FOUNDERS

SOHEIL PARSA

Soheil Parsa is an award-winning director, actor, writer, dramaturg, choreographer and teacher, whose professional theatre career spans thirty-two years and two continents. In his native Iran, Soheil completed studies in Theatre Performance at the University of Tehran and began a promising career as an actor and director. Arriving in Canada with his family in 1984, Soheil completed a second Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at York University and then went on to establish Modern Times Stage Company. In 1995 Soheil received a New Pioneers Award by Skills for Change for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a recent

immigrant to Canada. Soheil’s own work at Modern Times has been recognized with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, and a Senior Creation Grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010 he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Celebrating Directors, the highest honour in Canadian theatre. Soheil was awarded the Queen Elisabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for his contribution as a theatre artist to Canadian society.

email_icon Email Soheil

PETER FARBRIDGE

As an actor and founding member of Modern Times Stage Company, Co-artistic Director Peter Farbridge has appeared in the majority of the productions of Modern Times, including the title roles of Modern Times’ productions of “Hamlet“, “Macbeth” and “Hallaj“. He has also played Vladimir in ‘Waiting for Godot’ and the Old Man in ‘The Chairs’ for which he was nominated for a Dora Award as Outstanding Performance by a Male. Peter has collaborated on six translation/adaptations of Persian plays with Soheil Parsa, four of which were published in an anthology by Playwrights Canada Press. Two of these collaborations received Dora Awards. He has also worked on two

original plays, “Hallaj” (with Soheil Parsa) and “Forgiveness” (with Soheil Parsa and Barbara Simonsen). Peter makes his home in Montreal. He has worked in theatre and film both in English and French. His stage credits in the city include five productions with the Centaur Theatre, as well as several seasons at Repercussion Theatre and a French production at Le théâtre du rideau vert and most recently with Infinitheatre He continues to develop personal projects in Montreal, including writing and directing video.

email_icon Email Peter

STAFF

GIA NAHMENS

Head of Administration at Modern Times, Gia has been working as a stage/production manager/administrator in Canada for the past seven years. She is graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Major in Theatre and a Minor in Spanish Literature. She Immigrated to Canada from Venezuela in 2003. Gia has worked extensively as a Stage Manager for productions like: Tony N’ Tinas Wedding (Hoarse Raven Theatre), Wild Rose (Fringe 2008/Bumpershoot 2009), The Honeymoon (Pick of the Fringe: Vancouver 2009), The Talking Stick Festival (2010&2011), and Back to You: The Life and Music of Lucille Starr (Apprentice Stage Manager: Musical Theatreworks), amongst many others.

While working as a Stage Manager she realized she could start training in administration and production and dove into working with Left Right Minds Initiatives as a production assistant. This work allowed her to understand the ‘backstage’ of a production. In Toronto she has been working with the Flamenco community; the Venezuelan community; stage managing, producing and touring Monique Mojicas “Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way”; and assisting company management for “Arrabal”.

email_icon Email Gia

s

BANAFSHEH TAHERIAN

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.

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.

email_icon Email Banafsheh



Stage Manager

Lori has been stage managing for over 10 years and has worked with The Chemainus Theatre Festival, Driftwood Theatre Group, George Brown College, New Stages Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Action, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Moonpath Productions, Smile Theatre, Talk is Free Theatre, Truth’n’Lies Theatre, Sudbury Theatre Centre and Factory Theatre. Favourite credits include: Anything Goes and The Miracle Worker(CTF), Comedy of Errors and King Lear (Driftwood), Harvest (New Stages), The Diary of Anne Frank (SIA), When the Reaper Calls and Self Help (LFT), ‘Tis the Season (Smile), Liars at a Funeral (Truth’n’Lies), Million Dollar Quartet (STC), How Black Mothers Say I Love You and Trace (Factory).

 

Set, Costume, Video Designer

Anahita Dehbonehie is a scenographer specializing in site-specific performance. A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, The Norwegian Theatre Academy and a former member of the Soulpepper Academy, her work has been featured at the Prague Quadrennial, The Edinburgh Fringe, The Vilnius Capital of Culture, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Locally Anahita has collaborated with Outside the March, Soulpepper, Stratford, Modern Times Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, Theatre Passe Murallie, Bad New Days, DLT, Talk is Free, Randolph Academy, George Brown Theatre, Carousel Players, and Kingston Players Theatre. Anahita’s practice is founded on the principle that works of art return us to truths more powerfully by their divergence from a strict illustration of reality. She is moved by stories and storytellers willing to tackle the complexity and the beauty of the moment in which we live.

 

Gerontion

Peter Farbridge has appeared in the majority of the productions of Modern Times, including the title roles of Modern Times’ productions of ‘”Hamlet”, “Macbeth” and “Hallaj”, He has also played Vladimir in “Waiting for Godot” and the Old Man in “The Chairs” for which he was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male. Peter makes his home in Montreal. He has worked as an actor in a variety of theatres in English and French. He most recently created a role in “Progress” by Infinitheatre, which earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2016. He is currently a part of the creative teams of “Les promesses”, by the company Théâtre à l’instant, and “Contre la suite du monde” by the company La nuit, le bruit.

