Michael Wheeler named new Executive Director & Chief Transformation Officer at STAF

Gideon Arthurs, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Small Theatre Administrative Facility (STAF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Wheeler as the new Executive Director and Chief Transformation Officer of STAF, effective September 8, 2014.

“We are delighted to welcome Michael to STAF. His arrival signifies just how far STAF has come. This is an organization ready to move on to the next phase of its evolution, and we can think of no one better to lead us than Michael. His experience in independent theatre, his voice as a producer in our community, and his incredible knowledge of the ecology that he will be serving, will all take STAF to new heights. We thank Kate McConnell [outgoing Executive Director] for her incredible service and welcome Michael with great enthusiasm.” Sentiments echoed by the staff at STAF!

Since its inception in 1992, this not-for-profit support system for Toronto indie artists has become a mainstay for new and established artists alike. With a constantly expanding list of services, and artists and companies that STAF supports, it is clear that the indie theatre scene in Toronto has evolved, and STAF is evolving with it. Fortuitously, this transition in leadership is well timed to provide momentum for STAF’s ongoing transformation. STAF is thrilled to have him and his diverse skills at the helm.

Michael is Founding Artistic Director of Praxis Theatre where he has directed World Premieres of Rifles by Nicolas Billon (2 Dora Award Nominations), You Should Have Stayed Home by Tommy Taylor (SummerWorks Arts Professional Award & National Tour), Jesus Chrysler by Tara Beagan, and Steel by Andrew Zadel. He has also worked as a Curator with The Theatre Centre and Harbourfront Centre and as a Neil Munro Intern Director at The Shaw Festival.

Aside from his experience creating theatre, Wheeler’s significant contributions to expanding the artistic conversation in Canada, analyzing new trends in theatre creation, and mentorship of the next generation of artists are all the qualities necessary to fulfill STAF’s strategic vision.

Wheeler continues as Editor-In-Chief of ‘#CdnCult Times’ on SpiderWebShow.ca, Praxis Theatre’s online collaboration with Neworld Theatre and The English Theatre at The National Arts Centre; an instructor with The National Theatre School’s Directing Program; and a member of The Banff Centre’s Ambassador Program at The Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute. Michael holds a Masters of Fine Arts from The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.

The weather may be getting colder, but things are heating up at STAF.