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This article was published 28/8/2017 (298 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Whether they’re onstage, behind the curtain or writing the lines, this year’s FemFest will yet again showcase talented Winnipeg women in the theatre industry.
Sarasvàti Productions is hosting the event at the University of Winnipeg (400 Colony St.), which aims to highlight female actors, playwrights and production crews, both established and new. Since its launch in 2003, the show has featured a bit of everything.
Danielle Savage of Charleswood is taking part in this year’s Bake-Off event, which sees playwrights writing scripts in 12 hours based on certain criteria. Once the script is written, the actors have a few rehearsals to pull everything together before going in front of the audience, who will vote on their favourite scene. The winner is then developed into a full-length script.
Savage has been in the winning group three times, but hasn’t had the opportunity to go on to the full-length stage of the show.
"Usually I haven’t been suited to the full-length play," Savage said. "Once, I was playing a woman in her 80s, so they went with an actor who was in her 80s, and the other time I was playing a teen, so same thing.
"But that’s part of the challenge as well, because you don’t know what you’re going to get."
Savage has been with Sarasvàti since 2006, where she’s done a few full-length plays as well as the Bake-Off events.
"I love them, I think they’re awesome," Savage said. "They support female voices… and I’ve come so far since I’ve started with them."
Sandy Klowak of the West End will be stage managing the cabaret, a variety show on the first night of FemFest. It’s a collection of smaller acts, some a preview for other FemFest shows and others a standalone scene.
"I think it’s always developing in the sense that… we’re seeing more diverse acts in the sense of genres — we have comedy, dance, we have singing," Klowak said. "There are distinct tones and it’s nice. It’s a cabaret, so you want that dynamic."
Klowak said many of the acts are new, so previous cabaret-goers may want to stop by again. Like many of the folks involved with Sarasvàti, Klowak hasn’t had formal theatre training but rather received mentoring through the company.
"That’s one great thing they do is they help people get involved, even in non-traditional ways. She (Hope McIntyre, artistic director) is always working with all sorts of people that otherwise might not get to work in the arts."
SUPPLIED PHOTO / Playwright Ginny Collins will be showing her dark comedy at FemFest’s One Night Stand show.
Wolseley resident Ginny Collins will be taking part in One Night Stand, a show that features single scenes from works in progress. Collins is a playwright and she’ll be offering a glimpse of her dark comedy called Revenge & Co.
"In the case of comedy it’s just things you observe," Collins said of her writing process. "I was thinking what’s something that would be fun to watch? And at the time maybe there was some petty weird things like maybe I was cut off in traffic or someone made a comment, and I was like wouldn’t it be satisfying to watch revenge play out?"
The play is commissioned by Prairie Theatre Exchange, where Collins is part of the playwriting unit. She’s done most of her theatre work with them, but says she loves the opportunity to work with Sarasvàti.
"It’s a great opportunity for emerging and established writers to get together in a safe, supportive environment and share their work," she said. "We know that sadly, female playwrights are underrepresented in professional theatres… therefore female characters and actors are too, and it sort of balls up from there."
For tickets and more information, visit Sarasvati.ca
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko is the community journalist for The Metro Email her at alana.trachenko@canstarnewscom Call her at 204-697-7132