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Acting Students Bring Homer Epic ‘The Odyssey’ to Virtual Stage

Toronto Film School will reimagine a Homer classic when its upcoming production of The Odyssey hits the virtual stage this month.

 

Adapted by Jonathan Whittaker and his fifth-term Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students, the 90-minute play revisits the tale of Odysseus’s epic, 20-year journey to reunite with his family.

 

“Odyssey ­­– a journey, a travel through adversity. Clinging steadfast in the belief in our ability to succeed against overwhelming odds. Seeking redemption and salvation as the ultimate goal. We have all been on such a journey of late,” said Whittaker.

 

Toronto Film School presents Homer's The Odyssey poster

Design by Angèlie Gilchrist Blanchard

 

The Odyssey, which was assistant directed and stage managed by Regan Pardo, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on March 23, 24 and 26 as follows:

 

Wednesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. (EST)

Thursday, March 24 at 8 p.m. (EST)

Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m. (EST)

 

***Click here to livestream any of the above performances***

 

 

The Creative Team Behind The Odyssey:

 

 

Morvarid Alinejad - Toronto Film School actor

Morvarid Alinejad – Euryclea, Ino, Arete, Ensemble

Morvarid Alinejad is currently an Acting student at Toronto Film School, who graduated Early Childhood Education from Seneca College in 2018. She was the first assistant director in a feature film directed by Abdolreza Kahani in 2022. She had the opportunity to be the second lead actress in a feature film Peace in Pain in 2021. Morvarid is also interested in film making and directed two short films, Surface and Lifehood in 2021. She immigrated to Canada in 2010 and speaks English and Farsi fluently. She loves working out at the gym, swimming, dancing, and horseback riding in her free time. Morvarid also enjoys oil painting and pottery.

 

 

Shahla Fatah - Toronto Film School actor

Shahla Fatah – Nestor, Eurylochus, Ensemble

Shahla Fatah was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She took a big step to pursue her passion for filmmaking at Toronto Film School. She has previously worked with MADD Canada as one of the lead roles in their commercial and participated in different student projects, such as having the lead role in Max Thompson’s short film, other student assignments, and having background experiences. Shahla, a proficient athlete who has trained in different sports such as soccer, tennis, and skiing, is inspired to use her talents through her art.

 

 

Jae Grant - Toronto Film School actor

Jae Grant – Hermes, Eumaeus, Ensemble

Jae Grant was born in Whitecourt, Alberta and moved to Toronto at age 25. She is Metis, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In the past, Jae performed in the TFS production of Seventeen, and played Vaela in the TFS film Nightshade, directed by Jonathan Higgins. Jae is a student at Toronto Film school, where she is gaining experience in acting and voiceover. Jae has a background in first aid, as well as security work. Outside of acting, Jae enjoys cosplaying, reading, watching anime and writing.

 

 

Martin Guibord - Toronto Film School actor

Martin Guibord – Antinous, Elpenor, Ensemble

Martin Guibord is a 52-year-old actor currently attending Toronto Film School. He was a dentist for 24 years before he decided to make a career change into acting. He is fully bilingual in both English and French. He has appeared in five short films thus far, playing a range of roles such as a doctor, a mad scientist, a TV interviewer, a father, and a street person. He is a father of two and fantastic at telling silly dad jokes. He loves to play hockey and take his dog out for long walks. He hopes to have a successful career in both TV and film, as well as voiceover work.

 

 

Moira Jones - Toronto Film School actor

Moira Jones – Cyclopes, Alcinous, Ensemble

After graduating from Drumheller Valley Secondary School, Moira Jones applied to Toronto Film School , where she currently trains to advance her craft, meeting a like-minded community that has helped further her passion. Moira is adept in classical ballet, training in dance for over six years, as well as piano and classical voice training as a soprano for 14 years. Moira started off in musical theatre before branching out toward film and voice acting, finding a newfound love for each medium. Additionally, she has starred in numerous short films, most notably the award-winning Canada Shorts independent film All Alone, as well as several theatrical productions such as Sister Act, as Sister Mary Roberts and Seven Stories as Lenny, all produced by Kaleidoscope Theatre in her town of Drumheller.

