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EXCERPTED READINGS – CREATORS/PERFORMERS

Mandy E. Maclean – Creator & Performer, hiraeth

Mandy E. MacLean is a theatre artist from a Military family. Her recent acting work includes: Abyss (upcoming 2019, Atlantic Repertory Company), Ending Silence (YPU, Tarragon Theatre), Trafalgar 24 (Driftwood Theatre), Meloncholiac: The Music of Scott Walker (Summerworks), hiraeth (with Varrick Grimes). Her directing work includes: Honesty by Jordan Tanahill for the Honest Ed’s Closing Party; Project Assistant to ted witzel on Yukonstyle (Canadian Stage); Assistant Director to Diana Belshaw on The Park, and Assistant Director to Varrick Grimes on Till Eulgespiegel. Recent training: Suzuki and Viewpoints/ Composition and Speaking (SITI Company of New York) and Suzuki (Kameron Steel of SCOT). She holds degrees from Humber Theatre (‘12) and the University of NB (‘09). She has over ten years experience working with children.

Varrick Grimes – Director, hiraeth

Varrick Grimes is from Lewisporte in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. He began his vocation in theatre as Associate Director at Theatre Newfoundland Labrador establishing the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. He has directed community engaged works for: Thinking Rock (Sault Ste Marie) Jumbles Theatre (Toronto), Runaway Moon theatre (B.C.) including collaborations with the Splats’ in first nation (BC) and with D’we Maringo (Kenya); Claque Theatre (UK), Vancouver moving theatre and Pak’sieu B’y (Stratford). Devised and directing projects with Runaway moon, Carpetbag Brigade (USA), FIXT point (Toronto), Bare Boards (NL) and TNL (NL). He was a founding ensemble member of Number Eleven Theatre creating and performing in ICARIA, The Prague Visitor and The Curious history of Peter Schlemiel. Recent collaborations include: performing in a trilingual production for Kitchener-Waterloo Arab Canadian Theatre – My Name is Dahkel Faraj and directing Arts 4 All’s community engaged parade, Here is My Friend through the Davenport neighbourhood of Toronto. He is a regular sessional instructor at Humber College in Toronto teaching physical and devised theatre performance. He is an alumnus of the Stratford festival Michael Langham director’s workshop and holds a BFA from Grenfell College of Memorial University.

Leah Holder – Dramaturg, hiraeth

Leah Holder is a Toronto based actor, director, dramaturg, and educator. As a director/dramaturg she predominantly works in the creation of new work, and also has a wealth of experience in site-specific and found space pieces. Leah has directed pieces for Theatre By the Bay (We Must Have More Men), Single Thread Theatre Company (Turkey Shoot, Ambrose), amongst others. Leah works as an actor, director, dramaturg, script coordinator (Tarragon Theatre), workshop leader, and coach. As an actor she has been featured in work with Notable Acts Theatre Festival, Thought for Food, Single Thread, Soup Can, and others. She is the winner of an RBC Emerging Artist Grant (TBTB 2016), is a grad of George Brown Theatre School, and is from New Brunswick.

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Kira Meyers-Guiden – Creator & Performer, Queer Spawn Kid

Kira is a queer, feminist, theatre artist whose work focuses on LGBTQ++ issues.  She is currently completing her Master’s in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University with a specialist in Gender and Sexuality.  She is an alumni of The Women’s Room, an all-female playwriting unit facilitated by Sounderlust & Pat the Dog Theatre Creation. Recent writing credits include: The Queer Baby Project (Swelling with Pride: Queer Conception and Adoption Stories), Futch/Bemme (OutFest 2018, Gay Play Day), Under (HamilTEN Festival) and Under the Fire (in collaboration with Erika Reesor, Dark Crop Festival).  Select acting credits include: Self in Queer Spawn (Heels on the Diving Board, Impact17, Queer on Stage: Hamilton Pride, Taps Untapped, Dark Day Monday), Hetty in Overtones (Beck Festival) and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Occupy Verona (Theatre Erindale).  Kiraʼs art strives to effect social change to make the world a more accepting place.  For more information about upcoming projects please visit: www.kirameyersguiden.weebly.com

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Jessica Bowmer – Creator & Performer, Vermilion

Jessica Bowmer is a Toronto based theatre creator and actor. She is a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program, with academic awards and a scholarship. She most recently collaborated and performed in Chocolatekiss Collective’s production F*cking Perfect which was part of Toronto’s Best of Fringe Festival. Other acting credits include: The Art Project’s The Crucible, Lost & Found Theatre’s Christmas Variety Show, Open Heart Production’s Titus Andronicus, Alumnae Theatre’s Queen Marie, Toronto Fringe’s How Did You Find Me Here?, inspiraTO’s Adulthood Nightmares and The Marionette Makers, Humber Theatre’s Life Underground and To Ithaca. She has done workshops with Young Peopleès Theatre and Theatre Gargantua, along with film and tv classes. And is currently working as a Patron Services Representative with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Gabriella Kosmidis – Creator & Performer, Vermilion

Gabriella Kosmidis is an actor and singer-songwriter raised in Saronida, Greece and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. She is involved in all kinds of theatre, ranging from the classics to avante-garde, as well as film and television. Gabriella is one of the members of the Toronto based all-female theatre collective The Nips. She’s curious about directing and producing film and theatre and believes that no show is complete without a person half naked, a tap number, and a sense of humour. Training: Humber College Theatre Performance. Humber Theatre: To Ithica… (Milly) directed by Tatiana Jennings. Alumnae NIF: The Dancing Man of Macklin Street (Bianca) directed by Cassidy Sadler; Queen Marie (Marie Dressler) directed by Rosemary Doyle. Hamilton’s Super Crawl Festival: Bricks (one woman show) directed by Cassidy Sadler. Upcoming: This Shade of Red (Spring 2019) by The Paper Boys Present & Back Space Projects.

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Nada Abusaleh – Creator & Performer, HAIRLESS

Nada Abusaleh is an emerging theatre artist, focused on performance and creation. She recently graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.A. major in Psychology and minor in Theatre and Performance. With an intersectional identity of her own, Nada is interested in creating socially-conscious artistic work that takes a human approach in exploring untold stories of individuals, groups, and relationships. Her most notable work thus far is performer and co-creator of Cosmic Fishing Theatre’s The B Party (2018), and performer in the debut of Ahmad Meree’s Suitcase (2019), produced by Theatre Mada.