Photo: Farnia Fekri

Theatre students still in the dark

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By Mohamed Omar

It’s October 2004. Ryerson’s Academic Council is meeting. The Academic Standards Committee is presenting, among a heap of other things, a periodic program review for the Ryerson Theatre School (RTS).

The gist: the program’s great, the teachers are wickedly talented and the school is well connected to the industry. Oh, also the facilities and equipment are shit.

We should probably fix that, bros.

The committee said in its report that it “strongly encourages the school to work with [the Faculty of Communication and Design] and university administration to identify and formulate long-term solutions to its facilities and equipment challenges.” That recommendation was passed as a motion a month later.

Fast forward to October 2014 and RTS is told it’s being moved out of the building at the end of the academic year. Ten years after that motion, there’s no solid plan in the works, no clue whether the school will be getting a new building or shuffled around the campus like image arts students were for so long.

It’s an objectively good thing that the school is getting hauled out, of course. The building is horrid.

It’s basement’s been flooded.

Termites have likely had sex there, all while chomping on equipment and infrastructure. That’s both yucky and dangerous.

But the amount of time it took the school just to say the building isn’t good enough anymore shows just how much RTS has been off the school’s radar — its problems go back way more than 10 years.

This weirdly sudden decision to eject the dance, acting and production programs could, one hopes, result in a better situation for RTS.

But until it does, the school and its students will have to do what they’ve always done — wait.

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