A Girl's War
Artists Biographies

Joyce Van Dyke (Playwright)’s A Girl’s War was first produced in a workshop production at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in 2001, where it was named by the Boston Globe as one of the “Top Ten” plays of the year. A revised version of the play received its world premiere at New Repertory Theatre in 2003, and was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association’s Steinberg New Play Award. A Girl’s War also won the John Gassner Playwriting Award, the Provincetown Theatre Company Playwriting Award, and was designated as a finalist for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. It was published in the anthology Contemporary Armenian American Drama (2004). Joyce was named a Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow for 2007-2009. She is also a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Playwriting Finalist Grant, and a graduate of Boston University’s playwriting program. Before concentrating on playwriting, she taught Shakespeare and poetry for many years at Harvard and Wellesley, and also worked for several years as a speechwriter in Washington, D.C. She attended Stanford (BA) and the University of Virginia (PhD); her academic awards include the Shattuck Teaching Prize at Harvard Extension School and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Her articles have been published in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Studies in English Literature, and Shakespeare Survey among other journals; her article on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus was reprinted in the Signet Classic edition of the play, and again in The Cambridge Shakespeare Library. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and StageSource.


Ana Bayat (ANA) is a multilingual theatre artist, internationally active on stage and camera since her teens. Ana followed in her father’s footsteps to train in the Stanislavsky system by direct students of the master himself. She also completed a post-graduate training program at the Birmingham School of Speech & Dramatic Arts in the UK. Since arriving to the Bay Area from London in 2000, Ana has been devoted to her craft of acting, working with various local companies such as the Berkeley Repertory and the New Conservatory Theatre Center. Ana is delighted to take part in the story of A Girl's War.


Bella Warda (ARSHALUIS) is an Iranian born East Bay resident since 1980, is a founding member of the Darvag Theater group since its inception in 1985. She has acted in many Darvag productions and other Bay Area theater groups. She was last seen in Darvag's production In memory of Kazem Ashtari an original play by Sepideh Khosrojah. A Girl's War will be her fourth collaboration with Golden Thread Productions. In addition to performing, Bella enjoys translating plays and has directed two Darvag pieces.


Zarif Kabier Sadiqi (ILYAS) was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and raised Portland, Oregon. He has been living in California for four years and has attended Diablo Valley College. He studied acting under Jim Kirkwood and Beth McBrien as well as Ed Trujillo. This is Zarif's debut at Golden Thread; he is honored to be a part of this great ensemble of unique individuals. He would like to thank his mother for giving him everything, his two brothers & sister and the DVC Drama Department for teaching the craft of being human.


Simon Vance* (STEPHEN) returns to the stage after a break of almost three years (to focus on audio books - a two-time Audie winner with 18 Earphone awards and Booklist magazine's "Voice of Choice"). He has previously appeared with the Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company and TheatreFIRST amongst many other Bay Area companies since arriving in California from London. TV appearances include CBS's Nash Bridges and ABC's The Evidence.


Adrian Cervantes Meja (TITO/SERYOZHA) is happy to be collaborating with Golden Thread Ensemble. Originally from Riverside, he earned his BA from Humboldt State University and his MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International. He has toured up and down the West coast with The Dell’Arte Players Company, traversed the jungles of Chiapas Mexico with Clowns Without Borders and performed in street festivals throughout Northern Europe with Teatro Pachuco. He joined the San Francisco Mime Troupe for their summer tour last year, and is presently a teaching artist with their Youth Theatre Project.


Torange Yeghiazarian (Director) is an Iranian-born theatre artist of Armenian heritage. She writes, directs and performs for theatre. Among her writing and directing credits are AGABA,Publicly Resting, Call Me Mehdi, Behind Glass Windows, Dawn at Midnight, Operation No Penetration, Lysistrata 97! and Waves. Torange received her Master's degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University where she collaborated with The San Francisco Mime Troupe in creating the melodrama Torch!   Her plays reflect the perspective of the culturally displaced in tackling today’s world of contradictory realities and values.  As a teaching artist, Torange has taught playwriting to at-risk youth as part of the Each One Reach One program, incorporated theatre into social studies in Richmond’s Washington Elementary School as part of East Bay Center for Performing Arts’ Learning Without Borders program, and lead acting and play development workshops for Golden Thread Productions.  She is the Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, where she has devoted her professional life to exploring Middle Eastern cultures and identities through theatre arts.


* member, Actors' Equity


Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director / Serge Bakalian, Managing Director
131 10th Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 / 415.626.4061 / information@goldenthread.org