Artistic Director | Dramaturg
Lisa O’Connell is Artistic Director of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, producers of the PlaySmelter Festival. O’Connell is a Caucus Chair at the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. She is double recipient of a Special Jury Award from Arts Awards Waterloo and has delivered the closing Keynote address at the Canadian Association of Theatre Researchers Conference. O’Connell has been published in Canadian Theatre Review, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, among others.
Matthew Heiti is a writer, theatre creator and teacher, living, loving and working in Sudbury, North Ontario. He has written a novel, The City Still Breathing (Coach House Books) and a play, Black Dog: 4 vs the wrld (Playwrights’ Canada Press). His most recent play, Receiver of Wreck, was performed at PlaySmelter 2017, and he explores new work in strange places with Crestfallen (crestfallentheatre.com). In his spare time, he is usually working.
Producer | Pat the Dog Theatre Creation
Nicole Smith is (very proud to be) Pat the Dog Theatre Creation’s Producer. She also writes things and directs things, and in 2016, she founded sonderlust, a theatre collective dedicated to the creation of original work and the staging of women’s stories. Nicole’s work, both with and apart from Sonderlust, has been supported by the Metcalf Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, Carousel Players, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Canadian Stage and the Shaw Festival.
Producer | PlaySmelter Festival
Karen Thistle was born and raised in Sudbury where she grew up with both literary and imaginary friends. A playwright with an Honours B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from Laurentian University and a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario, she has worked with public libraries and non-profit arts organizations. As a playwright she participated in the 2nd annual STC Playwrights’ Junction (2012) where her play “The Intermediaries” was first drafted and later included in the Public Reading Series of the 2nd annual PlaySmelter festival (2014). In 2017 she participated in the festival’s inaugural Producer’s Unit which lead to her joining PlaySmelter in 2018. She continues to meet and work with fellow playwrights in the Sudbury Writers Guild’s Inklings group.
Communications | Social Media
Sarah Dennison is a playwright, props builder and designer based in Cambridge, ON. After graduating from the University of Guelph’s theatre program, she spent three seasons with the Thousand Islands Playhouse and built props for over thirty productions. During that time she also worked as a freelance props builder for St. Lawrence College and Theatre Kingston. In 2013 she was a member of the Playhouse’s inaugural Playwright’s Unit (directed by Charlotte Gowdy) and in 2015 was director, designer and co-creator of Finding Temperance (The Muddy Mary Project). Sarah is the commissioned playwright for Sonderlust’s debut project “Wives Tales,” which through process, has become Wild Swans.