Rise Theatre Collective
Rise Theater, is a theatre collective based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded with the goal of providing opportunities to young artists and emerging artists from the many fields of performance art. Allowing them professional position in our multidisciplinary projects.
Gracchi An original theatrical epic produced by the Rise Theatre Collective; Gracchi is a multidisciplinary ensemble play, dramatizing the lives of the brothers Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus. Two influential politicians living in the late Roman Republic, a troubled time of corrupt politicians, outdate administration and a society filled with wealth disparity. To aid their fellow citizens the Gracchi brothers decide to embark on a campaign for implanting the largest land redistribution in Roman history. Over the course of their lives and political careers, their populistic approach to bringing reforms will set them up directly against the Senate and turn the society and politics entrenched and uncompromising. Ensuring direct confrontation between the two sides. As we explore not just the nature of political power but also its effect on the people, the personal ambitions and vendettas justified by ideals, factionalism and familial expectations. The play is a theatrical performance mixing classical acting with modern on-stage technical effects, including live music and ensemble choreography.
Sina A. Suren is a multidisciplinary performance artist, specializing in writing, directing and acting. Born in Iran to a doctor family, he had the opportunity to experience the many professional fields such as programing, chemistry and biology but he vigorously followed a profession in performance arts. Feeling repressed in that community and seeking the best training possible, he and his family migrated to Canada where he continued his education and received his technical degree in professional acting from John Abbott Theatre program. He followed his training by spending multiple semester studying acting in Sheridan College and English literature at University of Toronto. He finished his Bachelor degree at University of Concordia in Performance Creation.
Sina is an avid and passionate fan of history and a believer in the strong capacity of performance artist and storytellers in bringing social change. He is an author of multiple social essays, fictional stories and plays, short and full-length, with his play “Gracchi” becoming a finalist in Infinitheatre Write-on-Q competition.
He has had the chance to direct theatres and short films of multiple genre, in multiple languages and international texts, with his projects gaining international recognition.
After graduation, Sina founded the Rise Theatre Company, with the goal of offering visibility to new performance artist and allowing them to showcase their talents in the many disciplines of theatre.
Currently he spends his professional time acting as the artistic director of Rise Theatre Company as well as collaborating with different artistic groups across the island of Montreal. Creating content for Parnian online T.V. and writing.
Maria Jimenez is a versatile composer, vocalist, and Performance artist originally from Vancouver and based in Montréal. She is a recent graduate of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music with a degree in Composition and Jazz Voice: Performance. Musical styles and influences include Jazz, Avant-Garde, Latin, Indie Rock and Neoclassicism. She has participated in the Oregon Bach Festival Composer’s Symposium, VIPA Festival, and was a winner in the Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composer’s Competition and Crescendo International Music Competitions. Her musical compositions range from live performance to theatre and film including Yvette Nolan’s The Birds (McGill University), Where We Were (TNC Theatre), and A Nightmare About You (TVM). Upcoming works include: Marguerite B: A Chamber Oratorio (Spring 2023; Notre Dame de Bonsecours Chapel), and her upcoming Indie album Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (Spring 2022).
Odin Rezai is a 3d artist who specializes in modeling and texturing, he like to work from sketches / concept art and create stylized models. Odin discovered his passion for modelling in 2017, when he enrolled to Dawson college in 3d animation & CGI that introduced him to Autodesk Maya and zbrush! He has been honing my skills from school, and applying them in other programs such as Photoshop and After Effects. He has found an interest in working with different digital mediums as well, which has given him more range in his abilities to do freelance work. He is experienced in producing 3d art for advertising and for small content creators. "My current involvement in Gracchi has lead me to creating matte paintings to achieve the final results of the backgrounds, giving the audience a more immersive experience with the story telling while viewing the play in action".
You Chen Zhang is a young set and lighting designer who graduate from the theatre program of Concordia University. Before studying in theatre, he was a magician and photographer. He worked in Lion in the Streets (Concordia theatre) as a lighting designer and The Short Work festival (Concordia theatre) as a production lighting designer (Concordia theatre), in the Slice 2.0 (Concordia theatre) (canceled by the Covid-19), Alice in Wasteland (Concordia theatre), the Head Over Heels (AUTS of McGill University) as set designer, A Chorus Line (AUTS of McGill University) (canceled by the Covid-19). He currently working in Gracchi as a lighting designer and Sweet Charity (AUTS of McGill University) as set designer.
Adrienne Gantenberg is a costume designer and recycled fur artisan who is passionate about creative reuse. She studied Fashion Design in her hometown of Chicago before moving to Brussels where she worked for a fashion label, exhibited her visual art, and made costumes for student films at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in Louvain-La-Neuve. In 2017 she came to Montreal to further pursue her costume career through the Design for the Theatre program at Concordia University graduating in May 2020. She has worked as a costume designer and wardrobe technician on many theatre productions throughout Montreal. In 2018 she won the Montreal Broadway World Regional Awards for Best Costume Design for the Addams Family (WISTA), and again in 2019 for her work on Bonnie and Clyde (Contact Theatre).
