jakub | June 23, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Victoria Nassif Wins Amphibian Stage Acting Competition


Ari Derambakhsh, Haneen Arafat Murphy, Victoria Nassif, Jamie Rezanour, and Christian Tannous. (Photo and graphic by Evan Michael Woods.)

DALLAS: Amphibian Stage has named the winners of an acting competition held as part of SparkFest. Victoria Nassif of Austin won the first prize of $5,000.

This year’s SparkFest, a festival of new plays in development, ran June 1-14 and focused on artists from Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian cultures. The winners of the festival’s acting competition include Nassif, Jamie Rezanour, and Haneen Arafat Murphy.

Nassif is a performer and intimacy director based in Chicago whose credits include the New Victory Theater, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, American Players Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, TheatreSquared, and Santa Cruz Shakespeare, among others. Nassif is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Rezanour, who won the second prize of $4,000, is a Houston native now based in New York City. Her credits include work at the Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Guthrie Theater, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She was also featured in a recurring role on the television series Blue Bloods. Rezanour is a graduate of SMU.

Murphy, who won the third prize of $3,000, is a Forth Worth native who studied dance at Texas Christian University. She is one of the founding program directors of Sirius Radio and has been featured in multiple national voiceover commercial campaigns. She recently appeared in Constellation Stage & Screen’s production of American Fast by Kareem Fahmy.

Christian Tannous of Houston won the audience favorite award of $1,000, and finalist Ari Derambakhsh was awarded $500. Semifinalists included Lois Abdelmalek, Savannah Elayyach, Ahmad Kamal, Andrew Nicolas, and Mariana Saba.

The judging panel included performer and writer Taylor A. Blackman, casting agent Spencer Gualdoni, director Kate Moore Heaney, and director and playwright Sharifa Yasmin.

Amphibian Stage aims to produce innovative and engaging theatre that inspires new ideas, opens doors, and increases understanding of the vast world around us. As of 2021, the theatre had a budget of approximately $924,700.

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