By Marianne Curtis
A very special arts program offered exclusively in St. Malo has received a significant contribution from the Manitoba Arts Council so they can write, produce and perform a play come spring.
Works of Beautiful Minds is an art program offered in St. Malo that includes dance, theatre, music and visual arts specifically designed for the Special Needs participants at EPIC de St. Malo/Smile of St. Malo Inc. The program is made possible through a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council.
Alix Babiak, director and coordinator of the program explains that the program is essential to the community because it encourages those with special needs to explore their creative side.
“Participants have enjoyed cartooning, puppetry, dance, musical theatre, drumming and craft workshops,” explained Babiak. The craft workshop has been instructed by St. Malo’s own Lori St. Vincent from Little Details.
Over the past couple of years EPIC has put on two plays: “You Can Make it Happy” and “Cinderella” which were both written, directed and choreographed by Babiak.
Recently, the group received a Manitoba Arts Council Grant to write, direct and choreograph the new play “I am a Somebody” in collaboration with the participants at EPIC, Kent Suss from Manitoba Theatre For Young People, Mark Cameron (Mr.Mark), Sharon Stearns (a playwright and actress out of B.C.) and Judy Cook.
“We are very excited about this production,” Babiak added. The play will be held in St. Malo in May.
Babiak noted that none of this would be possible without the help and support of Helene Lariviere and the staff from EPIC de St. Malo/SMILE of St. Malo Inc.