Michael Rubenfeld is helping expand SummerWorks.
Good thing that Michael Rubenfeld is an energetic multi-tasker.
Last spring he wrote and directed the Dora-nominated My Fellow Creatures and then performed in Taking Liberties at the Fringe.
Three weeks later, he debuts as SummerWorks's new artistic producer.
It's an appropriate move for Rubenfeld, who's been involved with the fest since 2002 as a writer, actor, director and producer.
"SummerWorks has helped me become the artist that I am," he says. "It's provided an avenue for me to develop in a variety of fields.
"But in addition - and this is true for me as well as other theatre people - the festival has given me a strong connection to a creative community. That, I think, is the true strength of SummerWorks, which combines high artistic and low financial risks. It's the ideal environment for culture to grow."
One of Rubenfeld's goals is to expand SummerWorks; he's added performance and music components.
"I've programmed eight eclectic nights of music, the kind of indie music that I adore. Music offers an aesthetic different from that of theatre. I wish that theatre more often involved audiences the way music does."
He's shifted the geography of the festival, too, focusing on the Queen West strip between Spadina and Dufferin. He's put the music nights at the Theatre Centre, and the nearby Gladstone Hotel also houses a performance gallery he's dubbed Inside The Box, in which performers offer seven shows a night in various hotel rooms.
"The Gladstone will be a place to hang out as well as watch an act," he says. "You can socialize and have a drink between shows."
Rubenfeld's continuing the national series, which highlights productions from other Canadian cities, but he's spread them around the venues rather than concentrating them in one.
"I think these shows will be some of the best in SummerWorks. There's so much to be learned from companies based in other areas of the country.
Finally, Rubenfeld wants to emphasize the "festive" part of the fest.
"I'm hoping that we bring that celebration into all aspects. SummerWorks is an opportunity to have fun and celebrate theatre, music and other elements of our culture."