Programme

This play is dedicated to two very special people: Peter Jones of LADS – artist, mentor, and friend;  and Paul Collins – who loved Shakespeare.

Cast:

Romeo: Kirsten Lee Olson
Juliet: Dominique Siqueria Koo
Lady Montague: Diane Kanas
Mercutio: Sarah Wun
Balthazar: Ildiko Kissimon
Benvolio: Sara Rieke
Lady Capulet: Kat Cooper
Lord Capulet: Ella Williams
Nurse: Elaine Fenwick
Tybalt: Jamie Stevens
Sampson: Emily Haver
Gregory: Zury Almon
Prince: Diketso Mgubungu
Paris: Suani Rincon
Petra: Jane Polubotko
Freya: Ilar Parsa
Apothecary: Natasha Portwood

Crew:

Director, Artistic Director, Costumes & Props: Natasha Portwood
Producer: Danielle LeClerc
Stage Managers: Jamie Stevens and Ildiko Kissimon
Assistant Stage Manager: Torie Martin-Mackay
Props Mistresses: Jane Polubotko & Patti Bishop
Text Coach: Kirsten Olson
Costumes: Natasha Portwood and Andeena Walsh
Stylists: Didi Dai & Bella Bolaji
Lighting Design: Danielle Fray
Lighting Operator: Marcus Torres-Walsh
Sound: Ben Browder Thomson
Fight choreography: London Summers
Poster Design: Bernard Wun
Drag Consultant: Anna Leigh Mohr
Executive Producer for EWT: Fiona Pollard

Kirsten Lee Olson, Romeo and Text Coach, holds a BA in Theater & Drama from Indiana University and an MBA from The Kelley School of Business. She is the former Technical Director of the Shanghai Repertory Theater and has stage managed +1000 music, dance, and theater performances. Past roles include Viola (Twelfth Night), Mariana (Measure for Measure), Christine (Miss Julie), Natalia Ivanovna (Three Sisters), Natalia Stepanovna (The Proposal), Anita (West Side Story). During the day, Kirsten is the Client Partnership Manager for The Silk Initiative.

Dominique Siqueria Koo, Juliet, was born and raised in Hong Kong where she started dancing and acting. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York. Since coming to Shanghai two years ago she has appeared in various productions by both East West Theatre and Theatre Anon.

Ildiko Kissimon, Balthasar and Stage Manager, has always been passionate about theatre. She started acting, singing and dancing in primary school. She has been involved in several plays in Europe. In Shanghai she has stage managed Bite My Thumb, Fun Home and The Motherf*cker With the Hat for EWT and Jungle Book for EarlyBirds. She has also acted in Jungle Book, Witness and other original plays and films by local artists. She is a drama teacher and also directs plays for children. She is thrilled to play a boy, mess around and laugh at jokes about private parts.

Sara Rieke, Benvolio aka Benny Boy, hails from Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. She attended high school and university in Wisconsin, USA and has been teaching her way around the world since from the Philippines to Paraguay. She is celebrating her fourth month in Shanghai, and is excited to eat her way through her first play here.

Ilar Parsa, Freya, was born in Washington D.C. but spent most of her childhood and adolescence split between Iran and the US. She has been living in Shanghai for almost 5 years where she has rediscovered her long-lost passion for acting. She has decided to give up her corporate career and pursue this. She previously performed in the theater piece Titanic, and is now starting to get into film acting.

Zury Almon, Gregory, discovered her love for theatre during her second year of university. Since then she has used it to discover new worlds and connect with others on a deeper level. She is thirsty for more marvelous experiences

Kat Cooper, Lady Capulet, is appearing in her second East West production. Kat is our diva

Ella Williams, Lord Capulet, is making her stage debut in this production. Ella is the second to last Black Unicorn.

Diane Kanas, Lady Montague, is making her acting debut in one of her favourite Shakespearean plays. She is thrilled to share the stage with such a talented group of actresses in this unique portrayal of Shakespeare’s classic love story.

