By Simon Rice
Most theatre school students do not graduate to a career in the theatre.
While theatre may be an important part of their experience, it simply does not have enough employment opportunities for all theatre school graduates. It has, in fact, very few.
If we can accept that premise moving forward, obvious questions spring to mind.
What is theatre school for? What is its value to the great masses of us that it has produced who, for many different reasons, are not in the theatre’s employ?
Lwam Ghebretariat is a graduate of Canada’s most reputable theatre school, and yet he has never pursued a career in acting. He has persued a very different career, which he says has a unique connection to theatre.
Lwam and I sat down recently to try to answer these questions and others. Here’s how it sounded…
(If you would like to download this Exit Interview as a podcast, click the arrow above on the right.)
After graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada in 2003, Lwam stayed in school, completing a BA (Honours) in philosophy and French at the University of Alberta. He is currently in his final semester of law school at the University of Toronto.
As an undergraduate student he spent his summers researching Eritrean/Ethiopian literature and culture (some of that work can be seen here). As a law student he has worked and volunteered at Downtown Legal Services, representing low income clients in criminal court and disciplinary hearings, and at the African Canadian Legal Clinic, in the area of human rights litigation.
As an actor he most recently appeared in Homegrown (by Catherine Frid, directed by Beatriz Pizano/Aluna Theatre, Summerworks 2010), a play which received national media attention. Other credits include Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage) and Ministry of Love (Theatre Rien Pantoute).
Since this interview, Praxis has learned that Lwam was recently voted Valedictorian for his graduating class. So congratulations Lwam! We’re pretty sure your theatre training will come in handy.