Gemma Clough (Georgina/Elsa/Shigeko) Originally from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, Gemma trained as a dancer till she was 16 and danced with a number of professional companies including Birmingham Royal Ballet.
After making the move from dance to drama, she got a BA Hons in Drama and became a core cast member of Northumberland Theatre Company where, under the wonderful direction of Gillian Hambleton she honed her craft, touring the UK with many productions including Comedy of Errors, Bailey Bridge, Village Life and The Firebird, The Last Snow Rider, Oceans Five and a Half.
Gemma recently graduated with a Masters in Classical Acting from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama after winning a scholarship from the Sunday for Sammy Trust for emerging artists from the north-east. Recent stage credits include Measure for Measure (Heady Conduct at Rose Playhouse); Valiant (JW3, WOW Kent, St. Barnabas, Hove); Jessica (Arcola, Women Redressed); A Christmas Carol and Dickens’ Ghosts (Io Theatre at Cheltenham Playhouse); As You Like It (RCSSD).
Díana Bermudez (Suzanne/Kathy/Connie) After graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Diana spent two years touring with various theatre groups around UK, Italy and India. Since resettling in the UK, Diana has garnered lead roles in TV and Film including The Carpenters (Potato - ITV Studios), The Transit with BAFTA winning Director Andrea Tran (Black Cat Visuals) and Passport to Murder (Sky Vision) as well as prominent Theatre roles including Valiant (Edinburgh Fringe), Body Heat (Camden People's Theatre) and Alice in Wonderland (Theatrino).
Lanna Joffrey (Writer & Sara/Dominie/Karla/Nazifa) Sonnet Walks & Muse of Fire (The Globe), Ironmistress (The Albany), Valiant (Edinburgh Fringe), A View From the Bridge (Arthur Miller Centennial), Measure for Measure (The Factory), The Two Noble Kinsmen (Instant Classics). Training: MA in Acting (Distinction) Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, BFA in Acting (Cum Laude) Syracuse University.
Alexandra Renzetti (Director) Previous works include: The Manual Oracle, a theatre project originally inspired by Baltasar Gracian’s 1647 The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence which explored the ambiguities between paranoia, strategic thinking and self-consciousness, debuting at the Yard Theatre as part of the Anxiety Arts Festival 2014 (AD). Other work includes: Love in the Past Participle (Tabard Theatre, AD), The Love Shack (Theatro Technis, AD), I Do Like Your Tie (Bread and Roses), The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth, ASM) and Judgment Call (McAllister Studio Theatre). She is a graduate of Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada), the Yale School of Drama’s Summer Directing Program and participated in a Summer Work Study at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Alberta, Canada). She is a member of the Young Vic Directors Program and the Genesis Director’s Network (UK).
Her current work consists largely of new writing with cultural and socio-political themes. These works bring a primal sense of urgency and power to live theatre. Alexandra firmly believes that theatre plays an important role in uniting people with different cultural histories by humanizing events and personalizing scenarios through the power of live performance.
Catherine Fowles (Violet/Mei/Betty) UK: Valiant (International Women's Day, RCSSD; Quarterhouse, Folkestone; St. Barnabas Church, Hove). Off-Broadway: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lucy, the White Witch, various) and The Boychick Affair (Penny u/s). Favourite stage credits: A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Chorus Line (Connie u/s), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, La Cage Aux Folles, Anything Goes (Bonnie/Dance Captain), Crazy for You (Patsy), and The Sound of Music (Liesl). Catherine holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Fordham University and Columbia University respectively. She is a co-founder of Backstage Forward, a company dedicated to promoting backstage work (www.backstageforward.co.uk). For my valiant women, especially Maman.
Adam Line (Associate Producer) most recently worked with Heady Conduct Theatre Company on their Production of Measure for Measure at The Rose Playhouse. He first became involved with Valiant as Associate Producer for the JW3 performance in February 2016. Other credits include production managing Accidents & Emergencies, a series of new musicals produced by This Stage LTD and assisting Peter Huntley Productions & 1505 Management on productions including Lizzie Siddal (Arcola), The Belle’s Stratagem, Farragut North, As You Like It (Southwark Playhouse) & The Act (Trafalgar Studios).
