Why watch Batman v Superman when you can go and see your fellow Ryerson students’ work performed on stage? Ryerson Community Theatre’s festival, Distortion, opens Wednesday at the Aki Studio Theatre and runs until April 2. The festival consists of four plays and Ryerson Folio has a preview for you. All of the plays centre around the theme of distortion, from relationship infidelity to mental health issues.
Written by Rabindranath Tagore and directed by Andrea Pestana, Chitra is an Indian story about a famous warrior and a princess. The play deals with themes of self-care and acceptance.
“There is a serious lack of non-Western plays in our Western world, which is a shame because there is so much beautiful art and drama we simply don’t get as exposed to,” said Pestana, a first-year performance production student. She says each of the colours on set represent a different message, such as Chitra’s white and red costume, which symbolize masculinity and femininity.
Confessions is a play about Frank and Josie, two lovers who confess their infidelity to each other, only to find out that their situation is more complicated than they thought. It was written and directed by Tyler McLaurin, a former arts and contemporary studies student who graduated last year.
“The play is a bit of a mix of comedy and drama. I’m hoping to hit a tone right in the middle where it’s grounded enough to be true, but over the top enough to be entertaining,” Said McLaurin.
Traffic! is a play about five traffic cops in a small town. After surveillance video of one of them running a red light while using a cellphone is posted on social media, the cops must try and figure out who amongst them did it. The play was written by Bryan Chu and directed by Mieka Shade.
“I think some of the most effective comedy is when something very absurd is taken extremely seriously. For the characters, the stakes are life-and-death, but for the audience, the stakes couldn’t be any lower,” said Chu, a computer engineering student.
Wherefore to Dover
Wherefore to Dover was written by Cain Humeniuk and directed by Daniel Lis. The play is about a teenage girl who is taken to a psychologist’s office because she’s developed a friendship with a person whom only she can see. The play provides commentary on mental health and how it can affect an entire family.
“Mental health, stigma, and its treatment are still important topics and they are discussions we should always be having,” said Lis, a second-year politics and governance student.
Featured image by Mieka Shade