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Shazia Maskati

antigone

Shazia’s theatrical journey initially began in the classroom with Lauren who guided her through GCSE Drama. Having first been exposed to the stage in a school production, Shazia was quick to fall in love with acting and the creative approach taken within the performing arts. She wholeheartedly appreciates the integration and effortless merging of diverse artistic aspects as well as watching everything piece together perfectly on stage in the end! Her academic training has enabled her to gain an essential understanding of not only the basics of theatre, but an immersive view of the processes that go behind perfecting a devised piece. Since then, Shazia has worked extensively with Lauren Noble on different projects, most notably the award-winning, postmodern, collective play for the Theme8 Festival in October 2021, Checkmate, as well as The End for the 2021 Short+Sweet Festival. Between juggling her time studying for A-levels and attending rehearsals, Shazia is seeking every opportunity to explore the depths of artistry to continue to grow holistically.

Antigone is one who speaks her mind freely; unafraid and unrelenting when advocating for what she believes in. Playing the role of this character has meant a particularly great deal to Shazia as it has given her the chance to embody the very sense of fearlessness and fortitude that Antigone upholds throughout this play. Aside from that, Shazia recognises the immense talent that extends across the cast of Antigone Retold and greatly admires the unified process within this play that not only takes advantage of each and every cast member’s skill set, but has collaboration rooted at the forefront of everything they do!

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Aditi Agarwal

ismene

Aditi has always been interested in the field of arts, where she has explored several areas within the industry... including being graded by Trinity College of London for music. Inside the classroom, while studying for her GCSEs, Aditi was introduced to the theatre industry where she felt a sudden spark which quickly developed into an entire world of imagination, creativity and collaboration. Since then, she has taken on many projects with co|laboratory including the award-winning play Checkmate for the Theme 8 Festival in October 2021. She also participated in the semi-finals of the Short+Sweet Festival last year, performing in The Bench with her director, Lauren Noble. Now Aditi is ready to take on any opportunity that presents itself to further explore the diversity of the performing arts and gain a more nuanced perspective on theatre.

Ismene’s character is defined as compassionate, loving, and loyal. While playing the role, Aditi was able to witness the depth and complexity present within such a multi-faceted individual. As Antigone’s direct contrast in both voice and personality, Aditi is excited to showcase the juxtaposition between these two characters and portray the diverse representation of women and sisters to the audience. "This has truly been a wonderful experience so far, and I can’t wait to continue my journey with the amazing and talented cast of Antigone Retold!" she says.

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Gauri Chadha

aphrodite

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Gauri Chadha is an award winning filmmaker, event planner and an active member of the theatre community both in scripted and improvisational theatre in Dubai. She is formally educated in Film and Theatre from the University of Miami and Met Film School based in London. Her time is spent as a company member at the prestigious Courtyard Playhouse as a professionally-trained improviser, diving into scripted theatre productions where she has been nominated for her roles, castings for commercials such as McDonalds and Rizek, role playing for brands like KFC and performing during live immersive murder mystery experiences. Her most notable performance would be playing the lead role in the comedy-horror production of Scary Bad in 2021. With over 10 years of experience, working between Hollywood and Bollywood, time travelling through events and telling stories through the world of the stage, Gauri’s world is one that is consumed by the arts, seeking every opportunity to try and push her own boundaries and tell stories that seek the truth. ”A dreamer, storyteller and believer”.

"When Lauren contacted me with the opportunity to audition for this play, I was very excited. We had interacted together during my last production, The Wolves, and I was very honoured to hear that she thought of me right from the birth of Aphrodite and always had me in mind for the part. I have truly enjoyed the exploration of different art forms coming together such as dance, music and theatre, and am especially grateful that Lauren knew that I enjoyed to dance and integrated that into my monologue. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Sashin who is an absolute superstar! Aphrodite has given me an opportunity to unleash myself. She has given me a sense of freedom and playfulness that I have not explored yet. Aphrodite is removing my layers and expanding my exploration as a performer that is untouched leaving me to gain awareness of the way I navigate my own life as a woman in today’s world."

