[October 11, 2023]
Victoria deJong is the Programming Administrative Coordinator for Fringe Theatre. With a background in political science, she left government and NGO (Non-Government Organization) work to find joy in working in the Edmonton arts community. Her interests include horror and thriller theatre, special effects makeup and immersive theatre design. On her days off, you can usually find her sifting through thrift store racks, curling up with an espresso or writing her D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) group’s next adventure.
When did you start Fringing?
I was still in a stroller the first time my parents brought me to Fringe! I volunteered for the first time when I was in grade 8 or 9, and I’ve attended, volunteered or worked most Festivals since then.
How would you describe your job at Fringe?
I’m the main point of contact for Festival and Season Artists. I manage the bulk of our Artist communication, help run Artist Services, keep track of payments and handle contracts when we partner with other Aartists and companies. I spend lots of time connecting the Programming Team to other departments at Fringe HQ, and I help keep the Programming Team on-track throughout the year.
I’m new to the role, so a big part of my job is asking questions, making mistakes and doing my best to learn from them.
What are you most excited about in your role with Fringe?
I started this role in the middle of Festival prep, and I’m so excited to see next year’s Festival through from start to finish! I’m especially excited to work on expanding our accessibility measures for both the Festival and our year-round programming.
What is something you’re learning about right now?
I read a lot of non-fiction, and in the past few months I’ve been reading a lot of arts and cultural criticism. I recently read Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest by Laura Raicovich, which grapples with the role of museums in both shaping and reflecting dominant ideas. Right now I’m reading Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal, a Brazilian theatre director. It’s a fascinating read, both in how it presents Theatre of the Oppressed as a form of practice and in its analysis of theatre as a political tool. Boal was exiled from Brazil in the 1979 military coup, which informs his theory in addition to works by Aritstotle, Machiavelli, Hegel and Brecht. I’d highly recommend it!
Who or what inspires you?
My colleagues at Fringe who are always working on some creative project or another. Being surrounded by brilliant Artists is pushing me to flex my own creative muscles more and more. I tend to talk myself out of pursuing artistic projects by telling myself I’m not good enough, but working in this nurturing and radically supportive place inspires me to step out of my comfort zone.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
A friend once compared me to Elle Woods if she had fewer friends and was less put-together, which may not be the best compliment, but it’s definitely one that sticks with me.
What is an achievement or contribution that you’re the proudest of?
Finally nailing the technique to make macarons. It’s really hard to get the right texture!
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Reading, baking, crafting and telling interesting stories. And spending time with my cats.