Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Jail Baby an emotional roller-coaster for actor

  • Print
Tracey Nepinak (left) and Shannon Guile rehearse a scene from the upcoming play Jail Baby.

MATT PREPROST Enlarge Image

Tracey Nepinak (left) and Shannon Guile rehearse a scene from the upcoming play Jail Baby. Photo Store

From giving birth in a jail cell to talking into a toilet bowl, emotions run the gamut for one North End resident gearing up for her roles in an upcoming play about women in prison.

On May 16, Sarasvàti Productions will debut Jail Baby at the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, an at times harrowing, other times hilarious, take on the cycle of incarceration of women.

"These are mostly poor women, and poverty and circumstance is the biggest factor in most of their lives," said actor Tracey Nepinak, a North End resident who has been acting for more than 20 years.

"It reflects the ridiculousness of the justice system when it’s taken to the nth degree."

Among other characters, Nepinak plays Tanis, who gives birth to her daughter, Jasmine, while in prison. As the play progresses, audiences follow both Tanis — in and out of prison — along with Jasmine, as she floats through foster care and finds herself becoming a part of the justice system.

"It’s a commentary on the cycle of abuse and poverty through generations . . . and the reality of that cycle," Nepinak said.

"It’s the issue of the prison system and how it fails at every turn."

In between, Nepinak juggles roles as a doctor and family violence counsellor, while also finding herself in scenes setting up dates with male inmates via a toilet bowl.

"It’s great. It needs some relief because it’s really heavy," Nepinak said.

"I know women like this. It’s anything but funny."

The play, written by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore, was developed through workshops with women prisoners across Manitoba.

"We started working on the play out of a desire to work with and tell the story of criminalized women," said McIntyre.

"We went into correctional institutions and did drama sessions with women, which was a chance for us both to give back and it gave us an opportunity to hear their stories and create the play based on that."

Jail Baby runs May 16 to 26. The Asper Centre for Theatre and Film is located at 400 Colony St.

For more info, or tickets, call 204-586-2236 or visit www.sarasvati.ca.

— with file from Steph Crosier

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

If the NHL expands into Las Vegas, will you go to see the Jets there?

View Results