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When Vladimir Jon Cubrt started at Ryerson, he thought the theatre program would be a good way to meet girls.

“When I first walked into Ryerson my idea of acting was very different from what it is now,” he said.

He’s changed a lot since graduating in 1995.

Cubrt is currently working on his second full-length play. The Weeping Salsa is a sensual and emotional exploration of the relationship between a man and a woman whose lives are inextricably tied together.

Cubrt wrote, co-directed, and stars in the production, which uses a combination of traditional drama and Latinstyle partnered dancing. Cubrt admitted that he had been lazy during his time at Ryerson and had carried the attitude with him for a short while. “I got my agent and was like ‘OK, they’ll make me a star,’” he said.

He lucked out in the first year with television and movie auditions and had everyone under the impression that he was going to make it big, right from the start. “The first year was awesome. Then it tapered off,” Cubrt said.

After a long road of television series appearances and small theatre productions, Cubrt discovered himself through writing. “I need to get out what the world means to me,” he said.

Cubrt first had his idea for The Weeping Salsa while watching the first act of a poorly produced play in Toronto. He was suddenly struck by the vision of a man and woman dancing an emotional salsa. Then, he saw a glimmer on the imaginary woman’s cheek as she turned. “Why is she crying? Why is she crying!” Cubrt exclaimed in a frenzy, reliving the moment.

At intermission he ran out to grab a pen and paper. Cubrt didn’t even leave the play, though it had blurred into the background of his mind because he didn’t want to lose what he was composing. That was winter 2005 and now he’s only a few weeks from opening night.

Five nights a week the triple-threat performer takes dance lessons at various schools and every Monday he meets with a group of working actors. He recruited his co-star of The Weeping Salsa, Donna Christo, in that group.

So what’s the message Cubrt wants to get through to his audience?

“It’s very personal, the show,” he said. “The permanence of feelings or the impermanence… when you feel so connected and then so disconnected,” he explained, his eyes lighting up as he analyzed the complexity of love and relationships. But basically? “Yeah, it’s about love,” he said.


The Weeping Salsa runs Nov. 15-29 at The Theatre Centre. Visit zocalotoronto. com for more information or tickets.

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