JAM previous cohorts





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JAM cohort of 2023

BRITT DASH

Britt is a multidisciplinary artist living in Montreal. Drawing from her background in writing and performing, Britt is inspired by true life storytelling, puppetry, and improvisational comedy. Her work has been featured in Confabulation, Yarn, the Montreal Fringe Festival, and CBC’s Grown Ups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. She was selected by the Quebec Writers Federation Mentorship Program in 2018, and has been writing since. Her project will explore themes such as fitting in within a small community, school-based learning, and identity. She is grateful to benefit from the guidance of the Jewish Arts Mentorship program team, and excited to begin her project which she hopes to eventually bring to youth in school settings.

Britt Dash

ALEX SHIRI

Alex Shiri is a comedy writer/creator born and raised in Montreal. After receiving his BA at McGill, Alex completed a Masters program at Boston University in Television Producing & Management, where he was a finalist in the BU Pilot Writing Contest. While living in Los Angeles, Alex worked at Snapchat and in development interning for Propagate Content and Paul Feig’s production company, Feigco. Alex also has set and production experience, having worked on multiple seasons of hit digital series turned feature film, Carmilla, as 2nd & 3rdAssistant Director in Toronto. After relocating back to Montreal during the pandemic, Alex began to experiment with his creative output, hosting a late-night show on Instagram Live, creating a quarantine business/character “MatchaMan”, and filming an indie comedy pilot, Entourage Girl. Alex is thrilled to be a part of this year’s J.A.M. cohort, developing an original family-centered comedy feature focusing on a group of cousins over the course of a Bar Mitzvah weekend. 

Alex Shiri

NOAH SINGER

Noah Singer is an actor, writer, and producer born and raised in Montreal. He holds a BFA in Acting for the Theatre from Concordia University and a DEC in Cinema, Video, and Communications from Dawson College. Since completing his studies, Noah has been working as an independent theatre artist in Montreal. He recently performed in Wildfire Theatre's Strangers at the 2022 St-Ambroise Fringe Festival and is co-writing a new piece that will debut at this year's festival with his collective Placeholder Productions. He's also been honing his film production skills as a Visual Effects Coordinator on projects including Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Noah's thrilled to be developing his latest play with Segal Centre's J.A.M. program, a historical fiction exploring his family's roots as Jewish immigrants in Montreal's Mile End. Conflicting ambitions, ideals, and egos clash in this family drama set against a backdrop of organized crime & rising fascism in the 20th century.

Noah Singer

ILANA ZACKON
Ilana Zackon is a multidisciplinary performer and creator. A true wandering artist, Ilana has lived and worked in Montreal, New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto. On stage, selected performances include Mazel Tov (Infinitheatre), So, How Should I Be? (Presentation House Theatre), The Array (Upintheair Theatre/Theatre Conspiracy) and Under Milk Wood (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Directing credits include Part I and in/cognito (Project X Performance), The Great Canadian Porno the Musical (Vancouver Fringe, Jessie Award nominee), and two plays at Speakeasy Theatre’s Pull Fest VII. Ilana is passionate about creating art which invokes the audience to confront their humanity and foster empathy towards one another’s experiences. She is very excited to be part of J.A.M. this year. (Especially because the Segal’s mainstage, then the Saidye, was the very first stage she ever performed on, as a very young child!) Ilana is also a freelance writer and yoga teacher.www.ilanazackon.com

ILANA ZACKON

JAM cohort of 2022

ALEX BRAULT

Alex is a comedy writer and performer in Montreal. He holds a DEC in Liberal Arts from Champlain College as well as a degree in Creative Writing from Concordia University, making him a strong addition to any trivia team's roster.  

Currently he is a contributor to The Beaverton, Canada’s most widely read satire site. His comedic writings can also be found at CBC Comedy, Mcsweeney’s, The Hard Times, and in just about every online outlet that takes submissions. 

Alex is an active and generally well-regarded performer at Montreal Improv. He is currently a regular fixture on one of the theatre’s house teams.  

In addition to the theatre, Alex occasionally writes for videogames. This is what he’s been doing with that Creative Writing Degree.

Alex Brault

 

ALEXANDRA GORLIN-CRENSHAW (she/her/elle)

Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw is a musician and multidisciplinary artist. She pursued degrees in piano performance, while also honing (and continuing to hone!) skills in singing, arranging, composing, visual and puppetry arts, and teaching. Her multidisciplinary performance pieces may include classical piano works and folk songs, self-accompanied lieder and opera arias, original compositions, recorded sounds and texts, projections, shadows, and hand-made visuals. 

Alexandra's project Song/Book delves into the richness and complexity of family through Jewish and Anglo music of her roots. Using family interviews as primary sources for her own compositions, Alexandra weaves together original music with folk song arrangements and a series of theatre books and crankies.

