Megan Adam is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Tkaronto. As an actor, Megan performs on various stages across Canada and the USA, with a dual focus on classical theatre and new Canadian works. Originating roles for new plays in development led Megan to creating her own work, along with a natural interest in writing and a wealth of experience in improvised theatre. Megan is the co-founder of A Bit Much Productions and has since produced three full-length plays for the company. Additionally, Megan’s voice in writing and devised theatre has shown up in theatre festivals such as Dark Crop, FlowFest, and the Toronto Fringe. As a writer, Megan consistently finds inspiration in true, often strange, history, and returns to themes of feminine sexuality, counter culture communities, and power dynamics. Megan’s newest play, The Cowgirl of Suburbia, premieres in June 2022, commissioned by Theatre by the Bay. Along with her artistic career, Megan is a spiritual entrepreneur, offering tarot readings and resources on creative spirituality under her business Magic Material.
Megan studied musical theatre at Randolph College and improv comedy at The Second City. A perpetual learner, Megan is constantly taking workshops around Tkaronto and beyond in whatever discipline calling out to her, including TV/Film acting, classical text, clown, Lecoq movements, and more. She is a firm believer that there is always more to learn, whether it’s something completely new or by going back to basics. It’s a blessing to find like-minded learning communities, to learn by doing, and by connecting with fellow artists.
Past Theatre Experience
Megan grew up acting in community theatre and school plays and quickly became immersed in improvised theatre. Throughout high school she performed improvised theatre with Canadian Improv Games, and remained a member of the organization for many years as a trainer, host, and judge. She received a diploma in musical theatre at the Randolph Academy Triple Threat program and went on to study comedy at the Second City Training center. Along with performing, Megan is a writer and has produced her own work for her theatre company A Bit Much Productions, as well as having work produced by other companies such as the ArtFolk Collective, Malcontent Theatre, the OPIA Collective, FlowFest, and Theatre by the Bay. Writing music is another of Megan’s creative avenues and she showcased this in her recent play with music Internet Girlfriend: A Digital Theatre Piece presented by A Bit Much Productions. Additionally, Megan has worked as an arts educator for Canadian Improv Games and Children’s Arts Theatre, and as a stage manager for Driftwood Theatre.
Megan Adam was part of the fourth annual Summer Ensemble. She is a member of Crane Creations Theatre Company’s 2022 Summer Ensemble.
The Summer Ensemble is an 8 week training program for theatre artists. In this paid working opportunity artists learn skills required to be a professional artist in Canada, and gain valuable insights into the theatre industry in Canada and abroad. To apply, artists must be between 18 and 30 years of age.
Megan Adam as an Artistic Producer
Why do you enjoy being a producer?
To be honest, I am a producer of my own work as a means to an end: to get it out there. I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing producers who truly love the field and they’ve taught me a lot, and I’m grateful to continue to learn. Producing is not a passion of mine. But the things I do enjoy about it are I enjoy connecting to others, I enjoy organizing and making a schedule, and I enjoy the artistic side of producing such as considering themes to a season or presentation, and making the marketing visually and thematically cohesive.
Artistic Producers are leaders. What does being a leader in the arts mean to you?
Being a leader means listening to your community. Taking account the highs and lows, what is working, and what needs improvement. Listening to concerns. Being a leader in the arts is noticing trends that are showing up in different art forms and asking why, and then asking if you want to participate in them. A leader in the arts provides space, metaphorically and physically, for other artists to come together and create.
What does an artistic producer do and why are they so important?
An artistic producer maintains the integrity and goals of the artistic institution or art piece. They act as the through line to confirm that the vision is being brought to life, and they manage every little piece of this creation. They are important because they make the art fully fleshed out, 3D, and connected, especially in a collaborative art piece that requires leadership.
Imagine you are speaking to someone who knows nothing about your field. How do you become an artistic producer?
Show up in the arts space and demonstrate that you have passion, drive, and organizational skills. Start connecting with people. Make it known that you are interested in helping out in different theatre productions whatever way you can. Eventually, people will be asking for your help from the connections you have made. If you don’t have experience, make your own work.
An Interview With Megan Adam
What is your favourite part of the Summer Ensemble?
I enjoy meeting new artists and having an artistic space to expand my body and mind.
How can you describe Summer Ensemble in one sentence?
Summer ensemble is a chance to learn and connect.
Where are you from?
I am from Stratford, Ontario.
What is your favourite thing about your hometown?
