2019 has been a very exciting year for Dawn Jani Birley. Last March, Why Not Theatre wrapped up nationally-acclaimed Prince Hamlet Canadian Winter Tour with stellar reviews. After that, Birley jumped into another exciting ground-breaking production, The Black Drum, an extraordinary, signed music musical that was co-produced by DEAF CULTURE CENTRE and Soulpepper in Toronto. Right now, she is playing Sarah in Sanaton Rakkaus (Children of Lesser God) with Espoo City Theatre in Finland.
Toronto Theatre Critics Award Winner for Best Actress in a Play 2017 for her role as Horatio in Prince Hamlet, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf Person of the Year 2017 and Swedish Riksteatern’s Artist of the Year 2015, Dawn Jani is a versatile actor spanning more than fifteen years of professional experience in theatre and film. With facial features that can be transformed into many different faces and a strong background in physical theatre, her career takes her all over the world working with Deaf and hearing actors, directors and photographers. With a Master of Arts in Physical Theatre with Merit from St. Mary’s University in London, it is her life mission to show that Deaf and hearing can work together on the front line in bringing positive change in our today’s world. Aside from acting, Dawn Jani is often summoned to give workshops/training, motivational speeches and appearances.
Some of her favourite credits include being casted in the world’s first sign language opera, Kung Karls Jakt, produced by Finnish Teatteri Totti; as Najdra in När vinterns stjärnor lyser här with Swedish Norrbottensteatern; and as Horatio in Prince Hamlet.