" I am so excited about this show! It is such an important and powerful story to tell."
Lead Actor: Sarah
SELECTED THEATRE CREDITS: 1st Canadian Cast and 1st National Tour of Les Miserables (Mirvish), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (North American Broadway Tour), Hogtown (Immersive Theatre Experience/Campbell House), A Christmas Story-The Musical (The Arts Club, Vancouver), The Drowsy Chaperone (Globe Theatre, Regina), The Wakowski Brothers (Pick of the Fringe 2012), Maurice Carter’s Innocence (Toronto Fringe).
TV/FILM: Incorporated (Syfy), G-Spot, Jane Doe, Cinderella Man, Tru Love, Foolproof, Music Man (Disney). You may recognize Duff from the national Boston Pizza commercial as the gold “Professional Sports Trophy Model” now found on Youtube.
Duff’s new Indie Folk album NAKED can be streamed and purchased on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music. Visit www.duffmacdonald.com
Lead Actor: Reverend Williams
Lead Actor: Iyabo
Jillian is honoured to play the role of “Caroline” in Dandelions in the Wind. Some of Jillian’s recent theatrical roles include understudying “Grandma” in Toronto’s Mirvish Production & the US International Tour of Billy Elliot the Musical; and co-writing and performing in Hey! Good Lookin’. Other favourite live performances: Shirley Valentine; “Alice” in Sexy Laundry; Theatre Beyond Words’ international tours of Potato People and The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures; and as “Magenta” in Toronto’s first professional production of Rocky Horror Show. TV credits include: The Listener and Remedy; Film credits include: Beeba Boys, Harlan County War; Cruel Intentions II; Blues Brothers 2000 and playing “Bubba Nancy” in an upcoming feature called Luba. Jillian is a member of the musical trio, Daughters of the Rock, honouring her Newfoundland roots; and the proud grandmother of Michael and Isabella.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jivaro started singing at the age of 4. He is a former member of the Hallelujah Praise Choir, and left Nova Scotia in 2001 to pursue his acting and singing career in the Toronto Production of Lion King. Since then his acting and singing credits include Generation Motown (Quebec City), Dirty Dancing (Toronto), Ragtime and His Girl Friday (Shaw Festival), Motown Gold and Love Train (Stage West Mississauga), Once On This Island (Toronto) and most recently Kinky Boots (Toronto). He dedicates his performances to his beautiful wife Mary and their beautiful children Alondrea, Cherei, Jaieya, Jaiven and Cheilyn.
Connor, age 11, was born in South Africa, but raised in Canada. He has performed in numerous school plays and other musical events. Under the tutelage of Mafa he has learned dances, songs and chants from his birth country, presenting them during Freedom Day Celebrations.
"I want to be in Dandelions in the Wind because of the story… and to sing and perform on stage and learn from the other performers and musicians"
Charlotte is 9 years old and is excited to be sharing the role of Young Sarah with her cousin Morgan. She has performed in the National Ballet of Canada's, The Nutcracker for the past 3 seasons and enjoys dancing, singing and swimming.
"I'm really excited to be a part of Dandelions in the Wind and to make my singing debut!"
"I am thrilled to be a part of this fantastic collective."
Jillian Rees Brown
Lead Actor: Caroline
KJ Group is a Theatre Arts group whose mission is to create knowledge, understanding and compassion on issues that relate to justice and equality in today's world. Our mandate is to use excellent entertainment to both educate and touch hearts, creating positive change by inspiring individuals to simply do better. Our vision bridges the rift between ethnicity, culture and faith, breaks racial stereotypes and promotes healing and equality.
Andrew Broderick is a Toronto based theatre artist who has performed professionally across Canada. A graduate of Sheridan's Musical Theatre program, Andrew has been seen in a number of shows. Some selected credits include: Sweeney Todd (Shaw Festival); Peter and the Starcatcher (Shaw Festival); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Stratford Festival); The Pirates of Penzance (Stratford Festival); Hairspray (Charlottetown Festival / Drayton Entertainment / Rainbow Stage); Dreamgirls (The Grand Theatre); South Pacific (Drayton Entertainment); El Numero Uno (YPT).
Andrew is excited to bring this beautiful and timely story to life playing the character of Ben.
He would like to thank the agents at The Talent House, and all his loved ones who act as anchors and reminders to ‘return home’.
"This powerful story, though set in the past, is all too relevant today. I'm grateful to be a part of the team bringing it to life here in Toronto "
A performer, creator and proud Prince Edward Islander, Brittany now calls Toronto home. She recently completed a year-long mentorship and training program with Acting Up Stage company as the 2015/16 female recipient of the Banks Prize for Emerging Music Theatre Artists. This fall, she can be seen performing as “Venus” in Drayton Entertainment’s production of Red Rock Diner. Performance credits include: UnCovered: Simon & Garfunkel (Acting Up Stage/Koerner Hall), Any Moment (Acting Up Stage/Berkeley Street Theatre), Diana in Anne & Gilbert (The Guild/Harbourfront Theatre), Sally in You’re A Good Man… (Indian River Festival), Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (Vagabond). Training: Randolph Academy, University of Prince Edward Island (BMus). Brittany has directed and/or choreographed productions of Highland Storm, Grease, Footloose, Fame, and High School Musical, Recently: Anne & Gilbert (National Arts Centre - Choreographer/Guild Theatre, PEI - Director/Choreographer). Thanks to Sandie Newton (NLM)!
