UBC Theatre and Film is immensely proud of our Class of 2021. Over the past few years, these graduates have developed their imaginative, technical, and intellectual skills as they prepare to embark on their careers. They persevered despite unprecedented hurdles in the most difficult of times. Each and every one of them is nothing short of inspirational.
Today, we honour and celebrate their achievements. Meet our Class of 2021: diligent, resilient, and triumphant. We cannot wait to see what they do next.
Message from Stephen Heatley, Head of the Department of Theatre and Film
Graduation day can be bittersweet as we say goodbye and good luck to students we have come to know and treasure, and who are moving on to the next exciting stages of their lives. Congratulations on this momentous achievement. You deserve to be proud of your hard work, dedication, and determination. There may have been times of frustration and discouragement, but you have prevailed and the world is a better place because of you.
I encourage you to not be strangers. The Department of Theatre and Film is your scholarly and artistic home and you will always be welcomed back to participate in all of our many activities in the busiest department of UBC. Remember, we are the story-tellers, and the events of the past 15 months will need to be chronicled. We will tell of the bravery and the heartbreak, of the joy and the despair. Stories are the lifeblood of our world and it is through the theatre, the cinema, and the media that these stories are told and retold so, together, we can better understand all that it means to be human.
Stay safe, stay curious, and stay in touch (but, for now, no closer than two metres).
Wishing you all the very best on this special day.
Cindy Xu (they/them)
In 2020, Dax self-published 妹 (Little Sister) — a collection of photographs and poems written in their youth on love and loss. Raised on Vancouver Island, their work lingers on teenage nostalgia and suburbia. “summer on an island” is an on-going photo series that documents their push-pull relationship with their hometown.
Coral Santana (she/her)
In her work, Coral explores her mixed heritage and how colonialism has shaped her perception of self. Her writing is infused with memories from her childhood and how unlearning and relearning her history continues to shape her. She is also the host and producer of DIVERSITY READS, a podcast book club that highlights fiction and poetry by diverse authors. Coral holds a BA in Film Studies with a minor in Creative Writing from the UBC.
Ed Li (he/him)
Sabrina Dang (she/her)
Tamar Hanstke (she/her)
Tiffany Chasson (she/her)
Alysha Forester (she/her)
Alysha is ecstatic to be receiving her BA in Theatre Studies. She would like to thank her many friends she's made in the program for their endless support and encouragement. It was this encouragement that has allowed her to be a waitress with a degree rather than a waitress without. She's simultaneously thankful UBC has allowed her to make Vancouver her home and also deeply frustrated with the fact a place this beautiful continues to take advantage of this land and its Indigenous peoples while making false and feeble attempts at reparations that only serve institutions deeply entangled in white supremacy. In the future, Alysha hopes to be a person who leaves people better than she found them.
Britt MacLeod (she/her)
Sun Hee Cho (she/her)
Bonnie Duff (she/her)
Bonnie is a Finnish-Canadian theatre artist and proud UBC Acting grad. She was awarded the Joy Coghill Award in Acting. She also trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, and is a Teaching Artist at Bard on the Beach. She has worked extensively as an actor with Vancouver companies such as Awkward Stage Productions, Geekenders/Instant Theatre, UBC Improv. She is an emerging playwright and has completed Arts Club’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive (L1). Bonnie is interested in Canadian theatre and film, and creating and performing adapted classical pieces. At UBC, she also minored in Anthropology and is a passionate explorer of different cultural definitions of “art”.
Chantal Dobles Gering (they/she)
Charmaine Sibanda (she/her)
David Lundmark (he/him)
Erin Purghart (they/she)
Heidi Damayo (she/her)
Holly Collis Handford (she/her)
Holly is a Canadian actor pursuing theatre and film. She achieved her ARCT in Voice Performance (classical singing) from the Royal Conservatory of Music and loves to incorporate live music and singing into her work. Her acting credits include Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival), Agnes in Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (UBC), and Empress Irene in The Tragedy of Irene (UBC English Students' Association). Holly is also a dancer trained in ballet and jazz and a composer whose original music has been featured in multiple theatre productions. Holly is delighted to be spending her summer performing in Commedia in the Park with Axis Theatre.
Shannon Poole (she/her)
Shannon is a Canadian/Australian actor, who has lived in both Vancouver and Oxford, England. She has studied acting, singing, and dance. Shannon danced at Arts Umbrella from the ages of 5 to 14 and has over ten years of singing instruction. She sang for the Vancouver and Oxford chapters of National Associations of Teachers of Singing. Shannon was inspired to become an actor when she trained at Authentic Performance Academy in Oxford.
Shona Struthers (they/she/he)
Hannah Abbott (she/her)
Jane Li (she/her)
Sandy Park (she/her)
Zoe Feng (she/her)
Clara Salameh (she/her)
Daina Zachariah (she/her)
Melissa Lam (she/her)
Omorose Osagie (she/they)
Pihu Gupta (she/her)
Ross Branch (he/him)
Sean Patterson (she/her)
Shay Scholes (she/her)
Jemma Dash (she/her)
Frank Zotter (he/him)
Vivek Sodal (he/him)
Samantha Pineda Sierra (she/her)
While our congratulatory message extends to all of our 2021 graduates, this post only includes the profiles of students who have opted-in to be featured.