A ‘Portrait’ of a multi-talented student



Above: From the poster for Portrait

If a portrait were painted of York student Marisa Victor, it would take a sweeping canvas to capture her energy, creativity and zest for life.

Victor is a person who embraces the challenge of carrying an enormous workload and asks for more. Taking bachelor of laws and master of environmental studies degrees simultaneously, she also writes plays. In fact, she is about to produce one of her creations, Portrait.

Right: Marisa Victor

The theatrical production opens Wednesday, July 23, and runs to Sunday, Aug. 3, at Artword Theatre, 75 Portland Street in Toronto. This production is part of her MES degree, a component of an independent directed study supervised by York environmental studies Professor Deborah Brandt.

Portrait is also partially a benefit for Sketch, a charity providing art and job skill instruction to homeless and street-involved youth. Sketch had a relationship with York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies when some of the group’s artwork was displayed in Counter Culture (York’s student-run vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Lumbers Building).

The production is Victor’s fourth produced play, and the second play produced by Allegoria Productions, a non-profit theatre company Victor launched several years ago. In 2002 her first play for Allegoria, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, garnered appreciative audiences at the Poor Alex Theatre in Toronto.

Daughter of former FES dean Professor Peter Victor, Marisa Victor (BFA ’99) continues to bridge the gap between environmental studies, law and theatre – three separate worlds that she enjoys tying together. She is enrolled in the joint MES/LLB program through FES and Osgoode Hall Law School.

That’s still not enough for her, though. Last summer, Victor was involved in several community projects, such as collecting donations for The Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation in Florida. She also travelled to Costa Rica with other FES students to help build a tree nursery for a sustainable coffee-growing community. And naturally, while in Costa Rica, Victor wrote and directed a short play about shade-grown coffee for a local primary school.

Synopsis of Portrait

Image and artifice crumble away when an important businessman has his portrait painted by a struggling artist who is not what she seems. Portrait is a funny, touching flirtation between two people who think they are from different worlds.

In this dark romantic comedy, a painter obsessed with her artistry strives to live up to her bohemian image for a self-obsessed businessman who is looking for more than just fame and wealth. When he arrives at her studio to sit for his portrait, they have no idea how much they will reveal to each other – or how much they will find in common.

Sue Cohen, artist-in-residence at Sketch, will be painting in the lobby as the audience enters. This feature of the show provides the audience with the opportunity to watch the creation of a work of art live and in person, as well as raising awareness and funds for the charity. For more information on Sketch, visit www.sketch.ca

For tickets to Portrait, call 416-366-7723.