SummerWorks needs your help

Dear Friend,

SummerWorks needs your help.

In 39 days, our Festival will once again light up the Queen West neighbourhood with the best in theatre, music and creative exploration. But after a tremendously productive five year partnership with Heritage Canada, the Festival has just received notice that this partnership is not going to be renewed for the 2011 season.

This loss of 20% of our budget just weeks before opening has created a significant shortfall and left us little time to fill it.
And that’s why I’m writing to you.

I hope that you will please consider giving a minimum gift of $21.00 to help us celebrate our 21st season of collaborative art. If you are able, a larger gift will make a significant difference.

It’s easy to donate if you click here.

I hope you’ll agree that SummerWorks provides a vital service to the Canadian artistic community – introducing professional artists from diverse communities to each other to be inspired by both their similarities and their differences.

Thank you for your support.

Michael Rubenfeld
Artistic Producer
SummerWorks Theatre Festival

P.S. The SummerWorks Festival starts August 4th. Please click here to make your gift today.

P.P.S. We would appreciate it if you would forward this to those people you know that believe in the arts.

On behalf of the SummerWorks team, I would like to thank all the people that attended and contributed their positive and radiant energy to our Launch. It was a wonderful success and we are so grateful.

This is for you guys,
it’s a little bitter sweet
but if I could sing like her
I’d do it, and sing it for everyone
who attended, generously contributed
and spread their light across the SummerWorks walls
(which during the Launch were donated by MOCCA)

Bernadette Peters sings I’ll Be Seeing you remarkably:

Also, this is a cyber standing ovation for the incredible masters of our festival: Michael Rubenfeld (Artistic Director) and Joanna Barrotta (General Manager).

I was right. The Launch was totally worth it. SummerWorks has even more in store for you.

Keep storytelling alive by becoming an audience that can provide critique, thought, compassion, and discussion. Pause without echoes means there was no fist to put down the punctuation (the period, the ellipses). In short, artists require audiences to spread the ripples of their voices, audiences are essential which is why thank yous are important.

Thanks again.

As Bernadette beautifully serenades,
I’ll be seeing you
and so will the wonderful SummerWorks staff and artists as the burgeoning festival arrives in August fully formed.

Launching into the SummerWorks Season

We do not gingerly step towards our festival.
We launch into it.

Tomorrow June 18th is our Launch Party. It is pay what you can with a suggested cover of ten dollars. The Launch will be taking place in the courtyard of MOCCA. A splendid space that I described in my earlier post. Some spectacular things will be going on that you should not miss out on. I am going to give you a brief description of exactly what to expect. You will begin to realise that you are in for a serious treat tomorrow evening if you come. So come. Do yourself some week end good and luxuriate in a night we have planned for you and for everyone that has made this night possible.

Here is the itinerary that we have produced for tomorrow evening:







TARRAGON THEATRE’S RICHARD ROSE does not know what he is going to cook. He will likely make a new recipe, reflecting his wants in theatre, and hopefully the wants of the person he will be dining with. He is considering using the Balthasar Cookbook, which is a well known NYC bistro, a favourite of his as well. His disclaimer: if I fail it only means the meal was too good to cook. (Elusive, spontaneous, alluring, a very exciting option if I do say so myself).

SUMMERWORK’S MICHAEL RUBENFELD plans on cooking you chicken curry. (Delicious)

BUDDIES IN BAD TIMES’ BRENDAN HEALY will get you some beer and pizza. (A classic that never tires)

FRINGE’S GIDEON ARTHURS has a sumptuous and eclectic list of options:
(1) A custom meal made just for you
(2) Some tapenades and Poor Man’s Hummus
(3) Summer Risotto with lemon mint and asparagus, fresh organic sausages fennel salad, green tea ice cream and fruit, and mucho wine

Gideon says that “all and everything can be swapped out as requested”, looks like we’ve got another versatile cook ready for spontaneity in our midst. A colourful option indeed.

