Created by Sarasvàti Productions’ new emerging artist collective
Facilitator/Coordinators: Victoria Hill and Lindsay Johnson
Participants: A.J. Hotomani, Anika Dowsett, Emma Welham, Jonathan Mourant, Karam Daoud, Leaf Pankratz, Makrenna Sterdan, Sara Groleau, Sarah Flynn, and Bennette Villones (ASM)
We are excited to share a devised piece that will showcase the new generation of Winnipeg theatre! The production will be the result of intensive workshops, mentorships with professional artists, and collaboration amongst a selected group representing the future of FemFest.
Here is some initial info on their original performance piece:
To Kill a Lizard
The date is September 19th, 2019. Allergies are at a record high.
In what is claimed to be an anti-allergy program, the government begins restricting access to epipens. In doing so, it exposes an entirely new species to the world’s stage.
Running time for the performance will be approximately one hour.
Generously supported by the RBC Foundation.
Emma Welham (Performer)
Emma is an emerging artist who is about to enter her final year in the University of Winnipeg’s Honours Acting Program. Since beginning her journey in theatre she has been lucky to be a part of many amazing shows, most notably House at Pooh Corner with MTYP and School of Rock the Musical with Winnipeg Studio Theatre. Emma is also a member of La Troupe Jeunesse; a French Canadian Gigue group that performs locally and international at various festival and events. She is very excited to be a part of this project and to be working with so many wonderful people!
Karam Daoud (Performer)
Karam Daoud is a Moroccan-Canadian actress who moved from Morocco to Canada over 6 years ago. She has played numerous roles, from army generals to teenage stalkers. More recently, she was a part of her first feature film in 2019 coming out soon to Canadian festivals. Fluent in English, French and Arabic, she loves to sing and she spends her free time painting, reading, writing or playing the violin or the piano. Karam has always been a fervent theatre lover, and has been a part of multiple productions in Winnipeg. She also happens to be a big fan of World of Warcraft when she is not filling her spare time with her mechanical engineering job.
A.J. Hotomani (Performer)
I always had an interest in the arts but, it was during my high school years, when I fell in love with film. I took every course related to it, and that included the theatre technician courses. After high school, I applied to the University of Winnipeg with an interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking, and this is how I was introduced to Theatre Performance. I took an intro course in my first year and was gifted the opportunity to work with Sarasvàti Productions. Now here I am, entering my second year of University exploring a newly found interest, in acting.
Anika Dowsett (Performer)
Anika Dowsett is a queer theatre artist and drag performer located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In face she goes by Petty Davis and performs a neurotic and hyper-idealized house wife femininity. They’ve studied playwriting, theatre, and film at the University of Winnipeg but their heart will always be at Manitoba Theatre for Young People where they took their first classes. From Club 200 to the Asper Theatre Centre to the Local library where she always has at least two holds, Anika Dowsett is committed to making the world a queerer and artier place.
Sara Groleau (Performer)
Sara Groleau is a 28-year old Winnipeg actor and proud to be a part of Sarasvàti Productions’ Launchpad Project! Her first theatrical role was in a play produced by The Manitoba Association of Playwrights in 2018. Since 2018, she has been in several short films. In May 2019, she appeared as Daisy in Student Body produced by Beau Theatre Co.; she will be appearing as June in Farrago, produced by Dark Horse Theatre, during the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and Gimli Summer Theatre Festival. Sara is looking forward to FemFest 2019!
Jonathan Mourant (Performer)
Jonathan Mourant is a non-binary performer, writer, producer, and also a robot learning how to be human. They first began improvising at the age of 14, travelling across Canada to perform in festivals and train with professional improvisers from Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton and Unexpected Productions in Seattle. In 2016, they formed the improv group Unexpected Results, and in 2018, joined sketch comedy group Family Dinner, performing with each at the Winnipeg Improv Festival and Toronto SketchFest. Jonathan has been performing as an actor and improviser at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival since 2016 and this year marks their writing and directing debut at the festival with their play Here Together.
