Emilio Vieira as Jacob Santiago
Emilio is a Toronto based actor who primarily participates in live theatre performance, and has done a considerable percentage of his career’s work in Shakespeare. Past Theatre credits include: Lucius (Titus Andronicus) and Charles/Amiens (As You Like It) as part of Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park (2015), Scullery (ROAD), Cassius (Julius Caesar). Emilio will be spending the 2016 season with the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival. He is thrilled to be a part of this production and to marry the themes and stories of the classics with the modern medium of camera.
Jacob Santiago: Nobody would call the series’ titular protagonist a ‘hero’, except for perhaps as a joke. Jacob Santiago is vain, ruthless, and utterly committed to the art of getting what he wants, come hell or high water. An actor on the verge of graduating from Elizabeth College’s theatre school without a lead role under his belt, he is determined to manipulate his way into the lead role of Hamlet without getting his hands dirty. If he can pull this off, it could change the course of his career. If he gets caught, this could sink it. Completely.
John Marcucci as Rodrigo Souza
While studying cinema at the University of Toronto, John had the pleasure of being tutored by Canadian writer-filmmakers Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park) and Semi Chellas (“Mad Men”). He is an alumni of Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program and graduated from the Canadian Film Centre’s Writer’s Lab in 2013. He has directed three short films (one of which is still in post-production). His most recent film, Longhand, won best Canadian film at the Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival and is premiering in the U.S. in the Long Day Short Film Festival in Alameda, California in June 2015. John has been in a number of plays including The New Ideas and Inspirato Festivals respectively. He will be seen in “State of Women”, an ensmeble coming-of-age drama of women working in munitions factories set during WWII (being staged at The Lower Ossington Theatre in July 2015). He has been in a number of short films as well as television appearances, including the first episode of the second season “The Strain” premiering in July this year.
Rodrigo Souza: Every good villain needs a henchman, and Jacob Santiago’s friend with benefits Rodrigo is the best he’s got. Rodrigo may be lazy, unfocused and easily distracted, but he’s always happy to get his hands dirty if the price is right. Or, hell, even if it’s a boring Tuesday afternoon and he’s out of condoms.
Leighton Williams as Morgan Othello
Leighton Alexander Williams is a Toronto based actor and recent graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory. Since leaving York, Leighton has been on multiple productions in film, television, and theatre. Film/TV credits include: Untouchables 2015, Lions Nest the Web Series, Ludomania, Love in Secret, Rogers Stanley Cup, and Independence Cha Cha. Recent theatre credits include: Secrets of A Black Boy, The Shipment (Piece of MINE Festival), Beat Drop (House of Rebels Theatre), Tachycardia (Fringe 2014), and A Drum Major’s Instinct (Obsidian Theatre). Leighton is currently touring with Playing With Crayons remount of Darren Anthony’s play: Secrets of a Black Boy.
Morgan Othello: Thoughtful, determined and ambitious, Morgan Othello’s always had his eye on the prize: a breakout directing career. Instead, his solid frame and handsome bone structure launched him into an unexpected Hollywood career as a mid-tier action movie star. A man divided between the career other men would kill for, and a secret dream and hidden relationship back home in Canada. A stint directing Elizabeth College’s yearly Shakespeare play seems like just the chance to spend some time with the love of his life while getting a chance to stretch his directing muscles between acting gigs. But when Othello’s private romantic entanglement with Des Omah becomes public knowledge, Othello must juggle the health of a career he’s not sure he wants and the embattled Shakespeare production he’s convinced that he needs.
Sahara-Rose Reno as Desmond Omah
Sahara-Rose Reno trained at the Vancouver film school with notable actors Andrew Mcilroy and Bill Marchant. She continued to study with Ben Ratner after graduating. Represented by Tyman Stewart, known for his integrity and tenacity. Sahara starred as Max in a stage production of Ken Ludwig’s, Lend me a tenor. She appeared on an episode of the Tomorrow People directed by Danny Cannon. She wants to use her talents to build acceptance for gender identity and equality.
Desmond Omah: Beloved by the faculty and students alike, kind Desmond Omah – whose father Bash is one of the most respected members of the prestigious college’s Drama faculty – is often nicknamed the Prince of Elizabeth College. Des is a compassionate soul whose warmth and sweetness are often seen as a prize for some lucky suitor. But under that warm heart is a consistently underestimated intelligence, which will serve Des well when Jacob Santiago’s plots are set in motion…
Photo by Jacksonphotografix.com
Serena Purdy as Emily Santiago
Serena Purdy is a model, an actor, and a PhD student. She was trained in the University of Toronto Drama program as a stage performer, moving into screen acting under the instruction of Marvin Karon. Over the last dozen years, she has performed in a variety of formats, with experience in stage (The Editor: The Edited Edition, at the Fringe Festival), onscreen mainly in commercials, and even has experience working with 3D cameras (Lexus spot, shot with Geneva Film co.). Serena loves the art and craft of acting, and she looks forward to a lifetime of sharing that love with audiences around the world.
Emily Santiago: Jacob’s hard-working older sister Emily was a perfect fit in grad school, but now that she’s graduated she’s a bit adrift. A thoughtful feminist with plenty of great ideas, she’s nonetheless found herself struggling to find employment above minimum wage. A great opportunity brings her into Jacob’s professional orbit… but, considering his schemes, is that the safest place to be?
Matthew Yipchuck as Michael Cassio
Matthew Yipchuck is a Shakespeare-loving, Toronto-based actor/filmmaker. Acting credits include various roles at OCE Niagara, Bassianus (Titus Andronicus), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Uday Hussein (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), The Baker (Into the Woods) and Horton the Elephant (Seussical the Musical). Recent directorial projects include Shakespeare in Concert: Twelfth Night, a jazz-infused staged reading of the text, and Whatever Happened to Kitty Golightly? a short film which had its world première at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Training: York University, University of Alberta, Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
Michael Cassio: Not every actor is as intense as Jacob or Othello. Some, like Mike Cassio, work hard but play way harder. A partier and athlete, Cass doesn’t have an extensive acting resume – much to the disdain of Jacob – but he does have a dynamic energy that attracts people to him. Especially women. But is he really good enough to score the meaty role Othello has given him, or did the director give Cass a bit more than he can chew?