Now that the theatre school building has closed down, alumni reflect on their time at Ryerson.
1. Araya Mengesha, actor on CBC’s Shoot the Messenger
“I’m kind of sad [that the building is closing down]. We were just on our own in this old building and there’s something about that felt like it was a world of our own. With that being said, I totally see the needs to meet the times and step up and have a different environment for students. It just felt like a secret place that was ours that was outside of the mainstream of the school.”
2. Michela Cannon, actor for Tarragon Theatre
“There are so many [favourite memories]. I couldn’t choose just one. When I got to Ryerson it was the first time in my life where I really felt like I belonged. So I guess [my favourite memory is] the sense of belonging that it provides for young artists.”
3. Howard Davis, acted for Shaw Festival
“When a building is that old, it has its quirks, which is actually one of the reasons I fell in love with it. At my audition I thought, ‘This building has history. It’s cool.’”
4. Jasmine Chen, acted for Shaw Festival
“It’s sad and it’s disappointing [that the building is closing down]. There are a lot of amazing memories tied to that place and a lot of great people who came through that building…I think it’s unfortunate that the issues with the building hadn’t been dealt with sooner, in regards to if there was any way to renovate or do repairs in the summer when we weren’t there, so that they wouldn’t have to condemn the whole thing.”
5. Kathryn Davis, actor for Ubisoft Video Game Company
“My best memory of the [theatre] building is probably one of the most frightening, too — being in the haunted basement with my brother [Howard Davis], picking costumes from hundreds of boxes. He swore that a box flipped itself over and it must have been the resident ghost. We continued to pick our costumes as fast as possible and competed with one another as to who would be the last one stuck down there.”
6. Caroline Watters, stage manager at Cirque du Soleil
“As a stage manager [for Cirque du Soleil] we need to know a little bit about everything and that’s what the program taught me. We deal with every single department and we need to be able to understand their work as much as possible. Ryerson provided me the base knowledge about each department and through my experiences I have been able to maintain that knowledge and learn more from there.”
Kayla Rosen is a Master of Journalism candidate at Ryerson and was the Print Managing Editor at The Ryersonian. She has interned at Elle Canada, Flare, The Kit and The Jerusalem Post. Her interests include pop culture, fashion and religion.