Sarah Flynn (Performer)
Sarah Flynn recently finished her BaH in performance with a specialization in Devised Theatre and a minor in Classics at the University of Winnipeg. She toured the Interlake with TPM’s Interlake Chautauqua, studies Clown on Manitoulin Island and with the Village Conservatory for Music Theatre. Sarah co-founded Naked Theatre Productions in 2014 and has produced and performed in 7 shows since then. Sarah enjoys breathing fresh forest air, lighting things on fire and playing with her food.
Recent credits: Pippin (ViC/WST), Little Dead Lady (NTP), Mary’s Wedding (TPM), Luna’s Suitcase (WPG Fringe)
Makrenna Rose Sterdan (Performer)
Makrenna Rose Sterdan is a director and playwright born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. After graduating from the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film department in 2014, she moved to South Korea to teach kindergarten and work on the expat theatre scene. She has directed plays and ﬁlms in Canada and South Korea, and runs the theatre/ﬁlm production company Red Lips Productions. She has participated previously with Sarasvàti Productions as a playwright, writing “Doing It for the Fame” and “Who’s Driving?” for the 2016 and 2019 International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues.
Andi Lea (Leaf) Pankratz (Performer)
Andi Lea (Leaf) Pankratz is an emerging non binary performer and creator currently training in aerial arts with the eventual goal of running away with the circus. They are entering into their second year of theatre at the University of Winnipeg. They took this past year to complete their Deaf Studies Certificate with the goal of participating in and contributing to theatre accessible to the Deaf community. They started performing at the age of eight, being lucky enough to have parents who enabled them, and never stopped.
Victoria Hill (Coordinator)
Victoria Emilie Hill is a creator, mover, and actor based in Winnipeg. She is passionate about work that focuses on movement and the body as a place we hold and tell stories. She is curious about the myriad ways we express and communicate with ourselves, our environments, and other creatures. Victoria is also a founding member of The Patriarchy, a two-woman acapella band that sings songs and tells stories that challenge the status quo through a comedic and playful lens. Victoria is an avid student of life, and loves adventures in new things which have included roller derby, making jewelry, sky diving, knitting, white water rafting, and trying to keep her plants alive. She enjoys collaborating with new artists, and is so very honoured to be a part of the Launchpad Project with this amazing team of humans.
Lindsay Johnson (Coordinator)
Lindsay Johnson is a Winnipeg-based actor, director, writer, and animal-lover. With a love of both devised and classical theatre, Lindsay has enjoyed working as a Director/Assistant Director on several projects including Purge (Geritheatrics), Little Dead Lady (Naked Theatre Productions), Home 2.0. (Sarasvati Productions) Richard III (Shakespeare in the Ruins), and Vinegar Tom(University of Winnipeg). Some of Lindsay’s acting credits include Palm House (+friendsprojects), Channel Zero: Dream Door and No End House (Universal Cable Productions), A Christmas Carol (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Passion (Red Hen Collective), Shattered(Sarasvati Productions), The Time In-Between, The Writing on the Stall (Fill The (W)hole Theatre), Quickies with Chekhov (This Reality Theatre Co.).
Ridge Romanishen (Launchpad, Stage Manager)
Ridge is thrilled to be working with Sarasvàti Productions on Launchpad for FemFest 2019. As a previous audience member of past FemFest shows, Ridge is excited to be a part of the ground-breaking work the festival puts on. His previous credits include Time and the Conways (U of W, Assistant Stage Manager), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Arcadia (U of W, Stage Manager). Most recently he worked on Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold Productions, Apprentice Stage Manager) and Growing Op (Winnipeg Fringe 2019, Stage Manager). A big thanks to Sarasvàti Productions for this opportunity!
Bennette Villones (Assistant Stage Manager)
Bennette Villones is currently studying theatre and film at The University of Winnipeg. She has worked with Sarasvati Productions in the past before on a high school touring show, Home 2.0 as the understudy. Now she has an opportunity to be an assistant stage manager for The Launchpad project. Recently, she was also part of Twelfth Night, a Shakespearean play with Indifferently Reformed for Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival 2019. She found it a fun and challenging experience and she hopes to use theatre as a way to inspire, tell stories and spread awareness.