Michael Rubenfeld is a performance maker, cultural producer, playwright and actor originally from Winnipeg and now residing in Toronto and Poland. He is a Dora Award-nominated performer and playwright and has worked on stages across the country and in parts of the United States and Europe. In 2002 he launched the Absit Omen Playwrights’ Unit with Hannah Moscovitch, which was a bi-monthly space for writers to explore new work. Two years later, they launched Absit Omen Theatre, where they produced a number of new works including Essay, The Russian Play and Mexico City (Moscovitch) and Present Tense, Spain and My Fellow Creatures (Rubenfeld). The company was collectively nominated for over 10 Dora-Mavor Moore Awards, including outstanding new play for both Essay and My Fellow Creatures. In 2009, Absit Omen joined forces with Die in Debt to become Selfconscious Theatre, which Michael co-artistic directs with Sarah Garton Stanley. Together they have made multiple works including The Book of Judith, The Failure Show, mothermothermother... and their newest work, We Keep Coming Back, which premiered at the 2016 Krakow Jewish Culture Festival and has since toured Poland and Canada and continue to tour. Michael served as Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Performance Festival from 2008 - 2016 where he helped present and produce over 300 new productions, and transformed the Festival into one of the most essential multi-arts performance festivals in Canada. In 2015, Michael started Progress: An International Festival of Performance and Ideas. Produced by SummerWorks and The Theatre Centre, Progress brings together multiple Toronto-based performance presenters to curate and produce festival of international and local work. From 2015-present, Michael has been the developing producer for Counting Sheep, an Immersive Guerrilla Folk Opera, created by Mark and Marichka Marczyk with the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. He has produced the work twice in Toronto and once at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where is became the smash success of 2016's Fringe, winning multiple awards. He has since toured the work to Germany, Ireland, UK and America (New York / California). In 2017, in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, Michael initiated a new venue called CanadaHub, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, bringing 6 projects from across Canada and presenting there for the month of August. The work won numerous awards. In 2017, Michael also co-founded a new alternative Jewish Art Festival in Krakow, Poland called Festivalt. Festivalt is a multi-arts programme with a focus on investigating the complex contemporary Polish-Jewish landscape.
Michael is also a prolific actor, who has performed on stages across Canada, America and Europe. He has been called “one of Toronto’s most interesting men of the theatre” by the Globe and Mail’s Paula Citron and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.