Body Theatre is focused on a poetic, minimalist, body centered approach to theatre creation with the intention that productions are inventive, precise and easy to tour. We are dedicated to the development and dissemination of theatre that explores truths about our society with clarity in order to encourage greater understanding and compassion. Thanks for your interest in Body Theatre.
Salome’s Clothes – SummerWorks 2013
Neema Bickersteth (Salome) began an opera degree at the University of British Columbia, where she received both a Bachelor and Master of Music. She has performed internationally in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Press includes these mentions: “Neema Bickersteth is all coiled energy that snatches our attention whenever she enters the room.” (The Toronto Star), and “Amazing control of her vocal palette, producing a warm and sensual colour” (Opera Canada). Neema has had the great honor of performing for the XIVth Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This summer, Neema received a Dora Nomination for her roles in Caroline, or Change (Acting Up Stage/Obsidian). More experimental/theatrical work includes Cake (New Harlem Productions), Stitch and Voicebox (Urbanvessel); Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts); Obeah Opera (b current); Dark Star Requiem (Luminato/Tapestry New Opera); and Oil and Water (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland).
Virgilia Griffith (Nailah) is a graduate from the acting program at Ryerson Theatre School. Recent credits include: Honesty (Koffler Centre for the Arts& Suburban Beast), Small Axe (Project Humanity Workshop), Brixton Stories (The African Theatre Ensemble), (with)out (Toronto Fringe Festival- LastName FirstName Producitions), Give it Up (New Harlem Productions – SpringWorks Festival & Buzz Festival), The Innocents (Tango Co. and The Innocents Collective) , 4 our Women (Obisdian Theatre Company – The Development Series), Mrs. Muller in Doubt (The Village Playhouse), Strange Things Done (The Empty Room), Floating (written and performed by Virgilia Griffith), Combat (Summerworks Festival), Mariner (Risk the Void), Under Milk Wood (The Empty Room), The Woods, The Breeding of Guns (New Voices), Sleep Country (Rock Paper Sistahz Festival), The Hairy Bird (bcurrent directing project), Richard III, Crimes of the Heart, School for Scandal, Unity 1918, Attempts on her Life (RTS).
Karen Robinson‘s (Queen) recent stage roles include Esther in Intimate Apparel (Alberta Theatre Projects); Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (National Arts Centre); Prospera in The Tempest (Canadian Stage); Condoleezza Rice in Stuff Happens (Studio 180/Mirvish); Pauline/Selma in Eternal Hydra (Crow’s Theatre, Dora Nomination); and Mrs. Muller in Doubt – A Parable (Citadel Theatre, Sterling Award). Four seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival offered such roles as Billie in Harlem Duet and Clytemnestra in the House of Atreus trilogy. The stage version of the Global TV hit da KINK in my hair took her to the San Diego Repertory Theatre (NAACP Award) and London, England. Film and TV credits include King (Showcase); Saving Hope (CTV/NBC); the Jamaican feature Ghett’A Life; Lars And The Real Girl; Slings and Arrows; and The Gospel According To The Blues, for which she was nominated for a Gemini Award.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (Playwright) aka Belladonna the Virtuous is playwright and arts administrator of Grenadian extraction whose past works include Gas Girls, Cake, Give It Up and off my chest. Gas Girls has received A Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Herman Voaden Playwriting Award, Enbridge PlayRites Award and Governor General’s Literary Award nomination. She is a creator whose mediums of expression are the voice, the pen and the body. She was the General Manager of Native Earth Performing Arts until the end 2012 and is current the Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions. New Harlem Productions is an artist centred company whose directive is to develop new works by artists of colour, to contribute to vital dialogues through artistic expression, to create a platform for necessary stories to be told. NHP’s 2009 production of DM St. Bernard’s Gas Girls garnered four Dora Award nominations and won the Dora Award for Outstanding New Play.