Alexandra lives in Montreal. When she is not practicing, creating, or teaching, you may find her taking long walks in the city, reading graphic novels, or coaxing her quarantine windowsill of plants to stay alive, just a little bit longer.

https://alexandragorlincrenshaw.com

Alexandra Crenshaw-Gorlin

JESSICA LANMAN
Jessica Lanman is a writer born and raised in White Plains, New York. While getting her Bachelor’s in Dramatic Writing and History at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jessica’s short films and monologues were featured in several student festivals. After a year in New York,  where she wrote several TV and play scripts and her play Sally In Paris was a finalist for the Goldberg Play Prize, Jessica moved to Providence, Rhode Island to be the Marketing Intern and a Front of House Manager at Trinity Repertory Company. Apparently not quite busy enough between that and working on her first novel, Jessica began a freelance career in tech writing that has carried her through her move to Montreal. She is thrilled to be focusing back on theater through J.A.M., and couldn’t be more excited to write a new play via the mentorship.

Jessica Lanman

ARIELLE SHIRI
Arielle is an actress from Montreal. She has had a passion for performance and acting from a young age and was always involved in theatre growing up. She graduated from McGill University in English, Drama and Theatre in 2020 where she performed in many different productions including The History of Breathing and The BirdsShe currently works in film production in Montreal while pursuing her acting career. Arielle is excited to get started on her project, focusing on her family history, with J.A.M. 

Arielle Shiri

JAM cohort of 2021

BRANDON ADAM

Brandon Adam is a playwright, librettist, and novelist from Montreal. Plays include The Twitter Wars (Doghouse Ensemble Theatre) and Super Ego. Musicals include Mrs. Dalloway (Music and Lyrics by John Coyne; adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf). Brandon recently completed his first novel and will soon begin work on his second. He holds a BA in Acting from Pace University and is currently completing his MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge. brandon-adam.com

Brandon Adam

MARISSA BLAIR
Raised in Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, Marissa Blair began her performance career in 2003 as an actress with the Philadelphia Irish Repertory Theatre. Settling in New York City in 2005, she earned a bachelor’s from The New School and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. Marissa performed in many art films and live installations, while also presenting original experimental performances in theatres, galleries, and festivals across NYC. After performing internationally with Ann Liv Young Dance Company, and teaching elementary school in Manhattan, Marissa relocated to Montreal - first appearing in Daughters Of Mile End (Labyrinth Theatre Company). Shortly thereafter, she created 15 Deaths in 15 Minutes (Festival de la Bête Noire), Antonin Artaud’s Spurt of Blood (St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival), Triptych (Festival de la Bête Noire), and since March 2020, has starred in and created many virtual art performances. Marissa is an administrator at Espace Freestanding Room, an organizer of Freefalling Monthly, and Artistic Director and co-founder of Mad Paradox.

Melissa Blair

HERSHEL BLATT
Hershel Blatt is an actor and writer born and raised in Toronto. He has worked between stage and screen with acting credits that include: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal), What Would Sal Do? (Crave), The Education of Fredrick Fitzell (Resolute Films), The Boys (Sony/Amazon), A Bear Awake in Winter (Next Stage Theatre Festival), as well as workshops of new plays at Canadian Stage and Theatre Direct. This fall, he wrote, produced, and acted in the short film Different Kinda Summer, which is currently in post-production. He is also currently developing his play Ahava Later with Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. Hershel is a graduate of Etobicoke School of the Arts and the Sheridan/UofT Theatre & Drama Studies program. He is pumped to be part of J.A.M. and hopes to continue exploring new work that investigates Queer-Jewish identity.

Herschl Blatt

DEBORA FRIEDMANN
Debora is a director, choreographer, and writer based in Montreal. After completing her Master’s Degree in Education and Society at McGill University, she chose to pursue a career in theatre directing and education. She is a proud alumni of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program and has expanded her theatre education through workshops with Quebec Drama federation, Imago theatre, and Mainline theatre. She recently co-founded Contact Theatre, an independent company focused on boundary pushing musical theatre. Contact’s 2020 production of Chicago, which Debora directed and choreographed, was sadly cancelled due to COVID-19. She also works at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts as a part of the communications team and as one of the Academy instructors. Her most recent projects include: Director-Choreographer for Bonnie and Clyde (Contact), Chicago (AUTS), and The Addams Family (WISTA). Debora was also honoured to work with Amy Blackmore as Assistant Director and Choreographer on Rocky (Mainline theatre). Debora is excited to explore more about her identity as a Jewish artist and writer through the Jewish Arts Mentorship program and looks forward to hopefully completing her first full show How to Be a Jewish Daughter.

Debora Friedmann


JAM cohort of 2019-20

ERIN BRAHM

Erin Brahm is a performer, devisor and clown. She has performed and devised various forms of theatre in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. She is currently developing her production, Poetic Nonsense, which began within Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s - Young Creators Unit. Poetic Nonsense is a clown and bouffon inspired theatre piece, infused with Jewish and feminist themes and characters, which playfully explores and exposes human attributes and truths in all their absurdities, with glimpses into private lives and public personas.

