Pedras no caminho? Guardo todas, um dia vou construir um castelo
Dan studied literature in Wellington, New Zealand (BA 1st class Hons) and at Oxford (M.Phil). Prior to getting involved in Já, he was a management consultant for over 25 years, living in the UK, China, France and Tunisia. He is also the author of four books published in China on language learning.
His decade in China saw him flex his acting chops on stage as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, ‘A’ in Beckett’s Rough for Theatre 2 and Tito in Lend me a Tenor. His most recent appearance on the Chinese cultural scene was as UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie in the tv series Diplomatic Situation, due for release in October 2020.
In Já productions, he has played Smirnov in The Bear, Simone in A Florentine Tragedy, Lambert in Pinter’s deliciously acerbic Celebration and the Salesman in Iphigenia in Orem.
Margarida Rocha e Melo
“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action” – Hamlet, Act III Scene II
Margarida is an actress, journalist, scriptwriter and stage director. After a literature degree at NOVA University, a journalism course at Cenjor, and drama studies at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in Lisbon, she completed an MA in Text & Performance at King’s College and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Margarida runs Drama workshops at Católica University. Recently she wrote and staged the original play Pessoa, First Person Plural. She also created an original play for her students called Bill.
She has played Lady Anne in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Rosalind in As You Like It, Christine in Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and the title role in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata among other roles. But it was as Elena Popova in Chekov’s The Bear that she met her ‘matches’ and together founded Já International Theatre!
And time sped like a falcon on wings from its eyrie in the past into the zephyrs of history
Suresh is a wandering ragamuffin whose primary occupations involve asking what lies inside a black hole as a researcher in string theory at IST and, in the theatre and on film, as a writer, director, actor and producer, probing the many facets of human architecture. He frequently finds himself cross-pollinating ideas between these two activities. He has had directorial and thespian training and experience in various continents, producing and directing political theatre related to the Arab spring and urban American angst, waltzing with modern adaptations of Greek tragedy as playwright, director and workshop facilitator, directing short movies in Paris and Lisbon, and shooting an anthropological movie in Iceland. Recently, he has directed his own original adaptations of Jean Genet’s The Maids and plays by Ibsen, and conceived new multi-genre explorations of Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams and Neil LaBute.
From heart to script and from script to stage
Tania Kumeda is an artist, actor and director from Ukraine. Her passion for stories led her to a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature at National Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv. She then completed a FIFA/CIES program in Sports Management and dedicated seven years to teaching, sports management and event management before refocusing on her art.
After three years as a leading actress in Kyiv Theatre of Comedy, Tania made her directorial debut in Lisbon with a staged reading of her own adapted version of Erich Maria Remarque’s A Night in Lisbon. In 2017 she directed JÁ’s inaugural show “RED” at Teatro do Bairro and in 2018 a show based on short stories by Vladimir Nabokov.
Apart from her work in film and theatre, Tania also works as a translator of scripts & voiceover material.
Alexia Kalteis is an actress, painter and theatre producer from Austria who has spent much of her life moving from country to country: India, Macedonia during the Kosovo War, Greece, Washington DC, and then 13 years in China. Her adventures, joys, hardships, blessings and mistakes all fused in the “Middle Kingdom” to form her philosophy: Love must continue to steer you, come what may. Alexia loves to draw eyes, because they are “the window to the soul”, and loves to lay her eyes on new ones. After years of wandering, she is re-establishing herself in Austria as a talent broker. You can find some of her art on the Já Shop page.
Allie Mazon is a multi-disciplinary performing artist. She earned her Master’s in Classical Voice at Mannes Conservatory in New York City. During her time in NY, she created two original shows, Operotic and Femmes Fatales, combining her love for singing, burlesque, and aerial dance. After graduating she moved to Europe to act, sing, do cabaret and create one-woman shows like the one she is taking to Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. Allie loves exploring the many facets of the performing arts and dreams of working on a major TV project. Subscribe to her YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/c/alliemazonmusic.
Cátia Delgado is through and through, a Lisboner. She has a degree in engineering and makes cartoons when she’s in the mood. Her romance with English, both the language and culture, began in her adolescence when she discovered Agatha Christie’s novels… and the inimitable Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth ‘Bouquet-not-Bucket’.
She’s been happily crooning with the University of Lisbon Choir for the last five years, but essentially she loves to sing classical jazz. She made her English theatre debut in 2017 with Filipe Thomaz’s musical Freedom Again at the Lisbon Players, and in 2018 played Julie in Celebration with JÁ International Theatre.
Dave is an English-born New Zealander who started in theatre at the age of 8. He ran away to sea at 16 but returned to the New Zealand stage in 1999. Theatrically he’s been loved, hated, drunk, married, sung to, knighted and beheaded. Dave’s globetrotting lifestyle has seen him perform in England, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Germany and Portugal. He has played in a diverse range of productions including The 39 Steps, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Glen Garry Glen Ross, A Man for All Seasons and An Inspector Calls.
