Michael R. Caplan
“Renaissance Man of the House”
Below is my complete résumé, and all my own House projects can be found here.
Concordia University (Montreal) / Bachelor of Fine Arts, Contemporary Dance (1984–87)
York University (Toronto) / Fine Arts Studies (1982–84)
Theatre with instructors such as Philippe Gaulier & Monica Pagneaux of École Jacques Lecoq (Paris), Dean Gilmour, Thom Sokoloski & Mike Petersen (Toronto) – including improvisation, mask, clown, ensemble work, scene study, puppetry
Multi-media & performance art with Toby MacLennan (Toronto), Tom Graff (Vancouver) and Rina Fratecelli (Montreal)
Dance composition, technique & improvisation with Contraband (San Francisco), T.I.D.E., Denise Fujiwara, Dawne Carleton (Toronto), Elizabeth Langley, Lisa McLellan, Marie Chouinard, Andrew Harwood, Michael Montanaro (Montreal)
Singing with Micah Barnes (Toronto)
Other training in arts management, sales, Adobe InDesign, etc.
Bill Coleman, dancer/choreographer (Toronto, 2000–date)
Writing, editing, and design of promotional materials, grant applications, press kits, and occasional materials, both during and after his work Coleman-Lemieux & Compagnie (2000–2015).
Ansible Marketing (Toronto, 2016–2020)
Research, copywriting and copyediting of two monthly newsletters for the real estate industry, The Essential Apps Report and The Wealthy Homeowner.
A Handbook for Ecstatic Survival by David Earle (House of ShAkE, Toronto, 2017)
Design, editing, layout and typesetting for the inaugural publication of Michael Caplan's House of ShAkE, in hardcover and paperback.
Dancetheatre David Earle (Guelph, Toronto, 2008-2020)
Editing and design of posters, programs, press kits, and occasional materials.
ISPDI (International Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority; 2014–2018)
Editing and design of programs for annual conferences and workshops, including Berlin, Toronto, Dublin, and Malibu.
Dance Collection Danse Press/Presses (Toronto, 2004–2018)
Design, layout and editorial assistance on 27 issues of the DCD Magazine, between the passing of one of the organization’s co-founders and editors, Laurence Adams, and the retirement of the other, Miriam Adams. Other projects included catalogues for this Canadian dance history archive and publisher, as well as the book David Earle: A Choreographic Biography.
Study for "A Handbook for Ecstatic Survival” by David Earle (House of ShAkE, Toronto, 2016)
Design, editing, layout and typesetting of this prototype publication, a limited-run hardcover sold to raise funds toward the Handbook for Ecstatic Survival.
Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie (Toronto, 2000-2015)
Writing, editing, design and layout of promotional materials and documents for this dance and community-based performance company, including press kit, postcards, business cards, newsletter, news releases, event invitations, grants, etc.
CMAS (Childminding Monitoring Advisory & Support; Toronto, 1998-2012)
Copywriting, copyediting, design and layout for this independent consulting firm contracted to the LINC childminding program (see below), managed by Citizenship & Immigration Canada. Projects included branding, manuals, booklets, policy documents, newsletters, resources and checklists, reports, forms, posters and website development.
LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada; Toronto, 2002-2012)
Copywriting, copyediting, branding, design, layout and liaison with printers on projects including manuals, policy documents, and calendars. Through Citizenship & Immigration Canada, LINC offers childcare and resources for families of adults attending English classes.
Spring Journal & Books (New Orleans, 2008–2010)
Design, typesetting and copyediting for Spring Journal and Books, including
C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions by renowned Dakota Sioux author Vine Deloria, Jr.,
The Call to Create by bestselling Jungian author Linda Schierse Leonard,
the play Mary of Magdala by the distinguished Portuguese writer, Armando Nascimento Rosa,
C.G. Jung in the Humanities by Susan Rowland, and
Psyche & the City: A Soul’s Guide to the Modern Metropolis, edited by Thomas Singer. See the feature at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/psyche-and-the-city-a-sou_b_717744
The International Trade Club of Toronto (Toronto, 1992-2009)
Writing and design of invitational flyers for monthly luncheons of this non-profit association of public- and private-sector trade officers.
The “Tempest” Trailer (The Citadel, Toronto; 2008)
Writing and design of all promotional materials this for self-produced adaptation of the play.