Jessica Temple

calliope

“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” ~ Alan Alda, to his daughter

 

Originally from Los Angeles and then attending school in Massachusetts Jessica has been performing for many years from one end of the US to another with various Theatre Companies and playing a range of roles from Olivia-Twelfth Night, Shelly-Buried Child, Julius Caesar-Julius Caesar, to roles in The Laramie Project. Throughout her life she has been teaching Theatre Arts through schools and non-profit organizations and is currently living and teaching in Abu Dhabi. Recently performing in the Dubai Theatre scene as Katherine in Proof, Jessica has been enjoying connecting with other artists throughout the UAE.

Jessica’s role as Calliope has been a rollercoaster experience in the best way possible. Working with Collab, she appreciates how every voice matters in the telling, or re-telling of these stories. Discovering the magic of this Muse while learning how to ground her in the relationships within this performance, has been a creative challenge. Being given the chance to share this experience with this group has been incredibly rewarding. Jessica would like to thank the cast and crew, her friends and family for their love, laughter and support.

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Kyra Mascarenhas

medusa

Kyra first fell in love with theatre with a Drama development course at the blooming age of 4 years old and for the past 13 years, the stage has been her best friend. Continuing her passion, she has starred in numerous school productions, working with Lauren Noble on The End for Short+Sweet Festival 2021 as well as the award-winning, postmodern play Checkmate for the Theme 8 Festival 2021, a project which brought about her interest in devising. Additionally, Kyra has been taught in different areas of theatre, acquiring training in improvisational acting and having completed Trinity College examinations in musical theatre and drama. Wanting to share her love for the stage, she assistant teaches drama classes for 4-year-olds on the weekend at the esteemed Courtyard Playhouse. Kyra is profoundly passionate about social issues, particularly gender equality. In order to combine both things, she has created a club: Girl Up On Stage, a coalition of the Girl Up campaign. She has dedicated this to empowering creatives, fighting for equality through the arts.

Medusa is a figure known to be a vicious monster, with a dreaded ability to turn people to stone with just a glimpse in their direction. Kyra is eager to prove this depiction as faulty, Antigone Retold shows her for what she truly is: a fierce and courageous woman, daring to fight back against the patriarchy and all of the wrongs it has done to her. Playing this character means so much to Kyra as she gets to channel her advocation for gender equality into Medusa. Being guided by a group of strong women who play the parts of the other devils has been the best part of this process, as she has been inspired in more ways than one! 

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Vaibhavi Naik

pandora

Vaibhavi or (more conveniently) Vaibs was first on stage at age 5. Through years of performing in acting-related assignments, a short film, and some rare student productions onstage, she earned a reputation as an actor in school, and - as she was about to graduate - her first acting nomination. She carried this reputation to college, where she took part in Street Plays and Mimes, representing her college at state-level cultural events. Once, she wrote in her journal that there is nothing in the world that makes her feel more alive than the realization that she has a show to perform. However, she hid away her wish to take up theatre professionally, out of uncertainty and self-doubt. It took living alone, and some reflection during the lockdown, for Vaibs to realize that it's time to make public her passion for the performing arts… it doesn’t matter what people say! 

Vaibhavi briefly took up Hindustani Classical Singing before returning to Sharjah, where she grew up. She yearned to go back to complete her training, but as fate would have it, she discovered a blossoming theatre scene right here in Dubai (albeit several miles away but closer than New York, nevertheless!) Antigone Retold was the fourth production she auditioned for in the UAE, and her first role in a professional stage production - a role she still thinks arrived maybe a decade too early, given her novice status. She is in awe of Lauren and her impeccable judgment for seeing Pandora in her after just one short meeting. After all, Vaibs’ own story is a classic tale of finding her voice - just like Pandora in Antigone Retold!

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Katherine Jones

first dionysian

Katherine’s first performance was a tap dance to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse March at 6 years old, and she’s been chasing that high ever since. Her training encompasses ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance, and she is a graduate of the University of Cape Town’s Theatre & Performance program, in which she specialized in Dance Performance. Raised in Dubai, Katherine has previously been part of immersive Shakespearean productions here such as Romeo and Juliet (2016) and Macbeth (2017). Now a dance teacher, she returned to Dubai’s theatre scene this year, appearing in The 39 Steps and the Global Palette Theatre Festival. She has also worked with numerous Cape Town-based dance and theatre artists, most recently starring in Not Falling (2022), a tragicomic physical theater production.

