Modern Times’ Director of Development, Banafsheh has been working in the fields of marketing and event planning for over a decade now in Tehran and Toronto. Most recently she has been an Event Coordinator for International City Leaders Foundation, where she coordinated and executed an Expert Group Conference UN HABITAT III (United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development). She was also an Assistant Marketing Manager for Padika Online Marketing solutions, a Sales Representative and Marketer for Shahre Ma Magazine & ITC TV, as well as a Marketing Event Manager for Tavanmadar International Management and Exhibition Affairs.
Banefsheh is also a professional emcee, having worked most recently for the Tirgan Festival, as well as being an accomplished voice artist, with experience in numerous media platforms.
Sochi grew up in New York City and Ottawa and is currently based in Toronto. She was most recently on stage in Antigonick, directed by Cole Lewis (Summerworks 2014) and in the park for Small Wooden Shoe’s The Summer Spectacular (Fringe Festival 2014). Other credits include Parts to Whole (One Little Goat), Stencilboy and Other Portraits (Next Stage Festival 2014), Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare BASH’d), The Misanthrope (The Guild Festival Theatre), The Charge of The Expormidable Moose (One Little Goat), Engaged (Rhubarb Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel Theatre), The Trojan Women (dir. Alexandra Seay), Swoon! (dir. Jason Maghanoy), Hedda Gabler (dir. Jane Carnwath), Richard III (dir. Jeremy Hutton), Yichud (Seclusion) (dir. Aaron Willis and Richard Greenblatt), Dead Cat Bounce (dir. Molly Thom), and Palace of the End (dir. Jason Maghanoy). Sochi is a graduate of the Citadel/ Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program, Ryerson University’s Theatre School, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She was a member of Labyrinth Theater Company’s (NYC) Intensive Ensemble in 2013. In November Sochi will be performing in the new farce Identity Crisis by Peter Snoad at Hibernian Hall in Boston.
Derek Kwan is thrilled to be making his debut with Modern Times Stage Company and Aluna Theatre. Derek is an actor and classical singer working at the intersection of theatre, music and movement, with an interest in the full integration of these elements in performance. Favourite recent endeavours include: Fritz & Magda, an improvised mask show (he was Magda), and Mr. Park vs Dale, a 1 person-2 character masked outdoor opera with viola da gamba, both with Nicole Ratjen for Toronto’s LabCab Festival, Firefly Project, a story-telling residency in a school comprised entirely of kindergarten classes, and Red Kite Project, a workshop of theatre for children with autism, both with Theatre Direct, an exploration of physicality and Schubert’s Winterreise with choreographer William Yong for Luminato Festival at the McMichael Gallery, and concerts at the Second International Taiwan Hakka Arts and Cultural Festival in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Performance highlights include – Theatre: Winterreise Projekt (Harbourfront HATCH), Head à Tête (Theatre Direct), A Synonym for Love (Volcano), Unspoken (Native Earth Performing Arts), Red Snow (Red Snow Collective), A Fool’s Life (Ahuri Theatre), Banana Boys (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company); Opera: Paradises Lost (Summerworks 2013), The Lesson of Daji, Venus & Adonis, Dido & Aeneas (Toronto Masque Theatre), Tapestry New Opera’s New Opera Showcase 2012, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins (Against the Grain), Mozart’s The Impresario (Bangkok Opera); TV: ‘XIII Season 2’, ‘Cracked Season 1’. For more information, visit derekkwan.net
Jani is a three time Dora Mavor Moore nominated actress, a three time Juno nominated singer/songwriter, an award winning screen actress and a Gemini Award winning puppeteer. Jani has countless theatre, film and radio credits to her name. Memorable theatre appearances include; Cordelia/Fool in King Lear and Yvette in the Mother Courage (NAC English Theatre Acting company); Shylock in Merchant of Venice (SITR) and Raven in the award winning production of Whale at YPT. Television guest appearances include Saving Hope, Hard Rock Medical and Conspiracy of Silence. As a writer, Jani is the currently the Playwright in Residence at Cahoots Theatre Projects where she is developing, I Call myself Princess. Watch for the workshop presentation at Native Earth Performing Arts Weesageechak Festival in November 2014. Her new company, Paper Canoe Projects will be producing her original work A Side of Dreams at the AKI Studio in January 2015. She was recently a member of the Tracy Wright Global Archive at the Theatre Centre where she began work on a new piece called Prophecy Fog. Jani will continue to explore the dramaturgical aspects of Prophecy Fog as Senior Playwright in Residence at the Banff Playwright Colony in Banff, April 2015. She has been waiting to work with Soheil and Bea and Trevor and all these amazing people for years. Good things come to those who wait.
Sebastian is a Uruguayan-Canadian Theatre Artist/ Producer and graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program. His passion for all forms of theatre has seen him work as an actor, creator, dancer, burlesque performer, puppeteer, musician, technician and administrator. Since graduating he has involved himself with a range of exciting companies including: The Parahumans, Love Letters Cabaret, Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, Aluna Theatre, Alameda Theatre, Small Wooden Shoe and New York’s Loco7, to name a few. Sebastian has been an active arts advocate and community engager working with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, the CYCTO, Humber College & Friends of the Arts in trying to improve youth involvement and access to the Arts in Toronto. Sebastian is co-founder and co-artistic producer of Go Play Producing: a trio dedicated to nurturing new works from idea to workshop to full production. Currently, he is spending 2014 honing his directorial vision and producing skills across borders as the Metcalf Artistic Intern with Aluna Theatre.
