Here is our 2016/17 Ensemble
Left/Right: Michael Martini, Robine Kaseka, Jen Viens, Daniela Sandiford, Patrick Abellard, Susanne Serres, Teneisha Collins, Amir Sám Nakhjavani, Amena Ahmad, Zoe Roux, Sophie Gee, Anton May
Patrick Abellard is a 2015 Dawson College graduate of the Professional Theatre Program. His most notable work has been his involvement as an actor in the Geordie Productions two play tour of 2015-2016. Film and TV credits include; Unité 9 and District 31 and Xavier Dolan’s upcoming film: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Other than his professional work it can be said of Patrick that he is a loving and caring individual who seeks to learn through every experience. Very athletic, Patrick also enjoys more intellectual hobbies such as chess.
Amena’s training as an actor began at a young age through the immigrant experience method when her parents moved the family from Pakistan Amena holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in performance from Concordia University. And was last seen in Bhopal (Teesri Duniya Theatre), Macbeth (Raise the Stakes) and Scorched (Concordia University/Vernice Miller). Amena is delighted to be a part of this season’s BTW Artist Mentorship Program.
Teneisha Collins developed her passion for acting at a very young age. She has most notably trained in the Meisner Technique with the late Jacqueline McClintock and honed her on-camera technique with Susanna LeNir for over 7 years, studied at the Dynamic Theater Factory, through which she had the honour of performing at the Centaur Theatre in Games, and most recently The Breakfast Club with d2 Productions. She works daily to live up to and exceed the goals and expectations that she has set for herself.
Sophie Gee is a director of mostly new creations which she presents under the name Nervous Hunter. Works include The Phaedra Project (No! I! Don’t! Want! To! Fall! In! Love! With! You!) (Montreal, arts interculturels, Montreal), I Am Such a Small Container for All This (Iceland, SEAS Festival), Domestik (Eastern Bloc, Montreal), and Estate (National Theatre School, Festival Occupe Bain St Michel). A rehearsed reading of her play Da Jia (Everyone/Big House) was presented at FuGen’s Walk the Walk Festival in association with Factory Theatre in June 2016, under the direction of Nina Lee Aquino. Sophie is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Directing Programme.
Self-taught actor and improvisation artist, she trained through workshops with Danielle Fichaud, Jean -Pierre Bergeron, Gina Couture, to name a few.
In the fall of 2015 she cofounded, Les Désaxées, an artist collective who wrote, produced and performed in their first show, Bills, bills, bills ta vie d’adulte, in August 2016,
Robine was also selected by Diversité Artistique Montréal to receive training and to present at the Auditions générales du Quat’Sous, an audition typically reserved for recent Theatre degree holders. You can see Robine perform improv, every month, at la Ligue d’improvisation des Pas Sages at the Bistro Mousse Café.
Michael Martini is a Montreal Playwright. His play Who’s Afraid of Margaret Atwood? (Troisième Espace Théâtre, 2015), had him recognized as an “artist to watch” by Studio Porte Bleue. Other credits include: co-curation of a performance installation night at local gallery Never Apart (Art Matters Festival, 2016), directing a performance exhibition at Concordia’s VAV Gallery, Squirt, based upon his play Dunk. Currently he is co-director of the 2017 Art Matters Festival. His plays explore athletic qualities of text and often refer to camp.
Anton May is a British born actor and recent grad from Dawson College’s Professional Theatre Program. Excelling in singing, dancing, Anton aspires to take his skills on the stage with dreams of one day performing on Broadway. He also is keen on expanding his acting horizon and work not only on the stage, but also on the screen and in animation, having been trained to work in film and voice work.
AMIR SÁM NAKHJAVANI
Amir recently took his long-overdue plunge into acting after a stint in criminal law, of all things. Since then, he has appeared on Quantico, performed in the acclaimed St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival production, Love & Pasties, Miss S. He is thrilled to have been invited to participate in AMP and is very excited to collaborate with the other members of the ensemble.
Zoe Roux is an emerging artist and theatre designer from Montreal. A recent graduate of Concordia Unversity. The integrity and innovation unique to Roux’s portfolio brought her to collaborate with acclaimed Canadian companies including Centaur Theatre, The Other Theatre, Geordie Productions, as well as independent initiatives.
