Stage Door News
Toronto: SummerWorks announces a new leadership team
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
SummerWorks’ Board of Directors are proud to announce the organization's next chapter with a new co-leadership model, which includes Michael Caldwell as Artistic Director and Morgan Norwich as Managing Director. Caldwell and Norwich will move into these new positions at SummerWorks in March. Current leader Laura Nanni will end her tenure as Artistic & Managing Director of SummerWorks in April 2023.
“We are thrilled to have Michael and Morgan take the helm of SummerWorks” said Hilary Green, Board Chair. “They both embody the core values of the organization, and their combined experience ensures we are well-positioned for 2023 and beyond. The Board would like to thank Laura for her extraordinary leadership of SummerWorks over the last seven years, including during the incredibly challenging COVID-19 pandemic.”
A critically acclaimed and award-winning choreographer, performer, curator, director, writer, producer, and arts advocate, Michael Caldwell is a Tkaronto-based artist whose experience spans various disciplines and realms of expression. Michael has contributed to the growth of numerous festivals and organizations across Canada, currently acting as Creative Director: Programming at Generator in Tkaronto, where he led the reimagination of the overall governance structure of the organization to move towards a co-leadership framework. He was also Executive Producer and a founding team member of Fall for Dance North, and was Associate Artistic Director for Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia. Michael has performed and collaborated with over 50 of Canada's esteemed performance creators and companies. His choreography and performance work has been commissioned/presented throughout Canada at major festivals, in traditional venues and in site-responsive and community-engaged contexts.
“I am beyond thrilled to engage with the SummerWorks community, to collectively lead this Festival into its next iteration. With years of experience working within festival contexts and in curating performance, I am eager to put forward a bold programming vision for SummerWorks that prioritizes care, addresses challenges, takes risks, and brings dynamic new performance to an ever-growing audience. I am excited to work with Morgan, and the entire SummerWorks staff, to develop innovative and supportive ways to cultivate, present, and move artistic work forward.” said Caldwell.
Born and raised in Tkaronto, Morgan Norwich is an arts administrator, creator and producer, who brings to SummerWorks over ten years of experience in non-profit theatre, with a specific focus on performing arts festivals and partnership building. For four years, Norwich served as Operations & Partnerships Coordinator at Theatre Alberta, where she managed membership data and ongoing partnerships. During this time, she also participated in a multi-phase adaptive change and capacity-building program led by EmcArts in the U.S. to help address complex challenges and transform their practices. In addition to her most recent role as Development Manager at Toronto Fringe, Morgan has worked with The Rhubarb Festival and SummerWorks in a variety of roles over the years. For ten years, she and playwright Johnnie Walker created and produced new works as Nobody's Business Theatre. Their most notable project, Redheaded Stepchild, appeared at SummerWorks Festival in 2010. Written and performed by Johnnie and directed by Morgan, the show toured festivals across North America, and was published in 2016 by Playwrights Canada Press. Morgan continues to perform as a founding member of BoylesqueTO, Canada's premiere "Boylesque" troupe, where she emcees under the stage name Balonia Wry.
"I feel so fortunate to be joining SummerWorks at this exciting moment in time. I have a deep and longstanding connection to the Festival as an artist and producer, and I am struck by the remarkable work the organization has done in recent years to create a supportive and more equitable space for artists and arts workers to realize their goals” begins Norwich.“There is a lot to be learned from the effects the pandemic has had on non-profit arts in Canada, and I look forward to helping SummerWorks lead the way in sectoral change in how we work, prioritizing care and collaboration. I've found a wonderful match in Michael as Artistic Director, and can't wait to begin connecting with the community and start this journey."
We are thrilled to announce the group of curators who have been assembled by outgoing Artistic & Managing Director Laura Nanni to collaboratively curate the Festival in 2023. The 2023 Guest Curators are Sue Balint, Ralph Escamillan, Aria Evans, Jiv Parasram, ted witzel, and Alison Wong. This curatorial model is an evolution of ongoing SummerWorks' practices focused on various forms of collaborative programming. Each curator brings their own particular interests and knowledge to the process, while making their curatorial choices in conversation with one another, taking into consideration how the works will be in dialogue with each other.
SummerWorks Board of Directors recruited the support of LeSage Arts Management to lead and conduct an extensive search process to address the departure of longstanding Artistic & Managing Director Laura Nanni.
SUMMERWORKS expands the possibilities of performance. SUMMERWORKS is a leader, collaborator, and community builder at the forefront of contemporary performance, asking crucial questions; nurturing artistic innovation; and presenting new works that reflect the complexity and diversity of our society. Anchored by our annual SummerWorks Performance Festival in August, SummerWorks offers a year-round program of creation, presentation, and learning opportunities for artists and audiences.