"This story is important because it highlights major problems that our society, unfortunately, is still plagued with today. It will serve as an education to teach us the fundamental truth: that regardless of the colour of our skin, we are all the same."
Jeri's love of acting began at age seven, when she was cast as an "Oompa Loompa" in a community theatre production of Willy Wonka. She went on to perform in several professional productions including: Annie and The Wizard of Oz (Drayton Entertainment); Anne of GreenGables and Joseph (The LOT), and Elf the Musical (The Grand Theatre). Principal roles included; “Jojo" in Seussical the Musical and “Louisa" in The Sound of Music (The LOT), and “Patrice" in 13 the Musical (First Act Productions). Jeri is currently in Grade 9 at Etobicoke School of the Arts, and is thrilled to be a part of Dandelions in the Wind.
"Racism and intolerance have become more prominent and pressing issues in today’s society and I am so excited and proud to be part of a production that educates society and promotes awareness on stereotypes and the mistreatment and injustices that occur to people due to their differences”
For more information on Jennifer's writing please visit www.jenniferdance.ca
"I know first-hand where racism can lead. Looking back, it has made me more sensitive to the pain of others. It has driven my creativity."
Ayanna incorporates her unique experience as a successful performing artist with her performance psychology education to coach other artists, as well as athletes, to drastically realize and elevate their peak performance. Having danced for over 30 years - including training at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City and performing professionally as a ‘triple-threat’ dancer, actor, singer in Toronto (Disney's The Lion King and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival) – Ayanna has taught hundreds of performers to get the most out of their performance. Ayanna is extremely passionate about performance: whether on stage herself or whether coaching. She is highly committed to providing the tools that will help her clients to reach their fullest potential.
Be it as an actor, singer, or creator, Mélanie is an engaged artist. Theatre credits include: “Elsa Schraeder” in Sound of Music (The Capitol Theatre), “Patsy Cline” in A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline (Live Bait Theatre), “Anne” in Anne and Gilbert (Jubilee Theatre), “Madeleine” in Pélagie (Two Planks and a Passion Theatre), “Maggie” in A Chorus Line (Bathurst Street Theatre), “Sister James” in Doubt, A Parable, and “Belle” in A Christmas Carol (Theatre New Brunswick). Having tread the boards of Canada, Europe and Asia, this proud New Brunswicker is used to living out of a suitcase! She is looking forward to more at home hilarity as she performs with Tutta Musica again in NB Symfunny Orchestra this fall.
"I am absolutely enthusiastic about bringing this important story to life."
"I am over the moon with excitement to be part of this musical. The script is beautifully written, and I am very excited to share the gift that God has blessed me with. I cannot wait to get started.”
"I am proud to be in a show that tells about the importance of overlooking our differences and realizing that, in the long run, love is what matters."
“Truly an honor to be part of a group bringing such a story to life. Can’t wait for the public to see the magic & power behind this show!"
"I am so humbled and honoured to be a part of this amazing show. I can't think of a better way to observe Black History Month, and I hope that all my friends will come out and be moved by Jennifer's story."
Kesha Wint (aka Quisha Wint )
Producer. Director. Singer-Songwriter. Actor
For more information on Kesha please visit www.QWProductions.com
"I am excited to see how DANDELIONS in the WIND will touch hearts - perhaps change the way we think when it comes to racism."
Lead Actor: Etta Mae
Ayanna Sealey B.Sc., MHK
Choreographer. Performance Coach. NET Practitioner. Broadway caliber Performer
For more information on Ayanna please visit www.ayannasealey.com
"I am excited to join the cast of Dandelions in the Wind."
Previous credits include "Hogtown" (The Hogtown Collective), "Reign" (CBS) and "The Boys in the Photograph" (Mirvish/MTC). He dedicates this performance to his best friend David Edwards. Many thanks to Kate Morrison, Bruce Dean and the gang at The Talent House. Love to Mom, Dad, Al, Gavin, Natalie and Dawn.
Courtenay Frazer holds a wealth of stylistic knowledge. He has played the piano since 1986. In 1999 Courtenay toured internationally for several corporations playing the keyboard. He is currently a music director with passion for fulfilling his dreams by influencing today’s musician and empowering young people with the necessary tools they need to succeed.
Rachel is so excited to be in the cast of Dandelions in the Wind! She has performed with several regional theatre companies, including Globe Productions, Brampton Music Theatre, Stage Academy Canada, and Brampton Theatre School. Some of Rachel's favourite roles were Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, and Small Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Rachel takes singing and piano lessons with A. Dale Wood and is a member of the Georgetown Children's Chorus. She is in Grade 8 and is also a student at Randolph Academy of the Arts.