Roux’s work is inspired by the female body, nature, sleeplessness, and cognitive processes behind dreams. Her approach is nourished by her practice in theatre and group collaboration, forming work that is immersive, interactive, and galvanizing to the senses.
Daniela is recently graduated from Dawson College’s Theatre Program, and is so excited to be a part of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program this year. Some of her theatre credits include Viola, Twelfth Night, Mrs. Allonby, A Woman of No Importance, and Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town. She cannot wait to start this exciting journey with her fellow artists.
Since my youth, I have felt a real need to communicate my feelings through the images. First, I discovered my passion for drawing, then eventually for film, photography and writing. The combination of visual arts and writing are, in my opinion, the perfect balance between reality and fiction. The artistic and literary universe gives me the freedom necessary to conceptualize powerful and symbolic projects.
It is in this light that a few years later I finished writing my first play The Speed of Words, which is heavily inspired by my hectic passage to adulthood. Since then, I have started writing my short fiction film: Zaya. This story symbolizes for me, the sum of several years of working to shape my identity. It is for this reason that issues such as mental health, homosexuality, and the presence of a black woman in a leading role are important to me.
Jen Viens hails from BC. She studied theatre at UBC, and trained with Matthew Harrison at the Actor’s Foundry in Vancouver. Jen relocated to Montreal two years ago and founded the pop up theatre collective ‘Don’t Tell Mama’. Some of her credits include: Rae, The Blood Harmonic (We Are One Theatre), ‘Jen’ in the acclaimed web series Battle Jar; Resolving Arguments Since the Dawn of Time and The Passage at the Montreal Fringe which took home the award for Best Solo Production.
For information on the past ensembles, please see the information below.
Those who have gone through the Artist Mentorship Program have come from various disciplines and backgrounds, and have gone on to do tremendous things with their craft. We keep in touch with them on a regular basis to see how they have continued their work and contributed to the professional Canadian landscape and we look for any opportunity to foster their relationship with Black Theatre Workshop and our season’s activities. Below you will find a list of past artists as well as mentors and guests they worked with along the way. Click on the artist’s name to discover their past work and for information on how to contact them.
(left/right) Kalale Dalton-Lutale, Kym Dominique-Ferguson, Manouchka Elinor, Jon Lachlan Stewart, Sabrina Miller, Dayane Ntibarikure, Keren Roberts, Anne-Marie Saheb, Gabriela Saltiel, Kathleen Stavert, Dakota Jamal Wellman, Ilana Zackon
(left/right) Adam Capriolo, Shiong-En Chan, Rhiannon Collett, Kimberley Hall, Alexandra Laferrière, Jen Quinn, Isabel Quintero Faia, Jennifer Roberts, Christine Rodriguez, Amanda Silveira, Dominque Thornhill, Annie Yao
(left/right) Vlad Alexis, Kareem Tristan Alleyne, Letitia Brookes, Tamara Brown, Davide Chiazzese, Michaela Di Cesare, Saraah-Ellise Hicks, Mehrnaz Karan, Liana Montoro, Rachel Mutombo, Elyse Quesnel, Jaa Smith-Johnson, Stephanie Zidel
Past and present mentors and guest artists include:
Eloi ArchamBaudoin, Quincy Armorer, Leslie Baker, Marie Barlizo, Jimmy Blais, Jody Burkholder, Dean Patrick Fleming, Dael Foster, Alexandria Haber, Tristan D. Lalla, Eric Mongerson, Alison Darcy, Lynda Hill, Chimwemwe Miller, Catherine Lemieux, Andrew Moodie, Omari Newton, Mike Payette, Anana Rydvald, Diane Roberts, Djanet Sears, Segal Centre, Warona Setshwaelo, Danielle Skene, Jaa Smith-Johnson, Jessica Stinson, Melanie St. Jacques, Julie Tamiko Manning, Emma Tibaldo, Liz Valdez, Paul Van Dyck, Susana Vera, Bob Wilson (Nitevision), Anne-Marie (Imani) Woods