Nurturing New Roots: Supporting the Newcomer Family (2006-2008)
Branding, design, editing and layout of all materials and documents for the 5th, 6th and 7th Ontario Professional Development Conferences for LINC Childminders, including calls for presentations, postcards, registration and other forms, and conference programs. Michael’s contributions were acknowledged in 2008 when he was made a member of the Steering Committee.
Steelpan Country (Toronto; 2006)
Packaging design for the CD Michael recorded with steel drum player Gabriel Chartrand.
David Earle: A Choreographic Biography (Toronto, 2006)
Design, layout and typesetting of book by Michele Green documenting the life and works of David Earle. Described by Leland Windreich in Ballet-Dance Magazine as a “magnificent new volume” and by Michael Crabb in Dance International as “elegantly designed”, the book was selected by Susan Walker of The Toronto Star – who praised its “beautiful production”– as part of “The Complete Dance Library”, 2006.
Carol Priest Entertainment (Toronto, 1997-2002)
Writing, editing and design of promotional and occasional materials for special event company working with corporate clients.
Rent-A-Wife Home Services Inc. (Toronto, 1997-2002)
Writing, editing, design, and layout of brochures, posters, press releases and website for this cleaning, home renovations and property staging company.
Innovations Plus, Inc. (Montreal, 1990-91)
Writing and design of catalogues and occasional materials for special events company working with corporate, non-profit and private clients.
Clients with smaller, occasional projects have also included the Toronto District School Board, I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble, the Yoga House, Sweet Comforts Desserts, and other organizations and artists.
Performance / Theatre, Dance
Schoenberg's Return (House of ShAkE, Toronto, 2021 & 2022)
Created and livestreamed two annual dramatic readings of writings by the composer, to commemorate his 1933 “Re-entry into the Community of Israel”
Ordinary Joy (Quixotic Sounds, Toronto, 2016)
Collaborator and dancer in this quartet directed by Dawne Carleton, a series of structured improvisations to live music, for the release of the album Ordinary Joy by The Cluttertones.
The “Tempest” Trailer (The Citadel, Toronto; 2008)
Devised, directed and produced this 60-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, with an all-volunteer cast and crew; self-financed.
Grasslands: Where Heaven Meets Earth (Val Marie, Saskatchewan, 2004)
Assistant to director Bill Coleman on this site-specific event on the plains of southern Saskatchewan and in the town of Val Marie. Created in collaboration with over one hundred local participants and major Canadian artists such as Margie Gillis, composer Gordon Monahan, choreographer David Earle, and visual artist Edward Poitras. A five day residency was followed by a day-long series of presentations and performances, half of which took place in the village and was coordinated by Michael Caplan.
Heartland Events (Toronto & Northern Ontario, 1992-1995)
Co-Artistic Director with Bill Coleman and Penny Couchie, creating events with communities and organizations including the Ojibway of Heron Bay/Pic River (The Heron Bay Project, 1993, and Imagination Gone Wild, 1994), Pedahbun Lodge Addiction Treatment Centre, the International Trade Club of Toronto, and the Toronto People With Aids Foundation. Funded by the Laidlaw Foundation and by the Ontario and Canada Councils.
Contact Improvisation duets (Toronto, mid-90s)
Duets with Pam Johnson and John Oswald, at Toronto venues including the Music Gallery and Artword Centre.
Shadows of Angels (Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto; 1995)
Direction and set design of two “theatre noir” shorts, for Cabbagetown Theatre Company.
Walking In Virginia (Homeworks Series, Toronto; 1995)
Solo singer and dancer, directed by Pam Johnson.
Murderland (Toronto; 1993)
Director of this collaboratively-created, participatory surrealistic murder mystery dinner theatre with Cabbagetown Theatre Company, developed as a fundraising event for Central Neighbourhood House, Toronto.
Paradox (Toronto; 1992)
Assistant director and co-author of this production for the North York Board of Education.
Théâtre 9, Inc. (Montreal; 1988)
Administrative assistant in charge of corporate fundraising and media relations for production of Le Chemin, by Bertin St-Pierre (Théâtre de la Veillée).
Body of Possibilities (Les Foufounes Électriques and the Festival du soleil, Montreal; 1987)
Assistant event organizer, administrator and stage manager for this series of dances by five contemporary choreographers, presented at the famous underground nightclub and at the outdoors festival.
What Happened (Toronto; 1984)
Director and creator of additional choreography and texts for an adaptation of this dance/text piece by seminal American avant-garde choreographer David Gordon, staged for performance by eight Grade 6 students and presented at York University.