VOLCANO THEATRE’S ROSS MANSON is thinking of a rapini sun dried tomato pasta probably accompanied by a roasted vegetable side dish. He’s thinking brussel sprouts, parsnips, and carrots in oregano and olive oil. OR. A Moroccan cous cous with red cabbage and pumpkin (and many other things). Likely with figs olives and dates as a starter. Plus wine. (Again, it’s no surprise that this sounds wonderful, it will also BE wonderful).

NIGHTWOOD’S KELLY THORNTON offers you some matzah ball soup, Goldin’s smoked meat sandwiches on fresh rye bred with mustard kosher pickles, coleslaw, potato salad, French fries, and to top it all off with what Thornton calls “a nice cold beer!”. Fabulous.

LKYTP’S ALLEN MACINNIS will take you out to Romagna Mia. (OOOOh this is our first going ‘out’ to dinner option!) (Exciting!)

THE THEATRE CENTRE’S FRANCO BONI will give you a nice refreshing BBQ.

JOEL GREENBERG is going to shape it around the bidder. (Custom fit, very nice).

CAHOOTS’ NINA LEE AQUINO is going to cook you what she calls, “Asiany goodness and cupcakes”. That sounds absolutely delightful. Maybe you guys will eat outside on a chequered blanket.

THE SHAW FESTIVAL’S JACKIE MAXWELL is keeping the door wide open around this one entree ingredient: Fish. Let your imagination unleash as you wonder about the many things that can be done with fish.

So here are the spectacular options. These are the people you will be chomping at the bit to bid for, not only for the meals, but for the chance to have these people share some wisdom, and more importantly share time, which is something that is hard to find with such busy individuals as these. Cherish the opportunity should you find yourself in this scenario!

onto more exciting LAUNCH things….


Then you go home think about the wonderful night you had and all the fantastic theatre you will be including yourself in by attending our festival this August.

So that is the run down for now.

I’ll be updating you with other things later today or earlier tomorrow.

It is an exciting time. This afternoon I will be putting together the packages for the silent auction (and may even be able to post a list of what kind of things you can look out for during the silent auction).

The sky looks quite opaque but that won’t damper our spirits. The sun will crack through the clouds soon enough. However, in the mean time if thunder storms inspire you this could be a fruitful creative afternoon.

Until next time!

Have a wonderful day!

SummerWorks Enticing Summer Spirit this Week end

This entity.
Called SummerWorks.

As you know bringing together artist’s visions is a whole lot more than simply asking them to come in during an allotted ten day span. A huge amount of planning, thought, strategy, fundraising, agony and joy are braided into this tapestry that eventually becomes The SummerWorks Theatre Festival.

We are in the thick of the organizing part. Some of it has been sprinkled with creative epiphanies and deep laughs, acknowledging a sigh of exhaustion, and satisfaction after a long day of work.

The past week and a half has been a whirlwind for me. My responsibilities have been mainly administrative. However, though it sounds dry, and ‘office like’ a word that brings terrifying images of cubicles to the free spirited hearts of artists, it has been anything but horrifying. I’ve gained a lot of solace in doing small deeds for a bigger vision that will enable the voices of other people to be displayed expressed and engaged in a discourse and conversation with an even wider span of audience members by August. It’s been wonderful to look over the titles of these shows, and the diversity of “blurbs” that have been produced. P.S SO MANY of the companies include water imagery in their company names or play titles. It’s fantastic. (Maybe a little Halifax missing part of me is hoping that psychically Halifax will never let me go…so thanks all you companies for using water imagery, what an infinitely versatile thing to write about!). Regardless, I wonder what the water imagery is all about this year. Maybe we can have a chat about it over a beverage at the Launch.

Our VIP Dinner guest list is growing. So is our silent auction donor list. Honestly, I feel a bit like a hostess at King and John (and I’m not being hyperbolic here because I have been one) when I call people, and try to give them my sincerest explanation of the festival, and why it is important to contribute to such events, and it does feel a little disenchanting when people do not trust your sincerity, because, we are in a world where business and the sentimental world have become divorced, or are a forbidden couple. However, I did try my best. I managed to snag some dresses (I think), and some extra things beyond vouchers to theatre, which we know our crowd will appreciate, but I think it will be nice to have a variety of things to peruse, and imagine in your home, on your table, in your possession should you have the means and generosity to bid on it.

