidance and mentorship of Victoria Hill and Lindsay Johnson. This group of enthusiastic emerging artists participated in intensive workshops with professional artists like Directing with Brenda McLean, Devised Theatre with One Trunk Theatre’s Andraea Sartison, movement with Tanja Woloshen, and improv with Outside Joke’s Andrea del Campo. They then took this skill development and devised a show for FemFest 2019 called To Kill a Lizard.

Sara Groleau, one of the participants, expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity to join with other creative, enthusiastic emerging artists.

“I loved how everyone on our team had different backgrounds and perspectives. I’m happy that I got the chance to take creative risks and try new skills that I probably wouldn’t have tried outside of this environment. I’m honoured that our show was a part of FemFest because it’s such a great festival and it made me feel that much more at home in Winnipeg’s strong theatre community. My favourite part was the people: the Sarasvàti team including our coordinators/facilitators, our workshop leaders, and of course my fellow LaunchPadders!”

This was a fantastic platform for emerging artists to collaborate and develop their skills, create a show from scratch, and perform on the FemFest stage. Also at FemFest this year we offered a Pop Art Performance workshop with xLq and a Playwriting Masterclass with Yvette Nolan. xLq’s workshop gave participants a chance to explore Pop Art Performance, audience interaction, and creating safe spaces to explore and push the boundaries of performance. And Canadian playwright Yvette Nolan worked with and challenged emerging playwrights to hone their craft, culminating in a reading of excerpts of new pieces by the participants at a performance we called Leaping off the Page.

Our workshop series has already been a success this year and it’s just the beginning…

Up next we start off our first of four Coffee with a Pro series – where emerging artists will have a chance to sit down with a professional in their field, ask questions, learn, and engage in an intimate conversation about their craft. Our first session will be on playwriting and we are excited to have Audrey Dwyer as our professional! Along with being the new Assistant Artistic Director at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Audrey is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist with over twenty years of experience working as an Actor, Director, Playwright, Teacher, Facilitator and Mentor.

Then early in 2020 we’ll be offering a movement workshop with contemporary dancer and choreographer Ali Robson. Ali works in both dance and theatre and is curious about collaborating across disciplines and creating work with and for people of all ages. She has worked as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director, movement coach and collaborator since 2004. She brings a special combination of dance and theatre expertise and we are very excited to have her on board!

We will also be offering panel discussions on important topics in the theatre community and more workshops for emerging artists throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for more information soon and check out our latest blog post for more on workshops.

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