Gina Shmukler (19*-) Actress and director.
Studied for B.A. Honors in Dramatic Art, University of the Witwatersrand. Did other voice, theatre and music courses overseas.
In 2001 she moved to New York, working extensively in theatre, film anmd TV there. Occasionally returned to do work in South Africa.
In the USA and Asia she performed in Oscar Winner Sam Mendes' revival of Cabaret (Fraulein Kost & Sally Bowles understudy) and most recently toured Sweden with Cape Town Opera's Showboat as Julie. In New York, she has worked extensively with Tony Award Nominee, Elizabeth Swados, on Judith, Missionaries, Yerma, Journey To Benares and The Violence Project. Other USA highlights include: Salt Chocolate (at Duke on 42nd), Murder (at PS 122), Hidden Voices (at Minetta Lane) directed by Tony Award winner Terence Mann, Anyone Can Whistle as Fay Apple, Secret Garden as Martha, Mame as Sally Cato, and On The Town as Madam Dilly. Also in New York, Gina played the role of Amina in the Award winning independent film, Arranged.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
She starred in Grease at the Alexander Theatre in 1992. She starred in Kevin Feather’s The Doowah Girls at the Richard Haines Theatre in 1993. She starred in Janice Honeyman’s production of Hair at the Civic Theatre in 1994. Master Class (Mark Graham), Love, Crime and Johannesburg (Malcolm Purkey), The Rocky Horror Show (Colin Law), Grease (Fred Abrahamse), Spinning Out and West Side Story.
In 2009 she played the role of Florence Vassy in Chess.
Her one-woman show Silk Ties was performed throughout South Africa as well as Namibia and Toronto earning nominations for Best Script and Best Director.
Prior to her departure to the USA, Gina was privileged to share the stage with Elaine Paige in her concert in Sun City singing the duet I Know Him So Well.
Vita Award (Transvaal) 1993 Shmukler, Gina as Sinbad in Sinbad's Africn Adventures (most promising talent)
Florence Vassy in Chess for which she received both a Fleur Du Cap Nomination and a Naledi Award
Gina was awarded the National Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Master Class as Sophie de Palma, Best Performance in a Musical for Blues Brothers and a nomination for Love, Crime, Johannesburg in which she created the role of Lulu.
Tucker, 1997. 526, 536.
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