Karen Hurtado is a Peruvian-born and now Montreal-based designer, with a background in Interior Design. She has worked for 5 years in the design world. At the beginning of her career, she designed multiple commercial and residential renovation projects in Lima, Peru. Designing spaces has always been her passion, but the creative process and conceptualization that film and theatre bring to the equation are the reason why she moved to Montreal. After receiving her degree as a BFA with a Specialization in Design for the Theatre from Concordia University, she was the Production Designer and Art Director for Upward, a short film by Philippe Champagne, and today she is making her debut as a Set Designer.
Elisabeth Nyveen is a multidisciplinary performance designer, stage manager, theatrical technician, and audio drama creator. They wear many hats in life. Elisabeth has a strong interest in new media integrations to traditional performing arts, and blending the lines between game, audio, and theatre. Raised in Montreal, Elisabeth trained in studio arts and critical analysis at CEGEP, and received a BFA in Design for the Theatre. Favourite past productions include stage managing Hedwig and the Angry Inch, puppeteering Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and working as a co-SM/gamerunner on The Riot Ballet.
Jonathan Vanderzon (Gaius Gracchus) is a New York trained actor from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville. His early career consists mainly of smaller roles for Film and TV (FUTURE MAN, BARKSKINS) and substantial roles in the indie sphere (CAMPING TRIP, EAU DE JESUS). Select stage credits include THE SANDY MONOLOGUES (Falconworks NYC), LA FILLE DU TAMBOUR-MAJOR (Opéra Bouffe du Québec), and CARRIE: THE MUSICAL (In The Wings Promotions).
Kelly Beaudoin is a First nation and French actress. She is a dancer, musician, model, and singer/songwriter. She also directed musical theatre shows for kids and has written some original plays! Kelly comes from a small town in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She moved to Montreal to pursue her acting career. Trained in professional theatre at John Abbott college, Kelly played roles from Shakespeare to Thornton Wilder to Arthur Miller. She also went on to get cast in the canadian film Beans (premiered at Tiff 2020). She is currently working on an upcoming webseries called Coming Out Aces. And the play Gracchi (showcasing at Place des Arts October 2022) in the role of Cornelia Africana.
Nawash Masri (Tiberius Gracchus) is a Palestinian artist, currently studying Acting for the Theatre at Concordia University. He was raised in Sudan and moved to Montreal in 2016, after studying commerce and law he decided to pursue a more artistically filling career and life. He has a deep love and appreciation for video games and animation and hopes to create more virtual reality projects in the future. After graduating he plans to create an interactive virtual reality experience based on a play called ‘Scenes from 68 Years’. Exploring different ways to present theatre and art as a whole to create a more effective/impactful experience is one of his main goals.
Johnny Abilach is a multidisciplinary artist currently located and residing in Montreal. His evolution from being an athlete, a class clown, a visual artist to an aspiring physicist - has led him to finding his true calling as an actor and dancer.
As a multiracial person, he’s struggled with identity and finding a space to fit in. This has motivated him to pursue his dreams of making a change in the industry. Where characters aren’t strictly defined by race, gender or orientation, but by the nuances and the world in which they inhabit. Most recent/favorite credits include playing numerous roles in “Lion in the Streets” (Concordia University), and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the musical “Anything Goes” (John Abbott
College Theatre). Johnny hopes Johnny didn’t write his own third
person bio too rigidly, since Johnny is more chill in person. Feel free to reach out to Johnny on his Instagram “@jjburst” (yes Johnny shamelessly plugged the gram).
Lucas Amato is a Montreal-based actor, designer, lyricist and playwright. He is a graduate of McGill University (BSc, Anatomy and Cell Biology, minor in Theatre), Concordia University (BFA, Playwriting program, Stream in Acting) as well as a graduate of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective taught by Jonathan Monro. An avid horror fan, comedian, cartoonist, and clown at heart, he loves to challenge himself through dramatic acting despite his silly nature. He has acted with many theatre and performance companies in Montreal in addition to Rise Theatre, including McGill Improv, Players Theatre, AUTS, Becket Players, Contact Theatre, Home Theatre Productions (BOD Member / Artistic Associate), Montreal and Halifax Fringe Festivals, Rubber Tree Media, WISTA (Vice President/Event Coordinator) and Just Right Productions (Co-Founder). Selected credits include Lucifer in The Creation of the World and Other Business (Players, 2015), The Wolf in Into the Woods (AUTS, 2018), Adult Male in Spring Awakening (AUTS, 2019), Ducker in Starkid's Firebringer (Just Right, 2019), Freddy in Carrie the Musical (In the Wings, 2022), and most recently Eddie in MAMMA MIA! (WISTA, 2022). He is incredibly excited and grateful to Rise Theatre for this chance to be as dramatic as possible and golly gee does he look GOOD in a toga!
