REVIEW: The final bow at the Ryerson Theatre School building

(Kevin John Siazon)

The Ryerson Theatre School building will close its doors this month. The school will move to the Student Learning Centre. (Kevin John Siazon)

The Ryerson Theatre School building is ending its run with one last production: The Possibilities.

The play, which was written by Howard Barker and directed by Brendan Healy, premiered Sept. 30 in the Abrams Studio Theatre. Its final performance will be Oct. 6, marking the last curtain call at 44 Gerrard St.

When it comes to the synopsis of the play, as the title indicates, there are a lot of “possibilities.” The show consists of 10 separate vignettes that span across time and place from 550 BC into the future. Each vignette has an individual storyline that touches on themes like betrayal, sexual desire, madness and revenge. There is little context given at the start of each scene, so it’s up to the audience to decipher what is happening and where.

One way which the show truly succeeds is in the use of the space. The Abrams Studio Theatre is quite small and could be easily overwhelmed by the scale of a production. In this case, though, the simplicity of the sets, which consisted of various doors and a few props, and the fact that only a few actors were on stage at a time, made for an intimate viewing experience.

As for the performances, The Possibilities is a true ensemble piece with each actor playing multiple parts. Though there was not one standout performance, every actor was fully committed and transitioned perfectly from one role to the next.

The only problem with The Possibilities is with the script. Barker often uses ideas which, combined with the constantly changing vignettes, can be confusing.

Overall though, this is a production that showcases the human condition in its most basic form and the actors put on a masterclass in acting.

The Ryerson Theatre School will be moving to the Student Learning Centre during the fall reading week.

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