Sarah Wun, Mercutio, is a passionate performer who loves to be on stage whether it’s poetry, comedy, or story-telling. She made her Shanghai acting debut two years ago in The Underground’s performance of Matt and Ben where she rediscovered her love of theatre. Sarah is a Shakespeare buff, and she’s always loved the character of Mercutio. When she heard about an ALL-FEMALE CAST of Romeo and Juliet, the audition alone was a dream come true, so you can about imagine how excited she is right now!

Elaine Fenwick, Nurse, is thrilled to be appearing onstage with this wonderful cast in her first (technically 2nd) dramatic show in Shanghai.  More than that, she is excited at the opportunity to finally sink her chops into some Shakespeare!  Elaine has been doing theatre for a long time.  She ran her own theatre troupe in Daegu, South Korea called Opera Spoonful.  Some of her favourite stage roles has been Woman in Cock, Dr. Moss in Madhouse: An original Jukebox Musical, June Talley in 5th of July, and Maurya in Riders to the Sea

Suani Rincon, Paris, was born in Colombia and grew up in Canada. This is her first appearance in an English play in Shanghai. Currently she is a fourth year student in musical theatre at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Jane Polubotko, Petra & Props Mistress is from the Ukraine, and has always been passionate about theatre. This is her first appearance on the Shanghai stage. Earlier this year Jane backstaged Glen Garry Glen Ross. Currently she is a marketing manager in a Chinese music company.

Diketso Mgubungu, Prince, was born in South Africa and has enjoyed theatre and performance since she was a child. In her 3 and a half years residing in Shanghai she has performed in theatre productions and cabarets. She currently works in Shanghai and is simultaneously pursuing her passion for the arts.

Emily Haver, Sampson, is an actor, writer, and director in Shanghai. She hails from Seattle and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Intercultural Communication Studies at Shanghai Theatre Academy. As a theatre artist she collaborates across cultures, making ensemble and experimentation-based work that provokes social questions and is emotionally grounded. You can find out more on her website: emilyhaver.com

Jamie Stevens, Tybalt and Stage Manager, is originally from California where her love for theatre began. Since moving to Shanghai four years ago, she has participated both backstage and on stage in several theatre performances including Dangerous Liaisons, She Says, and Reservoir Dogs. When not moonlighting in the theatre, Jamie is a teacher at the Shanghai American School.

Natasha Portwood, Director, Artistic Director & Apothecary, fell in love with all things theatrical as a small child and has continued to indulge her passion during her 12 years in Shanghai, including appearances in EWT’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Streetcar Named Desire. In 2013, she cofounded Theatre Anon as Artistic Director and Actress performing in Betrayal, Oz, Dangerous Liaisons and The Snow Queen. As a teenager, Natasha played Juliet and is delighted to be revisiting Shakespeare’s exquisite masterpiece for her directorial debut. Natasha would like to thank the exceptionally talented, dedicated, beautiful cast and crew who have gone above and beyond to breathe life and magic into her dream of an all-female Romeo and Juliet.

Danielle LeClerc, Producer, is a writer and storyteller whose theatre career began when she married an actor. Since that day, she has been increasingly sucked into the dark underworld of blocking, blackouts, and backs of stage. When she’s not doing things she has no experience in and is utterly unqualified for, she may be found hawking poems and stories around Shanghai.

Torie MacKay, Assistant Stage Manager, hails from Canada and has a bachelors degree in Design For The Theatre Specialising in Stage Management from Concordia University. She has been working in theatre for the past 15 years across the globe and is very pleased to be joining East West and Theatre Anon in their latest production. Previous productions in Shanghai include Glengarry Glen Ross, Five Course Love and God Of Carnage. She would like to dedicate this show to her 2 favourite people: Élizabeth and Thomas who are still much too young to watch this show, but who support their mommy in her love of theatre anyways!

