Produced by Transforma Theatre Inc.
Founded by Jacob Sebag, Natalie Kacinik, Tjaša Ferme
Created by Tjaša Ferme
Developed with and Directed by Ana Margineanu
Devisers/Performers: Meggan Dodd, Tjaša Ferme, Gina Simone Pemberton, Yiqing Zhao
TJAŠA FERME - Creator-Performer-Producer - Tjaša is the Founder and Artistic Director of Transforma Theatre Inc., dedicated to creating interactive theatre experiences at the nexus of science, consciousness and ritual. She is the creator of The Female Role Model Project blending interactive theatre with neuroscience produced on Off-Broadway at the premier Art and Tech Center 3-Legged Dog, in New York in November 2018. They were also featured at the Ammerman Biennial of Arts and Technology 2018. She is the creator of a short film Ophelia’s Flip (Cannes Film Festival, 2012), a farce hit Cocktales-Confessions of a Nymphomaniac (The Cell, Abingdon Theatre, Art Basel Miami), an interactive solo show, Wild Child in the City, and a new play My Marlene. Wild Child In The City premiered in NYC (TheaterLab), filled houses on European Tours and received an Audience Choice Award at 46th TSD-Week of Slovenian Drama. Wild Child won a grant from Trust for Mutual Understanding for a tour at ITI-UNESCO MonoAkt festival in Kosovo, winning a Special Jury Prize, and “Northern Meetings” in Siberia. In Dec 2016 Ferme created a devised theatre piece about migrations West to West through the lens of the current refugee crisis in coproducion of Skogen, Sweden and Maska, Slovenia. Tjaša Ferme is a Slovenian National Film Award and Stane Sever classical stage award recipient. Interview on Huffington Post Arts & Culture huff.to/1DgoZ1Q New York Times review: nyti.ms/1J9yBEh more on her website tjasaferme.com. Currently her BCI video game on gender identity is being developed at City Tech, CUNY as a Tech Spring Production.
ANA MARGINEANU - Director - Called “one of the reigning queens of New York’s highly intimate, one-shot-only, conceptual-based theater” by the NYC critic Randy Gener, Ana Margineanu is a Romanian-born theatre director based in New York and a co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, an acclaimed group developing and presenting site-specific and immersive work throughout the world. The trademarks of her directorial approach are close cooperation with the local communities who are audiences for her work, highly metaphoric visual style, and ability to draw raw, visceral performances from her actors. Ana’s shows received numerous international awards, including: New York Innovation Theatre Award (The Window), Best Play Relationship Drama at London Fringe Awards (The Sunshine Play), Best Show at Romanian Drama Festival (Eighty nine), The Jury Award for Innovation at the Contemporary Drama Festival (Eighty Nine, Our Daily Hunger, Inside). She is a founding member of DramAcum( directors collective that supports young Romanian playwrights), an alumna of Lincoln Centers Directors Lab and founding member of PopUP Theatrics.
NATALIE KACINIK - Cognitive Neuroscientist, Science Director of Transforma Theatre Inc. Kacinik is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Western Ontario, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside. Prior to her position at Brooklyn College, she also worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of California, Davis. Her research examines how the mind and brain process language, ranging from individual words, to sentences, discourse, and figurative expressions like metaphors, idioms, and irony. She is also particularly interested in studying how our conceptual representations and processes are grounded in perceptual, motor, and cultural experiences (i.e., embodied cognition). Her work has been published in the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Neuropsychologia, Brain and Language, Psychological Science, Emotion, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, in addition to coverage by the media (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Scientific American, Huffington Post, Psychology Today).
JUSTIN MATHEWS - Composer, Sound Engineer - Justin Mathews is a guitarist, composer and engineer. His work straddles the pop, avant-garde and soul worlds, with a penchant for the fantastic, fabricated realities of science fiction, “street goth,” Bill Laswell’s “collision music” and Brian Eno’s cerebral novelty. He attended New School University and resides in Manhattan. 5 highlight performances or tours: “Shake The Stars With Your Song” @ Whitney Museum, Tour with Jarina De Marco & Wyclef Jean, Tour with Sevyn Streeter, Tour with Ravaughn. U.S. State Dept tour with Mariami in Tbilisi/Batumi, Georgia. Honor/Awards: NPR “Best Songs of 2013” for Jarina De Marco’s “El Venao.”