Clare Preuss (Artistic Director) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist who has collaborated with many innovative and award-winning theatre companies including: Alameda, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, b current, BeMe, The Blyth Festival, Buddies in Bad Times, Cahoots, Carlos Bulosan, Driftwood, Factory, fu-GEN, Young People’s Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, New Harlem Productions, Nightwood, Te-Amim Music Theatre, Theatre Direct Canada, Threshold, Union Eight and Volcano among others. Her work has been seen at Canadian festivals such as BUZZ, Hysteria, Mayworks, Next Stage, OTHERfolk, Rhubarb, SpringWorks, SummerWorks, Magnetic North and Wrecking Ball. In 2011, Clare directed Donna Michelle St. Bernard’s Cake which was presented at the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts in Kampala, Uganda. Her film and TV credits include: Mean Girls (Paramount), The Prince and Me (Paramount), Urban Legends: Final Cut (Phoenix) and Get With The Program (TVO). Clare holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. She is a part-time faculty member at Humber College. Clare was nominated for the 2011 John Hirsch Director’s Award.
Michelle Ramsay (Lighting Designer) is a theatre and dance lighting designer based in Toronto. Other companies she has designed with include: New Harlem, Shaw Festival, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Blue Ceiling Dance, fu-Gen, Theatre Centre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Human Cargo, Theatre Rusticle, National Arts Centre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Mirvish Productions, Theatre Passe Muraille and Tarragon Theatre. She has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards and in 2008 she received the Pauline McGibbon Award.
Andrea Schregenberger (Set and Costume Designer) was born in 1983 in Toronto Canada and grew up in Switzerland. In 2010 she received her Master of Arts and Science in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH). During her studies she traveled internationally to various important architectural sites such as Mexico City, Naples and Vicenza. Several projects, many of them located in Italy, have been published in year books and Magazines. One of the most resent was an exhibition catalog for an exhibition in Tokyo about student Projects of P. Märk II. Due to her graduation project, Andrea received a grant for an architectural trip based on Movies of the Italian neo-realism. The trip will ensue in 2013/2014. After studying in Zurich she spent a few months in New York where she, among other things, worked for a casting and film production company. She returned to Switzerland to work on the restoration of a part of the abbey district , an Unesco World Cultural Heritage, in St.Gallen and on a few building alterations. Last she worked on Cultural heritage preservation for the city of Schaffhausen. Currently, Andrea is the apprentice designer for the Production Poor and Rich at Schauspielhaus Zürich.
Pamela Gilmartin (Production Technician) is originally from the Connecticut/NYC area. She earned two degrees from Western Connecticut State University: a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Theatre Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. This past year has brought on a tremendous amount of creative musical collaboration with playwright Donna Michelle St. Bernard! Recent composition credits include Give it Up (New Harlem Productions – Spring Works & BUZZ Festivals), The Chariot (Young Peoples Theatre workshop). Pamela was the Production Technician for Body Theatre’s presentation of Salome’s Clothes at SpringWorks 2013. Pamela performs regularly with ERGO SUM a trio of musicians presenting a combination of the music of both Donna Michelle and Pamela. In addition to working in the creative arts Pamela is an experienced wood worker and house painter. Pamela has worked in the building/construction industry for 21 years ad has employed herself since 1998!
Jeff Richardson (Stage Manager) Jeff Richardson is originally from Orillia, Ontario. He recently completed his studies at Humber College’s Theatre Production program where he was the Stage Manager for Till Eulenspiegel and the Humber backspace project Shadowplay. He is extremely excited to begin work in the industry, and is happy to have the opportunity to work with Body Theatre. He would like to thank his friends and family for there continued support.
Sigrid Velis (Associate Producer) is an actor, producer and arts administrator. She has appeared in various independent theatre productions in Toronto and in her hometown of London, ON. She has toured across the United States with Kid’s Entertainment/King Cole Theatrical’s production of Stellaluna. For the past few years, Sigrid has been concentrating on getting experience in the administrative side of theatre. As Alameda Theatre Company’s Associate Producer and Administrator, Sigrid produced the 2011 SummerWorks production of The Intruder, Carmen Aguirre’s one woman show Chile Con Carne and the past three De Colores Festivals of New Works. Sigrid would like to continue training in different disciplines in theatre and is excited for the many opportunities that may come her way. She is very excited to be a part of the Salome’s Clothes team and working alongside so many talented artists. Gracias!