DIGITAL WORKS BIOS
Alexis Diamond is an anglophone theatre artist, opera and musical librettist, translator and theatre curator working on both sides of Montréal’s linguistic divide. Her award-winning plays, operas and translations have been presented across Canada, in the U.S. and in Europe. In 2018, Alexis began a multiyear collaboration with professor Erin Hurley (McGill University) and Emma Tibaldo (Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal) researching the history of English-language theatre in Québec. In May 2019, Alexis Diamond served as co-artistic director of the famed Festival Jamais Lu, where she presented the mostly French-language Faux-amis with co-author Hubert Lemire, supported by CALQ. Upcoming tours of her theatre translations include The Problem with Pink by Érika Tremblay-Roy, published by Lansman (Le Petit Théâtre de Sherbrooke), and Pascal Brullemans’ The Nonexistant (DynamO Théâtre). Her translation of Pascal Brullemans’ plays for young audiences, Amaryllis and Little Witch, was just published by Playwrights Canada Press.
Juana Rubio is a Colombian-born filmmaker based in Montreal. She taught in the Communications and
History departments of the Sabana and Javeriana Universities for 7 years, and directed episodes of several series for Colombian public television. Since completing her Master’s degree in Communications at UQAM, she has been working in collaboration with other media artists. Voces Berracas, which she co-directed with Marion Chuniaud in 2018, was selected for the San Antonio Independent Film Festival in Ecuador and Ojo al Sancocho in Colombia, and her sound composition Ça qui est là, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sennheiser Canada Competition. Her 2019 thesis film Alicia dealt with notions of uncertainty and identity through use of experimental sound design, themes she wishes to continue exploring in future work.
Mary Jane Gibson wrote and edited for High Times for over a decade, was named one of the “15 most powerful women in the weed industry” by Complex and was recently featured in Forbes. She now writes for a number of outlets including Rolling Stone and Playboy, covering cannabis culture, entertainment, and cutting-edge trends. Mary Jane is also an award-winning actor and playwright, performing in theater and film in Montreal, Dublin, London, Paris, Seattle and New York City before moving recently to Los Angeles. She’s the co-host of the top rated Weed+Grub podcast alongside fellow actor/comedian Mike Glazer. Mary Jane is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.
MARY JANE GISBON
(Los Angeles, CA)
Urs Mann has been creating content for some of your favorite artists and brands for the past 12 years. After graduating from the Savannah College of Art & Design, Urs went on to live in NYC for 8 years. Working for companies like Condé Nast, VICE and High Times, they made their way to the West Coast in 2016 to continue pursuing a career in the cannabis industry. Most recently Urs was a fulltime Producer at Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane, and is the editor of the upcoming short film Edible (2021). Urs loves spontaneous adventures and their Beagle named Patches, and currently lives in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles, CA)
Born in Mexico City to her Mexican mother and East Indian father, Gitanjali Jain is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in music and theatre. An alumna of l’École Internationale Jacques Lecoq, she spent six years as an aerialist, actor and dancer in the award-winning production ‘Ulalena on Maui. As a vocalist she has performed with Joe Bataan, Roma Carnivale and Matana Roberts. Her theatre credits include multiple productions with Scapegoat Carnivale and Repercussion Theatre (Montreal) as actor, singer and composer. Jain is the co-creator of Alicuanta, a staged song cycle which recounts the legacy of her great-grandfather.
(Mexico City, MX)
Ana J Bellido was born in Madrid, Spain.
She holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and currently works as a production designer, costume designer, and illustrator.
Since 2006, she has worked as a costume and production designer in Berlin and Mexico City on several short and feature films with directors such as Pablo González, Reynold Reynolds, and Sebastian Hiriat. Since 2015, she has worked as a props and costume designer for a number of acclaimed theatre pieces.
In the field of drawing, she has collaborated with various magazines and publishers, such as Elefanta editorial, Diëresis, Animal, Limulus, Vice, Animal, Festina editorial among others. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Madrid and Berlin and in the last few years has shown her work in various places in Mexico including the prestigious MACO (2013), MUAC, Vertigo (2014), Museo Carrillo Gil and Paramete (2015). Ana is currently based in Mexico City.
ANA J. BELLIDO
(Mexico City, MX)
Alexander Nemser is a poet, writer, and facilitator based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, among other publications. His book The Sacrifice of Abraham, fifty wild retellings of the Isaac and Abraham story, was published in 2014. He leads workshops on authentic spirituality and creativity, and is currently training in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. At the moment, he is celebrating the ripening of three fruits on his small satsuma mandarin tree.
