The New Canadian Curling Club 🥌

February 12 – March 7
Preview: February 12 

JOHN HIRSCH MAINSTAGE

The town is so small it only has one Tim Hortons. But community-minded Marlene is determined to “diversify” the curling club. She enlists four newcomers to learn the game but when she breaks her hip, it’s up to her politically incorrect ex-husband Stuart to step in. Things start off badly and get worse. Stuart doesn’t think the new Canadians can hack it and they have bigger worries than mastering this bizarre sport. With team unity on the rocks, time is running out. Will they be able to sweep aside their problems to compete in the Highland Cup? Hurry hard to the theatre to find out!

Oh yeah, I’m in this. Rehearsals start in December. Previews are in January through Manitoba and north west Ontario. Then we premiere in in Winnipeg in February!!!

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Since “Passing”,

I have to say, it’s been a wonderful and educational experience doing this show. Sometimes I think of most biracial people as having another kind of black experience, but it’s something I’ll never know unless I chose to know.

On that note:

  1. Kevan Bowkett: Thank you for recommending me to this show in the first place. I’d be fringing all over the place without being in a show and grumbling how nobody asked me to be in their show.
  2. Vivi Dabee: Thank you for adapting this almost forgotten piece of literature. There are so many gems in the world that I may never read or watch and you’ve brought this talented author into my universe. It was a delight to meet and know you.
  3. Merle Dabee: your support, your endless bottled waters and the costumes got us through this show. Your presence was definitely valuable.
  4. Rosalie Rasmussen: Thank you for your guidance, your direction, your stage managing and your lovely pet, Mac. Speaking of which…
  5. Mac: you’re one of the loveliest doggies I’ve ever met. I’ve never worked with an animal as an actor and you held your own. If I never work with you again, it was a delight to pet and cuddle you. 🐶
  6. Densfield Green: Thank you for the rides, the Slurpee runs, the chats about acting technique and that special day with “the chairs”. I look forward to working with you in the future.
  7. Laura Chan: Giiiiiirrrrrrrl, you brought it to the role and the stage! You are definitely one classy woman. Thanks for the car rides and I can’t go without saying “knock yourself out!” 😆
  8. Kristen Shaw: I love seeing professionalism at work and you got seriously into your role. Your work ethic still impressed me when I watched you in rehearsals and on stage. I’d love to work with you again.
  9. Sam Rasmussen: For an actor who’s had little experience, you did extremely well on stage. Every night I waited for your character to scare me out of my wig and you please me every time. You’re one talented person who should move beyond Starbucks.
    Scott Best: Thank you for your role as the voice backstage. I was remembering having done a similar role in another production and it wasn’t easy either. Your voice and your presence was welcomed.
    My family: Thank you for your continued support of my career and my dramatic/comedic adventures in the entertainment industry. You are loved. 💗
    My friends: without you, I’m just and extreme introvert. Without you, I wouldn’t have grown as the individual you know, tolerate and love.
    Nella Larsen: Thank you for your stories of identity and maneuvering through the Harlem Renaissance, an era I had the chance to relive through this play and numerous YouTube videos. Your works have lived on into my lifetime and have touched many others.
  • Play tells women’s stories of 1919 Strike – Winnipeg Free Press

    Play tells women’s stories of 1919 Strike
    By: Doug Kretchmer – Community Correspondents
    Posted: 07/8/2019 3:01 PM | Comments: 0

    2 9 2

    PHOTO BY DOUG KRETCHMER

    PHOTO BY DOUG KRETCHMER

    PHOTO BY DOUG KRETCHMER

    Actor Karam Daoud performs in front of the ‘burning’ streetcar in the Norman Nawrocki play Women Strike! 1919-2019 Winnipeg General Strike, which was presented June 13 at the Ukrainian Labour Temple as part of the Mayworks festival.

    The Winnipeg General Strike was recently brought to life in a one-act play as part of the 2019 Mayworks Festival on June 13 at the Ukrainian Labour Temple at McGregor Street and Pritchard Avenue. The Winnipeg General Strike was recently brought to life in a one-act play as part of the 2019 Mayworks Festival on June 13 at the Ukrainian Labour Temple at McGregor Street and Pritchard Avenue.
    Women Strike! 1919-2019 Winnipeg General Strike, was written and directed by Montreal playwright, actor, author and musician Norman Nawrocki. The Ukrainian playwright grew up in rural Manitoba, Winnipeg’s North End and Brandon. 

    The play premiered in Montreal at the 14th annual International Anarchist Theatre Festival on May 21. That performance featured four Montreal actors from Babushka Theatre, a relatively new theatre troupe based in Montreal and Winnipeg.

    The Winnipeg Babushka Theatre production featured three Winnipeg actors — Karam Daoud, Lorraine James and Merri-Lou Paterson. Each took on multiple roles, portraying various courageous women for a total of nine characters. 

    Nawrocki’s play emphasized the role that women played in the six-week strike which brought together 35,000 workers in May and June of 1919 culminating in the death of two strikers on June 21, 1919, which has been dubbed ‘Bloody Saturday’.

