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Emerging Company in Residence

Buddies is excited to welcome artists Gaitrie Persaud-Dhunmoon and Natasha “Courage” Bacchus as participants in our inaugural Emerging Company in Residence program. This partnership will build these artists’ capacity through long-form mentorship that caters to their identified areas of learning and growth.

Throughout 2021, Gaitrie and Courage will work alongside Buddies staff to hone skills and gain experience in script development, grant-writing, workshop planning and facilitation, and communications. Their project, The Two Natashas, and Gaitrie’s company Phoenix the Fire, will serve as a focal point for development over the course or the year.

This season, the residency will include a programming slot in our 2021 Queer Pride Festival, as well as the opportunity to curate and deliver community workshops with support from Buddies.

About the artists:

Natasha “Courage” Bacchus is a Tkaronto-Guyanese, Deaf Black Female Queer, 3 timer Deaflympian Sprinter, and 2020 Black Lives Matters monologues winner. She advocates for IBPOC/QIBPOC Deaf artists to get the recognition they deserve. Natasha is passionate about doing theatre, monologues, improv and music. She has worked with companies across the country including Red Dress Productions, Obsidian Theatre, Kingston Circus Arts, Tangled Arts, and Inside Out Theatre.

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Gaitrie Persaud-Dhunmoon is a Tkaronto-Guyanese, Deaf IBPOC/QIBPOC activist who is passionate about music, activism, empowering Deaf artists and ASL music, and also an ASL coach, ASL music performer, actress for The Two Natashas and founder of Phoenix The Fire. She is also the host, Enchante, of the talk show Be Enchante or Be Impotent.

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Phoenix the Fire, founded by Gaitrie Persaud-Dhunmoon, is a theatre company as well as a community hub for those who need a start, providing workshops, resources, and facilitating partnerships to support Deaf QTIBPOC artists and their endeavours. Their project, The Two Natashas (created and performed by Persaud-Dhunmoon and collaborator Natasha “Courage” Bacchus) was developed through Red Dress Productions’ Inkling Enacted, presented at the SOUND OFF Festival, and is featured in The Rhubarb Festival’s 2021 edition.

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photos by Mana Bijandgoodarz