News (Fort McMurray): Theatre; Just Because Announces New Artistic Director

Bailey Yarkie

Theatre; Just Because, Fort McMurray’s independent theatre company, has appointed Bailey Yarkie as Artistic Director. Yarkie will be taking over for Hanna Fridhed, who has been in the role since 2019.

Theatre; Just Because has been operating in Fort McMurray for seven years. Throughout this time the company has run youth programming, theatre-based workshops and development programs, and many productions, including the annual fundraising dinner theatre for Waypoints, in multiple venues across the city.

Fridhed joined the company in 2016 and served in a variety of roles before taking on the position of Artistic Director near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. During her tenure as Artistic Director, Fridhed was instrumental in ensuring safe theatre programming continued to be available during the pandemic.

“Being a part of Theatre; Just Because over the past years has been a wild and wonderful journey,” says Fridhed. “This community is rich in creativity and talent and will continue to grow stronger as new voices emerge. Even after this past challenging year, I’m confident that the Wood Buffalo theatre and Theatre; Just Because have a bright future ahead.”

Yarkie has been a theatre artist in Fort McMurray since 2015 and has filled many roles during this time. She has acted, stage managed, improvised, and coordinated the Theatre; Just Because Youth Players program.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to step into the Artistic Director position and continue Theatre; Just Because’ mission to empower local artists,” says Yarkie. “Our region has so many incredible artists, and I look forward to working with them to create theatre we can call our own.”

Fridhed will remain with the company as Outgoing Director to ease the transition. She will also be directing the company’s upcoming production of Purge by Sofi Oksanen.