Photo: Chris Blanchette

Theatre students hijack Nescafé truck

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By Skyler Ash

Two students in the Ryerson Theatre School (RTS) launched a hostile takeover of the Nescafé truck outside the Student Campus Centre (SCC) on Gould Street on Tuesday.

Arthur Gorman and Lila Tripack donned ski masks and headed over to the truck at about 11:30 a.m.

“At first, I thought they were putting on some sort of play in those silly masks,” said Nescafé worker Julie Priman. “But then they ordered me, my coworkers and some students to get out of the truck.”

Priman said that she and the other workers fled into the street in fear, while the hijackers yelled at them to leave the coffee inside the truck “for later.”

“We needed the coffee, because we knew we would be in there for a while,” said Gorman. “Plus, it’s just so sweet and creamy!”

Tripack said she and Gorman saw taking over the truck as their last resort. “Rehearsal space has been tight, and we had to get creative,” said Tripack. “The truck was there, and we already had the ski masks, so it just seemed logical.”

The RTS was “temporarily” relocated to the Student Learning Centre (SLC) in the fall, and plans for a permanent space are in the works and expected to be ready by 2019.

“It’s a fight to find somewhere to practice,” said Gorman. “Literally, I punched a guy out the other day just so I could work in the hallway.”

With the relocation, many theatre students are feeling “jipped, done-wrong, bamboozled” and “genuinely pissed off.”

Nescafé workers called campus security after the students locked the door of the truck from the inside. Priman said that security came but couldn’t get into the truck. “They said that there was nothing they could do, and that they’d rather stand out front of Arbia instead of outside the coffee truck.”

Gorman and Tripack were in the truck rehearsing their two-person show about a weekend ski trip that goes awry when one of the characters is brutally murdered with a ski pole. They were inside the truck for six and a half hours.

“We only made it half way through our rehearsal, but then we ran out of coffee,” said Gorman. “As soon as the last cups were gone, so were we.”

The two exited the truck to the sound of wild applause. “We heard their whole performance,” said Kenny Opter, a Nescafé barista. “It was so beautiful and thrilling, even though we couldn’t see them through the walls of the truck.”

The workers embraced the young thespians and offered them free coffee for life and full use of the truck for rehearsal anytime.

In exchange, Gorman and Tripack gave all the workers free tickets to the opening night of their show, Murder on the Slopes, which premiers on April 23.  

“That day, we shared more than just a truck, more than just delicious, free Nescafé instant coffee, we shared the hope that at least for a while, some theatre students have a space to practice,” Gorman said.

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