Have You Met… Megan Dart?

Photo of Megan Dart, with long hair, smiling at the camera with a black Fringe Theatre hat. Fringe posters line the background.Megan Dart (she/her) is a passionate writer and theatre producer, and an avid champion of the arts. With a background in communications and arts administration, Megan has served as the Communications Specialist, and resident wordsmith, with Fringe Theatre for the past four years. At the end of March, she will (excitedly and a bit nervously!) step into the role of Interim Executive Director. As she says, “Adam leaves behind exceptionally generous shoes, but she “hopes to do him (and our Fringe community!) proud!” 

What is your previous involvement in the Edmonton theatre community? 

I am so thankful to have had an exciting and varied career in the Edmonton theatre community! In addition to my career as a communications professional, I am also a playwright and producer. Alongside my sister Beth, I am the co-Artistic Producer of the award-winning scrappy indie/ad-hoc theatre company Catch the Keys Productions. We’re best known for our immersive, site specific, and non-traditional theatre experiences, and have been dreaming up wild and weird theatrical experiences (including our annual locally historically inspired site-specific Halloween romp Dead Centre of Town) for the past 13 years. I’ve also served as the co-Artistic Producer with Common Ground Arts Society, producers of Edmonton’s annual site-specific arts Festival, Found Festival. I cut my teeth in arts administration with Nextfest, where I served as the Marketing Manager and Artist Liaison for 10 years. And I’ve had the great fortune of working with several other Festivals, events, and companies in a variety of capacities including the Expanse Festival, SkirtsAFire HerArts Festival, Chinook Series, Alberta Musical Theatre, Concrete Theatre, and more! 

How did you come to be part of the Fringe? 

I first attended Fringe back in 2002 and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been a patron, a volunteer, a Festival reviewer with Vue Weekly, an artist, a producer, and staff!  

Photo of Megan Dart in all black with a leather jacket, on a porch outside of a building with two white doors. She kneels beside her daughter Alice, who is also wearing all black with a leather jacket, as they look at each other. Photo by Mat SimpsonWhat is your favourite Fringe memory?  

Oh gosh…just one?! It’s so impossible to pick! Maybe painting “The Big Kahuna” volcano on the roof of the ATB Financial Arts Barns in the blistering day-time heat in a rush to help get it finished for opening night. Or the first time the Late Night Cabaret sold out when we all looked at each other and said: “I think we’re on to something here!”. Or dating my soon to be life partner in a whirlwind romance that involved a marathon of seeing shows, eating green onion cakes, and drinking Big Rock beers. Or bringing my daughter to her first ever KidsFringe and realizing she has an entire lifetime of artistic adventure ahead of her. Or chasing that darn Fringe-o-Saurus Rex across the grounds with a backpack full of extra batteries because the little fan inside the inflatable costume kept dying.

What are you passionate about outside of work?  

I’m a passionate writer, an avid reader, a music buff (if you ever want to talk vinyl, I’m your gal), a food fanatic (food is a love language, right?!), a dog-lover, and a relentless daydreamer. And I love to laugh. A lot. 

What is something you are learning right now? 

I am determined to learn how to grow a vegetable garden! While I certainly wouldn’t dub myself a green thumb just yet, every spring I learn a little bit more about what to plant when and where, and while it’s been hit and miss the last few years, I’m slowly getting the hang of it! 

What are you most excited about as you move into the Interim Executive Director position?  

There is just so much to be excited about and grateful for! Fringe is more than an organization or an event, it’s a community. I am overwhelmed with joy at the opportunity to work closely with our incredible volunteers, passionate artists, dedicated staff, and supportive arts industry. I strongly believe the arts build healthy, vibrant communities and world class cities. I believe in the power of storytelling. I believe in the connection and lasting relationships Fringe fosters. To play even a small part in that magic is an incredible gift, and I am so honoured to serve this organization and our greater community.  

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