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Ari Deram

Class of 2022

I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.

Maya Angelou and Terence

Ari Deram (she/her) is a first generation Iranian-American actress. She was born and raised in the beautiful beach cities of Los Angeles, CA.

Ari’s love for acting was initially sprung by her deep passion for singing, which seems to have followed her everywhere in life. Seriously, she is always singing. Like, always. When did she fall in love with acting? She suspects it seeped into her subconscious between the first and 300th watch of The Sound of Music as a toddler. 

She has performed and sang on iconic stages including The Pantages Theatre (Hollywood), The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (LA), and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (London). 

Amongst her many goals in Film and TV, one of her aspirations is to be a role model to young people of the MENA and Iranian communities through her involvement in forward moving work: work that shows Middle Eastern people as human beings, not stereotypes. She is excited and hopeful for what the future holds.

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Anik Zarkos

Class of 2022

I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generations of lovers, and the next.

Donna Tartt

Anik (she/her/hers) is a proud representative of Ketchum, Idaho. A surprising haven for the arts, Ketchum provided the opportunity to study with some of the finest actors that she has met at The Spot Theatre. Anik is committed to bringing complex characters alive and has a deep love of Shakespeare. She recently nurtured this love as Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe. Raised in the mountains, she grew to be a lifelong learner and an enthusiastic outdoorsman. Offstage, she can be found in the river, writing, playing pond hockey, reading compelling fiction, playing her guitar, and fangirling over her dog Hap.  Recent theater credits include Queen Isabeau in Joan of Arc, Juror #3 in Twelve Angry Jurors, and Sherri in American Hero.

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Rory Grace Wagner

Class of 2022

My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me and I pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seem totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible

Alex Honnold

For Rory Grace Wagner (she/her), home is a relative thing.  She discovered life outside of the familiar surroundings of Beverly Hills, Michigan when at the age of 6, she moved to Shanghai, China and thus discovered her passion for performance and adventure.  Her love of characters began in middle school with the roles of Mungo, Scarecrow, and Eliza Doolittle.  While producing iMovie trailers about Hubba Bubba Gum and Polly Pockets, her enthusiasm for filmmaking began to emerge.  A born performer, Rory began to develop her career at the Shanghai American School with a faculty of accomplished performers from around the world.  Returning to the United States, Rory joined a nationally recognized college preparatory school known for their performing arts faculty and facilities.  She continued to grow her love for all facets of the arts not only through a variety of performances but also student directing and student filmmaking. She worked on 48-hour film projects during the summers and spent weeks at performing arts camps such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada.  Rory honed her craft in London, England as she prepared for the role of Viola in Twelfth Night.  She possesses an inclination to travel the world and explore…adventure and curiosity is her middle name.  Rory cannot wait to bring joy to the world through her creative and artistic endeavors.

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Isabella Maria Valdés

Class of 2022

My weapon has always been language, and I've always used it, but it has changed. Instead of shaping the words like knives now, I think they're flowers, or bridges.

Sandra Cisneros

Isabella Maria Valdés (she/they) is a Cuban American and Puerto Rican artist from the tropical paradise that is the 305 (Miami, Florida). Growing up, Isabella spent a lot of time being an active member in community arts, most of which spent in her church choir. She owes a big part of her artistic journey to that same community. The music director, with the help of his husband, would run every choir rehearsal bringing forth forward thinking material. Not every church lets a 10 year old sing Lady Gaga- especially Born This Way. The biggest insight those two men gave to her was that the privilege to have all eyes on her is when she must speak truth to power. Isabella hopes to work with artists like Melinda Lopez, Alexis Scheer, and J. Sebastián Alberdi, to create and be part of work that gives back to her community; stories that intersect queerness, feminism and latinidad.

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Ryann Myers

Class of 2022

Our highest power is love, and it is one thing each of us has an unlimited amount of.

Rhonda Byrne

Ryann Myers (she/her/hers) is a born and raised Jersey girl who enjoys spending her time outdoors hiking, biking, dancing, and doing yoga. Ryann’s curiosity for acting sparked at age six and has only grown exponentially since. As a young black woman growing up in a predominantly white community Ryann struggled to find her own voice. Constantly placing herself on stage taught her that there should never be any shame in the full expression of yourself. And that no matter how important, or insignificant, or beautiful, or ugly you feel, it should never be hidden. It should be learned from, shared and celebrated. Ryann enjoys mentoring and teaching younger students how to be the fullest versions of themselves on stage. Some of her most notable roles include Joan in Joan of Arc, Miranda in The Busy Body; Olivia in Twelfth Night; Mille Davis in Trouble in Mind, and Hermes in When Silence Falls.

