April Productions Presents THE VINDICATION OF SENYORA CLITO MESTRES, 3/21-25 & 31


April Productions presents a re-visioning of its production of The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres, starring Artistic Director Dragana Varagic who was nominated for an Outstanding Performance Dora Award for her solo in this acclaimed work just over a decade ago. The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres, in an all-new production directed by Varagic, runs March 21-25 at Theatre Passe Muraille's Backspace with an additional performance March 31 at the Isabel Bader Theatre.

Varagic first performed the piece - written by Catalan novelist Montserrat Roig (translated into English by Elisabet Rafols-Sagues and the late Governor General's Award-winning Canadian poet Anne Szumigalski) and originally directed by Chris Abraham.

Presented on the heels of International Women's Day, The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres is  from one woman to all women. It speaks about a woman who finds herself unexpectedly at a crossroads. It is a story of a woman who loses her husband, her child, her homeland and her identity, but finds salvation in her return to theatre. Roig uses the metaphor of the Greek queen Clitemnestra to tell the story of an actress who, by preparing herself for the role, finds her own voice and inspiration to overcome the tragedies of her life. 

In this new staging, Varagic was inspired by her work with world-renowned European theatre artist Jozef Nadj, studying integration of text-based and image-based theatre. In this reworked version, she takes the script and creates two selves of the same woman - one persona on stage and the second persona on video, crossing the boundaries between fiction and reality.

Varagic directs a creative team including production designer Snezana Pesic, winner of a 2011 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Lighting Design, and Toronto media artist Bojo Vasic, winner of a Gold Award at Dallas HeSCA Media Festival for his video work.

April Productions was founded by Artistic Director Dragana Varagic with the aim of producing plays that reflect the contemporary Canadian cultural fabric and that search for the connections between modern and classical, Canadian and international theatre.

April Productions' The Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres opens March 21 and runs to March 25, 2012 at Theatre Passe Muraille's Backspace, with an additional performance March 31 at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Performances Wed-Sat 7:30pm, Sat & Sun 2pm at Theatre Passe Muraille's Backspace, 16 Ryerson Ave. and Saturday March 31 8:30pm at Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W.

Tickets are Wed - Sat $25 and Sat & Sun Matinee $18. For tickets to Theatre Passe Muraille performances March 21-25: Call Arts Box Office at 416-504-7529 or online www.artsboxoffice.ca. For tickets to Isabel Bader performance March 31: Call 416-828-2390 or online at www.systementertainment.com.

Dragana Varagic spent twelve years at The National Theatre in Belgrade where she won major awards for her work, both on stage and on television. She emigrated to Canada eighteen years ago and continued her career here. Dragana has worked as an actor, director and teacher across the country. Her acting credits include Have I None, Not My Story, The Vindication (April Productions), Biography: A Game (Atrium Theatre/Artword), Daughters of Sheherzad (Modern Times Stage Company), The Witch of Edmonton, Scenes From and Execution and To Damascus (EST), Pauline and Turgenev (GCTC), The Catalan Plays (Persephone Theatre) and Kindertransport (Persephone/WJT). Directing credits include Dantes Divinus (Dalhousie Arts Centre), Not My Story (April Productions/Artword Theatre), Princess T. (Centre for Graduate Studies of Drama, University of Toronto), Snow-White and Her 7-8 Helpers (Solar Stage), Happiness Channel (Toronto Fringe) and Miracles of Make-do (Toronto Fringe). She has taught acting in the Theatre Programs of Dalhousie University and the University of Windsor and conducted workshops at the Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts and the Royal Holloway College, University of London, England. In addition to her Dora nomination for Outstanding Actress for her work in The Vindication, Dragana is also a recipient of major theatre awards in the former Yugoslavia.

Snezana Pesic is a graduate of the MFA program in Theatre Design at the University of Alberta and the BFA program in Costume Design at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Born in Belgrade, she is currently based in Toronto and works across Canada as a set, costume and lighting designer. Most recently Snezana assisted on set design for The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs (Tarragon Theatre). Other selected credits include: Production Design for One (Red to Blue Performance/Ghost River Theatre) and The Cherry Orchard (Studio Theatre, U of A); Set and Costume for Three Little Birds and Mighty Carlins (Workshop West Theatre); Costume for The Fan (Odyssey Theatre), Roberto Zucco, Antigone, After the Fall, One Flea Spare (Studio Theatre U of A), and Seussical (Keyano Theatre). Upcoming: Set and Costume for The Game of Love and Chance (Odyssey Theatre). For One, Snezana received Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary 2011) for Outstanding Lighting Design. She exhibited her work on various international exhibits, most significantly at Prague Quadrennial 2007 and 2011 and at World Stage Design Exhibition in South Korea in 2009. Snezana is a member of Associated Designers of Canada.

Bojo Vasic is a Toronto based media artist and photographer. His work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Serbia, 8th Havana Biennial in Cuba, VI Yugoslav Biennial of Youth Vrsac in Serbia, XIII and XIV International Art Biennial of Vila Nova de Cerveira in Portugal, Third Tirana Biennial in Albania, and at the Liverpool Biennial, Independents in England. His videos were shown at festivals in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Chicago, Denver, and Toronto; and he has won several international awards including the Chris Award at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, a Bronze Medal at New York Festivals, and the Gold Award at Dallas HeSCA Media Festival.

Vojin Vasovic is a theatre and film director. He holds an MA from the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto and a BFA in TV & Film Directing from The Academy of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia. He has been working in film and experimental theatre since 2002. He is a recipient of several awards for lighting design and directing in theatre (Cyrano De Bergerac, Don Juan, Visit of an Old Lady, etc). His short narrative film Breathtaking and animated film 5 Minutes Each were screened all over the world at many international film festivals and received numerous awards for best direction, best animation and best of the festival. Vojin has just returned from Berlinale Film Festival 2012 in Berlin, Germany where he was an invited participant at the Berlinale Talent Campus where he promoted the screenplay for his first feature film Kill Yourself for Me. With his Toronto-based theatre company Ars Mechanica, he is developing an intermedia performance Show And Tell Alexander Bell, based on the life and inventions of this great Canadian scientist.

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