One of the things that makes Sarasvati Productions unique is the fact that we are art and community.
—Hope McIntyre, artistic director of Sarasvati Productions
"Launching Identity" is the theme for Sarasvati Productions' upcoming season of theatre.
The season begins with the 10th anniversary of FemFest, which features works written exclusively by female playwrights.
One of the plays is called Empty and it's based on true stories of food bank users. The play came out of a great deal of research and interviews with food bank users and volunteers. Food bank users even read the play to be sure it's an accurate reflection of their experiences.
Hope McIntyre is the playwright and artistic director of the company. She says one of the goals of this play is to dispel the stereotypes. "People who use food banks are not who we think. There's a wide variety of people who have to use food banks. So I think the goal is really to open up people's eyes to that diversity."
The work was developed through the Winnipeg Arts Council's "With Art Community Art Project" that partners an artist with a community group.
"One of the things that makes Sarasvati Productions unique is the fact that we are art and community," McIntyre continues. "We really want high artistic quality, we want great shows that people want to see and are entertaining, but our mandate is also to use theatre to create social change. So we pair that up with shows that will create and inspire dialogue and hopefully increase human understanding and a sense of what's going on in their world."
Another premiere in FemFest is Immigration Stories. It's based on real experiences of immigrant women -- all seniors. Six of these women, with no previous acting experience, are actually performing in the production -- playing themselves!