Shijia (Michelle) Jiang
Roles Specialized in: Dao Ma Dan，Hua Dan，Qing Yi
Shijia Jiang was born in the Hei Long Jiang province, in the city Harbin. She was selected to go to an art school for Chinese Opera at a very young age in 1993 where she won several competition awards for outstanding achievement. Starting in 1999 she began working professionally in Chinese Opera in the Hei Long Jiang province and was recognized as the best young actor in her troupe. In 2005 she began studying in the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA) – Directing Program. In 2008 she participated in a 3 month cultural exchange with Concordia University’s Theatre Department in Montreal Quebec, Canada. In 2009 she was hired by the office of International Affairs at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts as a Jingju teacher for international students. In 2010 she was hired as a Visiting Lecturer at Concordia University teaching an advanced level theatre performance studio class on Chinese Opera training and performance techniques.
Shijia Jiang is the artistic director and a founding member of Jingju Canada.
Nicholas (koy) Santillo
Role Specialized in: Wu Chou
Nicholas (Koy) Santillo was born and raised in downtown Toronto, in the Annex. He first got into theatre in high-school, working with Jill Frappier’s AKA players before entering Concordia University’s theatre performance program where he discovered his interest in physical theatre and stage combat. Nicholas was a part of Concordia University’s first exchange program with the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing in 2008 and travelled to China in the summer of 2009 where he studied under Professor Lu Suosen. Nicholas also is trained in Western styles of stage combat and is certified as an intermediate actor-combatant by the Fight Directors of Canada.
Nicholas has a B.F.A. in theatre with a specialization in theatre performance and is currently apprenticing under Shijia Jiang. He is a founding member and active performer and instructor of Jingju Canada.
Acting General Manager
Role Specialized in: Qing Yi，Dao Ma Dan
Natasha Perry-Fagant grew up in the small town of Summerland located in British Colombia’s Central Interior. Having been very active in the theatre programs during the span of her Highschool “career”, it seemed only natural to begin studies at a post secondary level. Natasha is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Theatre Performance at Concordia Univeristy in Montreal. Natasha’s partook in the 2011 Summer Exchange to the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. At the Academy she had the privilege of studying under Professors Wu Jianpin for the scenes she learned in China which include “the Monkey King Requests the Plantain Fan” and “Goddess Spreading Flowers”. Natasha has been trained in the water sleeves, silk sleeves, fan and jin swords. Her goals with the company include mainly furthering
her ability in the Qing Yi and Dao Ma Dan roles as well as further her repertory of scenes in which singing and recitation play a key element.
Role Specialized in: Daoma Dan
Coming from Cote St-Luc, Quebec, Avi Bendahan loved all forms of art growing up, and began performing theatre in High School. After completing a DEC in Liberal Arts, and a second one in Communications: Art, Media and Theatre from Vanier College, he attended Concordia University, graduating with honours from the Major in Theatre programme. Avi took part in the first exchange between Concordia’s Theatre Department and NACTA, and while in Beijing trained under various teachers, notably Wu Jianpin for his role as Princess Iron Fan. Avi is extremely proud to help JingJu Canada fulfill its mandate of spreading knowledge and awareness of this art form, which introduces such wonderful and unique performing aspects to our North American stages.
Role Spcialized in: Wu Sheng
Robert became heavily involved in Stage Combat in the fall of 2008 when he was cast in the production of The Bourgeois Gentleman (directed by Jean-François Gagnon), at Concordia University, where he played the role of The Fencing Master. That same semester Robert began training in Chinese Opera with visiting professor Lu Suosen from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. In the winter/spring of 2009 Robert earned his Basic Certification (with distinction) from FDC and that summer earned his Intermediate Certification at the Waterloo Nationals. In the fall of 2009, Robert was the Fight Director on The Elizabethan Bath Project at Concordia University (directed by Paul Hopkins) and in his final semester in the winter/spring of 2010 was the Fight Captain on Red Noses (directed by Joel Miller).
Role Specialized in: Wu Sheng
Martin Boersma grew up in the small town of Arnprior, Ontario, 45 minutes from the nation’s capital, Ottawa. He started acting in children’s theatre when he was 7 years old and has not stopped acting since. He moved to Montreal and in 2010 graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in Theatre Performance. In 2009 Martin traveled to Beijing with Nicholas Santillo where he studied under Professor Wu Jianpin in the role of Sun Wukong, or “The Monkey King”. He has a deep love for physical theatre, stage combat and all other physical forms of expression.
Currently Martin is completing a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Acting at the New School for Drama in New York City.
Role Specialized in: Wu Sheng
Bryan has been performing all his life. After doing 4 years of working with teen theatre troops in high school, Bryan went on to receive his DEC in Professional Theatre Acting at John Abbott College where he performed in plays such as 12 Angry Jurors, HAIR, You Can’t Take it With You, Romeo & Juliet and The Rose Tattoo. He is also a recent graduate of Concordia University’s Theatrical Performance program during which time he performed in A Christmas Carol (produced by Geordie Productions), Red Noses and Darwin: Endless Forms Most Beautiful. He has also performed in last years Montreal Fringe Festival in the Frankie nominated I Like Cowboys as well as with the Segal Centre’s Yiddish Theatre production of The Pirates of Penzance 2 years ago. Bryan’s interest in Chinese Opera surfaced in his first year of Concordia University when he saw the final presentations of the Chinese Opera class and took it when it was re-introduced this year. He also took part in the second international exchange between Concordia University and the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA) in Beijing where he studied under professor Wu Jianping in the role of Sun Wukong (The Monkey King). Bryan has done some work with Jingju Canada performing at the Eternal Rabbit Concert at Dawson College and in Montreal’s Chinatown and looks forward to doing more shows with the company.
Role Specialized in: Wu Sheng & Wu Chou