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Rais Clarke-Mendes is a Trinidadian-Barbadian artist currently based in Toronto, ON. It was in her home, the land of Carnival and bacchanal, that her love for the arts was born. Rais’ earliest memories of theatre were watching Alison Sealy-Smith’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth in Barbados, where she grew confident that Caribbean women are insurmountable. She is a recent graduate of the Acting Program at the National Theatre School of Canada where she trained under the mentorship of Canada’s top theatre professionals. 

Rais was thrilled to have her directorial debut of X and Da Spirit by Donovan Hayden at the 2022 Fringe Festival, winning Patron’s Pick, which was then recently remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. She was also the Assistant Director to Cherissa Richards for the Crow’s Theatre production of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti.


When she is not directing or acting, Rais works in arts education, partnering with organizations such as the Nia Centre for The Arts. She is intrigued by intersections within cultural identities and their manifestations in the ways we love and empathize with one another. Throughout her artistic career, she intends to collaborate with innovative artists to reimagine and reinvent the boundaries of what art can look like. 


Rais recently joined the ensemble at The Shaw Festival where you can catch her performing in their upcoming season. 

“The truth is we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t even know the questions we need to ask in order to find out, but when we learn one tiny little thing, a dim light comes on in a dark hallway, and suddenly a new question appears.”

― Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

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