Toronto Film School acting students will tackle the theme of redemption later this month when their upcoming production of Judge Jury Judas hits the virtual stage.
Set in a courtroom in Purgatory, the play is inspired and devised from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, said Director Rosanna Saracino.
“At the center of the action, Judas Iscariot is on trial, his soul overcome by despair. As the play moves from the deepest trenches of hell to the upper reaches of heaven, the balance of his destiny lives in a tangled limbo, seemingly of his own making,” Saracino said of Judge Jury Judas, which she conceived alongside her fifth-term Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students.
“A host of historical, fictional, and mythical characters arrive as witnesses to testify, and questions are raised about who warrants forgiveness, and must we forgive ourselves to be redeemed. The final decision about Judas’ guilt or innocence, however, is ultimately up to you.”
The play, which was stage managed and assistant directed by Doug Sroka, will take to the virtual stage for a three-performance run on the evenings of March 23, 25 and 26 as follows:
Wednesday, March 23 at 8 p.m. (EST)
Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. (EST)
Saturday, March 26 at 5 p.m. (EST)
***Click here to livestream any of the above performances***
Rami Al-Qeisi is an actor fluent in English and Arabic, who is currently enrolled in Toronto Film School’s Acting for TV, Film & the Theatre program. In the past, Rami has taken acting classes at Alza Acting Studio. Some of his work includes the role of Chris Keller in All My Sons, directed by Lauren Brotman and Tom in Seventeen,directed by Rosanna Saracino. Rami directed, produced, and edited his own silent short film, Alone. In his spare time, Rami likes to play basketball, soccer, and weight lift. He enjoys exploring numerous films and different genres, as well as directing.
Laila Biafore is from Downtown Toronto. Before studying at Toronto Film School, she graduated from Niagara College with an Esthetician diploma. She is very passionate about voice acting. She is very bubbly, electric, energetic, and organized. She is the girl who does head stands out of nowhere and enjoys rollerblading. She participated in showcases with Rosanna Saracino, created roles with Jonathon Higgins and TV drama acting roles with Julia Paton. She aspires to involve her esthetician work and acting work in her future endeavors.
Frank Behar is a student enrolled in Toronto Film School’s Acting program. Born in Toronto, Frank was raised in New Brunswick, where he attended Tantramar Regional High School. There, he was an active member of the drama department, playing the role of ‘Kenickie’ in the high school’s rendition of the musical Grease. After high school, Frank attended the Foundation Year Programme of King’s College University’s in Halifax Nova Scotia, where he studied history, literature, philosophy, and political science. In 2019, Frank played the lead role in Cole, a play produced by Live Bait, Sackville’s local theatre company and directed by Charlie Rhindress. Frank is a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo. He currently resides in Halifax with his partner, Emma Pointer.
Nikkita Campbell performed in Toronto Film School showcases in the past. Her favourite scene study was her first-term monologue from Gone Girl as Amy Dunne. She is now in her 5th term of the Acting program at Toronto Film School. Before Nikkita enrolled here, she attended Fleming College in Peterborough and received her diploma in Biotechnology. She stays active by playing various sports. She’s also experienced in riding western and English and likes listening to various music so she can try to play it on the piano. She also enjoys quality time with friends and family.
Jacob Harris was born in Langley, BC. Growing up, Jake spent a lot of time playing competitive sports and striving for what made him happiest. It wasn’t until his on-stage debut in a musical production of Footloose that he was truly able to find his passion. Jake fell in love with every aspect of performing and continues to pursue this passion, training alongside industry professionals here at TFS. Jake has worked several different jobs: construction, retail, landscaping, serving, but has never felt more aligned and focused than when he’s working as an actor.
Joseph Hughes is an up-and-coming actor who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and passion in each role he undertakes. He has played roles such as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Mr. Lizard in Skin. His hobbies include video editing and recording, video games, sports, and parkour.
Eve Kanyo is an actress and writer known for The Novice (2021), Cry of Silence (2022) and The Sanctuary (2019). She enjoys writing poetry and learning different languages in her free time. Eve will be graduating from Toronto Film School in mid-2022.
Jesse Miller is in his final year at TFS. As an actor, he has taken on a variety of roles during his time at school, including Tom and Ronny in Seventeen by Matthew Whittet, Lee in
The Melville Boys by Norm Foster, and has enjoyed working on several roles in film/TV performance classes such as Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street, Hank in Breaking Bad, and Earl from My Name is Earl. He has enjoyed working on the roles of the Judge and of God in this production of Judge Judas Jury, and looks forward to sharing his work with our audiences.
Ashley Snow is an actress, writer, and make-up and prop designer. She is currently a student at Toronto Film School. During her studies, she wrote, filmed, and directed a short film called The Places I’ve Been, starring her two puppies. She has performed in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof as Maggie; A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Puck, and in Dreary and Izzy as Dreary. Ashley loves singing, dancing, photography and spending time with her children and pets.
Brendan Tan is a hardworking student at TFS. Born in Toronto, he is determined to surpass his limit in all aspects of acting, though he finds particular inspiration in the artform of clown. Some roles he has played include Marc in Art, and Ronny in Seventeen by Matthew Whittet. He enjoys outdoor activities, contact sports, and Muay Thai and boxing.
Sara Ann Yatim
Sara Ann Yatim is a young Middle Eastern bilingual actress who grew up in downtown Toronto. Yatim is currently in her fifth term of Toronto Film School’s Acting program. Outside of her work as an actor, she has experience playing basketball and the violin. She previously attended Seneca College, where she studied International Business. She has a passion for comedy and detective shows. Yatim is very outgoing and friendly, and enjoys fostering positive relationships and connections.
Lisa Zhu was born in Nanjing, China. She moved to England at age 10 and settled in Canada at 14. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She loves singing and can sing in the soprano range. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, specializing in Political Sciences. Lisa is new to acting, but really enjoys the experience. She has appeared in PSAs, and was Shirley in the TFS feature-length film Nightshades, and played Jess in the stage production of Seventeen.
Doug Sroka – Manager/Assistant Director
Doug Sroka is a versatile actor and performer. He has a passion for music and is a classically trained pianist of 10 years. Doug completed his studies at Toronto Film School this past year, receiving Honors and earning a spot on the President’s List. He has taken on the role of Stage Manager with Rosanna Saracino to produce Judge Jury Judas. Doug is looking for representation to establish himself as a working actor in the industry. He plans to work in both film and theatre, and can work in commercials, voiceover work, and music videos.
Rosanna Saracino – Director/Dramaturge
Rosanna Saracino is a director and educator with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Her directing work has spanned theatre to film, opera to dance, though some favourite play productions include Suitcases (Canadian Stage Theatre), No Exit (Passe Muraille) and In Adagio (Winnipeg Art Gallery). As an educator, she has devised training strategies in consent and boundary practices involving emotional and psychological awareness and safety, and she has taught these in post-secondary institutions, professional entertainment environments, and in corporate settings. Rosanna offers private coaching and teaches at TFS and George Brown College. Special thanks to Doug Sroka, my SM and AD, who was a gift to this process. Special thanks to Hart Massey and to the administration and faculty at TFS.