“As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.”
It was that quote from Bessel van der Kolk’s #1 New York Times best-selling book on trauma, The Body Keeps the Score, that served as inspiration for Collective Unconscious – Toronto Film School’s latest virtual stage production to be developed, structured, written, produced, designed and performed by a company of fifth-term acting students over the span of just one term.
Directed by Rosanna Saracino, the 75-minute play is a blend of slam poetry, monologues and scenes that “lead the audience through various parts of our conscious and unconscious selves.”
“One virus changed the world, and now, many of us find ourselves seeking a deeper understanding and connection to who we are and to finding our purpose, as we venture into the unknown of this new reality,” Saracino said.
“Collective Unconscious is a devised theatre creation examining the search for self and meaning, inspired by Jungian archetypes, Joseph Campbell’s hero journey, and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk.”
The play, which was stage managed by Emery Nguyen, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on the evenings of June 16, 17 and 18 as follows:
Wednesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, June 17 at 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Friday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT)
***Click here to livestream any of the above performances***
The Creative Team Behind Collective Unconscious:
Breanna Brochu as Dorothy
Raised primarily in Bracebridge, Muskoka, Breanna was a competitive swimmer before she attended high school, where she joined the local improv team. She competed with her team every year at the Canadian Improv Games, placing 2nd and 3rd at regionals. She has trained in voice and ballet and has a special interest in painting. She attended Ryerson’s Performance Production program before transferring over to Toronto Film School for Acting. Some of her most memorable roles include Lady Macduff (Macbeth), Constance Bonacieux (The Three Musketeers), Satan (Paradise Lost) and Marty Maraschino (Grease).
Christian A. Dalton as Colt/Ares
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Christian caught the acting bug early and started acting and improvisation lessons. He studied and performed at Neptune Theatre and his first on-screen performance was on the Smithsonian’s Channel Catching Killers, where he played a younger version of notorious serial killer, Donald Harvey. Other credits include: Travel Channels, Alaska Triangle and These Woods Are Haunted, a commercial for Limitless Tire (SPG media) and several films including: Otto, Bongos, Missfall, The Course and Noodle Party. Christian is an avid song writer, musician, and records original music. His single “Stop” is coming out later this year!
Angelo Flores as Emmanuel the Patient
Angelo is an up-and-coming Filipino-Canadian actor from Canmore, Alberta. He discovered his passion for acting through drama class in high school, where he studied theatre and improvisation. He is currently studying Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre at Toronto Film School, where he participated in productions such as Clue directed by Rosanna Saracino and An Enemy of the People, directed by Jonathan Whittaker. Angelo can speak both English and Tagalog fluently and read Spanish. Angelo also has a passion for dancing and screenwriting and has recently produced his own short film, True Colours (2020).
Kamil Kachi as George Malik aka X-Ray
Originally from Damascus, Syria, Kamil came to Toronto at the age of 17, and experienced many adventures that brought him to his true passion, acting. This discovery led him to training at the Toronto Film School, where he started his journey into the performing arts. Kamil has worked on several small projects in Toronto, including Desserts, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The EZ streets. Kamil is bilingual, speaking English and Arabic fluently, and knows the basics of Turkish. Kamil plays the guitar and has received some training for piano.
Bethany Kerr as Luna/Freya
Bethany is a diversely talented performer with an extensive background in dance, voice, and theatre. Since childhood, she has been part of various productions, including full-length ballets, Shakespearean plays, and musical comedies. Bethany is an advanced violinist, choreographer, and an indie singer/songwriter. She trained at the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts under Max Ratevosian, and is currently studying at the Toronto Film School with a focus on film and television. Her roles include: Ms Scarlet (Clue), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty – ballet), Mia (La La Land-musical), Elizabeth in the film, The House by Gull Lake by Jay Antony (Killadijay Productions).
Basil McCalla as Morpheus
Basil is a first-generation Canadian-Jamaican actor/singer/writer. Fluent in Canadian, Caribbean, and American dialects, he has also acquired skills in martial arts, gymnastics, trampoline and has stunt and cable training. Basil is energetic and a hard worker. He has also spent many years at doing live sports entertainment, performing acrobatic stunts in front of thousands of fans at Toronto Raptors games and events.
J. David Rogers as Dave
David was born in Thornhill, Ontario. He graduated in 1975 as a cartographer and again in 1981 as a mechanical engineer. He worked in the field of engineering for nearly 40 years. As a performer, he enrolled in the Acting for Film, TV, & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School to pursue his passion for storytelling. Dave loves music and has an extensive collection of guitars, which he has played for many years. He was featured in the play Unity 1918 in the role of Hart, and has contributed his profound knowledge of history and politics to this production.
Tommy Titan as Mike Matador
Tommy is an actor born in Toronto, Ontario. Inspired by his favourite actors and superheroes, Tommy first decided to follow his dream of being an actor once he graduated from high school. He has taken lessons in stage combat, improvisation, voice work, film, theatre and television at Toronto Film School, and has acted in numerous short films. In his free time, Tommy loves fitness and practicing martial arts. He has training in taekwondo, and boxing, and is planning to expand his knowledge of these art forms.
Angelina Vaca as Erimentha/Therapist
Angelina was born and raised in Brampton, but currently resides in Georgetown. Her passion for acting developed through high school drama classes. From there, she became actively involved in many school performances both on and off stage. This led to her acting as lead roles and co-editing scripts for the Shake It Up Shakespeare Festival and NTS Festival plays such as Guidance. To pursue her passion into a career, she now attends Toronto Film School in their acting program. In her spare time, she loves to read fantasy adventure novels and is open to recommendations.
Emery Nguyen – Stage Manager
Emery is delighted to be assisting as a stage manager for the first time since her recent graduation from Toronto Film School’s Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre Diploma program. She made her devised theatre debut with Wings of Hope late last year. Her previous work includes performances in the following nominated and award-winning short films: Love Mementos, Sally, Gay As In Happy: A Queer Anti-Tragedy and Queer Isolation, for which she won the Best Actress award at the Prague International Monthly Film Festival. She continues to champion diversity and empowerment in storytelling.
Rosanna Saracino – Director
Rosanna is an Italian-Canadian director, educator and activist, with over 20 years in the industry. She has directed over 80 projects in theatre and film, coached and created in theatre, film, dance, opera, and the music industry, around the world, including: One Yellow Rabbit, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Shaftsbury Films. Rosanna is the recipient of the Yorkville University SSAF fund for her research and innovation in emotional and psychological consent and boundary practices for the entertainment industry.