I love the European charm of Stratford: the rose gardens, the festival theatre, and the Avon river. My favourite thing to do is sit on the shores of the river with a picnic and watch the swans swim past.
What are your favourite plays and why?
My favourite play is The Madonna Painter by French Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard. I love the gothic, melancholic historical atmosphere. It is full of despair and dread, but the characters, for the most part, are youthful and optimistic. I love the contrast.
What are your hobbies?
I have a pattern of monetizing my hobbies – being an artist, many of my hobbies that I truly love are things that benefit my career, such as writing, reading, and even strolling in nature to expand my mind. Singing is one creative hobby that I do mainly just for me. I am also passionate about spirituality and I express this through journalling, rituals, and meditation. Something I want to achieve with my hobbies is to find joy from them without them having to transfer into productivity. I am constantly learning how to find that again.
What is your favourite food and drink?
My favourite food is veggie sushi and my favourite drink is bubble tea!
Where is your favourite place to eat?
I love to go to Fresh.
What languages do you speak?
I am only fluent in English and I am working on my French fluency.
What is a new skill you want to learn?
I want to learn some gymnastics – cartwheels and walking on my hands! I can be quite skittish of injuring my body. I think this is because when I was very young, I fell off a piece of gymnastics equipment and was unconscious for a few minutes. It was very terrifying for my mom! But I want to be brave and safely try to do inversions again.
Where would you travel if you could?
I feel a pull to go to Amsterdam. I’ve never been before, but from what I’ve heard there’s a fantastic art community and I love being in a city with a big waterway. From the European destinations I have visited, I love the more relaxed way of living in contrast to North America. It seems like people dedicate themselves either to work or to leisure at any given time, instead of being constantly available for work like in North America.
What is a fun fact about you?
My ancestors were spiritualists and ran a spiritualist church in Canada and then the USA where they performed seances for many patrons, including Harry Houdini.
Why do you love theatre?
I love theatre because it is a mirror for human emotion. If a viewer chooses to fully immerse themselves in theatre, it can allow them to travel to another place or time.
How did you get into theatre?
I grew up in Stratford, Ontario and quickly was touched by theatre’s presence in the city. At my elementary school our drama teacher, Mr. MacIntosh, would put on yearly school plays, and he also ran the school choir. He took an interest in me and connected me with my piano teacher and I got a lot from singing in the choir and auditioning for the school plays. The first one I was in was Into the Woods Jr. when I was nine years old. I played Little Red Riding Hood. Mr. Mac would always choose our musical to reflect what was playing at The Festival Theatre, and that year he arranged for us to take a class trip to watch Stratford’s version of Into the Woods and speak with the actors after. I got to connect with the actor playing Little Red in their version. We also took regular field trips to explore the costume house, tech side of things, and other aspects of the theatre. I’ll never forget that experience. I also remember on the opening night of our production Into the Woods, Mr. Mac gave us a pep talk backstage. He told us “remember how you feel now, as children, because playing pretend is what theatre is, and a a lot of adult actors can forget that.” I didn’t forget – playing pretend is why I love theatre!
Why is theatre important?
Theatre is important because it’s immersive, conversational, and a reflection of the times. In seeing theatre instead of watching a movie, the viewer is more fully confronted with the ideas and themes, and is invited to join in emotionally to the highs and lows of the piece. They can safely access a journey that could be either resonant or foreign to them, in an immersive way.
What is one project you were proud of?
The first play I wrote, produced, and acted in is titled “New Romantics”. It was the first time I allowed myself to flourish as a playwright. I answered a call for submissions for a new indie theatre festival, at the urging of a friend of mine, because the story idea I had fit in well with the festival’s goals. I surprised myself by how I could gather a community of artists to create my work, deal with the ups and downs of being an indie production, and remain dynamic and present as an actor. It was incredibly rewarding to put up this show that is so close to my heart and garner good reviews and connections from the crowd watching.
Do you have any advice for aspiring theatre artists?
Start discovering what attracts you to art and what art you enjoy, not exclusively within the theatre medium. Discover visual artists, musicians, periods of history, countries of origin, that are exciting to you. Notice when a piece of art creates a visceral response in you. Sometimes, ask why. Other times, just let yourself enjoy the feeling and make a note of it. Start compiling lists of your tastes. It will be useful in deciding what type of art you want to make and you think is impactful. Don’t be afraid to make your own work or learn from other artists by supporting new work. Take breaks in your artistic process to be present in other human experiences like time in community and nature; in joyful moments and moments of activism. Remember that making art is impactful but it is also meant to be joyful for you and the people you share it with.