After studying Management at NOVA University and working for several years in this field, Diogo opted to take a Drama Course. He chose the ACT Escola de Actores Course in Lisbon and fell in love with the world of acting. He is now embarked on a career as a professional actor. He played Guiderius in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Teatro do Bairro, and has also appeared in shows such as Molière En Vers et Contre Tout, directed by Petronille de Saint-Rapt, in both Lisbon and Paris, and Casos do Beco das Sardinheiras produced by the Aloes theatre company.
Elena Vertegel is a dancer, performer and choreographer from Ukraine, who moved to Lisbon in 2019. Elena started studying and deploying her creativity in dance and music at an early age. She has created dance performances for the Ukrainian Dance Theatre, and worked with Thomas Metler and dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company and Ultima Vez Company. She recently performed with Claire Huber at P.A.R.T.S. in Belgium.
Beside her creative and stage experiences Elena develops pedagogical principles, and communicates her own vision of dance through movement-voice and movement-meaning.
She is currently working with Maeva Lambert in Belgium, putting together a performance of ”King Kongaaaaact5”.
Jojo Hui, a Sagittarius from Shanghai, works as a senior merchandiser for a US retail chain. Her first opportunities to act came when she was at college. After graduation, she had roles in several Chinese plays. In 2014, she joined Shanghai Shakespeare, acting in both English and Chinese. She played Octavia in Antony and Cleopatra and Cressida in Troilus and Cressida and had roles in three short Beckett plays. She was also cast as Lady Macbeth, and Carol in Oleanna, but those projects were not performed in public. Passionate about theatre, Jojo’s heart beats for the stage.
If, at 45, someone had told Jorge that he would end up doing theatre, he would have considered that hilarious nonsense, since his professional life had no connection with the arts. Several years later, when he first stepped onto the stage, he was hesitant, then committed. He has acted in several short movies, a tv documentary, and in Dec 2018 made his feature film screen debut with Parque Meyer. But it is on the stage that he has been building himself as an actor: among others, he has played the Count in La Ronde (Schnitzler), Foldal in JG Borkman (Ibsen), Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare) and Richard in Celebration (Pinter).
Margarida began her career as a public performer as a gymnast doing rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics. She then developed a passion for the piano, and studied at the Escola de Música do Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon. Her theatrical journey also began in Lisbon. She studied musical theatre at EDSAE, playing Prudy Pingleton in Hairspray, June in Chicago and the Wolf and the Stepmother in Into the Woods. In September 2018, after playing Suki in Já’s Staged Reading of Celebration, she left for IAB in Barcelona to study for a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre.
Born and raised in Arkansas, USA, Nicole grew up doing theatre, painting, and playing music. Studying for a Media Communication and Theatre degree, she found she enjoyed the directing and production side of theatre and film as much as acting. She worked with Theatre@UAFS and film companies on a range of stage and film projects, being alternately manager, director, cast member and costume designer.
After graduating, Nicole moved to Lisbon where she works with the International Mission Board and is excited to pursue opportunities with Já and in the artistic community.
Since leaving her native England many years ago, Pat has lived and worked in various European countries. Wherever she has found herself, theatre and acting have always been a key part of her life.
Her stage appearances have ranged from the sublime – Sister Aloysius in Doubt, to the ridiculous – Fritz in A Dog’s Life, and from the classical – Emilia in Othello, to the contemporary – Annie in Calendar Girls. She has also appeared on Flemish television and in the video installation Perhaps All The Dragons, by the Berlin Theatre Collective.
Paulo Vaz has been teaching History for more than 30 years; he is also a published novelist and playwright. His passion for theatre has pushed him to experience the medium in many different ways: adapting scripts, acting, producing and directing. Always on the lookout for new opportunities, he leapt at the chance to take part in Já’s test reading of David Hutchison’s In a Foreign Country in September 2019, reading the role of Miguel.
Rosa is from Ireland. Born with a creative mindset, she was drawn to the theater early on and has undertaken numerous roles, including the title role in Maxim Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova, Helen in Brian Friel’s Living Quarters and Frenchy in the musical Grease. After moving to Lisbon in October 2017, she was cast as Helena Glory in the Lisbon Players staged reading of Karel Capek Rossum’s Universe Robots. In March 2018 her hunger for theater rumbled again and she performed in Já’s adaptation of short stories by Vladimir Nabokov.
After first treading the boards, in 1985, at Estrela Hall, home of The Lisbon Players, Rui enjoyed six fun years in theatre before finding himself consumed by other responsibilities and unable to act. Finally, after a hiatus of 25 years, he returned to the stage in 2015, and since then has taken part in a handful of plays by authors such as Peter Shaffer, Noël Coward and Chekhov. Most recently, he played Don Pedro in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing.
“I thank my family for their support and for putting up with my daydreams. I love you”.