They've been bullied, they've been harassed because they don't have real parents. So they want the play to help people to understand that.
—Hope McIntyre, artistic director
Sarasvàti Productions has announced its 2013-2014 theatre season devoted to "Revelation and Revolution."
One innovative project is a collaboration with VOICES: Manitoba's Youth in Care Network. The production company is working with young people in foster care or group homes to develop the play.
"What's really interesting about working with a community group is we don't predetermine," said Hope McIntyre, artistic director of Sarasvàti. "We have youth coming out to drama sessions and they're sharing their stories, and they're telling us what the play needs to contain, what the stigmas or myths are they feel the play should deal with."
They want the play to help people
understand what it means to be in care so they will have a greater
respect and compassion.
"We've learned that there's a lot of stigma that
youth carry in school. They've been bullied, they've been harassed
because they don't have real parents. So they want the play to help
people to understand that," she said.
The play will workshopped through the season and will then be toured in Winnipeg high schools next fall.
Sarasvàti's diverse season begins with FemFest from Sept.14-21. In keeping with the revelation and revolution theme, FemFest will present 12 shows by women exploring ideas like gender revolution, difficulties with motherhood and autism.
The season also includes the annual Cabaret of Monologues to coincide with International Women's Week.
"This year's theme is Rise Up, which is looking at young women and how they are finding their place in the world and advocating for change," said McIntyre.
The spring show will be Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes, an off-Broadway hit. It will take place in Ralph Connor House, a heritage home on Westgate, which will have the audience moving through various rooms for different scenes of the play.
McIntyre noted other theatre companies are presenting lots of plays by women this season, "which for me says that what we're doing is hopefully having an affect."
But she feels Sarasvàti continues to have a role presenting works by women playwrights.
"By continuing to showcase these women we're offering an opportunity for them to be seen, for them to develop and hopefully there will be a point where we don't need a festival devoted to women playwrights because they're getting produced regularly," she said.Sarasvàti's season launches with FemFest, September 14 - 21.
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