Class of 2014

Denise Mordeno Aguilar (The Philippines)
Denise is from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Her training in theatre began at 14 years old where she trained in an acting workshop with Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Tanghalang Pilipino’s Nonon Padilla, Irma Adlawan and Olga Natividad in Cagayan de Oro City as a scholar. Since then, she was actively involved in various production and stage manager roles in theatre before becoming a performer and trainer with Pasundayag Community Theatre. As a theatre practitioner and educator, she believes in the arts as a powerful way to share stories and experiences that represent the complex dynamics of our society, ultimately using theatre as a creative pathway to peace and community engagement. It is with this intention that she decided to apply to ITI, and in the process equip herself with the wisdom of Asia’s great theatre traditions – the very hallmark of the school. Denise is a recipient of the Kuo Pao Kun Foundation-ITI Scholarship.

Giorgia Ciampi (Italy)
Giorgia Ciampi was born in 1989 in Florence, Italy from an Italian father and Greek mother. She volunteered for three years as assistant director for Florence-based Perelandra Theatre Company. At 18 years old, she won a place at the University of Exeter where she graduated with a BA in Drama and subsequently with an MA in Actor Training and Directing under the supervision of renowned theatre practitioner/pedagogue Phillip Zarrilli. Her roles ranged from playwright to director, stage manager, composer and performer. Giorgia feels that her experience in ITI has completed her Western training with the practice of Asian traditional trainings in an intercultural environment, and that the meeting and interaction of cultures through the actors’ body-minds is a very important strand of her current enquiry.

Jyothirmayi Kurup (India)
Jyothirmayi graduated with a Masters in Theatre Arts from the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kerala, India after obtaining her Bachelors in Multimedia from Mahatma. Her training and performance experience reflects her wide range of skills, and she has acted in productions such as Iruvattam Manavatty, the first Malayalam adaptation of a Chinese opera in the Thiruvanathapuram International Theatre Festival directed by Ramesh Varma, a renowned theatre director in India. Jyothirmayi has also spent seven years studying classical Indian Carnatic Music. She is a Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholar.

Kalaiselvi Grace (Singapore)
Kalaiselvi Grace is a versatile bilingual actress with stage, television, radio and film acting experience who is also involved in theatre and storytelling education in various schools in Singapore. Some of her acting credits include Macbeth in Tamil for RDG (2001), An Inspector Calls in Tamil for RDG (2004), Above Us Only Sky for M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2008), Rhinoceros for Singapore Arts Festival (2008) and My Magic – an Eric Khoo film featured in Cannes Film Festival (2008).

Kalai Grace feels that training at ITI has deepened the roots and widened the spectrum of her craft. After graduation, she plans to stage Woman and Womb, her first solo exploration piece. She also plans to explore other acting opportunities in Singapore, collaborate with fellow ITI actors in creating intercultural art for both Singapore and the international audience, and also continue theatre education in schools. She is a recipient of the NAC ITI Arts Scholarship.

Lina Yu (Singapore)
Lina is excited to embark on her final year productions as one of the first batch of graduating students from ITI. As a Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholar, she looks forward to putting the training she has received in ITI into application.

Prior to ITI, Lina received the Japanese Government Scholarship to study in Tokyo, where she was trained in Music Business, Vocals, Computer Music Creation and Recording. She has also performed as a vocalist in various live events in Tokyo. Upon her return to Singapore she decided to commit herself fully to the arts after a stint in the corporate world, taking up acting with NYU Tisch Asia before she applied to and was accepted by ITI.

Pedro Simoni Talavera (Bolivia)
Originally from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Pedro is a trained concert violinist and has been playing violin for 17 years. He was a member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, an invited member of the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, and member of The Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) touring in concert to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. In 2005, he moved to France and obtained a Bachelor in French Literature at Paris-3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University. Following that, he became a member of La Boutonnière Theatre’s laboratory, directed by Habib Naghmouchin, before taking part in the The Body’s Journey, a project of training, research and devising, directed by Leela Alaniz, in Paris. He is a Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholar.

Shakeel Ahmmad (India)
Shakeel Ahmmad was born in Loni, a village in the southern state of Karnataka, India. He obtained a Diploma in Education from DIET College of Mysore and worked as a government teacher for five years before continuing with a Bachelor of Arts from the Karnatak University of Dharwad. Prior to ITI, he received professional actor training at Ninasam Theatre Institute, where he became versatile in traditional and contemporary techniques: Yakshagana Traditional Theatre, Kalari martial art, Yoga, Kolata folk dance, theatre design and contemporary acting. As an actor, he has also toured Karnatak with professional theatre companies for a year before studying in ITI. Shakeel is a recipient of an Asian scholarship sponsored by a private philanthropist.