(Los Angeles, CA)
Julie Tamiko Manning is an award-winning theatre actor/creator, independent producer and mentor from Montreal.
Selected acting credits include: Sin in Paradise Lost (Centaur), Marion in The Team On The Hill (Blyth Festival), Annie in Jean Dit (Théâtre D'Aujourd'hui), Isabella Bird in Top Girls (Segal), Emilia in Othello (Scapegoat Carnivale) and Nancy in Oliver! (National Arts Centre).
Her first play, Mixie and the Halfbreeds (with Adrienne Wong), was produced by Neworld Theatre in Vancouver. Her second play, The Tashme Project: The Living Archives (with Matt Miwa), recently toured to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa and was published by Canada Playwrights’ Press.
She is currently writing her third play, Mizushōbai- The Water Trade, about Kiyoko Tanaka Goto.
JULIE TAMIKO MANNING
Omari Newton is an award-winning professional actor, writer & director. His Hip Hop theatre piece Sal Capone has received multiple productions, including a presentation at Canada’s National Arts Centre. He has been commissioned by Black Theatre Workshop to write a companion piece entitled “Black & Blue Matters”
Omari and his wife, fellow professional playwright Amy Lee Lavoie, recently received a Canada Council grant to co-write a new play: Redbone Coonhound. Their latest collaboration is a bold and innovative satirical comedy that confronts instances of systemic racism in the past, present and future.
Newton’s work in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment (Speakeasy Theatre) earned him a Jessie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, and a nomination for Best Direction. Film & TV credits include: Continuum, Blue Mountain State, voicing the Black Panther (Marvel) and voicing Corvus on Netflix’s The Dragon Prince.
Conor Wylie is a performer, writer, and director creating experimental theatre. He lives and works on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, also known as Vancouver.
Alongside Nancy Tam and Daniel O’Shea, he runs A Wake of Vultures, a performance collective working across sonic, visual, and theatrical disciplines. Conor regularly collaborates with Theatre Replacement, Hong Kong Exile, and many members of Vancouver’s esteemed Progress Lab consortium. In 2021, he is debuting his sci-fi miniseries, K BODY AND MIND, and then join the writing team of a new video game studio called sunset visitor 斜陽過客.
In 2017, he was selected as the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist by Marcus Youssef. In 2019, he was chosen as the Siminovitch Prize Protégé by his dear mentors James Long and Maiko Yamamoto.
Joseph Shragge is the co-artistic director/founder of the Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre, and a member of The Bakery Theatre. Some of his writing includes: Yev, co-written with Alison Darcy, in collaboration with the National Arts Centre (META Best Independent Production 2019), Sapientia based on Roswitha of Gandersheim adapted for object theatre, Fuck You! You fucking Perv! in collaboration with Leslie Baker, translated by Fanny Britt (The Bakery/Théâtre La Licorne, META winner for Best Production), The Heretics of Bohemia, a puppet epic (Scapegoat Carnivale/Segal Centre). Co-translator of Euripides’ Medea with Andreas Apergis (Scapegoat Carnivale/Centaur), MECCA winner for Best Production. His short fiction has appeared in Matrix Magazine, Phantasmagoria and The Capilano Review.
Felix MacDuff is a slightly intimidating 10-year-old from East Vancouver. He is a savvy creative collaborator, can finish a Rubik’s Cube in 1:44, and is the only person I have ever met to have successfully retrieved a stuffed animal from an arcade claw machine.
VISUAL ARTS PROPHECY
Benjamin Klein was born in Chicago and grew up in Montreal. He is an artist, writer and curator currently living and working in New York City.
POCKET PROPHECIES BIOS
Anders Yates is an actor, writer, improviser and comedian living in Toronto. He is a founding member of the celebrated improv and sketch comedy troupe Uncalled For, and recently won a Critic’s Pick award for his solo sketch comedy work. Anders has also performed as a member of the Second City Touring Company, the comedy/dance troupe Dance Animal and the queer improv troupe Kinsey Fail. His film and television work includes performances in Through Black Spruce, Stockholm, Indian Horse, Nurses, Titans, Taken, Carter, Condor and Murdoch Mysteries. He is a frequent contributor to the satirical news website The Beaverton.
