Driftwood Cast & Creative Team

Mitchell Allen | Video Editor | Motorcycle Monologues, Beyond the Bard Workshops, Outreach Workshops

Mitchell Allen is an award winning editor and sound designer (and more!) based in Toronto. He’s worked on feature films, documentaries, short films and PSAs, all with varying, eclectic themes.

Karthy Chin | Workshop Director | Beyond the Bard Workshops
Dhanish Kumar Chinniah | Actor | Beyond the Bard Digital Short Plays

Dhanish is an actor, musician, teacher and gigantic nerd. If you are mean to them they will cry REALLY easily. Please be nice. Dhanish trained at George Brown Theatre School, holds a Bachelor’s in Computing from Queen’s University, and are currently pursuing an MA in Voice Pedagogy at UWTSD. Their recent work includes collaborations with Tarragon Theatre, Cahoots Theatre, Soulpepper, and the Thousand Islands Playhouse. Their favourite artist is Mitski, they are a proficient pennywhistler, and again, PLEASE don’t bully them. FRAGILE. THIS SIDE UP.

Ellen Denny | Playwright | So You, So I

Ellen is a Toronto-based playwright and actor who has worked across Canada. Recently, Ellen was a 2020 finalist for the Cayle Chernin Award – Theatre for her in-development solo show Project Qyzra. Her work has been performed as part of Live Bait Theatre’s Social Distancing Short Play Festival, Driftwood Theatre’s Trafalgar 24, and Musical Stage’s Launch Pad program. As a performer, Ellen has worked with companies including NAC English Theatre, Mirvish, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel, and the Segal Centre. She received a Dora nomination for her portrayal of Alice in ‘Life After’ (Canadian Stage) and was named one of Now Magazine’s Breakthrough Toronto Stage Artists (2017).

Caitie Graham | Dramaturg | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Caitie is a dramaturg, arts educator, and playwright. She has led several playwriting programs for young-in-craft artists across the GTA through organizations like Tarragon Theatre, Expect Theatre, and Scarborough Arts. From 2017 – 2020 she was Program Director of the Young Playwrights Unit at Tarragon, where her first play was developed in 2013. Writing credits include PARADISE COMICS (2016 Filament Incubator) and GASH (2019 Ergo Pink Festival). In 2018 she was a runner up for the Ellen Ross Stuart Award, and has received funding from the OAC (2019) and TAC (2020) for her newest works in development. Caitie is thrilled to be working with Driftwood’s BTB Playwrights Unit and Playwright-in-Residence this year!

Matthew Gorman | Playwright | Boutique Siblings

Originally from Nova Scotia, Matthew now lives and works in Toronto. A few acting credits include: Jamie Cavanaugh (Roseneath Theatre), Great Expectations (Neptune Theatre), Fall In Paris (Eastern Front), Having Hope at Home, Stag and Doe (PSFT), This Lime Tree Bower, Rum and Vodka, Vincent River (Cart/Horse Theatre), Hana’s Suitcase (Grand Theatre), The Drawer Boy (Theatre Athena). As a director he has worked for such companies as Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Hart House Theatre, Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Your Good Friends, The Lonesome Crowded West, and Cart/Horse Theatre. As a playwright, his work includes: Western, a play with music; Adventure!, Like A Dog, and Our Lady of the Sea. 

Mina James | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Mina James is a Toronto based theatre performer, improviser, writer, and educator. Her most recent theatre credits include Bagheera/Raksha in Jungle Book (YPT), Ensemble/Puppeteer in 1991 (Riser Project 2019/Theatre Center), Blister in Naughty Listers (Second City), Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well and Fortinbras in Hamlet (Canadian Stage Company). Other previous acting credits include: Ensemble in Blood Wedding (Buddies in Bad Times), Chorus in Antigonick (SummerWorks 2014), Mala in Sultans of the Street for YPT (Dora Win-Best Ensemble), Lennox in Macbeth and Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew (Canadian Stage Company). Mina was a fellow in the 2013 incarnation of the International Actor’s Fellowship at The Globe (UK). Mina loves her dog, Annie and her husband, Jake, not in that order.

Meara Khanna | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Meara Khanna is a writer based out of Toronto. She graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism. Prior to her time in journalism, she briefly attended Ryerson Theatre School. She was also a part of Tarragon Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Unit in 2018. After graduating journalism school, she worked for the Documentary Organization of Canada, a non-profit that advocates for documentary filmmakers. In her spare time she likes to write her own scripts. Meara is currently working with CBC, in their Drama, Scripted department.

Rebecca Lashmar | Playwright | Fairchild

Rebecca Lashmar is an actor, writer, and sketch comedian. Currently, she is a student at The Second City Conservatory. Rebecca graduated with a BFA from the University of Windsor in 2019, and a Graduate Diploma in  Arts administration and Leadership from Queen’s University in 2020. She is actively pursuing certification in Intimacy Direction and Coordination.

Rebecca has a passion for collaborative creation and multidisciplinary storytelling. She commits to creating unapologetic projects that challenge audiences, players, and creators alike. While the work she strives to create is bold and dangerous, she believes creative workspaces should be inclusive, diverse, and supportive with lots of room for laughter.

