Our #AMPEnsemble 2017-2018
Left to Right: Gita Miller, Sophie El-Assaad, Michelle Rambharose, Gabriel Maharjan, Shanti Gonzales, Michelle Soicher, Nikita Bala, Nalo Soyini Bruce, Justin Johnson, Jeremy Cabrera, Benita Bailey, Kě Xīn Li,
Lydie Dubuisson, Emmanuel Hyppolite. Photo courtesy of Valérie Bah.
Benita Bailey was born to an Ethiopian mother and a German father in former East Germany. At the age of five she began pursuing her artistic interests which later led to joining a South African performing arts team after high school. She studied African Studies and International Relations at University of Leipzig and Hong Kong Baptist University and worked in NYC, Beijing and later in Berlin for the German parliament. In 2012 she decided to quit her job in order to study acting full-time. Since graduating in 2015 Benita has appeared on German national televison, worked with acclaimed director Robert Wilson, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Haus der Berliner Festspiele, both as performer and workshop leader.
Nikita Bala is a Stage Manager with experience in numerous theatre production roles. She has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in English Drama and Theatre, and is also passionate about Linguistics, Philosophy, and Humpback Whales. When she isn’t working on a production, she is most likely reading, playing the guitar, or learning to code. Previous credits include Just for Laughs All Access (Assistant Floor Manager, Club Soda), Richard III (Stage Manager, McGill University), and The Runaway Game (Stage Manager, Island Fringe Festival).
Nikita was born in Dubai, U.A.E., and is currently based in Montreal, QC.
Nalo Soyini Bruce
Nalo Soyini Bruce is a Montreal-based designer, visual artist and arts workshop facilitator with a mission to create stimulating environments that elicit curiosity, a desire to explore, and an appreciation for art. For almost a decade she has contributed to the realization of multiple projects, working with collaborators and clients in their homes, workspaces, on set and in the classroom. Her creative process, characterized by strong visual communication and attention to detail, is informed by her experience in the interior design field. Nalo uses a vocabulary of surfaces, textures, and colours to engage others and to develop meaningful and effective design solutions. Her work can be seen on her website and personal blog workroom.xyz
Jeremy Cabrera is an aspiring Asian Canadian actor with two goals in mind: To create what he deems as, in his own colloquial terms, “dope art”, and to re mold the image of what an Asian actor is seen as today. He hopes to be a part of a movement that helps see more Asian actors in both theatre and film, not just as the comedic relief best bud or the tech geek who never finds romance but in other, better developed roles as well. Asian Hamlet anyone? He is also a graduate from the Dawson Theatre program. His credits include Ritchie Valens in Them Good Ol Boys (Fringe Fest 2017), Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Major Ross in Our Country’s Good and Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance.
Born in Montreal, Lydie Dubuisson is a playwright, a storyteller, a singer, a director and a dramaturge. She graduated from Concordia University in Theatre and Development. She is a recorded solo artist with Tox Records and a soprano with the People’s Gospel Choir of Montreal. Lydie has worked as a vocal director at Purple Dragon Theatre and she was a musical theatre performer with the 42nd Street Theatre in Montreal. Her writing and storytelling are an expression of her observations. Her haitian heritage and gospel background are interwoven with her reflexion on intersectionality among other post colonial realities. Lydie is now working as a dramaturge and director on a play called Anacoana, written by Maryline Chery.
Sophie El-Assaad is a visual and theatre artist. She moved from Bahrain to Montreal to pursue painting and sculpture and fell for theatre along the way. Sophie is a graduate from Concordia University’s Design for the Theatre program and has a background from OCADU in fibre art. She has worked as a display coordinator for Anthropologie, designing their windows and store displays. Some of her theatre credits include: costume design for Tragic Queens (Cabal Theatre), costume design for Much Ado About Nothing (Repercussion Theatre); costume & props design for Invasive Species (Blue Ox); costume design for Mary Stuart (Cabal Theatre), costume & set design for Mavericks & the Monokini: PLAYBALL! (Troisième Espace Théâtre); Direction & set design Vanitas ( Théâtre Nuaj).
Shanti Gonzales is an Indian-Mexican-American theatremaker based in Montreal. She is a recent graduate of McGill University’s Drama and Theatre program, where she concentrated on intersectionality and performance, specifically as they pertain to the emerging generation of diversely identifying makers and thinkers. Her bachelor’s thesis, Love Painted Brown, was an auto-ethnographical performance that focalized her own stories of brown womanhood as a locus for engagement with the politics of race and identity in 2017. Love Painted Brown was featured at McGill’s Bodies in Difference Conference (April 2017) and the Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival (June 2017). As a performer, recent credits include The Refugee Hotel (Teesri Duniya Theatre) and Bright Half Life (Brave New Productions/We Are One).