Leya Graie (she/he/they) is a queer genderfluid actor and artist based in Montreal. She graduated from Concordia University's Theatre program in 2018, and has been performing in as much as she can ever since. Most recently he has appeared as Laurie in this past year's Fringe production The Mentorship, and as Emma Parker in Contact Theatre's inaugural show Bonnie and Clyde. A proud "Jack of All Trades, Master of Absolutely Nothing", When not performing, writing their first ever musical, or running their own embroidery and art store (Moonlit Cat Creations), Leya can be found reviewing books on YouTube (Leya’s Library), learning far too many languages, and singing with their cat, Hamlet.
Born in Manhattan, New York. Casey grew up with her single mother and younger sister in Washington Heights. Attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia for Visual Arts in 2009. Graduated with her regents diploma in 2013 and headed on to the American and Musical Dramatic Academy. She studied Musical Theatre until she graduated in 2015 and has been working ever since. You might have seen her in the 2020 Christmas commercial for Hobby Lobby where an older couple matches two neighbors during the holidays. Casey is thrilled to be a part of the Gracchi team!
Tamsin is very excited to be part of Rise Theatre's Gracchi production recently picking up acting again after a hiatus following visual art pursuits and other journeys. Her last theatre production was in Vancouver playing May in Sam Shephard's Fool for Love directed by Jack Paterson. TV roles include Louise in Da Vinci’s City Hall City Hall, CBC, a stint for Global TV/Mystery Channel and some Indies. Tamsin is most often seen with dirty fingernails, painting giving way to endless hours in the backyard planting and propagating to create a magical and mysterious garden -a long-term project which might give way to an ornamental Ancient Roman garden perhaps including some plaster of Paris statues.
Bryan Libero received his DEC in Professional Theatre from John Abbott College in 2008 and his BFA in Theatrical Performance from Concordia University in 2012. Selected credits include: “Compleat Female Stage Beauty: Persephone Productions; “Hair” In the Wings Promotions; “33 Variations” Brave New Productions and most recent “Cherry Docs” Acts to Grind Theatre. He has also appeared in TV and films such as 19-2, The Art of More, District 31 and Mother!
Mia Cooper-Graham (she/her) is an emerging multidisciplinary performer and theatre creator. Having started her college years in the creative arts program at John Abbott College, she then graduated from the Professional Theatre: Acting program where she developed her love for creative movement and was in productions such as Into The Woods and Gut Girls.
Pre-pandemic in 2020, she debuted her first original multidisciplinary play about body image and eating disorders, (SH)ED, which she co wrote, produced and starred in alongside Riley Wilson. This show sparked the creation of the theatre company named Dirty Mirror Collective that Mia co-founded. In the past year, Mia has become a certified peer support worker in mental health and started work within the mental health organization PCSM. Being a neurodivergent artist herself, she values the inclusion, representation and celebration of various styles of learning and of expression not only in the performance stage but the written stage as well.
Mia adores diving neck deep into the abstract and tackling difficult topics in her writing. Having grown up in a very musical family, she is passionate about theatre that engages all the senses and likes to include song or soundscapes in her art. She is excited to have been a last minute inclusion to Gracchi and is happy to say that Dirty Mirror Collective's second original production is well on its way.
Hi I’m Kai and I’m a certified makeup artist specialized in special effect and theatre makeup. I was so happy to be part of this project and proud of everyone’s hard work!
Hi, I'm Isaac, I'm a trans man and certified makeup artist. Theater and special effects makeup are my passion, and I'm very excited and honored to have been a part of this project!
Linnea Sander is a Queer, purple-loving artist based in Montreal. A recent graduate from John Abbott College’s theatre program, xe has had the opportunity to perform in pieces such as Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information, Matei Visniec’s Decomposed Theatre or the Human Trashcan, and a radio play staging of I Remember Mama as adapted by John Van Druten. Xir long term life plan is to perform theatre in space as an astronaut, and xe is currently taking science courses at John Abbott as the first small step on the way there. (Headshot @jamesnotjake)
Jade has grown to care about socio-political issues and marginalized parties since moving to Montreal, in order to pursue acting. She encourages everyone with a voice - this means you, to write, create, and collaborate in a way that is inclusive and incorporates just the right touch of humour.
Jade has had the opportunity to step in some wonderful ladies’ shoes so far. These include Emily and Rebecca from “Our Town”, Patsy Johnson from “The Rimers of Eldritch”, Sue Bayliss from “All my Sons”, as well as Rita from “Pandemic Round”.
Learning Intimacy Coordination/Choreography with Theatre Intimacy Education, and Imago Theatre’s ARTISTA mentorship program, came hand in hand; pushing her craft towards the study of anthropology. She believes that theatre is made to better understand one another and that every practitioner should feel empowered, always!
Travis Cochran is an emerging artist based in Montréal, with a passion for theatre, poetry and the unique ways people gather to play games, share memories and tell stories. They are a recent graduate of John Abbott College's Professional Theatre program, having performed in productions of Matei Visniec’s Decomposed Theatre; Or the Human Trashcan (The Illusionist) and Caryl Churchill's Love and Information, as well as a radio play of Jon Van Druten's adaption of I Remember Mama (Papa). Travis looks to continue his artistic formation in the future by exploring styles and performance media that he has only just dipped his toe into, such as puppetry, mime and clown.