When not performing or working, Rebecca reads, bakes, and tends  to her plants. Stay curious!

Desiree Leverenz | Workshop Director | Beyond the Bard Workshops

desirée is a director and creator that won’t ever wash the Treaty 6 soil from beneath her feet. she is a graduate from the mfa theatre program at york university and the ba drama honours program at the university of alberta. desirée created the orange girls, an experimental performance ensemble blurring a lot of lines. she is also the associate artistic director of shakespeare in the ruff, and is continuously disrupting artistic traditions. desirée is always searching for ways to decolonize the art sector: not only the art itself, but also the infrastructures and leadership models that have been built to uphold that art, and uphold white supremacy.

Rabiya Mansoor | Playwright | A Jam Kind of Day

Rabiya Mansoor (she/they) is a Pakistani-Calgarian comedian, writer, and producer. Her web series projects include: Get Up, Aisha (IPF Production Fund) and Layla is Relevant (WIFT-T Scripted Digital Series Incubator/TAC Media Artists Grant). She is an alumnus of Second City’s Bob Curry Fellowship for emerging, diverse comedic voices and has performed at the Toronto, Chicago, and Montreal Sketch Comedy Festivals, most recently as a drag king solo act. Her sketch comedy troupe, the Don Valley Girls, received a Sketch Comedy Project Fund grant for their first sketch revue (coming soon in a post-COVID-19 world). Her current obsession is making the perfect brownie.

Mateen Missaghi | Videographer | Motorcycle Monologues, Beyond the Bard Workshops, Outreach Workshops

Mateen Missaghi is a 19-year-old student filmmaker residing in Vaughan, Ontario. He began working as a freelance videographer at sixteen years old when discovered by a talent manager in Toronto. In his final year of high school, he shot and directed his first short film which won him the Best Cinematography award at TIFF’s annual Next Wave Showcase in May 2019. He has since directed two more documentaries and shot or edited five additional short films in his second year of his Film Production program. He is currently pursuing a career in the industry as a cinematographer and documentarian.

Gloria Mok | Playwright | Diminished

Gloria Mok is a theatre creator, production manager, designer, and playwright. She is a founding member of Silk Bath Collective, the creators behind two hit trilingual plays, Silk Bath (Toronto Fringe 2016) and Yellow Rabbit (Soulpepper Theatre 2018). She is currently a commissioned playwright with Driftwood Theatre and is developing a new climate action experience with Broadleaf Theatre. She has worked with Cahoots, Kaeja d’Dance, Native Earth, Paprika Festival, Roseneath Theatre, SummerWorks, Shakespeare in the Ruff, Soulpepper Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, and Why Not Theatre. Gloria is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Studies and History program, as well as The National Theatre School’s Production Design and Technical Arts program.

Natasha Mumba | Workshop Director | Beyond the Bard Workshops
Ciarán Myers | Playwright | Drumming Lessons

Ciarán Myers is currently working with the Registry Theatre in Kitchener to create a new verbatim piece about children’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ciarán has an MFA in Writing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He is, gratefully, an alumnus of the Stratford Festival’s Playwrights Retreat, the Tron Theatre’s 100 Club and the Traverse Theatre’s Directing Program. He was also the first-ever creator-in-residence at Kitchener’s GreenLight Arts. Ciarán had two full-length premieres at the Edinburgh Fringe and Off London’s West End, respectively: TOUCH (Asylon Theatre) and The Adding (Backstage Forward). Original plays produced in Canada include TOUCH (GreenLight Arts), House of Fun (GLA), Emergency Only (Theatre of the Beat), Hamburger (Registry Theatre and Informal Upright), and Hum-Buzz (Informal Upright). 

Alon Nashman | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Alon Nashman is a performer, director, creator, and producer of theatre. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, Alon has worked with theatres across the country and around the world, such as Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, The National Arts Centre, Tafelmusik, The Stratford Festival, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Soulpepper, Edinburgh Fringe, South Africa’s National Arts Festival, and The National Theatre of Iceland. Theaturtle, established by Alon in 1999, has developed and toured productions of Wajdi Mouawad’s Alphonse, Kafka and Son, The Snow Queen, Hirsch, and Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music.

Myekah Payne | Dramaturg | Motorcycle Monologues
Stella Racca | Videographer | Motorcycle Monologues, Beyond the Bard Workshops, Outreach Workshops

Stella is entering her third year of a double major in Film Production with Human Rights and Equity at York University. Having grown up with a love for theatre, she is very excited to be reconnecting to that passion. She has worked with the CCLA in creating their podcast Justice vs., as well as many film projects within and beyond her film program. She was once afraid of motorcycles but has since made her peace with them. She is beyond excited to be working with such a talented group of people!

Almira Rahmati | Props Coordinator | Beyond the Bard Workshops, Outreach Workshops

Almira Rahmati is an aspiring stage manager and props builder. Almira is a Performance Production graduate of Ryerson University, a Theatre Production graduate of Humber College and she also holds a Certificate in Design for Arts and Entertainment (Ryerson/Chang School). She has a holistic approach to theatre and a broad interest in various aspects of theatre, such as props, paint, wardrobe and carpentry. She finds inspiration from her rich cultural and ethnic background and her life experience. She has been involved in many shows and participated in various departments as well as in an award winning film production “Gay Mean Girls”.

