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Shakespearean Ruffians at Ryerson

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June 15, 2015

In anticipation of the season about to begin, on a humid evening in early June, Ryerson students enrolled in the Spring-term Shakespeare and Performance, opens in new window course were treated to a visit by two members of a local acting troupe called Shakespeare in the Ruff, external link, opens in new window.

Instructor Morgan Holmes invited the Ruffians to campus to help give his students first-hand information about the dynamic world of “summertime Shakespeare.” Jesse Griffiths – a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School – and Kaitlyn Riordan – a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruff – shared a wealth of anecdotes about how they came to their acting careers, as well as about the thrills and challenges that go along with performing al fresco (rain, sirens and noisy sheep are just the start of it).

Students were keen to engage with Griffiths and Riordan, asking them about such things as the audition process, play selection and adaptation, stage-fighting, financing, lighting, sound, costumes and mise-en-scène. Shakespeare in the Ruff’s 2015 (13-30 August) play will be Macbeth, which Holmes’s students were exploring that week. Griffiths and Riordan illuminated the play’s performance possibilities by sharing of the company’s plans for the production, including discussing the innovative use of life-size puppets.