Written by Megan Apa
The playGround Festival is a collection of short plays created, developed, designed, directed, and featuring student artists. Everyone from the artistic directors to the production team backstage are students here at York University. The playGround Festival is a place for students to have the opportunity to mount their own work. It is a place for young creators to push beyond personal boundaries and develop their own authentic voices. For many, playGround is just the first step towards the professional theatre world beyond school. The ideas and relationships that are fostered here on this stage have often continued beyond York onto professional stages.
Ryan Borochovitz is a fourth-year Theatre Studies student with one foot out the door and into the real world. Sad Ibsen Theatre, a company that he founded while in his third year at York University, will be taking their work to Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto this January. We sat down with Ryan to talk about his company’s debut performance: Exiles, by James Joyce. This interview was conducted by Megan Apa.
How did Sad Ibsen Theatre come to be? How did you pick that name?
I suppose, in the early days, it was more of an effort to brand myself than any kind of serious thought about starting a company. One of these early projects to which I had attached this logo was Like a Bicycle, a short absurdist play that I wrote for last year’s playGround Festival. When George [Kiriakopulos], who directed that play, saw the logo, he asked me what it was about. That got us talking about our long-term theatre goals, one thing lead to another, and pretty soon we were talking about starting up our own company. We already had a name and a logo, all we needed to do was keep making theatre. And that’s really all there was to it. Starting a theatre company, despite being a ton of work, is a lot simpler than it used to be. Nowadays, everyone can, and is encouraged to, start their own if they want to get their work out there.