Claire Jenkins’s music has been used in feature films, shorts, documentaries and theatre. She is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre program and has acted in many venues including MainStage shows at Factory Theatre and Theatre Passe-Murraille. She was the musical director of Hannah Moscovitch’s award winning play The Russian Play and the original Pixie in her acclaimed play Essay. She has played music festivals with her band Claire Jenkins Avec Band across Canada and in Australia. Born in Montreal she currently makes Melbourne home. At this stage of her life she is a mother, family music teacher, and is working on her first chapter book. She was never found in a basket floating down a river. And no one has ever had any insight into her future which she is pleased about.
M. Mackenzie’s plays have been variously performed and published in English (original language), French, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian and German. The most recent played in Montreal (Centaur, Théâtre d’Aujourd'hui), Toronto (Coalmine), Ottawa (CNA) and toured Quebec (a six month tour of Spain & Portugal was interrupted by Covid). He has directed and written/co-written two feature films which variously played at Sundance, Toronto (TIFF), Tokyo, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Montreal (FNC) and were theatrically released in Canada. He was a writer/dramaturge on three Cirque du Soleil shows including ‘Ka’ (Las Vegas). He lives in Montreal with his partner and two sons.
Mike Glazer is an Emmy-nominated comedian who has worked with HBO, Food Network, Comedy Central, truTV, Fuse, CBS, BuzzFeed, UCB Theatre, and Second City Chicago. Glazer’s live show Glazed is a Rolling Stone “Best of LA” that sold-out every single show for over two years. Glazer was named to the prestigious 40 Under 40 list for cannabis. Glazer co-hosts the podcast Weed+Grub with Mary Jane Gibson — Weed+Grub is an official selection of SXSW 2021. Glazer has been profiled in Forbes, cooked with Gordon Ramsey, and won gold as a roller hockey goalie for Team USA.
(Los Angeles, CA)
Thami aka Mbongo is a South African actor, drama facilitator, writer-director and arts activist. He took Theatre Studies & Cultural Studies at the Community Arts Project (CAP) and then graduated from UCT Drama Department in 2001. From 2010 -2017, Thami was the Zabalaza Artistic Director at the Baxter Theatre Centre. In 2008 he won the Brett Goldin Bursary award and spent some time at the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. Later he toured around the UK with the Baxter Theatre Centre/RSC production of THE TEMPEST alongside Sir Antony Sher & Dr John Kani. Thami has been seen in a number of South African television productions.
THAMI AKA MBONGO
Rebecca works in theatre television, film and and as an audio description writer and narrator. She most recently appeared in “An Understanding of Brown” at Women at Plays 4.
She played roles on THE HANDMAIDS TALE, IN THE DARK, MOBILE HOMES, FLASHPOINT and OVERRULED! She lives in Toronto and loves to write and create.
Johanna Nutter (elle, she, they) is a euro-settler Montreal-based performance maker, translator, educator and curator devoted to authentic and subversive storytelling. Her work has toured in both English and French throughout Quebec, across Canada, and to Scotland, England, and Belgium. In 2016, she formed creature/creature, consolidating her passion for negotiating the delicate spaces between people, subjectivities, and artistic practices. Current collaborations include STRIKE/THRU with Algonquin art star Nadia Myre (up next at the MAI in June 2021), BARBED WIRE by Siminovitch-nom Annick Lefebvre, and solos OSCAR: girl gone wilde (with Joseph Shragge) and TREE HUG, translated by Penelope Bourque. She is the founder of Espace Freestanding Room and former curator of Centaur’s WildSide Festival.
Alison Darcy works as a director, actor, producer, dramaturge, teacher and is the co-Founder/co-Artistic Director of the award winning, contemporary theatre company. Alison Darcy works as a director, actor, producer, dramaturge, teacher and is the co-Founder/co-Artistic Director of Scapegoat Carnivale. Some of her directorial works include: YEV, Blind, Ladies Foursome, Othello, Faust, The Heretics of Bohemia, Hyena Subpoena, Medea, Life is a Dream and Real Estate. She has written, and directed actors on virtual reality projects for Signal Space Labs and co-wrote an adaptation of Goethe’s Faust (books 1&2) and YEV with Joseph Shragge (and designed the set). Selected acting credits include: YEV, Sapientia, Age of Arousal, A Doll House, Bye Bye Baby, Small Returns, girls!girls!girls! and various VR, documentary, cartoon, film and television productions. She has received MECCA, META, and Fringe awards; has worked for the NFB, Blue Metropolis, and FTA; and taught at Bishop’s University, and NTSC (herself an Acting section graduate) among other institutions, as well as freelance.