Assistant Director

Azeem is thrilled to be making his debut with Modern Times Stage Company, and very grateful to work alongside Soheil Parsa and an exceptional artistic team.
Selected theatre: Tragedie of Lear (Palmertson Library); Alice in Wonderland (Theatre Northwest); Richard III (Metachroma Theatre Company – Segal Centre); Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew & Caesar and Cleopatra (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); Abhimanyu (Theatre Direct). In the UK: An Ideal Husband (Leicester Haymarket Theatre); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Greenwich Playhouse); Close to Home (Theatre Alibi – National Tour).
TV: Hannibal (NBC); Warehouse 13 (Syfy); XIII (Showcase/Canal Plus); Caesar and Cleopatra (CTV/Bravo), Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation (Channel 4 – UK).

 

Marie, Tatterdemallion Woman

Kim Nelson is quadrilingual actor (English, French, Spanish and Haitian Creole), born in Chile, raised in the US and Trinidad, and recently transplanted to Toronto from Montreal. A former lawyer, Kim discovered her love for theatre during a Montreal-based production of “Raisin in the Sun” in which she played Ruth. Since that time, Kim has worked in theatre, television and videogames. Stage credits include: Richard II in “Richard II” (Secret Shakespeare), Kate in “Breathing Corpses” (The Coal Mine Theatre), Kate Dillon in “Good People” (Montreal Centaur Theatre); Georgia Hayes in “The Exonerated” (Third Eye Ensemble) and Lady in Blue in “For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide” (NuSpyce Productions). Screen credits include: “Orphan Black” (Temple Street Productions), “Damien” (20th Century Fox) and “The Art of More” (Sony pictures). Though generally articulate, Kim is at a loss for words to express how delighted she is to work with this team of inspiring artists.

Sound Designer

Thomas Ryder Payne is a composer and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. Selected past work includes designs for Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, Soulpepper, CanStage, Tarragon, Factory, TPM, YPT, Crows, Modern Times, Aluna, BIBT, Nightwood, Toronto Dance Theatre, NAC, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, RMTC and many others. Thomas has received 2 Dora awards and 17 nominations.

Director

Soheil Parsa is an award-winning director, writer, actor, dramaturg, choreographer and teacher, whose professional theatre career spans thirty-two years and two continents. In his native Iran, Soheil completed studies in Theatre Performance at the University of Tehran and began a promising career as an actor and director. Arriving in Canada with his family in 1984, Soheil completed a second Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at York University and then went on to establish Modern Times Stage Company, one of the most innovating theatre companies in Canada. In 1995 Soheil received a New Pioneers Award by Skills for Change for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a recent immigrant to Canada. Soheil’s own work at Modern Times has been recognized with five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, a senior artist creation grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010 he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Celebrating Directors, the highest honour in Canadian theatre. Most recently, Soheil has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution as a theatre artist to Canadian society.

The Boy

Liz Peterson is a Toronto based performance-maker and actor. Most recently she has appeared in: Declarations (Canadian Stage); Flashing Lights (Bad New Days/Ahuri Theatre); Other Jesus (Public Recordings); Millennial Malcontent (Tarragon Theatre); CAPITALIST DUETS (Public Recordings), Blood Wedding (Modern Times/Aluna Theatre). She also produces solo work and inter-disciplinary collaborations including: Performance About A Woman (Tiger Dublin Fringe); Good (Toronto Dance Love-In); Meditations on Legitimacy (Mercer Union). She has appeared in film works by Oliver Husain (Isla Santa Maria 3D); and Life of A Craphead (Bugs). She is co-founder of Events In Real Time and she is an Associate Artist with Public Recordings. Upcoming is Borders (sin título) a co-production with Public Recordings.

 

Lighting Designer

Michelle is an award-winning lighting designer who works with dance, theatre and opera companies across Canada. Other Modern Times designs: Forgiveness and The Lesson. Other designs: Broken Tailbone (nightswimming Theatre); Daughter (Quiptake and Pandemic Theatre); Lukumi (The Watah Theatre); trace (Factory Theatre); Our Town (Theatre Rusticle); The Magic Hour – co-designed with Jennifer Tipton (Jess Dobkin); Acquiesce (Factory Theatre/fu-GEN); for colored girls. (Soulpepper); Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera); Scarberia (Young People’s Theatre); Gertrude and Alice (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). She has received seven Dora Awards, a SATAward and the 2008 Pauline McGibbon award.

 

Production Manager/Technical Director

Charissa’s day job is being the Head of Production for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She has been with this Queer Canadian Theatre for the past nineteen years and has held this position since 2005.

Additional Production Management/Technical Director credits include; Studio 180, Native Earth of Performing Arts, Theatre Rusticle, Outspoke Productions, Nightwood Theatre, Cartier Dance, Circus Orange, Femme du Feu, Anandam Dancetheatre Co, Aluna Theatre and Coal Mine Theatre.

In her spare time she trains in aerial and acrobatics. She also continues to create and construct new apparatus with her partners in crime under their circus company FLYING SOLO.

She is grateful to have another opportunity to work with Modern Times Theatre.