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Ilana Turner’s first play, the award-winning O Réjane, premiered at LA’s Bootleg Theater in November 2014. O Réjane won the Stage Raw Los Angeles Theater Award for Female Leading Performance, and earned two additional nominations, including one for Ilana as playwright.Upcoming work includes the one-act existential romantic comedy play Ollie & D, and a feature she was hire to co-write and co-exec produce by an Oscar-nominated Executive Producer. Ilana’s monologue Sugar Coat It is included in the book LGBT Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny, out now from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.With O Réjane, Turner’s one-act play, In Her Voice, is included in the 365 Women A Year project.
Longtime friends with Réjane’s descendants, including Adrien Reju, Ilana founded The Réjane Project in 2007 to research the life and work of Belle Époque actress Réjane. In 2010, Ilana and O Réjane Research Consultant Tonia N. Sutherland co-wrote the research paper Madame Sans-Genre and presented it at the Theatre Library Association plenary. Ilana also introduced the film Great Actresses of the Past, the basis for the Madame Sans-Genre paper, at the Los Angeles Central Library in 2014. Ilana is currently working with a book agent on a Réjane book proposal.
As an actress on screen, Ilana has worked for HBO, Sci Fi Channel, Spike TV, and starred in the BAFTA/LA-nominated film The Red Ace Cola Project. Her most recent film, Newness, directed by Drake Doremus and written by Ben York Jones, is coming soon to Netflix. On stage, she starred in a world premiere at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Plays for 365 Days. Ilana holds a BA in theater and dance from Hampshire College. An ex-professional figure skater, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and wee daughters.
Christopher Sivertsen is the Artistic Director of UN-certified theater company Awake Projects, based in and funded by Västerås, Sweden. Under his direction, Awake received 5-star reviews at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Awake Projects Song of Riots premiered at the North Wall, Oxford, in 2015 to critical acclaim. Song of Riots went on to win the Audience Choice Award at Stockholm Fringe Festival. Christopher has directed numerous Awake Youth Projects with young participants from all over the world, including at the BRAVE festival in Poland.
Christopher has developed his own system of physical theatre training, The Breathing Performer, and regularly conducts workshops throughout the world. Recently that includes Bral School of Acting in London, SITI Company in NYC, KHIO in Oslo, ARTEL and Schkapf in Los Angeles, LUME teatro Sao Paolo, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Christopher also directed and movement-directed at London’s RADA and Arcola Theatre.
He holds a Master of Arts in Acting, with distinction, from Manchester Metropolitan University where he now teaches. Sivertsen was born in Stavanger, Norway.
Adrien Reju captivated audiences since she was a child performing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. She recently toured the U.S. with Rachel Yamagata. Two songs from her debut solo album, A MILLION HEARTS are in the movie FLOWER GIRL. WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS earned 1st place in the Pop/Adult Contemporary category and 2nd Place Overall in the 2009 100% Music’s Songwriting Contest, and was a top-12 finalist in the 2009 New York Songwriters Circle Songwriting Contest. Reju is also Réjane’s great-great granddaughter. (adrienreju.com)
At the age of 13 Sébastien Miel began to play guitar. He was initially inspired by the picking of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn – English folk guitarists from the 60’s discovered in his Dad’s records collection – as well as the Beatles, Neil Young, CSN, The Band, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Ten years ago, he met his brother-in-sound, Yannick Marais. Together they co-founded La Maison Tellier, a French folk-rock band. La Maison Tellier has recorded four albums, most recently, Beauté pour Tous, released in October 2013. On tour, Miel has learned to play a little banjo, mandolin and lapsteel – he can deal with everything made of wood and strings. He hails from Normandy, France. (www.lamaisontellier.fr)
Alex Berry is a graduate of the MA in Theatre Design at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She was a finalist for the 2015 Linbury Prize, the UK’s most prestigious award for emerging theatre designers.
