Currently the Director of Performing Arts at Harbourfront Centre, where she’s busy(!) using her artistic intelligence to program World Stage Festival, HATCH (emerging artists program), HarbourKIDS (family programming), NextSteps Dance Season and Summer Music in the Garden series, Tina Rasmussen’s multi-tasking abilities have also led her to start Culture Shark, an indy artist development and cultural project enterprise. She’s also been a writer, director, ajudicator, producer, performer, dramaturge and pretty much every other title that can be associated with the arts. She’s accomplished with a capital A , and she’s answered some questions below!
1. Where do you work? Can you sum it up in 3 sentences or less?
I work at Canada’s largest and foremost contemporary art centre, Harbourfront Centre. There, I have 2 jobs: The Director of Performing Arts; and the Artistic Director of World Stage, an international performance series/festival.
2. Why the arts? What’s made you focus your extra energy on theatre?
My mother was an actress. It’s cliqué, but it’s in my blood. I’m a drama queen.
3. The arts have a reputation for being lots of work and little pay – true or false? Care to elaborate?
It’s true. Not really. Arts are undervalued in Canada. Culture is not a luxury item, nor an after school activity.
It should be at the core of our living and valued as part of our society.
4. What’s the best thing about working in theatre in Toronto?
Toronto is home to many wonderful artists.
5. What’s the worst thing about working in theatre in Toronto?
Many of those artists don’t talk to one another nor see each others work.
6. What’s an adjective that can describe most of your days at your job?
7. Describe (in 3 sentences or less) what your favourite memory is from your current job.
The closing night of the Spiegeltent, all the artists that I directed all around. I was wearing a wig and a kimono. I read some erotica.
8. What’s the last play that you saw that really made an impression on you?
Conte D’Amour. It was a 4 hour long show about the Joseph Fritzel case directed by a video artist with an all male cast. It investigated the notion that you can’t always choose who you love. Very provocative and controversial. I loved it.
9. If you could do any other job, arts professional or not, what would it be?
10. If the Toronto theatre scene was a woman, what advice would you offer her?
Kiss and tell.