 

 

Olivia Kydd - Toronto Film School actor

Olivia Kydd – Odysseus

Olivia Kydd was born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Always an avid film and TV lover, she deeply admires Rita Hayworth, who inspired her to pursue the arts. After graduating from Halifax West High School in 2019, she applied to Toronto Film School and has been dedicated to a career in film and TV ever since. She has since moved to Toronto with her two adopted cats and roommate. She has featured in two shorts and two commercials, as well
as written, directed, edited and performed in her own short film at Toronto Film School. She strives to have a successful career in theatre, film, TV, and voiceover.

 

 

Nicholas Laframboise -Toronto Film School actor

Nicholas Laframboise – Telemachus, Ensemble

Nicholas found his passion for acting in high school theatre productions such as The Importance of Being Earnest (‘Algernon Moncrieff’), Marat/Saad (‘Jean Paul Marat’), and The Laramie Project (‘Aaron McKinney’). After graduating from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with a degree in International Relations, he returned to his native Montreal, where he worked before rediscovering his love of performance arts through a Second City Improv class. While training at Toronto Film School, Nicholas has had the pleasure of taking on challenging characters, such as ‘Stanley Kowalski’ (A Streetcar Named Desire) and ‘Joe Pitt’ (Angels in America), that have helped to push his emotional range as an actor. He is bilingual in English and French, proficient in multiple accents and enjoys sports such as golf, tennis, skiing, horseback riding, and is an avid angler and outdoorsman. Having had the opportunity to star in two TFS shorts, as well as write and direct one himself, Nicholas hopes to pursue a career in both film and theatre.

 

 

Alice Lapyko - Toronto Film School actor

Alice Lapyko  – Zeus, Teiresias, Philoetius, Ensemble

Alice Lapyko is a fifth term Toronto Film School student/actress. She started doing plays at the age of five and would perform on a yearly basis, if not more often. She continued following this passion, doing musical theatre at Woodroffe High School in her hometown of Ottawa. After graduation, she had a lead role in a music video and a supporting role in a short film. She then started studying at Toronto Film School and moved to Toronto in order to pursue this career. Alice is trilingual and enjoys trying new things and learning new skills. She is looking forward to work on upcoming projects and can’t wait to find more.

 

 

Anna Lysgaard - Toronto Film School actor

Anna Lysgaard – Penelope, Circe, Ensemble

Anna Lysgaard is an actress from Throsby, Alberta. She enjoys writing her own material and has been working hard in her training at TFS thus far. She is an athletic individual, who is trained in volleyball, swimming, and rugby at a competitive level. She is also trained in music – both instrumental (on the piano, clarinet, and flute) and voice – and plans to release her own music one day. Growing up on a farm, she learned how to ride horseback. She took drama and improv throughout her last year of high school and followed her passion at Red Deer College in a Production Performance program. She then transferred to Toronto Film School, where in her first year she was taught by many active performers in the industry including Jonathan Cherry, Rosanna Saracino, and Lauren Brotman. She has performed in memorable theatre pieces including Extremities by playwright William Mastrosimone, and Dirty Butterfly by playwright Debbie Tucker Green, to name a couple. She is outgoing and looks forward to opportunities in her future as an artist.

 

 

Linka Louange Nitereka - Toronto Film School actor

Linka Louange Nitereka – Eurymachus, Calypso, Anticlea, Ensemble

Linka Louange Nitereka is a trilingual actress and writer who speaks fluent French, English and Kirundi. She migrated from a very small country called Burundi in 2016. At the age of 16, she entered high school and started her new life with her family in Vancouver. After high school, she went on to attend Langara College, where she studied International Relations and Political Science for a year. Within that year, she realized acting and writing were her passions, so she applied to Toronto Film School. In her first year at TFS, she got to train with teachers who are still working in the industry like Jonathan Cherry, Rosanna Saracino, and Lauren Brotman, and got to work on plays like Oleanna written by David Mamet, tough produced by Green Thumb and many others. She had training in Stanislavski’s and Uta Hagen’s Methods. During her studies at TFS, she also had the chance to write and direct her first short film Drowning and is currently working on her second short film called My Story to Tell.