Carlyn Rahusaar Routledge | Head of Wardrobe | Motorcycle Monologues, Digital Short Play Festival, Summer Outreach Workshops

Carlyn is a Toronto based artist with a BFA in Theatre Production and Design, and a minor in Performance. Her passions and specializations include: scenic, costume, and prop design; wigs and makeup; historical fashion; artistic direction; playwriting; and wardrobe management. Along with working with Driftwood Theatre, Carlyn is also spearheading a start-up project where Dungeons & Dragons and Virtual Reality technology meet. Dreaming up new worlds, inventing stories, creating immersive experiences, or even innovating the classics is what Carlyn strives for. As an emerging artist, she hopes to continue her creative work with like-minded creators, bringing newfangled performances to diverse audiences.

Anand Rajaram | Actor | Beyond the Bard Digital Short Plays

Anand is an improviser, actor, playwright, director, musician, teacher & puppeteer. Most recently, he was in Buffoon by Anosh Irani and Mustard by Kat Sandler (Dora award for best performance in each), adapted/performed in Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream, at SummerWorks (Winner Best Production), and has performed at Second City, Stratford, CanStage, VideoCabaret, and others. He is an accomplished film and tv performer as well as voice-over artist for video games and cartoons. You may sometimes hear him as a panelist on CBC Radio’s Because News. He is artistic director of @N@f@N@, currently creating AR digital content for live streams under the banner of his company, Cardboard Dreams.

Paolo Santalucia | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Paolo is a Toronto-based actor, writer and director. He is a founding member of The Howland Company and a graduate of the Soulpepper Academy. He has been a member of Soulpepper’s ensemble for ten seasons, and has performed across both Canada and the United States, including Off-Broadway in New York City and Chicago and in Canada with Soulpepper, Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Driftwood, and Young People’s Theatre. Paolo teaches Classical Performance with the University of Toronto’s joint Theatre and Drama Studies Program.

Cailleah Scott-Grimes | Director | Motorcycle Monologues, Digital Short Play Festival

Cailleah Scott-Grimes is an award-winning Toronto-based director and illustrator. She holds an MFA in Film Production from York University and a BA in Visual Studies and East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto. From death positivity to struggles with gender identity, Cailleah’s work brings an intimate lens to transgressive topics that are difficult to talk about. Working in both documentary and fiction, her work has been featured on Air Canada, Cinema Politica, and CBC. Her thesis film, Between Us, was the winner of this year’s Lindalee Tracey Award, presented at the 2021 Hot Docs film festival.

Hallie Seline | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops

Hallie Seline is a Dora Award-winning actor, currently based in Toronto. She is one of the founding Artistic Leaders of The Howland Company, and her recent acting credits include: Caroline in “Casimir and Caroline” (The Howland Company), Patsy in “Prairie Nurse” (Lighthouse Festival Theatre), Rosalind in “As You Like It” (Shakespeare BASH’d), #8 in “The Wolves” (The Howland Company) for which she received the 2018/19 Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble.

D. Jeremy Smith | Creator | Motorcycles Monologues

Over the years, Jeremy’s passion for motorcycles has deepened along with his fervour for touring, outdoor theatre.

Introduced to motorcycling at a very young age by his dad, Jeremy has been following the Bard’s Bus on his bike since 2004. A summer is not complete unless he can be out on the open road, exploring the winding paths that connect the many communities and people he’s discovered over 25+ summers of Driftwood. The Motorcycle Monologues was born out of a desire to rediscover and reconnect with the people and places he’s come to love during his travels across Ontario.

Jeremy lives in The Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto with his wife, two daughters and their cat, Merlin, King of Catnaps. He rides a 2014 Yamaha Bolt.

Deivan Steele | Outreach Coordinator | Summer Outreach Workshops

Deivan is a South African-Canadian jack of all trades: he acts, directs, writes, creates, educates, plays music, and composes for the theatre. He’s worked with theatres in Canada and abroad like Driftwood Theatre, Shakespeare in Action, Bad Hats, Shakespeare BASH’d, Unwrap Theatre, Shakespeare by the Sea, DaPoPo Theatre, and Prague Shakespeare Co.

Tony Tran | Actor | Beyond the Bard Workshops
Athena Kaitlin Trinh | Actor | Beyond the Bard Digital Short Plays

athena kaitlin trinh is a settler in Tkaronto, on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas, the Huron-Wendat and the Haudenosaunee peoples. She is a Dora nominated acting graduate from the National Theatre School of Canada and the 2021 recipient of the Jon Kaplan Award for Young Canadian Playwright. She is a queer, Chinese-Vietnamese actor, writer, and spoken-word poet. With roots stemming from Viet Nam, Toronto, and Southern China, athena celebrates and dedicates herself to diverse, intersectional, and inclusionary art-making. For more information, please visit her website at www.athenakaitlintrinh.com