Born and raised in Toronto, Gennalee started singing at the age of seven. SInce then she has sung in catholic school choirs, church gospel choirs and the gospel choir at the University of Toronto. She graduated from Seneca she has performed in several community theatre productions including Hair and Godspell. She looks forward to working along side the other actors in the musical Dandelions in the wind.
Morgan is 9 years old. She is sharing the role of Young Sarah with her cousin, Charlotte.
"It is nice to be in a meaningful musical for my first performance!
Jennifer Dance is an award-winning author of books for young people. The three novels in her White Feather Collection (RED WOLF, PAINT and HAWK) deal mostly with racism against indigenous people, especially with respect to the residential schools system. As a nominee for both the Silver Birch Award and the Manitoba Young Peoples Choice Award, Jennifer frequently speaks at schools where students are reading her books. She inspires the new generation to stand up for the downtrodden, and fight to make the world a better place. With Dandelions in the Wind she returns to her roots of black-white racism, digging deep through the pain of her past to create the characters of Sarah and Ben.
Canada Council for the Arts has recognized Jennifer's creative writing ability by awarding her a prestigious grant to work on her latest novel for young people: an Alzheimer's story.
Jennifer was nominated as a Woman of Excellence in the J.S. Woodsworth Awards for Human Rights and Equity, and is honoured to have received the 2016 Senior Achievement Award from the Government of Ontario.
Lead Actor: Ben
"The importance of a piece like this today, is why we are fortunate to be artists. Being able to hold the mirror of the past up to the present,
will show just how much, or how little, the reflection has changed.”
Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Kion is a singer/actor using the art form to live his passion and help him fight his battle with the auto-immune disease, Lupus. Kion attended Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. As part of the Music Theatre and Drama Focus programs, he was in many professional productions with various supporting roles (Evita, Hairspray, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat) as well as lead roles (Ash Girl, Les Miserables). Kion went on to study acting on Camera and Voice. He sees the theatre and the art of performance as a healer and soother to his on-going battle with the disease he’s been fight for 9 years.
Hailing from Toronto, singer/actor Alana Bridgewater is part of the musical landscape of the city, from concerts and recording, to musical theatre and television. Her theatre credits include Shrek, Hairspray, We Will Rock You,The Wizard Of Oz. Music credits include Gospel Christmas, Carvin Winans, Johnny Reid, Alana Bridgewater Quartet. TV credits include Hannibal, Dino Dan, Taxi 22, Gospel Christmas Project, Over The Rainbow
Kesha Wint is the founder and president of QW Productions whose mission is to provide outstanding and professional entertainment in a classy and nostalgic atmosphere, while providing a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their musical gifts. She aims to educate both the public and upcoming artists on the importance of “real” music and why it needs to be kept alive.
Kesha is a graduate from the jazz program at Humber College, and has performed with well-known musicians in many parts of Asia, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. Currently living in the GTA, she is well established in the tight-knit music industry. She is a phenomenal and expressive vocalist who also inspires others to live out their dreams.
At an early age Karen discovered a love for the arts. She began singing and performing in front of her classmates. As a teenager she took part in a high school drama festival and won her first awards in drama for excellence in acting for the Drama, Savage Love. Her love for music led her to audition for the Humber College jazz vocal program. She was accepted into the program and studied music for 3 years. Shortly after she landed a part as a “Singer Swing” in The Lion King. Some of her theatre credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Ultimate Sacrifice, King of Glory, and The Evolution of Gospel Music. Karen also works in TV and film, acting in commercials and performing in ABC Walt Disney’s The Music Man, Nickelodeon’s Make It POP, The Strain, CTV’s Saving Hope, The CW’s Beauty and the Beast and most recently CBC’s Kim’s Convenience.
Lauren is a dancer of 13 years. She studied various styles of dance under Cindy Fisher at the Conservatory of Dance and Music, Dawn Rappit at Elite Danceworx, and Tatiana Stepanova at Stepanova Ballet Academy. She has performed with the Toronto International Ballet Theatre, and in her local Church’s annual Pantomime performances; singing, dancing and acting. Lauren is currently completing her last year of High School and is looking forward to entering University next year.
Chartlotte Hutchison Hansen
Kevin Clarke, originally from Calgary, Alberta, recently returned to Canada after performing as a lead singer aboard the Independence of the Seas with Royal Caribbean Productions. HIs theatre credits include the role of “Darrell Fox” in a workshop of Marathon of Hope -The Terry Fox Story (Drayton Entertainment); The Wizard of Oz (Neptune Theatre); A Chorus Line (Rose Theatre); Man in the Mirror: (Acting Up Stage); My Favorite Year, (Randolph Academy); Pride and Prejudice (Randolph Academy). Film and TV credits include: People of Earth (TBS/Warner Horizon); Perfect Storms (History). Kevin would like to thank his family, friends and NLM for their constant love, guidance and support. He is thrilled to be part of such a beautiful and important show.
For more information on Kevin please visit :
Playwright. Songwriter. Producer.