Artistic Director Lisa O’Connell (she/her) is a  fierce advocate for regional theatre artists and their audience and is the founding Artistic Director of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, a catalyst for New Works of Contemporary Canadian Theatre. It produces annually the PlaySmelter Northern New Works Festival (Sudbury) and Femme Folks Fest (Waterloo Region). Artists work created at Pat the Dog, and receiving dramaturgy by O’Connell have received and/or been nominated for the RBC Tarragon Playwright Award, the Carol Bolt Award, Governor-Generals Award (Drama), RBC Directors Award, among others. Work created at PTD has been presented on stages across Canada. O’Connell is the recipient of numerous awards for Pat the Dog most recently an Award of Excellence by the Creative City Network of Canada for her work building creative ecologies. O’Connell divides her time between her artistic homes in Waterloo, ON and Sudbury, ON.

Festival Producer Karen Thistle was raised in Copper Cliff. She is a playwright whose work has appeared at Sudbury Theatre Centre Playwrights Junction and Northern Ontario’s PlaySmelter Festival. She is a founding member of Inklings (Playwrights and Screenwriters), Sudbury Writers Guild. In her time away from writing, Karen is a Producer with Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, and has enjoyed working with public libraries, hat making, rug hooking and more. She lives in Sudbury with her partner Peter, and pirate fish Eli.