Producing 101 Virtual Workshop

We’re excited to announce our next on-line workshop scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at 1pm: Producing 101 – Virtual Edition.

Coming up with a script or show idea is half the work, but once you have that, what then? If you’re thinking of self-producing this workshop is for you! It will provide a helpful breakdown of the fundamentals required to take your vision to the stage. Through this virtual training experience industry professionals will provide participants with an overview of producing their own theatrical performance from A-Z. Topics for discussion include budgeting, scheduling, production tech planning, plus marketing and communications. Our goal is to equip artists with helpful knowledge in preparation for future self-producing, as well as creating an opportunity for discussion between artists in our local community.

Cost: You decide!
Artists can choose their registration fee – $20, $15, $10, $5 or free depending on what you can afford. We believe in paying artists, so monies earned from registration will be used to pay facilitators and to continue similar programming. 

Unlike a panel, this will be a skill-development session and as a result will only be open to a limited number of participants.

Tori Popp
Festival Manager, Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
Tori is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a BA Honours in Theatre Production & Stage Management. Currently, most of her time is spent with the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival as Festival Manager, though she enjoys taking on other projects to continue her passionate support of the fantastic local theatre companies in Winnipeg including her role as Production Coordinator with Sarasvàti’s FemFest. As the FurMom of two rambunctious, nearly 1 year old kittens, when she’s not working, the rest of her days are filled with snuggles, kibble, and nursing foot pain from stepping on cat toys.

Charlene Van Buekenhout
Artistic Producer, Echo Theatre
Charlene is a Metis / Belgian / Canadian theatre artist residing in Winnipeg. She is an actor, the creative programmer at Dalnavert Museum and the Artistic Producer of Echo Theatre. She has been self-producing independent theatre in Winnipeg for over 15 years. New projects include a pandemic postponed Kids Fringe show called Imagination Invasion, and her daughter Phoebe who is turning 1. Solo work includes ghost story telling using Crankies (look it up!), shadow puppets and the dark. Past Echo Theatre productions include: HAMLET (the rest is silence), Hedda Gabler, Blithe Spirit, A Strange Pair, JONNO. Theatre experiments and workshops include: Dr. Kellogg’s System, and The Smell of Dead Mums.

Hazel Venzon
Hazel is a theatre artist: an actress, social-performance artist, writer, director and producer. Her artistic background is rooted in sculpture and performance art (University of Manitoba’s School of Fine Art) and formal acting training (Studio 58). Hazel has been a national theatre artist for over 20 years. Her work as an actress and social-performance artist has been presented in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse and Winnipeg. She has produced for festivals such as PuSh, Luminato and Magnetic North Theatre Festival. She is currently, the Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange, Central Operative for Mammalian Diving Reflex and the Co-Artistic Director for UNIT Productions. She continues to explore the definition of theatre and performance through social engagement, crossing through multiple disciplines; focused on the investigation of Canadian identity.

We are so grateful to be able to bring art and knowledge to the arts community during these difficult times.  

You can pay/register here. Please feel free to email with any questions! Deadline for registration is May 15th, 2020 or once spaces are full.

If you are an artist looking for other opportunities, don’t forget that for female and non-binary emerging artists, our Launchpad Project is still accepting applications until May 1st. For both emerging and established playwrights, our One Night Stand workshop reading series is also taking submissions until May 8!

Posted in Fem Fest - Up Next, Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Call for One Night Stand

We are now accepting submissions for our One Night Stand reading series, which will take place in June! Deadline is May 8, 2020. A great opportunity for all playwrights looking for a way to keep developing their work.

After several years of programming this unique event, we are excited to try some new approaches. One of which is moving it to a virtual platform so it can be held while we continue to practice social isolation.

We are currently seeking submissions of 10-minute scenes from emerging and established Manitoban writers of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. In order to provide the most applicable and helpful feedback to the participants, we recommend that submissions be in an early stage of development, preferably having received little to no professional dramaturgy. 

Check out the call for submissions for full details: One Night Stand Call for Submission 2020

Posted in Fem Fest - Up Next, Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Reconciliation Through Theatre Video

Although the culmination of our reconciliation through theatre project had to be postponed, we are excited to share this video looking back at the amazing work with youth. A huge thank you to Hue for compiling it and to all our wonderful partner organizations for their ongoing support. From June to November 2019, we were honoured to hear the perspectives of over 70 youth and have them share their artwork with us. We can’t wait until the time is right to gather and share with a wider audience. It will truly be a celebration as we come together again as a community. 


