The Theatre School is staging two new productions starting next week. Alfea Donato reports
Ryerson Dances (Nov. 27- Dec.1)
After battling through injuries, long hours and intensive routines, Ryerson dance students will light up the stage next week with the Ryerson Dances production.
Produced by Karen Duplisea, the show will run from Nov. 27 to Dec.
1. It will feature choreographies from renowned industry professionals who have been working with the students since September.
According to fourth-year Christine Walker, though the work is physically demanding, it’s well worth it.
“It’s pretty much the real deal, except we’re not getting paid,” says Walker. “The biggest challenge is body stress. We’re working three to four hours a day, on top of schoolwork our bodies are sore all the time.”
Fourth-year dance student Lindsay Voskuil agrees. Voskuil is performing in an action-oriented piece that has lost a dancer to a back injury. “Every so often, people will be like ‘my knee’s screwed up,'” says Voskuil.
But they have learned to be tough. Fourth-year dance student Kunal Ranchod says his love for Circus, choreographed by William Yong, is motivation enough.
“[I want to] give myself to the piece,” he says. “There’s no name to the movements. [They’re] very quirky and different. So beautiful to watch, but harder to learn.”
Although his own ankle is bothering him, Ranchod won’t let the discomfort stop him.
“You deal with it and move on,” says Ranchod. “When the time comes, you just dance.”
Love’s Labour’s Lost (Nov. 28 – Dec. 1)
In September, theatre school instructor Ian Watson told his wife he didn’t think the second-year class could act.
“I feel this way every year,” he says. “The jury’s always out with me.”
Two months later, Watson has done a complete 180. On November 28, the second-year acting class will stage their first production, William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, and he couldn’t be prouder.
“The great thing about these actors is they are such workers. Everyone’s struggling but they just keep going,” says Watson. “You can’t ask for better.”
According to lead actress Madeline Smith, it has been a learning experience.
“Yes, we want to put on a good production but we’re here to learn,” says Smith.
Besides cramming in rehearsals around their class schedules and free time, second-year theatre students Smith and Kaleb Horn faced challenges with Shakespearean language and the division of roles since students share roles with other actors.
“At first, I focused only on my part,” says Horn, who shares the lead role of Ferdinand. “You really have to focus on what other people are saying.”
Love’s Labour’s Lost runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. Tickets are now on sale but so far, all showings are sold out except on Nov. 29.