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Zoé Girod

Class of 2022

If you don’t tell or show it, it’s erased—it was so great, and it will be like it never happened.

Michaela Coel

Born and raised in New York City, Zoé Girod is the daughter of French/Swiss parents and grew up bilingual in French and English. Her passion for acting emerged in her early teens through school performances and training with The Arts Effect Theater. She received the Best Female Actress Award as Eve in Et Dieu Créa la Femme at LFNY’s Première Scène Theatre Festival. Academically driven, Zoé considered numerous paths—physics being one of them—but her drama training at LaGuardia High School set her on an unstoppable trajectory: she would be an actor. She chose Rutgers to pursue her BFA in acting, drawn to its Meisner training and its conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. A gifted visual artist and a lover of dance, Zoé writes, shoots, and edits films. Throughout COVID-19, she worked as the editor for The Peace Studio, a foundation promoting peace through the arts.

Zoé recently played Agatha in The Moors, Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe, Agnès Sorel in Joan of Arc, and Juror #1/Foreman in Twelve Angry Jurors. Her film work includes Hannah in I’m Here, for which she was nominated Best Supporting Actress by Indie Short Fest, Los Angeles. She appears as Young Starlet in Hulu’s drama miniseries, Pam & Tommy.

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Sage Ftacek

Class of 2022

Sage Ftacek grew up sledding and throwing snowballs around Minnesota. Acting was the first interest that he couldn’t manage to get bored of, and therefore he couldn’t shake it off of him. In between taking the 860 express bus to the city for acting class and rehearsing student lead productions in the evening, he fell into the skateboarding and graffiti scene of Minneapolis. Unable to stop himself from acquiring one new hobby after the next, Sage could still never find an interest to overtake acting and no-budget filmmaking, and accepted that it has landed as a “must-have” requirement for the rest of his life. It is a beautiful world, and it’s a privilege to tell any story that it contains. 

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Charlotte Fountain-Jardim

Class of 2022

Everything happens for a reason.

Daniel Devlin (her high school drama teacher)

Charlotte Fountain-Jardim (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey. Just 30 minutes away from Manhattan, she spent her high school years going back and forth from the city, dipping her toe into the commercial industry, and soaking up as much acting training as she could. Embarking on the path of her acting career in preschool church choir, she found her passion onstage. While she spent most of her youth in musical theater, Charlotte fostered her musical talents which include: singing, guitar, piano, ukulele and dance. And while she loves to jam to a little Sondheim, she’s recently found a love for film and TV acting. Offstage you can find her dancing, at the beach, or eating ice cream. Some of her favorite credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Viola in Twelfth Night, Sandy in Grease, and Juror 8 in 12 Angry Jurors

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Quinn Fitzgerald

Class of 2022

Quinn Fitzgerald is a classically trained actor, born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut, into a family of creative minds and artists. Quinn’s love for acting first sprouted when he was very young, dancing and singing in the ensemble of community theater musicals. In high school he decided he needed more intense and focused training in acting so he auditioned for The Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut and was accepted. Quinn continued his conservatory training at Mason Gross School of the Arts where he has had the opportunity to work on a number of productions including Joan of Arc, directed by Christopher Cartmill, Twelve Angry Jurors, directed by Kevin Kittle, and most recently Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, at The Globe Theater in London. Quinn has seen how effective acting and performance are at sharing essential stories and experiences and wants to use his own abilities to change the world of film and theater.

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Will Ehren

Class of 2022

As I am. As I am. All or not at all.

James Joyce

Will Ehren, is an artist born and raised in New York City.   Before deciding to deepen his craft and pursue a BFA at Mason Gross School of the Arts, he graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, where he studied and developed a passion for acting. During his high school years he was cast professionally as Patrick in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and originated a role in the new play Linger at Premiere Stages in New Jersey. During his time at Mason Gross, he was also able to work in TV & Film. Most recently, he had a guest star role on Law and Order SVU (S. 22, EP 14) , was featured on Wu-Tang: An American Saga and has just wrapped his first feature film, playing the protagonist in Bottom Feeders, with a release slated for 2023. Will is also excited that a short film he was in, Dogfood, is an Official selection at the 2021 Monmouth Film Festival in New Jersey, The Pigdon Film Festival in Australia and the Internationales Festival Hanover in Germany.  After graduation, Will hopes to continue his work on screen and on the New York stage.