Stories for J’s B-day (Montreal; 1985)
Original solo performance in various spaces in his own apartment in Montreal, using storytelling, paper puppets, breaking dishes and kitchen polkas.
Starring … (Toronto; 1981)
Assistant director and co-author of this original youth theatre production with a cast of 65.
Endgame (Theatre Centre, Toronto; 1981)
Apprentice to director Thom Sokoloski for this Theatre Autumn Leaf production of the play by Samuel Beckett.
Carol Priest Entertainment (Toronto; 1997-2002)
Event creation and artist bookings for corporate clients.
McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario, 1997)
Special Events Coordinator for corporate clients of the world-renowned gallery and grounds, helping develop and coordinate opening parties, corporate functions and the major annual fund-raiser for this renowned institution founded on the works of Canada’s Group of Seven.
Innovations Plus, Inc. (Montreal; 1989-91)
Event creation and coordination for corporate, non-profit and private clients, including devising and executing thematic and participatory celebrations for groups of 10 to 2,000. Clients included O’Keefe Breweries, Wrigley Canada, Loto-Québec, Bendix Avelex Aerospace, IBM and the Montreal Board of Trade.
Porch Songs (House of ShAkE, 2021-date)
Livestreaming from the virtual Porch of the House, and live from other locations.
Ogopogo Life (Toronto, 2019; Barrie, 2022)
Opened these two family-friendly events, a daytime EDM rave and an afternoon on the ice, for an organization of cold-water enthusiasts
Tunesmith (Imperial Pub Backroom, Toronto; 2018)
One of three performers sharing the evening in this regular series organized by Mike Thorner.
Local venues (Toronto; 2011-2014)
Solo gigs, as well as guest spots with The Slocan Ramblers and Whitney Rose (earlier in the Toronto careers of these now-rising stars), at venues including the Winchester Bar (where Billie Holiday sang!), the Underdown Pub, Cloak & Dagger and the Local GEST. Also organized shows featuring guest performers such Bill Coleman, Whitney Rose and members of The Slocan Ramblers, and local blues harmonica legend “Cabbagetown Steve” Grant.
White Rabbit (Freiburg, Germany; 2013)
Solo set at this underground (literally) German music club – the first country act they’d had, and a big hit with the audience.
Street performances (Toronto; 2007 and 2012-13)
For Honest Ed’s Birthday Event and for the Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area, among others, then for two years as part of the Cabbagetown Festival, including with blues rock band Code Green and with guests The Slocan Ramblers (now a Canadian bluegrass sensation).
Market Hall (Peterborough, ON; 2011)
Sang with Bill Coleman tap-dancing as part of the event announcing the naming of a dance floor in honour of Public Energy director and local “arts champion” Bill Kimball.
LGBT Pride Day (Toronto, 2009-2011)
Performed in the Free Zone for three years running (in 2009 with Wayne Cass on electric guitar, and with Ben Rough on guitar and harmonica in 2010).
Brother, can you spare a dime? (Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto; 2009)
Singing the old union song, “Which Side Are You On?” a cappella, in a duet with dancer Tanya Crowder as part of this evening of works by independent choreographer Pam Johnson.
NDH Aria (Regina, SK; 2008)
Performed two songs by invitation of the founder and director of New Dance Horizons, Robin Poitras (who’d heard him perform in Grasslands and at a party in Toronto), during this performance art fashion show to celebrate Regina artists and fundraise for NDH.
“The Power of Ideas: Celebrating the Work of James Hillman” (Pittsburgh, PA; 2008)
Sang as part of this conference for renowned cultural psychologist James Hillman, including a duet with Bill Coleman tap-dancing (and Bill taught James, amateur tapper, a step or two after the performance).
The Grasshopper Bar (Cabbagetown, Toronto; 2005-2007)
Weekly shows (“Whether they wanted me to or not!”) in this local watering hole. Met and began collaborating with Gabriel Chartrand.
Steelpan Country (CD recorded at Donkey Studios, Toronto; 2006)
Vocals and guitar on 11 songs by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and others, with virtuoso Cree steel drum player Gabriel Chartrand.
Electric Eclectics (Meaford, Ontario; 2006)
The duet caught the ear of Canadian composer/sound artist Gordon Monahan, who invited them to perform at his music festival in rural Ontario – where they stuck out like the only unsore thumbs in a line-up of extreme experimentalists from all over the world.