Patti Bishop, Props Mistress, has been in Shanghai for barely three months and is thrilled to have found the city’s theatre community. She brings a little high school drama experience from San Antonio, Texas, where she directed a student troupe in The Actor’s Nightmare. Patti currently teaches English and  hopes to complete writing a play during her stay here in Shanghai.

Andeena Walsh, Costumes, loves all things quirky, so it is no surprise that since coming to Shanghai she has embraced expressing herself through costumes, colour and magic. She is excited to be collaborating with Theatre Anon, East West Theatre and their all-female cast.

Didi Dai, Stylist, comes from Hunan, and graduated in fashion design from Shanghai Raffles Design Institute. She has her own fashion label and is working on her career in fashion, design, and makeup. Didi has worked on countless shows for East West Theatre, Theatre Anon, and Dreamweaver, as well as on movies and commercials.

Bella Bolaji, Stylist, is a Jack of all trades, Mistress of most. She has a BSc. In computer science and an MSc. in International business. By day she is a Business Consultant and by night she volunteers to the earth. “The earth has music for those who listen” – Shakespeare. She can be found helping out at children’s centers, art shows, theaters and putting all her YouTube tutorials to work.

Danielle Fray, lighting design, is a lighting designer and programmer from London, UK. She graduated from Rose Bruford college of theatre and performance with a bachelor in creative lighting control. She has worked on various amateur and professional theatre productions, including The Motherf*cker with the Hat with East West Theatre.

Marcus Torres-Walsh, lighting operator, is from Australia. The first time he worked with Theatre Anon was in 2015 as one of the flying monkeys in Oz. Over the last three years Marcus has been honing his theatre tech skills and is excited to be collaborating with Theatre Anon again working the lights for Romeo & Juliet.

Ben Browder Thompson, Sound, has been involved in theater since middle school, mostly as an actor but occasionally as a sound designer and technician.  In Shanghai, he has done sound design for Theatre Anon’s The Jungle Book as well as for East West Theater’s production of Edges.  He also performs improv as a part of Zmack Shanghai.

London Summers, Fight Choreography, has lived in Shanghai since 2014. A recent graduate of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, they have been choregraphing fights in plays such as The Princess Bride, Troilous and Cressida, Twelfth Night, and Shalom Shanghai. As a candidate for Certified Fight Instructor with Fight Directors Canada and the Society of America Fight Directors, London has been spending their time in China exploring different styles of stage combat as well as teaching theater. 

Fiona Pollard, Executive Producer, started her theatrical involvement in Edinburgh’s Bedlam Theatre. When she moved to China, she thought it was all behind her. As this is now her twenty-sixth production for East West Theatre (although her first with Theatre Anon), she was obviously mistaken.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Special Thanks to:

Matthew Nelson for photographs
Nellie Frimml at Community Yoga for rehearsal space
Chris Callahan at Build Shanghai for rehearsal space
Everyone at FULU A Modern Cantonese Eatery for venue space
Hellen at Harley’s Bar for rehearsal space
Fei at Ladyfest 
Giuseppe and Lexi at A Shanghai Poetry Zine 
Fei at More Than Eat 
Eric Paci and Mikey Griffin at Dream Weaver
Noel Walsh
Janel Sully
Lelia TahaBurt
Vageesh Gupta
Michael Thede
and most importantly, Tom Szyszko and Arran Hawkins.

Theatre Anon was founded in 2013 to share passion for theatre and to take audiences and performers on inspirational, imaginative, thought-provoking journeys. Each production is an ensemble of dedicated, talented artists. Original adaptions, devised pieces, or unique twists on established classics, Theatre Anon brings innovative theatre projects to diverse audiences.

East West Theatre is dedicated to sharing high-standard English-language drama with the Shanghai arts and culture community. EWT are committed to providing an intimate, engaging, and thought-provoking theatrical experience with every single production.