Yesterday was exciting. We saw the skeleton of our event space for The Launch on the 18th. Currently it is in its normal state, grey cement, with potted flowers, a mural of Palestine (according to Michael) which has a beautiful accident of vines growing across it, which coincidentally match the vines on the actual mural, it’s like Palestine is reaching towards us, perhaps the venue is begging us to help it burst to life, to become three dimensional, to be bridged by moving people, with the static and lovely bones of the space (hence the metaphor given before about the skeleton, though garish as a metaphor sometimes it is effective when trying to express the, ‘adding on’ to become a ‘living moving body’ entity idea) (Ready to become alive like the mural in the MOCCA Courtyard). Anyways, I may be heady for 10:24am, but I am just trying to be as honest as I can when it comes to recording.

Just so you know, Joanna and Michael are a fantastic pair to be around, I think it would be very wise for you to attend the Launch just to be in their company. The first thing I am going to do with this blog, before I move onto the second thing (alas, I have become redundant, but please, be patient, for some of you who are reading this I have lovingly and patiently gone over your press packs, re-read your performance times, dates, etc;) be patient with my words, though they are long, perhaps if you saw how big I am you’d see it as compensation, or that I am some charming forgetful run on sentence, but anyways, I really want to describe how joyful it will be for you to meet them both, or become acquainted with them as they grow into the fantastic Artistic Producer (Michael) and General Manager (Joanna) of SummerWorks 2011, well they already are fully these things, but, I think they both have chosen a festival of plays that is inspiring them to grow as administrators, I could see them both focus and stare at the MOCCA space thinking, how can we make this LAUNCH better than last year, for (themselves) and (for the art they are so excited to showcase) and (for the wonderful people coming to support us on the 18th). It’s like watching eyes looking into the sky of an invisible equation that needs to be solved. Except instead of just numbers: with vibrant performers, delicious foods, dancing, and a well organized beautiful time. Perhaps those were the meanings behind the elusive X’s in our SummerWork’s algebra equations. Who knows. (p.s I never thought I’d write algebra again in a sentence after having studied liberal arts for four years, haha, a pleasant surprise).

Some charming moments I’ve had at the office, that were painfully human and moving might help you gain insight into this endearing bunch, and may inspire you to come to the Launch if you were a ‘may be attending’ person on our facebook event, c’mon it’s Joanna and Michael and they are fantastic individuals that are pumping their visions through this festival of ours. These little anecdotes from the office may convince you.

Charming Scenario One (I think my first day). Hearing Joanna talk in a British accent to our printer Billy, by the way, if you ever come and visit he does prefer to be addressed by name, and discussing how we both have a tendency to personify everything, even objects, and by ‘personify’ because we do know language is limited, we do not mean that something needs to be a ‘person’ to merit a ‘name’ or ‘care’, but that, every thing, even things that seem lifeless from far away carry a spirit, a personality, (see, ‘person’ can’t really be divorced from this conversation while using English, but, I’ll try my best to describe it anyways…). Hearing Joanna’s booming and vivacious laugh during that conversation is enough to make me realize that though I have enjoyed my time so much with her I know she is some one many people love, her effusive personality is infectious, I know you all are incredibly lucky to meet her, work with her, or just meet her for the first time because you are curious about the art that will be developed, performed, and showcased by SummerWorks. So Joanna is one of the big reasons why you should attend the Launch this Saturday the 18th at MOCCA. Even if it’s just a hello, she will be busy, I promise, but she will be joyful anyways, because, that’s Joanna.

