The Public Swoon
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The Public Swoon

We work between pleasure and critique to coax unexpected relationships between land, people, ideas and practices. We’re imagining and talking to you, the active public. We meet through sprawling music theatre projects, experimental performance and fake holidays. Our process is large-scale and long-term, centring human and non-human labour to research deep co-creation and the hustle economy.

We borrow from the familiar to stretch the borders of what you can fall in love with. We produce events that call forth moments of utopian possibility through public displays of thought and feeling. We’re permanently enrolled in Friendship 101.

Past collaborations include: Pathetic Fallacy (2014), Klasika (2015), Short History of a Small Town (2016),  Signals from the Mountain (2016).

In development: Mermaid Spring.


We Are


Kyla Gardiner

Kyla Gardiner is a designer and performance creator based in Vancouver, BC. Her artistic research investigates non-human agency, design-based approaches to devised creation, and the ways deep collaboration might challenge ideas of artistic authorship. Kyla holds a BA in Theatre and Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. She is an Assistant Professor in Production and Design at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.


Barbara Adler

Barbara Adler is an interdisciplinary artist whose projects brings together writing, composition, event making and design. Her work frequently addresses artifice within the natural world, nostalgia, and commodity culture. Though her heroes tend to be marginally successful side-hustlers with excellent fake eyelashes, Barbara is emphatically anti-whimsy. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a BA in Art and Cultural Studies, both from Simon Fraser University.


Core Collaborators


Megan Stewart

Megan Stewart is a theatre artist and performance maker from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She is the producer and co-artistic director of The River Clyde Pageant, an outdoor, community-created theatre production in New Glasgow, PEI that has happened annually since 2016. She is also the co-founder and former festival co-ordinator of The Island Fringe Festival, now entering its eighth year. Megan creates solo and collaborative devised theatre, as well as installations and community-based performance projects. Much of her work is rooted in ideas of transforming spaces through creative acts, playing with how we experience and engage with the familiar and unfamiliar spaces we occupy in our daily lives. A founding member and core contributor to the company’s vision, Megan’s work with The Public Swoon include Signals from the Mountain (project leader), Pathetic Fallacy (performer), Klasika (performer), and the upcoming Mermaid Spring. Megan holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Simon Fraser’s School for the Contemporary Arts.



Sawdust Collector is the curatorial & producing collective of artists Barbara Adler, Cole Schmidt and James Meger.

Dedicated to programming experimental yet accessible interdisciplinary events in Vancouver, Sawdust Collector has produced over a hundred shows since its inception in September 2016, including an intimate weekly series at the Gold Saucer Studio and showcase events at The Wise Hall, Pyatt Hall and Red Gate Revue Stage. Regular programming includes a biannual New Works residency, Guest Curators and concert presentations featuring improvised and creative music, contemporary dance, film, theatre, literary arts and new media performance. Sawdust Collector is a producing partner for live events and workshops during the development of Mermaid Spring.