MEGGAN DODD - Collaborator/Cast - Having recently retired after 30 years working as a prosecutor with the Manhattan DA’s Office, Meggan is now actively using her CUNY MA in Applied Theatre to create theatre for social change. She has been part of The Female Role Model Project since its inception. Meggan is also an ensemble member of Honest Accomplice Theatre, a company dedicated to devising theatre through the lens of women and trans people, and an ensemble member of PopUP Theatrics, performing in their site-specific immersive works Broken City: Wall Street and Inside. In addition, she writes, directs and devises with EPIC Players, a neuro-inclusive theatre company whose participants are primarily individuals with developmental disabilities.
GINA SIMONE PEMBERTON - Collaborator/Cast - NYC by way of St. Kitts/Nevis, has a degree in music education, and vocal performance, from Clarke University, in Dubuque Iowa. Her theater credits include; Off Broadway: Users (firstname.lastname@example.org), Treasure Island the Musical (Meg, pirate). Regional: Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Diva), Henry Box Brown (Nancy), Queen Kunka Bunka and the Rotten Royal Rascals (Chatterina), The Nun Before Christmas (Sr. Wendy), The Full Monty (Estelle), Little Shop Of Horrors (Crystal), High School Musical (Taylor McKessie) Oklahoma (Vivian/ensemble), Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (Sally), Jesus Christ Superstar (ensemble), and Grease (ensemble). Gina is delighted to be a part of this amazing project, and honored to work with such an inspiring group of women. Thanks so much to MCS theater, and to my family, and close friends for their constant encouragement, and support.
YIQING ZHAO - Collaborator/Cast - is an actress/singer/writer who hails from Shanghai by way of Baltimore. She has performed with Single Carrot Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Rising Sun Performance Company, Merkin Concert Hall, Hudson Guild Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, etc. She recently played the female lead and sang the soundtrack for an award-winning film "The Collector," wrote and produced two shows, and is co-writing a musical. Yiqing is thrilled to be a part of this project and play her role models! Thanks a bunch to our amazing team, my parents, and my cat Dori. www.yiqingzhao.com Ins: @yiqingzhao1222
JACQUES SEBAG - Managing Director - AKJacob SebagA Jacques Sebag was born in Marrakech, Morocco and moved to the United States as a teenager. Although always a passionate student of acting, the realities of life interfered and he became a successful lawyer and devoted father. While stage and film have always been his passion, until recently he honed his theatrical skills in court. Jacob has been practicing law for thirty years. Prior to forming Jacob Sebag & Associates, P.C., Jacob was the founding partner of the Law Firm of Ochoa & Sebag, P.C. (1983-2005). As a seasoned attorney, Jacob brings his entrepreneurial skills and business perspective to his U.S. based and international clients' real estate and corporate ventures. His fluency in five languages greatly enhances his ability to help his culturally diverse clients realize their goals. An innovative and pragmatic problem solver, Jacob counsels his clients on all legal aspects of building and growing a business. In corporate matters and in the hospitality industry, Jacob specializes in acquisitions and business development. In residential and commercial real estate, he advises clients throughout the planning, financing and development phases of the transaction. In addition, Jacob is a licensed Real Estate Broker in New York and Florida. In 2005, Jacob portrayed the French Ambassador in Sidney Pollack's worldwide film release “The Interpreter” which opened the Tribeca Film Festival. Mr. Pollack found in Jacob a certain look, talent and passion and cast him for his last film. Jacob’s featured role is in the only scene in film history shot in the United Nations Security Council. Jacob merges his artistic, business and legal experience to bring a unique competence to his negotiating and drafting contracts specific to the needs of artists and professionals in the entertainment industry. He is also a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
JOYA POWELL - Movement Designer - is a choreographer and educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. Her company, Movement of the People, has performed in venues such as: BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. She has choreographed various Off Broadway plays including: Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), Ducklings by Amina Henry (JACK), JOB by Thomas Bradshaw (The FLEA Theater). She has taught and studied internationally in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Israel. Awards and recognition include: The 2016 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Bessie Award, 2016-2017 Dancing While Black Fellow, 2017-2018 Women in Motion Commissioned Artist, 2018-19 EtM Choreographer Fellow. Currently Joya is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University.