Emmanuel Hyppolite est un jeune Québécois d’origine haïtienne et congolaise. Il a grandi en écoutant sa mère chanter des cantiques spirituels et en écoutant les albums de Miles Davis et Neil Armstrong de son père. Depuis son jeune âge, la poésie comble ses moments de solitude et le suit. Ses grands frères l’influencent à écouter du hip hop et des rappeurs tels que Tupac Shakur, Nas et MC solar. Son amour pour la poésie amène Emmanuel a écrire ses propres textes de hip hop. Il a toujours eu une passion pour le cinéma et entame des études en théâtre à l’École Supérieure de Théâtre de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, une formation qui l’aidera à être un meilleur interprète. Emmanuel entend parler d’un poète du nom de “Grand corps malade” et d’un mouvement de poésie où le texte est mis de l’avant, sans musique. Il commence alors à écrire du “Slam ». Il est un acteur et un poète. Sa carrière de comédien fait de lui un poète plus proche de son interprétation et le poète a une autre perspective des scènes qu’il aborde.
Justin Johnson is a graduate of Dawson College’s Professional Theatre Program of 2013 and has been working as a Professional Actor in Montreal ever since. He has been fortunate enough to work with many of the numerous and diverse Theatre Companies across Montreal on productions such as “Hair”, “Little shop of Horrors”, “Hairspray” as Seaweed and Horse in “The Full Monty”. He’s got an eagerness to branch out and explore more of the film and voice side of The Performing world, and is excited to further develop his focus within the Professional Theatre and Musical side. He’s grateful to have the opportunity to work with and grow under the guidance of AMP and Black Theatre Workshop.
Kě Xīn Li
Kě Xīn Li was born in 1995 in Monterey Park California, grew up in Richmond British Columbia and now resides in Montreal Quebec. They studied Video Art at Pratt institute, and transferred to Concordia University to complete a B.A in Communications studies. Their work centers on identity politics, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Kě Xīn is the Artistic director of B.A.A.P (Bald Angry Asian Productions) an interdisciplinary, non hierarchical solo art collective consisting of one member and 3 alter egos; Li, Kě, and Xīn.
Gabe Maharjan has been performing on stage since they were 7, but their most recent credits include a guest starring appearance in CABAL’s Tragic Queens as Clytemnestra and KaleidoscopeMTL’s Memento Mori, where they played Kyle—for which Montreal Theatre Hub praised the “notable debut performance by Gabriel Maharjan who graduated from the Dome only a few weeks ago and is sure to be a welcome addition to the Montreal theatre community.” Credits from the Dome include Claudio in Much Ado, Charles in August: Osage County, Paul and Gwen in Rebel Daughter (a collective re-creation which they were the lead writer of), and the titular role in Euripides’s Hippolytos. Gabe recently co-founded Playground Productions, a company where they hope to try various roles on and off stage.
A graduate from the Professional Theatre Program at Dawson College, Gita Miller is thrilled at the opportunity to devote herself to her career. Having been a performer in theatre since the age of 3, Gita has continually grown and developed a work ethic centered on a passionate determination to tell each story with truth and vulnerability. Her fascination for the art form is spread wide over many mediums such as voice work, motion capture, film and television. You can find her in season 2, episode 202 of the series Real Detective where she was privileged to play her first principle role on screen. As many teachers have taught her, perseverance is key to success, a belief she fully intends to practice and gives her confidence in the promising opportunities ahead!
Originally from Toronto, Michelle Rambharose is a Guyanese-Canadian, Montreal-based theatre artist. Since graduating in 2016 from Concordia University with a BFA in Theatre Performance, Michelle has co-created both “Confiteor: Vol I” and META-nominated “Confiteor: Vol II”. She then joined Geordie Productions’ 2-play tour, performing in plays for elementary and secondary school audiences across eastern Canada. She is currently working on a new original mask theatre piece,“Masked Men”, as a co-creator and producer. Michelle seeks to further cultivate her abilities as an actor, dancer, creator, and producer to make politically-engaged, multidisciplinary work
Michelle Soicher is a multi-faceted theatre artist with experience in directing, performance, stage management and technical theatre. She holds a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University. Selected credits include, Director: Loops (McGill Drama Festival), Assistant Director and Stage Manager: The History of Sexuality (Talking Dog Productions), Stage Manager: Docile Bodies (Wig in A Box), A Perfect Picture (Centaur Theatre Wildside Festival), Richard O’Brain’s The Rocky Horror Show (MainLine Theatre), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Concordia University). Michelle’s personal creative practices focus on intersectional feminist theatre, particularly the intersections between queerness, gender and religion. She is a firm believer in theatre’s ability to reflect the human condition and spark dialogue. Originally from Toronto, Michelle currently makes art in Montreal where she has been fortunate to collaborate with both established and emerging theatre artists.
For information on the past ensembles, please click here.