Backstage opens to rest of campus

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By Isabelle Docto

The Ryerson Musical Theatre Company (RMTC) launched last week, opening the stage to all students with a passion for theatre.

As Ryerson’s first musical theatre company, RMTC president Robyn Hoja wants to create more accessible opportunities for students who aren’t in the university’s theatre program.

“My goal is to have longevity and to have this become such a crucial part to extra-curricular groups at Ryerson,” she said.

The idea came to the secondyear creative industries student last year. Hoja was involved in musical theatre in her hometown of Peterborough, Ont., and missed the stage when she arrived at Ryerson. She recruited seven of her theatre-loving peers as executives and started forming the RMTC during Summer 2014.

Aside from Hoja’s friends, other students also want to join the RMTC. Brian Baum, a first-year business management student, hopes to be the assistant stage manager on the RMTC’s first production “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

He was a volunteer with the University of Toronto’s UC Follies Theatre Company and is glad to get involved at Ryerson.

“It’s something that I think people are looking for as an outlet that’s not what they’re studying,” said Baum.

The RMTC became an official group under the Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS) in December. Tyler Webb, president of the RCDS, thinks the theatre company is something Ryerson was missing.

“Most universities actually have musical-based theatre group initiatives that have people who aren’t in an acting program,” he said.

The RCDS and Ira Levine, chair of creative industries, connected Hoja with people in the theatre industry, helping her build the RMTC.

The RMTC is planning to show their first musical in February 2016. They are negotiating with the Betty Oliphant Theatre to use the venue for their productions and will sign a deal in February.

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