    Nawrocki noted that “since working conditions for many women — especially marginalized, poor, immigrant or migrant workers — still haven’t changed, their fight continues.” 

    According to reports of the University Women’s club and the Minimum Wage Commission of 1918, women earned less than $10 a week in those days. 

    With quick scene and costume changes and the use of slides and photos of the actual strike projected onto a screen behind the actors, the play moved along smoothly. One of my favourite scenes featured the iconic photo of an overturned streetcar which had video images of flames superimposed onto it. 

    Each actor delivered their lines brilliantly, with passion and integrity. Although women at the time only made up around one-quarter of Winnipeg’s workforce, many of them, including telephone operators, joined in solidarity to support the collective bargaining goals of the building and metal trades workers. 

    The Ukrainian Labour Temple played a big part in the strike as it was a gathering and meeting place for North End Ukrainian-Canadian workers who worked at the CPR Shops, Vulcan Iron Works and Manitoba Bridge, among others. The building was raided by police on June 17, 1919, who searched for evidence of sedition and conspiracy.

    The soundtrack featured nine selections including labour activist Joe Hill’s Rebel Girl, which he wrote in 1914 and was performed and recorded by Vivian Nawrocki. The play lasted about 45 minutes and was followed by thunderous applause by the full house.

    It was a very thought-provoking evening indeed. 

    Doug Kretchmer is a freelance writer, artist and community correspondent for The Times. Email him at quidamphotography@gmail.com 

    Twitter: @DougKretchmer

    — Read on www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/times/correspondent/Play-tells-womens-stories-of-1919-Strike-512429202.html

    Into Invisible Light at Gimli Film Festival

    Shelagh Carter (Before Anything You Say, Passionflower) continues to knock them right out of the park, prolifically generating films that are infused with maturity, taste and deep emotional resonance. Her new film, Into Invisible Light is no exception. Focusing on Helena (co-writer and star Jennifer Dale), we follow the journey of a woman who finds herself at a crossroads in life after her longtime companion dies. Grief consumes her, however, it is a testament to Carter and Dale that the grieving process is handled with subtlety and at times, even ambiguity. This makes sense. As the film proceeds, it becomes readily apparent that the work is highly influenced by the writing and thematic concerns of the immortal Russian writer Anton Chekhov. Helena, much like many Chekhovian figures is part of a class structure that seems to be ever-shifting and her melancholia is always roiling below the surface. Into Invisible Light has already garnered considerable international acclaim. Shelagh was not only a beloved member of the faculty in the University of Winnipeg’s film and theatre department (she just took an early retirement to concentrate all her energies on filmmaking), but is a longtime member of the WFG and Chair of our Board. The film was nominated for awards and invited to the Madrid International Film Festival and the West Europe International Film Festival in Brussels. It screened at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Toronto, winning Jennifer Dale Best Actress. It also won awards at the Worldfest Houston, scoring the Platinum Remi Award in the theatrical feature film category and the Best Actress Gold Remi Award for the amazing Jennifer Dale’s brilliant performance, Shelagh’s work has two GFF screenings: Friday, July 26, 2019 at 10am at the Lady of the Lake Theatre and Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 5:30pm at The Aspire Theatre (Gimli Unitarian Church). You will also not want to miss the DGC’s Creators Talk with Shelagh Carter on Saturday, July 2019 at 3:00 pm in the Lady of the Lake Theatre.
     

    Women’s Strike: Winnipeg and Brandon Shows.

    I’d auditioned for this show through Facebook messenger, rehearsed through it too, in my basement. Met the talented Merri-Lou Paterson and Karam Daoud for more rehearsals (again through Facebook messenger), and then finally met the multi-talented Norman Nawrocki in the flesh. His equally talented Vivian Nawrocki joined us later to accompany Norman before our only 2 shows we’ve finished.

    Merri-Lou, Karam, Norman and Vivian: y’all were a delight to work with (A special thanks to Merri-Lou’s husband, Dale!). It’s been a good part of our year to have collaborated on this project and to finally give it to the public. I’ve so much more to learn about the Winnipeg General Strike. Let’s hope we cross paths again.

    “Passing” by Nella Larsen

    To be performed at this Year’s Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Did our first read through today for the play, adapted by Vivi Dabee, directed by Nancy Drake. Still looking for a black male to play Irene’s husband, Brian. When there’s a full cast, I’ll post more.

    Author Nella Larsen, who wrote “Passing”. Author Nella Larsen

    Closely adapted from the novel Passing, the play is set in the Harlem Renaissance. Childhood friends Irene and Clare are both women of colour who grew up together, parted ways, with Clare choosing to pass as white, and Irene choosing to embrace her African American heritage. Their paths cross again as adults. Irene learns that Clare has never revealed her black ancestry to John, her white spouse. Irene is critical of Clare’s choices to first deny and now attempt to reclaim her black identity.

    Check this GoFundMe page.