Hope McIntyre has quite the resume: playwright, director, founding artistic director of Sarasvàti Productions and 10-year University of Winnipeg professor.
The local theatre company, known for individual productions like this spring’s Fefu and Her Friends and FemFest, an annual festival for works by female playwrights, has a mandate of theatre for social change. This ties in to McIntyre’s own interests in feminist and social action theatre as both a professor and a practitioner.
Her work with Sarasvàti helps her keep up with what’s happening in theatre in Winnipeg, Canada and the world.
“Teaching, likewise, allows me to see what’s happening in the younger generation,” McIntyre says.
McIntyre is creating a new future for theatre, through ongoing projects like FemFest, which was founded in 2003 when McIntyre saw the number of plays produced in Canada written by women was just 26 per cent.
This symbiotic relationship comes full circle with her ability to put students to work, right on campus at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Each year, the venue technician at FemFest is a student in the theatre program. The company also provides opportunities for current students and grads as summer production assistants or in the recently created Emerging Artist-In-Residence program.
“If we don’t make room for new voices, there won’t be a future for theatre,” McIntyre says.
Hope McIntyre has definitely embodied the community spirit of Winnipeg theatre and brought it home right here on campus.
FemFest runs Sept. 13-20 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film.