It’s been a long time in the making, but Giving Voice, a play by and about youth in care, is ready for its school and community tour.
This powerful, interactive theatrical journey will be touring Winnipeg and surrounding areas October 13 to November 28.
Since Sarasvàti Productions and VOICES: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network began developing the piece two years ago, there has been a big demand to see the final production, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
With all the attention Child and Family Services has been getting in the news recently, Giving Voice stands out by providing a voice to youth who are actually in the care system and the challenges they face every day, particularly the stigma being in care carries and the bullying that can result.
Performed in Forum theatre style, this play is interactive, allowing the audience a chance to stop the action of the play and step in to try out positive solutions to the problems addressed.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with such an important organization,” says Sarasvàti’s Artistic Director, Hope McIntyre.
“In fact, the idea for Giving Voice actually came from youth in the VOICES program who saw our plays Empty and Diss and wanted to create a play to tell their stories. Our goal is to increase understanding of what kids in care go through.”
Marie Christian is the Program Coordinator at Voices: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network. “Sarasvàti’s work is empowering to youth as an avenue to express their creative potential,” says Christian. “Projects like Giving Voice help tell the stories that are often left untold and as a result allow for positive change.”
Manitoba has the highest rate of youth in care in Canada, which makes this play all the more relevant to all Manitobans. Unfortunately, First Nations youth are four times more likely to enter into foster care due to abuse and neglect as a result of longstanding, systemic issues. Sarasvàti and VOICES hope to begin a conversation about the state of Manitoba’s foster care system from the perspective of someone who has experienced it.
If you’d like to be part of the conversation, the first opportunity to see Giving Voice is at their community preview on October 9th at 7:30pm in the Graffiti Gallery. This performance is being hosted by VOICES: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network. Admission to this performance is by $5 donation with all proceeds going to support the VOICES scholarship program.
Their second community performance comes halfway through the school tour on November 2nd at 2:30pm in the Carol Shields Auditorium in the Millennium Library as a part of the Winnipeg Public Library’s teen program. This is a great opportunity for youth groups to come experience and be empowered by Giving Voice, and who knows, maybe they’ll be telling their own story onstage next year!
For more information on Giving Voice you can visit sarasvati.ca or phone 204-586-2236. Please note, seating is limited for both performances, so get there early!
If you want to see what the cast has to say about the production and what they’re working on, check out this short video: