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May 5, 2021

Soulpepper Perspectives: Ahmed Moneka, Academy Member

I am Ahmed Moneka an actor, singer and now a playwright. I am a member of the 2021 Soulpepper Academy and I feel privileged to be part of this incredible group of artists. It is so inspiring to grow and learn amongst Liz Der, Natasha Adiyana Morris, Samantha Brown and Daniel Krmpotic. Luckily the lockdown came later so we had a chance to meet in person, connect and get to know each other. 

This first Trimester was quite the journey. As an immigrant from Baghdad who studied acting in theatre for nine years, I’m now studying theatre as a creator. When I met my instructors and started learning from them, I was surprised how those teachings actually helped me connect with myself. With Biomyth Monodrama and the Anitafrika Method, d’bi young led me gently to free myself from colonized performances. Santee Smith taught me movement as a communicator and Ausar Stewart how to use my body as an engine for my voice. With Guillermo Verdecchia I could explore diverse writing styles and the art of analyzing in Text and Context. Lorenzo Savoini showed me Design and atmosphere as a crucial aspect of the narrative. Djanet Sears, teaching Playwriting, guided me to find the angle to tell my story and improve my writing. Weyni Mengesha put the light on leadership and how to adopt compelling and meaningful decisions in story-making.

I learned English 5 years ago and now, at the end of Week 8, I have a solo show to present to the faculty. I’m so proud to be part of this Academy, I feel so lucky and grateful for this amazing opportunity to grow and I am excited for what is to come. 

Blog by: Ahmed Moneka