Her recent projects include Song of Riots (Battersea Arts Centre; Stockholm Fringe Festival – Winner, Audience Choice Award), The Kreutzer Sonata (The Theatre, Chipping Norton), Ratchet (Soho Theatre Upstairs), This Much (ZOO, Edinburgh Fringe), O Réjane (Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles – Best Costume Design Nominee, Stage Raw Awards), Fast Track(The North Wall), Blue Stockings (The Tobacco Factory), The River (Brewery Theatre), Awake(C Venues, Edinburgh Fringe) and Dead On Her Feet (Arcola Theatre; The North Wall).
As a visual artist, her work has been exhibited at the Royal College of Art, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and Whitworth Art Gallery. She also previously trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag, as a clarinettist, graduating with a first class BMus (Hons) degree.
(Lighting Designer) Brandon Baruch’s LA designs include: BRONIES: THE MUSICAL (Third Street Theatre); THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS (Sacred Fools Theater); ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE (El Portal Theatre); TWIST YOUR DICKENS and TWIST YOUR DICKENS: RE-LOADED! RE-TWISTED! (Kirk Douglas Theater); QUEENIE PIE (Warner Grand Theatre); BARE: A ROCK MUSICAL (The Hayworth Theater); and SPRING AWAKENING (The Arena Stage at Theatre of Arts – Ovation Award Nomination). NYC: SOMEONE’S TRYING TO KILL ME HERE (Here Arts Center); ME LOVE ME (The Players Theatre); THE HAT (Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre); WILDBOY ’74 (Walkerspace). Chicago: QUEENIE PIE (Harris Theater). Staff LD for the Hollywood Fringe Festival and Company LD for Lost Moon Radio. Brandon is also a playwright, and his latest play, NO HOMO, garnered multiple awards including The Encore! Producers’ Award, The Golden Elephant Award for Best Playwright and The Hollywood Fringe Freak Award for Best in Ensemble Theater and Best World Premiere.
Tonia N. Sutherland (Research Consultant) holds a PhD in Library and Information Science and an MLIS from University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor’s degree in theater, history and cultural studies from Hampshire College. By invitation, Sutherland and Turner wrote and presented the paper, “Madame Sans-Genre: A Unique Collaboration Between Artist and Archivist” on how their research fueled the creation of an original work for the 2010 American Society for Theatre Research/Theatre Library Association/ Congress on Research in Dance conference.
Michelle Furnace (Aide du Marketing) is an actor, writer, and avid Francophile. She received her degree in Theatre and French from UC Santa Barbara, and also spent a year abroad in Bordeaux, France. Since moving to LA in 2005, she has performed in TV, film, and theatre, as well as starred in the award winning webseries THE NOHO SHOW. She is thrilled to be a part of The Réjane Project, which combines her two greatest loves: France and the theatre.
Emily Abbott (Stage Manager) is a graduate of Occidental College where she majored in theater and history. Credits include VIRAL (Bootleg Theater), HARAM directed by Wesam Nassar, DATES AND NUTS (Bootleg Theater), FREDERICK DOUGLAS NOW by Roger Guenveur Smith (Bootleg Theater). She is excited to be on the O RÉJANE team on this wonderful project bringing together her two loves of theater and history.
Bryan Brown (Consultant) is a theatre artist, researcher and teacher. He trained in the experimental and dance theatre scenes of New York City and in the classical theatre at RADA in London before moving to Los Angeles. Together with Olya Petrakova, he cofounded ARTEL (American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory) and Art Via Corpora, an organization which hosted a variety of local, national and international performance training sessions. Recently he completed his PhD studies at the University of Leeds, where his thesis refined conceptions of the theatre laboratory by tracing the history of the scientific laboratory, the visual artist’s studio, and manifestations of the theatre laboratory in Russia. Artist-in-residence in Hooyang, South Korea, collaborator with Studio Matejka in Poland, and advisor to young artists in the UK and USA, Bryan is committed to the creation of sustainable training and residency programs at Schkapf, a performance incubation house.