Stay tuned for new dates for the full performance  of Songide’ewin!

Posted in Fem Fest - Up Next, Home, Home - Up Next, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Accessibility On Stage and Off

We were so grateful to partner with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM) and Sick + Twisted Theatre to host “Accessibility On Stage and Off” on Saturday, April 4th. This on-line roundtable discussion featured Debbie Patterson as moderator and panelists Diane Driedger, Ph.D., Hannah Foulger, Joanna K. Hawkins, Hailley Rhoda, and AANM Executive Director Jenel Shaw.

Participants highlighted the fact that it is all about connections and communication – a particularly poignant notion at this time. There is a difference between knowing you are allowed in a space versus being welcome in the space! There is also the need for persistency to build relationships. It is time for us all to walk the walk and not just talk.

A few key take-aways:
– Many people with disabilities require specific seating in a theatre, whether that’s for mobility access, low vision, or proximity to ASL interpreters. Often this means a lack of options in terms of price points, forcing people with disabilities to pay top dollar for their tickets. Similarly, people with disabilities are frequently underemployed or on assistance. Creating accessible seating isn’t just about addressing physical barriers; it’s often about addressing financial barriers.
– Can we create a protocol that protects the rights of the artist with disabilities but also allows for clear communication of an artist’s access needs and what constitutes a barrier to an artist’s participation?
– Companies and employers need to know how to ask questions. They should ask about barriers not symptoms. What in the environment prevents participation?
– Access information needs to be clearly available on an organization’s website.

There were also great resources shared:
– There is a ramp that is free to borrow and can make spaces accessible. To borrow e-mail Eusebio at Video Pool:
AANM has an ASL fund.
Sick + Twisted can provide partial subsidies for audio description.
– For the dance perspective check out

Moving forward AANM is going to take on creating a centralized calendar of accessible performances. They will also take the lead in creating a committee to build a best practices document.

Trying to be universally accessible is overwhelming; the sense that you must do more and get it right is ableist. Everyone should do their best and accept it will take time!

Posted in Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Launchpad Applications

We are excited to look forward to the fall and our second Launchpad initiative at FemFest! After a successful pilot last year, we’ve refined this emerging artist unit. It is open to women and non-binary emerging artists. It includes an intensive training experience and opportunity to perform at FemFest 2020. Participants are paid an honorarium and travel subsidy. Deadline to apply is May 1st. 

Full application details are available here – Launchpad 2020 Call for Submissions

Posted in Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Songide’ewin Announcement

It will come as no surprise that our May 21-24 production Songide’ewin, the culmination of our Reconciliation Through Theatre Project at the Forks, will have to be postponed. We have been holding on with great hope and optimism. We have amazing stories compiled from over 70 Indigenous youth. We have an incredible artistic team and community partners all lined up. We must listen to the universe though and accept the timing was just not right.

I would like to say we are making this choice, however it ultimately was out of our hands as permits and regulations were no longer allowing gatherings in to May and June. We do believe it is the safest decision and what is best for all involved.

On April 1st we had a wonderful reading of the draft script under the guidance of our director Tracey Nepinak and with actors Sara Demers, Katie German, Braiden Houle, Jessica McGlynn, Akalu Meekis and Josh Ranville. Incredible designs are underway thanks to Production Designer Louis Ogemah and we have such beautiful art ready to share from so many talented youth.

We are 100% committed to seeing the show through, but at this time cannot provide new dates as we are working with our venue to sort out what is realistic and feasible. We will continue to share all the inspiring work happening in the interim and cannot wait to celebrate when the time is ready!

Our team is available remotely so feel free to contact us with any questions, thoughts, or just to share how you are doing.

We are grateful for how the community is rallying at this time, thankful for all those working so hard to provide essential services, and for all our supporters, funders, partners for their belief in our work.

Hope McIntyre
Artistic Director

Read more about our Reconciliation through Theatre Project.  

Posted in Fem Fest - Up Next, Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Virtual Accessbility Roundtable Invite

Accessibility On Stage and Off will be happening on April 4th at 12pm on-line and we’d love for you to join in on the discussion. Social distancing may be in place but we can still have this important dialogue! 

