Sunday @ the Segal: English

Mar 19, 2023 - Mar 19, 2023 | Sylvan Adams Theatre

English by Sanaz Toossi is a humourous and heartwarming story about four Iranian students studying for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and their teacher that explores the relationship between language and identity. This Sunday @ the Segal will bring together 4 theatre artists of Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) descent to discuss their experiences within the industry, the power of representation, and the significance of producing works like these within the current global context. Hosted by our incomparable 2022-2023 season host, Sarah Deshaies (CJAD radio)!


Anne-Marie Saheb (Panelist)
A graduate of the Dawson College Professional Theatre Program, Anne-Marie works in both English and French in theatre, film and television. She is French-Canadian - Egyptian and learned Spanish while living in Honduras. She has performed in over 70 productions, was part of Black Theatre Workshop’s 2015-2016 Artist Mentorship Program, and was most recently seen in Imago Theatre's Foxfinder by Dawn King, directed by Cristina Cugliandro; Hudson Village Theatre's Strawberries In January by Evelyne de la Chenelière, translated by Morwyn Brebner and directed by Dean Fleming; Repercussion Theatre's Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of Measure for Measure, directed by Amanda Kellock; and The Last Wife by Kate Hennig, directed by Eda Holmes, for which Anne-Marie received a 2019 META nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance.

Arash Ebrahimi (Panelist)
Arash Ebrahimi (He/Him) is a Montreal based actor, singer and an upcoming playwright. He is an alumnus of the theatre program at Dawson College (Dome), where he was the recipient of the Victor Knight Memorial Scholarship for Perseverance. Arash was exposed to theatre at a very young age in Iran. However, he soon faced the political obstacles of becoming a performer in his country. At the age of 17, He made the tough decision of leaving his family behind to pursue his passion. He found the Montreal theatre community very welcoming and it did not take him long to feel home. He is currently rehearsing for Counter Offence opening on March 16th at the Segal Centre. Selected performance credits include Fernan Gomez in After Fuenteovejuna, Menachem in Our Class, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Leila Ghaemi (Panelist)
Leila Ghaemi (she/elle) is a MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) Montreal theatre-maker. She recently returned to her hometown of Montreal, Quebec after a decade of working for various theater companies in the United States. Leila received her BFA in Theatre Arts and MFA in Theatre Education & Direction from Boston University’s School of Theatre. Leila is a teaching artist at The Study School, dramaturg at Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, and co-artistic director of Persephone Productions Montreal. While she has a handful job titles, Leila’s main artistic pillars are new play development, MENA representation, and radical theatre empowerment.

Sophie El-Assaad (Panelist)
Sophie El-Assaad is an interdisciplinary artist and theatre designer based in Montreal. Her Middle Eastern heritage has been a major influence on her current practice. Fibres, objects and archival video/photography are mediums that influence her approach, whether it be in design, performance creation or visual art. Since 2017, she has received four Montreal English Theatre awards, was named a finalist for the prestigious Jovette Marchessault award in design and in 2023 will be representing Quebec in costume design at the Prague Quadrennial. Currently, Sophie is pursuing her MFA at the University of Ottawa.