Charming Scenario Two (Probably my second or third day). Meeting Michael. The guy who’s everywhere and elusive and responds rapidly and sporadically, he’s kind of like the electron in Michael Frayne’s Copenhagen, though more charming and not the answer to preventing an atomic bomb crisis (thank goodness). He is also incredibly passionate. He does exactly what an artistic director should do, as soon as he came in he was 1000% focused, aware, and ready to learn about me personally before we started, so, not only is he leading one of the biggest theatre festival’s in Canada, he is also compassionate. We had a fantastic and hurried talk (because I was more worried about wasting time), about Miriam Teows (her book a Complicated Kindness was woven in my hands when he entered the office), and poked fun at the fact that I know nothing about some of the biggest Toronto stage actors right now, which is true, I have spent the last four years luxuriating in the King’s Theatrical Society Theatre (in Halifax NS), and stuffing my nose in continental philosophy books, so, though he was initially shocked about my lack of knowledge, he demonstrated a patience for me that I was very moved by, and he kept working with me imposing not even an ounce of condescension. Michael could be a lot more impatient with everyone, since he’s worked as an actor for years, and is leading an incredibly exciting and vital part of Toronto’s Theatre Scene, but ultimately he just wants to be present to what is said, and what needs to be shared, and how to make it work best for those in the conversation: sounds like the kind of personality also, that would be a delight to meet at the Launch. Your festival is in great hands. I promise you.

I guess this will be a pleasant surprise for my supervisors, or perhaps, too sentimental (mildly embarrassing), because, my first task was supposed to be a slight summary of the Artistic Directors that will be auctioned off during the Launch. What I promise to do later tonight is a description of exactly what to expect at our launch, the bios (brief) of the Artistic Directors and what you could potentially win from the Silent Auction and the Live Auction, and ultimately how all of these things will form a stunning night that cannot be missed.

The heart beat of SummerWorks is loud and evanescent this year. You only need to look at the wonderful people who are leading it to know that should you choose to be involved it won’t be long before their electric pulse finds you.

We will speak later today again.

I promise.

Hannah E. Rittner

The current Intern for June.

Also here is some music, I really love music and find it a wonderful way to be transported into a world. This song reminds me of what SummerWorks has been like for me thus far.

Isn’t it exciting? Our Launch Party is happening on Saturday June 18th 2011 and it is happening VERY SOON. And by very soon I mean it will be here before we know it. VIP Dinner tickets can be found here at Eventbrite and the actual party portion is PYWC minimum $10. The Dinner is catered by the Lakeview Lunch, and we have Hannah Moscovitch, Laura Barrett, Shudder – hun dansoundart, and Program the Musical entertaining us all night long. Come have a glass of wine, chat with the best of Toronto’s talent, and enjoy!

Follow us on twitter @SummerWorks and “like” our facebook page for more juicy details about the Festival!

The Life of an Intern

I found SummerWorks by fluke 4 months ago on a Google search for “theatre companies Toronto jobs”. I desperately needed to find a job for the summer since I spent the last 2 sitting at home during the day, going out at night, and being bored while the rest of my friends were at work. When I found SummerWorks and emailed them on their website, I never expected to have such a crazy and exhilarating summer ahead of me. One email, and my life and summer was changed. The feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing that I will spend the day doing what I love is absolutely amazing.

So if you have a passion for public relations, are savvy and enthusiastic in learning about publicity, join me in the summer life of being an intern. Clutch PR is STILL looking for these fabulous individuals to apply and join their company, so get on it and you and I can be new best friends.

Follow @ClutchPR on twitter and visit the SummerWorks website in the News section for more information regarding this fabulous internship in the field of PR!

It has also come to my attention that fu-GEN Theatre is having their Potluck Festival tomorrow. Find out the details on the fu-GEN website and follow them on twitter @fuGENtheatre!

Have a great weekend guys!

Please look at our FABULOUS design for THE LAUNCH PARTY 2011 coming soon on Saturday June 18 2011 at the Edward Day Gallery and MOCCA. VIP Dinner tickets can be found on the Eventbrite website so get yours soon! There’s 18 days left, still enough time for us to whip up an outfit and tell all our friends about it. Visit our facebook page for more details or tweet and follow us on twitter @SummerWorks.

Clutch PR call for a publicity intern
Clutch PR is still looking for interns so PLEASE APPLY! Email Daniela Syrovy at or visit our website for more information!