We hope all is well and that you’re settled into this new temporary normal. While our team is staying busy working remotely we are excited to carry on with our planned roundtable on the topic of accessibility both on stages and off stage. We are grateful to be working in partnership with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre to adapt to a creative virtual delivery method. Through the online program Zoom, we will host this discussion and bring together a group of panelists to share their experiences. This wonderful group of people consists of industry experts, performers and a PhD Professor from the University of Manitoba. Sick + Twisted Artistic Director Debbie Patterson will be our fabulous moderator! 

Here are the details:

Accessibility: On Stage and Off

April 4th, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Roundtable Discussion on Zoom

Cost: FREE

Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, Sarasvàti Productions and Sick + Twisted Theatre present a discussion on accessibility from the comfort of your own home!

More is being done to address accessibility in theatre and the arts in Winnipeg, but is it enough? How accessible are performances for audiences? How exclusionary are the spaces and processes we use in making theatre? Why is the inclusion of artists with disabilities essential to the continued development of the art form? Join us for a frank discussion with guest artists and Disability advocates. Join the live discussion on Zoom, or watch/listen via Facebook livestream. ASL interpretation will be occurring live.

Email to register for the workshop and for full details or tune in to our Facebook page April 4th at noon for the livestream.

Posted in Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Office Update

Programming is continuing! Along with everyone else, we at Sarasvàti Productions are doing our best to balance our desire to continue to work with the need for extra precautions. As of right now we are still operating with some staff working remotely. We are available by phone and e-mail, but our office is not being kept open for regular hours so it may take us a bit longer to respond to things. Thus far none of our programming has been cancelled. We are exploring ways to adapt our April 4th roundtable, Accessibility On Stage and Off, to a virtual discussion. We believe staying creative during these challenging times keeps us healthy. Please keep an eye out to our social media platforms for future updates!

If you are eager for some art while practicing social distancing check these out:

Spread kindness, understanding and positivity. We remain hopeful in light of COVID-19 while recognizing the toll it is taking on so many people. On behalf of our entire team we wish you and your loved ones good health and safety as we all navigate the days ahead together – but at a distance.

Posted in Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Ekosani, Thank You!

International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues: Changes was a huge success! On behalf of our staff and Board members at Sarasvàti Productions, we would like to thank everyone who supported us as we brought this year’s Cabaret to life! From the artists who performed to the playwrights, directors and stage crew, the venues who hosted us and the staff who facilitated, we appreciate all your efforts. And of course to our wonderful audience – we cannot be more grateful for your support.

Our Cabaret of Monologues began with a community tour. Through team collaboration, we hosted 11 shows in 8 days all through-out various venues in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. A total of four hundred community members witnessed the work. Our two public performances attracted almost two hundred people at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film on March 7th. The opening remarks were presented in Cree by Elder Phyllis Hart. She started off the performance in a way that honoured women and created a welcoming atmosphere. Each performer offered something unique – there was laughter, tears, and celebration. All in all this year’s Cabaret was a huge success and it wouldn’t have been possible without all the support!

Take a peek at our Cabaret in Review blog for a more in depth look at our tour.

Up next is Accessibility: On Stage and Off  a roundtable discussion happening on April 4th at 12:00 p.m. We are excited to partner with Art AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre. Join us at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, 140 Rupert Avenue. RSVP by calling our office at 204-586-2236 or message us at Admission is free however donations are welcome.

Posted in Fem Fest - Up Next, Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment

Accessibility On Stage and Off

Save the date for another important roundtable discussion on April 4th at 12pm at RMTC! We are excited to work in partnership with Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba and Sick + Twisted Theatre. 

More is being done to address accessibility in theatre and the arts in Winnipeg, but is it enough? How accessible are performances for audiences? How exclusionary are the spaces and processes we use in making theatre? Why is the inclusion of artists with disabilities essential to the continued development of the art form? Join Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, Sarasvàti Productions and Sick + Twisted Theatre for a frank discussion with guest artists and Disability advocates.

Stay tuned for the line-up of panelists.

The venue is scent-free and will be physically accessible with ASL Interpretation and Audio Description.

Free to all, donations welcome.

Feel free to save your spot early as space will be limited –

Posted in Home, Sarasvàti | Leave a comment