By Annette Loiselle
I am so proud in this time of movement and change to belong to SkirtsAfire, a diverse and daring festival that has been giving women a voice and artists a platform since 2012. With International Women’s Day falling on the opening day of our festival, the theme for 2018 is International Women, which is apropos with the way that women are currently coming together in such a large way around the globe.
SkirtsAfire began over red wine and popcorn with three women who knew that change was needed in their theatre community. According to a recent study done through a national organization called Equity in Theatre, there is less than 35% representation of women working in theatre across Canada. The irony, of course, is that the majority of people coming out of training programs are women, and the majority in our audiences are women. Say what???!!!
So SkirtsAfire develops new plays written by women, produces the work of femme playwrights, hires femme directors, writers, designers, choreographers, dancers, singer-songwriters, bands, visual artists, spoken word poets, film makers, actors, comedians, musicians and on and on and on. What an amazing place to come and see a show!
Plan your girl’s night out, or make a date with your male friends, partners, and colleagues. Just because the artists are women, doesn’t mean the stories and shows aren’t appealing for all genders. SkirtsAfire is universally fun. It brings artists and audience together for performances and exhibits that are inspiring, passionate, insightful, intriguing, and just plain entertaining.
Theatre, music, dance, spoken word, bands, yoga, great food, bellydancing, film, choir – aaaahhhhhh how do you choose what to do? My suggestion: choose a day and make a plan. Pick up a festival program and find out details plus venue addresses and a schedule. Or grab a pocket guide with a schedule and venues that you can keep with you throughout the weekend. If digital is more your thing, use the interactive schedule on our website to get more info on all the events and artists in SkirtsAfire at skirtsafire.com/events/2018-03.
Keep in mind that no matter what you do, you should come out to see our MainStage play, The Romeo Initiative by Trina Davies. It opens on March 1, one week ahead of the festival. Based on a real program in which West German secretaries were targeted and psychologically profiled to determine their ‘perfect man,’ an East German spy is sent to develop a long-term relationship with the target; The Romeo Initiative is half romantic comedy, half spy thriller with a tantalizing twist. You can take advantage of Her Night Out, March 2 and 3 where you get wine and popcorn with your ticket to the show, A Date with Romeo, where you pair up and pay only $30 on March 6 and 7, or Mimosa Matinee on March 4, which includes a croissant and champagne/OJ.
Tickets for The Romeo Initiative are available now at www.tixonthesquare.ca/performances and guess what! Alberta Mamas readers get 10% off our Her Night Out events on March 2 and 3 with the code: albertamamas. All festival events from March 8-11 are by donation.
Can’t wait to see you there!