Valiant Women in War and Exile (Source Material) First published in 1987 by City Lights Publishing, this profoundly moving collection of women's personal stories crosses political and cultural boundaries, and includes every major war from pre-World War I Europe to the jungles of Central America in the 1980s. With her new introduction, Hayton-Keeva connects the book's poignant testimonies to contemporary issues of war, and describes a voice distinctively different from the traditional experience of men at war: "War is not suspended in time, something outside a woman's experience of life; it is part of life, woven into all the rest." These mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives endured concentration camps, atomic bombs, homeland invasions, terrorism, and guerilla warfare. As nurses, nuns, social workers, soldiers, prisoners, spies, or snipers, they took active command of their lives and did what had to be done. Their accounts convey the lifelong physical, emotional, and spiritual impact of grief, terror, and loss, and reveal that for women, war is not about glory and camaraderie and heroism, but about the quiet valor born of individual suffering and triumph over adversity.
Joy Lanceta (Accent Coach) is a voice and speech coach based in Manhattan who is Director of Speech Services at Masie Center and Project Manager of SecondAccent. She serves as an adjunct faculty member of Voice and Diction at College of Staten Island - CUNY in NYC in addition to coaching privately.
Joy spent time studying voice at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London for her Masters. She has taught at University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and internationally at University of Essex East 15 Acting School, Trinity Laban Conservatoire and St. Dominic's Sixth Form College in England.
As an actor, Joy has been seen around the US in various staged productions and heard as a commercial voice-over artist in national radio spots. She is a proud member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA). joylanceta.com
Patrizia Stiegler (Associate Producer) has most recently worked at the Vaults Festival and Goosbumps Alive.
She is a trained Stage Manager and is now finishing her Masters at the Royal Central in Creative Producing. As s Stage Manager she has worked in London and Vienna. Other credits include: Theater First ( The National Theatre), Prague Quadrennial 2015: SpaceLab, Christmas Oratorio 1-6 (Theater an der Wien)
Makenzie Whittle (Video Design) is a writer and photographer based in Oregon. She earned her MFA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media in 2015 from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama which is where she first met Lanna and subsequently got involved with Valiant. Currently she is incredibly involved with Cascade’s Theatrical Company in Bend, where she is known as a kind of jack-of-all-trades, as well as putting the finishing touches on her screenplay. Writing: Dancing in the Rain (RCSSD’s New Writing Night, May 2014), Tesla’s Pigeon (RCSSD’s New Writing Night #3, October 2014), and In the Details (RCSSD’s New Writing Night #4, May 2015) Photography: Enhance the UK’s Undressing Disability campaign, launched October 2015)
Nicola Redman (Accent Coach) With an MA Voice Studies from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and a varied performance career spanning 10 years, Nic’s work as a voice tutor covers the fundamentals of voice from breath onto text as well as accent coaching and character voicing for gaming and animation. She has taught at LIPA, RADA, Arts Ed, East 15 and Identity Drama School. Her voice coaching credits encompass work for Hatrick Productions, Radio 4 Comedy, Theatre 503, Fuel Theatre Company, The Actors’ Guild, Stand By Method Acting Studio and The Actors’ Lab. Nic also runs a thriving 1-2-1 voice practice helping individuals with tailored voice advice and training. www.nicredmanvoice.com
Sally Hayton-Keeva (author, Valiant Women in War and Exile) was born in Mount Vernon in 1955, but was raised in Corona del Mar, California. After graduating from the University of California, Irvine, she performed in plays in Australia, recorded audio tapes, wrote freelance advertising copy, worked as a ghostwriter, and wrote and recorded an audio book about heroes and heroines of the American Revolution.
She married Joe in 1976 and moved to the San Francisco Bay area where she wrote short stories and book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as a humorous column for the Sonoma Index Tribune.
Joe and Sally moved to Montana in 1992 where they owned a ranch in the Flathead Valley. While staying in Montana, they would negotiate conservation easements for ranches to help preserve the area. Sally Hayton-Keeva died of cancer at the age 55.
Ilya Gerasimenko (Projection Designer) had earned a degree in industrial design some time in the end of last century from a university that no one has ever heard of in a country, which doesn’t exist anymore. He is currently paying his bills by working as a graphic/web designer and front-end developer for an IT company in NYC.
He has loved theatre since high-school (was a puppeteer for a while,) but became really involved in it during his daughter’s high-school days. His rise to a professional level should be accredited to Tamilla Woodard. Ilya is glad to be a part of this show again after a period of thespian abstinence. This time he gets to do what he does for living, but have much more fun.
His former thespian achievements include (but not limited to): Valiant, We Got Issues (projection design), Here. This. Now., Youth Communication’s 25th anniversary: They Called Me Crack Baby… and Other Stories (scenic painting, graphic design), The Maids, JAZ, Broken City: Harlem (music, sax), and others. www.gerasimenko.com