It's interesting that since the Vagina Monologues took off a decade ago, there's become this movement of doing a lot of monologues. It's a great way to give women voice.
—Hope McIntyre, artistic director
What would Nellie McClung think of a Jets game? What's inside the mind of a waitress at Salisbury House? How does a German war bride adjust to a Winnipeg winter?
These are some of the ideas explored in the International Women's Week Cabaret of Monologues. It's an annual event presented by Sarasvati Productions, featuring works by women playwrights and performed by women. This year the event focuses on stories from Winnipeg.
"Because it's International Women's Week we try to find a way to celebrate the diversity of women, the distinctiveness of their voices," explains artistic director Hope McIntyre. The show features seven plays by Winnipeg playwrights about Winnipeg women past and present. "It's a fun way to explore women's issues and stories while also celebrating the artists."
The characters are varied - historical, contemporary, Aboriginal, ordinary. And the stories cover the gamut of topics. For example, War Bride by Jessy Ardern explores a German war bride's struggle with whether to teach her children to speak German. Talia Pura's Cry After Midnight is about a Winnipeg medic who ends up with the Canadian Military stationed in Afghanistan. In McIntyre's Black Little Neechee, an Aboriginal woman celebrates one year of sobriety at her mother's grave.
McIntyre says "It's interesting that since the Vagina Monologues took off a decade ago, there's become this movement of doing a lot of monologues. It's a great way to give women voice."
The event also features local stand-up comic Cara Lytwyn who will get the ball rolling with some women's comedy about Winnipeg. The Cabaret of Monologues runs at the Colin Jackson Theatre at Prairie Theatre Exchange March 9th and 10th.