Originally from New Brunswick, Erika is a Toronto-based stage manager for theatre, opera, dance, and live events. Recent stage management credits include The Brown Bull of Cuailnge (The Room), Heres Lies Henry, Salt-Water Moon (Common Roof), The Foursome (Lighthouse Festival Theatre/Bluewater Summer Playhouse) and Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad (RuBarb Productions/Moose Jaw, SK). As ASM: Frankenstein (Theatre New Brunswick), And Slowly Beauty…(Tarragon Theatre), thirsty, King Lear (National Arts Centre), Whispering Pines (GCTC) and four seasons at Lighthouse Festival Theatre, including the world premiere of Norm Foster’s The Gentleman Clothier. Upcoming work includes The Girl in the Goldfish Bowl (RuBarb Productions), and the world premiere of Peter Colley’s The Ghost Island Light. Erika is thrilled to be working with Modern Times Stage Company for the first time.
Starting as a songwriter with a 4-track recorder, Thomas has followed a varied musical career including studying with composer James Tenney, recording and touring for six years with the Juno nominated band Joydrop and producing numerous records. Composer and sound designer of Othello. Stratford: The Matchmaker, Much Ado About Nothing, The Little Years, Hosanna, King of Thieves, Rice Boy. Elsewhere: Designs for Soulpepper, Canadian Stage, Tarragon, Factory, Theatre Passe Muraille, NAC, Blyth, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, Volcano, Nightwood, Modern Times, Aluna, Crow’s and many others. Training: Studied composition with James Tenney, Honours BA, York University. Awards: Eight nominations and two Dora Awards for Sound Design and Composition. Online: http://www.parkerbombshell.com, http://www.thomasryderpayne.bandcamp.com
Beatriz is an actor, playwright, director and the founder and Artistic Director of Aluna Theatre: a company that creates, develops, produces and presents artistically innovative and culturally diverse performance work, with a focus on Latin Canadian and women artists. Beatriz has written and directed a trilogy about women and war that includes La Comunión (2010), Madre (2008), For Sale (2003). These three plays have received a total of 13 Dora Nominations including three for Outstanding New Play and have won four of these awards. Her first long play for young audiences, La Maleta earned her a 2014 Dora nomination and is currently being produced in Canada and the United States by Roseneath Theatre. She is the recipient of the 2014 K.M Hunter Award. Other awards include: The John Hirsch Prize, The Ken McDougall Award, the Chalmers Fellowship, and the Urjo Kareda. In 2012 Aluna launched the international panamerican ROUTES | RUTAS panamericanas theatre festival to showcase the best of Latin Canadian and Latin American artists in Toronto. As an actor, Beatriz has worked with Modern Times Stage company since 2000 in productions such The Daughters of Shaherzad, Bloom, and Hallaj.
Set and Lighting Designer
Trevor is a Toronto-based scenographer – designing sets, lighting, and video for performance with independent artists. He is Artistic Producer of Aluna Theatre, and in 2009 – 2010 was Designer-in-Residence at the Theatre Centre. He directed, designed, and dramaturged Nohayquiensepa (Nooneknows) for Aluna Theatre, and designed La Comunión, Madre, and For Sale. He is currently developing a focus on the integration of artistic disciplines and intercultural practices through a Chalmers Fellowship. Trevor has collaborated in theatre and dance with Modern Times, Jumblies, Fixtpoint, Alameda, Cahoots, Buddies in Bad Times, Obsidian, Tarragon, Small Wooden Shoe, One Reed, Marie-Josée Chartier, Ame Henderson’s Public Recodings, Susie Burpee, Sasha Ivanochko, Meagan O’Shea, and others. He has three Doras (of 11 career nominations), a Harold, and a Children’s Choice Award.
Angela Thomas began career life as a graphic artist. Studies in theatre and design evolved beginning in 1983. After extensive travel in Africa with partner Chris Clifford, Angela worked as an assistant art director in television and film, designer/builder in theatre, as well as exploring the integration of theatre and media. While raising her family Angela’s focus turned to costume design. Costumes have been her primary focus for the past 20 years during which time collaborations have ranged from spectacle theatre to opera., building and creating costumes and masks. ‘Forgiveness’ will mark Angela’s tenth year of collaboration with Soheil Parsa and Modern Times Stage. Angela has received three Dora Mavor Moore nominations for her work with Modern Times Stage.
Bahareh is a Toronto-based performer. She is a resident artist with Actors Repertory Company, and sits on the Artistic Board. Bahareh was recently honoured with two Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations in 2014: Outstanding Individual Performance & Outstanding Ensemble Performance (Minotaur). She was also nominated for the Equity Emerging Theatre Artist Award in 2011. Last year, Bahareh was featured as part of the Top 10 “Artists to Watch” in NOW Magazine for Summerworks 2013. She is a graduate of Humber Theatre School and holds a BA from McGill University. Selected theatre credits include: Bea (ARC), Minotaur (Dora Nominated) (Young People’s Theatre), The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre), Les Zinspirés (Théâtre Français de Toronto), Hallaj (Modern Times Stage Company/ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), Prisoner of Tehran (Theatre Passe Muraille / Contrary Company), Homeland (Vancouver Fringe), Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in Action). Film/TV: Covert Affairs (USA), Instant Star (CTV). Upcoming: Moment (ARC), HER2 (Nightwood Theatre), and Blood Wedding (Modern Times Stage Company/ Aluna Theatre)