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This article was published 18/2/2020 (821 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The world is rapidly changing, and Sarasvàti Productions wants to explore how women navigate that change.
During Sarasvàti’s Cabaret of Monologues, which is held annually in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, artists will investigate challenges related to the female experience.
"I think our goal for this production is always to make sure that we’re using theatre to tell stories that can open people’s minds and increase human understanding… We’re sharing stories of women because those continue not to be represented as highly as they should be, but it’s about opening that up to an entire community so we can better understand those experiences as a whole as opposed to just women understanding what it’s like to experience some of these challenges," artistic director Hope McIntyre said.
Through a mashup of mime, song, dance, and spoken word, artists will tell nine original stories which investigate diverse topics such as pollution, postpartum depression, and pregnancy termination.
"This year it was clear by the pieces we wanted to do from what was submitted, that they were very much about how the world around us is changing; how our role as women, or non-binary, or women-identifying folk — how that is shifting. And so it just became clear that the theme this year really had to centre on the concept of womanhood is changing, the world we live in is changing, and what does that mean," McIntyre said.
This year’s roster of playwrights — some of which will also perform their piece — include Makrenna Sterdan, Beth Lanigan, Brooklyn Alice Lee, Larissa Hikel, waNda wilsoN, Maria Grant, Joanna Hawkins, Kristen Einarson, and Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie.
"I think this year we’ve got such a great range and they’re bringing their own life experiences and their own experience of what it’s like to live in this changing world as a woman or woman-identifying person. And then I think they also bring an amazing wealth of talent, and passion, and energy," McIntyre said.
A piece called The bold, beautiful and Deaf by Hawkins, a deaf artist from St. Francis Xavier, is what McIntyre said she is looking forward to the most.
"They’re all great, it’s like being asked to pick your favourite child," she laughed.
"But… Joanna Hawkins is just such an amazing performer and we’ve been working really hard, and I think it’s an important conversation that’s been happening about how we make the arts more accessible.
"As a deaf artist she was told that she couldn’t be an actor years ago when she wanted to study acting. And now through mime she’s found a way to be able to be a performer and share her experience as a deaf woman and what that means."
Sarasvàti will run two full performances of the cabaret of monologues on Sat. March 7 — one show at 4 p.m., and the second at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show, which will take place at the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony St.), are $15 and can be purchased online at http://sarasvati.ca/ or by calling 204-586-2236.
The Times community journalist
Sydney Hildebrandt was the community journalist for The Times until September 2021, when she joined our sister paper, the Brandon Sun.