 

 

Toronto Film School actor Shana Rose

Shana Rose – Athena, Mentor

Shana Rose is a Toronto-based actor, singer/songwriter, and filmmaker, training in film, TV, and theatre at Toronto Film School. Throughout adolescence, they participated in many extracurricular Musical Theatre productions, including The Prince of Egypt with the Neshama Theatre Troupe. Shana has also performed as the lead role in several short films, including Fairyland, with Centennial College, and wrote, directed, and starred in the silent short film, Truth. Shana Rose graduated from Ryerson University’s Photographic Arts’ program and studied Psychology at Excelsior College in New York. They enjoy being active with dance, swimming, and indoor rock-climbing and speak English, Hebrew, and French. Shana looks forward to using all their techniques and skills to build a successful career as an actor.

 

 

Toronto Film School actor Mihir Upadhyaya

Mihir Upadhyaya – Menelaus, Euryalus, Poseidon, Ensemble

Mihir Upadhyaya is a dedicated actor, writer, director, and producer who resides in Toronto. He is passionate about his craft and has experience producing short, self-made projects. These projects include a short Lego Star Wars fan film and a song parody music video. He also enjoys photography and has collected a portfolio for himself over the years. After high school, he decided to join Brock University’s film program, but a year later decided to join a more hands-on program at Toronto Film School. Sports are another major subject of interest, as he is incredibly involved with watching and participating in many different sports (basketball, soccer, MMA, boxing…). Music is another interest, as he is learning how to play the guitar and has the desire to learn how to sing in the future, too. He has also produced his own silent short film at Toronto Film School, orthodox.

 

 

Regan Pardo, Assistant Director, Stage Manager - Toronto Film School

Regan Pardo – Assistant Director, Stage Manager

Regan Pardo was born and raised in Blenheim, Ontario. She grew up on her parent’s berry farm and attended the University of Windsor, where she received her Bachelor of Forensic Science and specialized in Biochemistry. After finishing her degree, she realized she wanted to pursue her true passion and moved to Toronto to begin her career in TV, Film, and Theatre. Regan attended Toronto Film School, where she worked and trained under accomplished actors in the field. She has been a part of many short films; in addition, she débuted her theatre talents in the production of Twelfth Night as Maria, directed by Jack Grinhaus. She works hard at her craft, is dedicated to her work and is always looking to expand her knowledge. Regan has been singing for over 10 years, she is also a lover of accents, dialects, and character voices. She has a talented hand in theatre/film makeup. She is also a nature enthusiast, loves animals, drives tractors, and has an extensive berry knowledge.

 

 

Toronto Film School actor

Jonathan Whittaker – Director

Jonathan Whittaker is a graduate of Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction degree in Performance/Acting (1978-80) and a 2015 participant of the Banff/Citadel Professional Development Program. His notable theatre credits include: Beside Myself, Prom Queen, Nigredo Hotel (Dora Award nomination), The Big Sleep, Colours in the Storm, The Team on the Hill, Jake and the Kid, Les Misérables and Dirty Dancing (Mirvish Productions), Man of La Mancha, Closer than Ever, 12 Angry Men and The Dining Room. He’s also appeared on many television series and feature films, including: Murdoch Mysteries, Ransom, The Expanse, Open Heart (series lead), Alienated (series lead), The Kennedys, Flashpoint, Suits, The Kid Detective, Chicago, Land of the Dead, Three Men and a Baby, and Virgin Suicides. For Toronto Film School, he’s director the plays Lord of the Flies, Journeys, 12 Angry Jurors, and Spirited.