CARLY J. BAUER - Producer and Casting Director - She is president and founder of Carly J. Bauer Productions and Casting, in which she Executive Produced a sold out run of a "first rate revival" (Theatre Mania) of Bachelorette by Leslye Headland at Walkerspace/Soho Rep. Other producing credits: Fire On Flaming Roads (Arthur Seelen Theatre), Steppenwolf (The New School), the award winning one act - Between Men (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Broken City: Wall St, and INSIDE at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (PopUP Theatrics). She has cast for New York Musical Festival, DreamUp Festival, Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, The Player's Theatre, The Master Theater, The Working Theater, and several short films, including the award winning “Absent” having premiered at The Hamptons International Film Festival. Carly received her B.S. from The New School in which she curated her own major. She can also be seen in the upcoming comedy, Shithead The Movie, in the Around International Film Festival in Paris next year.
JOHN J.A. JANNONE - Video Design. John J.A. Jannone is an associate professor at Brooklyn College and the founder of the college's M.F.A. program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts. He teaches courses in multimedia production and programming, sound design, single-camera television production, and extended televisual practices including multichannel, interactive, and projection design. In the spring/summer 2014 he was a visiting associate professor at Osaka University in Japan, teaching in the art and media graduate program. He is the recipient of numerous grants, including National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation and CreativeIT grants, and is the executive director of Camp Ballibay, a summer arts camp for children. He is also a musician and composer for dance and film. Jannone received a B.A., cum laude, in philosophy from Colgate University in 1991, and an M.F.A. in electronic arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003.
AYUMU POE SAEGUSA - Lighting Designer - started his career in 2000 in Tokyo. He moved to NYC in 2005 and became resident lighting designer of HERE. He works for the annual HERE’s resident artists festival Culture Mart 2006-2018 and countless work in progresses. Also, he works as a freelance lighting designer for various shows. Those are included NY Fringe Festival by various directors (Various venue 2011-2015), Rite Of Spring by Basil Twist (Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose theater, 2014), and Pony season 2015-2018 (Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose theater). He also works as theater technical coordinator internationally based on the experience to bring shows to all over US, Europe and South America. In 2017 he founded “CMsl” (www.creativemachine.lighting)
MARIAH PLANTE - Stage Manager - is a Brooklyn-based theatre maker. She recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with her BFA in Acting. She is thrilled to be joining the Transforma Theatre family as stage manager for The Female Role Model Project.
ANDREW FARINA- Business Development InteAndrew Farinarn - is a Graduate of College of the Holy Cross with a degree in theatre and he is thrilled to be a part of the Transforma team! Andrew recently moved from Massachusetts to pursue his passion for theatre. He has spent time studying theatre with Vassar Powerhouse Theatre and the National Theater Institute and hopes to continue acting in New York. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys playing tennis, golf, and the ukulele. He is extremely grateful for the love and support from his family and friends in pursuing in dream. Lastly, he would like to leave you with some words of wisdom from an idol of his, “you are perfectly cast in your life. I can’t imagine anyone but you in the role. Go play.”-Lin-Manuel Miranda
Sound design by Justin Mathews
Audio Programming Consultant: James Mathews
Video Design by John J.A. Jannone
Video Design Assistant: Alexandria Grajales
Light Design by Ayumu Poe Saegusa (CMsl)
Movement Designer Joya Powell
Cognitive Neuroscientist: Natalie Kacinik
Live Neuroscientific Interpretation by Phoebe Chen
On-stage Techies: Stephen Bryson and Maryam Choudhary
Stage Manager: Mariah Plante
Tech Sponsors: Brainbit and Emotiv
Managing Director: Jacob Sebag
Director of Sciences: Natalie Kacinik
Artistic Director, President: Tjaša Ferme
Company Manager: Jeremy Goren
Marketing/Business Development Assistant: Andrew Farina
Casting Director: Carly J. Bauer
Photography by Jaka Vinsek
Web design by Doug Barron
Postcard design by Yasmin Chavez