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Theatre prof dies, two plays in his honour

By Tina Glendadakis

Tony Abrams, a professor, theatrical set and costume designer at Ryerson’s theatre school, died Dec. 1, 1996 of heart failure. He was 54.

Abrams came to Ryerson as a student in 1977. He became a resident set and costume designer and part time instructor in the theatre school in 1979 until he became a regular faculty member in 1990.

An original member of the Associated Designers of Canada, Tony Abrams worked on costume, set, lighting and sound design.

He assisted in the LightHouse Festival in Port Dover and the Muskoka Festival in Gravenhurst as well as Theatre Plus, Teller’s Cage and Young Peoples Theatre.

More than 500 people attended his funeral Dec. 6. “Tony Abrams was held in extremely high regard as a man of the theatre by his colleagues and his students,” said Sandy Black, chair of Ryerson’s theatre school.

Celebration of his life and his contribution to the theatre will be held Feb. 15 and 16 with two plays, Romeo and Juliet and Lysistra, dedicated to his work.

The plays were the last designs he did for the school before his death. The plays are in conjunction with Ryerson’s 25th anniversary.

“I respected him more than any other teacher I’ve ever had,” said Kristin Booth, a third-year acting student who was in Abrams’ theatre history class for two years. “The man was brilliant, very caring, very wonderful. A man of great integrity.”

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