York students David Levine and Maya Rabinovitch are no pushovers – despite the name of the production company they started in September 2002, Pushover Productions. They have just mounted their first show, Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, on until Feb. 5 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Levine, in fourth year of the Faculty of Arts Specialized Honours English Program, and Rabinovitch, in second year of the Faculty of Fine Arts Theatre Program, teamed up to create the company, “just for the heck of it”, according to Levine.
Of the 22 cast members, 15 are York students enrolled in everything from theatre and English to kinesiology, psychology, computer science and graduate programs. Rabinovitch is directing Our Town as well as producing it; Levine is acting in it and sharing production responsibilities, and another theatre student, Lindsay Steinberg, is working as stage manager.
“The groundwork of this production and the creation of the company have lured us into a second production, which we hope to do this June,” says Levine. His first taste of theatre was in a local camp where he took part in a staff play, directed by none other than Rabinovitch. Although his first love is English literature, he says the thrill of being in even the smallest production is unforgettable, and he is now smitten by theatre.
“In fact, if it hadn”t been for my experiences studying English at York, I doubt I”d be involved in theatre production at all,” says Levine. “The nice thing about having an experience like this while in University (specifically in the English Department) is that I can use the knowledge I gain in my courses to shape the way I think about theatre.
“I like the idea of gaining knowledge that extends beyond one particular discipline – I think that”s what University is all about. When I come to professors with challenges, thoughts or ideas I have come across, I always come away with new methods of approaching them.”