A lover of all things interdisciplinary and immersive, for Katherine, dancing in Antigone Retold has been the most exciting process. She loves the challenge of using movement and physicality to communicate what words cannot, and is so appreciative to Lauren for allowing the role of the Dionysians to be fully present. Working with Sashin and Sasha has been an absolute joy and she cannot wait for audiences to participate in the work that’s been created.

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Sasha Topic

second dionysian

Sasha is a dancer who started at a very young age. She was inspired to explore this industry further by being involved in plays, and has expanded her interests to also include choreography, directing, costume design and fine arts.  She has been involved in a range of productions as a dancer and actress, and has written pieces about movement and music. She is now training to become a professional dancer.

 

Sasha has taken the role as one of the dancers in Antigone Retold in which they explore a very abstract concept. Their characters aim to create a clearer, visual story for the audience through movement. They are known as ‘Spirare’ which is a Latin word for “to breathe or blow into”. These dancers experience a much different world as they are essentially ‘the messengers’ who get a set of tasks which they must complete… and once they do, they get to experience the real world as human until the next message which must be delivered. This role is definitely a challenge for Sasha as she has never been able to investigate something as ‘out of the ordinary’ as her character is, but she has been very motivated by this concept during the journey. Collaborating with the other two dancers, Sashin and Katherine, and the rest of the cast has been such a joy for her. They cannot wait to bring this show to life!

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Abishek Nair

haemon

Abishek is a professionally trained actor, teaching artist and director currently based in Dubai. He teaches theatre at his alma mater, the American University of Sharjah. He has performed at venues in the USA, UK and UAE. 

Antigone is a wonderful play - I am quite partial to the classics. When the opportunity to audition for the role of Haemon came along, I grabbed it with both hands. The dynamic between Creon and Haemon is of particular interest to me and Sophocles does a masterful job of capturing a loving yet fractured relationship between father and son. Honouring the inherent poetry of the playwright’s language while connecting to the truth of the relationship has been an interesting process - Sadiq and I had a lot of fun working on our dynamic under Lauren’s guidance. Working with everyone involved in this project has been a joyous and educational experience and I look forward to sharing our work with everyone.

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Sadiq Saboowala

creon

Sadiq has been performing onstage from a young age. After performing in Bombay through school and university, and a sabbatical of 20 years his first Dubai appearance was in The Accused in 2021. He has since appeared in The Importance of Being Ernest, The Play That Goes Wrong, The 39 Steps, Bert’s Big Invention, a number of interactive murder mysteries as well as Blind City.

Antigone Retold is a unique project that combines the classic and the contemporary in a way I’ve never experienced as an actor. The role of Creon in this story is an exciting and challenging one and I’ve had to look deeper within the character to find his many layers. Lauren’s vision for this play is grand, and I am excited to be part of this journey with this amazing group of talented actors and dancers.

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Vishal Kumar

dramaturg

Vish is a writer and actor currently studying Climate Change Finance and Investment at the University of Edinburgh. Theatre, however, was his first love. Originally Indian, he grew up in Dubai where he studied theatre and improvisation. Vish enjoys picking apart society’s weird and wonderful ways, and brings these ideas and critiques to his creative projects. He has been an enthusiastic part of Dubai’s local theatre scene, and is an active member of MTDXB, Dubai’s premier musical theatre group. Abroad, he served as dramaturg for Oxford University's Brasenose College 2019 Garden Play, where he was involved in everything from costume design to assistant directing. He is due to feature in a production of Bare: A Pop Opera in Edinburgh early next year.

 

Vish has been delighted to be a part of Antigone Retold from an early stage, as a dramaturg and member of the creative team. He particularly loved working closely with Lauren and Kirin in the development stages, and helping see through those big initial ideas into the final script. He is so grateful for the chance to learn from such amazing creatives, and is cheering the whole team on greatly from Edinburgh! 

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