Erin completed her Masters degree in Ensemble Theatre: Performance and Devising, specializing in clowning, at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, London UK and her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre at Concordia University. Performance and devising highlights include productions with: Bread and Puppet Theater, Citizens of Nowhere: London’s International Clown Company,  Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Festival TransAmériques (OFFTA), clowning on The Last Leg (Channel 4, London UK) and most recently a collaboration between Jump Current Performance (Canada), Working Group Theater (USA) and Barracuda Carmela (Colombia). Erin received the audience choice award for best performer in a short film at the 2019 Zensa Media International Film Festival.

Erin Brahm.

YAEL SILVER
Yael Silver is an actress, singer, and producer who while living in New York City enjoyed a very successful commercial producing career. Her credits in theatre production include: Once On This Island (Tony Award), Jagged Little Pill (Broadway), A Christmas Carol (Broadway), Rock of Ages (UK Tour) as well as producing concerts for Broadway stars such as Chita Rivera, Hailey Kilgore, and Kate Rockwell.
Originally from Israel, she is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with a major in classical voice.
Moving to Montreal in May of 2019 in order to be closer to her family, Yael decided it was time to refocus her artistic path and is thrilled to be part of the Jewish Arts Mentorship program at the Segal Center where she will be working as assistant Director on Oslo in the spring of 2020.
(Photo credit: Caleb McCotter) 

Yael Silver. Photo credit: Caleb McCotter

ROGER WHITE
Roger White is a musician, composer, and record producer from Montreal. He is a member of the Power Pop outfit Dead Messenger, whose music has been featured in several television and web-streaming services, as well as in the critically acclaimed French language film Chien de garde. Roger worked as co-producer and session player with Kingston Allstars, a project featuring an all-star cast of Jamaican musicians who were at the vanguard of early Rocksteady and Reggae music. The project produced two albums and a web documentary. He also composes music for dance, collaborating regularly with choreographer Helen Simard (NO FUN, IDIOT, REQUIEM POP), as well as artists such as Alias Dance Project, Marie-Pier Laforge-Bourret, and Solid State Breakdance. In a departure from his previous work, through the Jewish Arts Mentorship Roger is creating an interdisciplinary sound project based on his family’s German and Polish-Jewish roots, exploring their history in pre and post-war Europe. With this project, and through the guidance of JAM team at the Segal Center; Roger will for the first time be stepping out from behind the instruments and into the role of primary writer/director in the development of this project. He is forever grateful for the cultural and artistic guidance provided by this mentorship and for the opportunity to explore new themes and expand his artistic practice.

(Photo credit: Mathieu Desjardins) 

Roger White. Photo credit: Mathieu Desjardins


Inaugural JAM cohort of 2018-19

AMANDA GOLDBERG
Amanda Goldberg is a graduate from Dawson College’s Professional Theatre program and Concordia University's Theatre and Development program. She is the co-founder and artistic director of We Are One, a Montreal based feminist theatre company that aims to celebrate and empower womxn. In 2016, she was nominated for Outstanding Emerging Artist at the Montreal English Theatre Awards. Goldberg’s most recent directing credits include Yerma (Concordia University), City Boy (Mainline Theatre), and Smackhead (We Are One). Her latest work was assistant directing: Theatre Surreal SoReal’s production of Madame Catherine prépare sa classe de troisième à l’irrémédiable and Imago Theatre’s production of Other People’s Children. Goldberg is delighted to participate in the Segal Centre’s Jewish Arts Mentorship program, in addition to working as assistant director on Indecent this spring. She is passionate about exploring both queer and Jewish stories and can’t wait to do so alongside this inspiring and talented team. She would like to thank her parents and friends for their continuous love and support!

MICHELLE SOICHER
Michelle Soicher, originally from Toronto, moved to Montreal to explore all aspects of theatre making at Concordia University and since graduating she has been fortunate to collaborate with both established and emerging artists. Being queer and Jewish, Michelle has a unique perspective of being an invisible minority and aims to create space for stories that have been pushed to the margins. She is a recent alumni of the Black Theatre Workshop Artist Mentorship Program. Selected credits include, Director: Birthmark (Teesri Duniya, Co Dir. Liz Valdez), Quiet (Black Theatre Workshop Discovery Series), Loops (McGill Drama Festival), Stage Manager: A Perfect Picture (Centaur Theatre Wildside Festival), Richard O'Brain's The Rocky Horror Show (MainLine Theatre), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Concordia University).

MAGGIE WINSTON
Maggie Winston is a puppeteer, clown, educator and community engaged artist. She is artistic director of Lost & Found Puppet Co., originally created in Vancouver, BC, (2007) based in Montréal, QC since 2016. Her original productions explore human relationships to objects and nature, through themes of family and cultural history. She is currently working on a new production entitled "Oyfkum" inspired by Ashkenazi Jewish folklore.

Originally from Baltimore, MD, USA, she received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College (NY, USA) and received acting training from the British American Drama Academy (London, UK). Maggie is currently ushering at the Segal Centre and teaching theatre for children at Geordie Productions and Montreal Children’s Theatre.