Pat The Dog Theatre Creation | Our Team
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Our Team

Lisa O’Connell, Artistic Director


Lisa O’Connell is the founding Artistic Director of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, the only playwright centre in Ontario open to theatre creators at all stages of their career. PTD playwrights’ work has been presented at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, SummerWorks Theatre Festival, MT Space Theatre, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Theatre Aquarius, The Grand Theatre, among others. O’Connell serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Artistic Practices Committee of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and is a member of several Municipal Cultural Steering Committees.  She is the recipient of a Special Jury Award (2015) and the Gowlings Literary Award (2010) from Arts Awards Waterloo and delivered the closing Keynote address at the Canadian Association of Theatre Researchers Conference in 2013. O’Connell has been published in Canadian Theatre Review, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, among others. She divides her time between her artistic homes in Waterloo, ON and Sudbury, ON with her partner Mark Walton.

Matthew Heiti, Artistic Associate


Born in Sudbury, Matthew Heiti holds a BFA in Acting from Ryerson University and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick. He is an award-winning playwright, a Genie-nominated screenwriter, and his first novel, The City Still Breathing, is published by Coach House Books. As Playwright-in-Residence at the Sudbury Theatre Centre, Matthew runs the Playwrights’ Junction, a workshop for developing writers. For Pat the Dog, he coordinates PlaySmelter, Sudbury’s festival of fresh, locally-rooted plays. In his down time, he works on old bicycles and explores new work in abandoned places with Crestfallen.

Erica Robinson, Project Designer Text + Tech


Erica Robinson was born in Peterborough, raised in Sudbury and now calls Kitchener-Waterloo home. A filmmaker and writer trained in literary studies with a B.A. in English from Laurentian University and an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Guelph, she has a keen interest in creation and interactive design.  Erica’s been an Interactive Tour Designer at The Games Institute/Insitute for Quantum Computing (University of Waterloo) and a participant at the Copycat Academy (Luminato Festival, Toronto 2014) and Entrepreneur Bootcamp (Communitech, Waterloo, 2014). Erica began her career at PTD as an Artistic Associate in 2011.

Nicole Smith, Metcalf Foundation Artistic Producing Intern


Nicole Smith is the recipient of a Metcalf Foundation Internship Grant for the Performing Arts and holds a BA in Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph. In 2015 she co-founded The Muddy Mary Project, a theatre festival for emerging artists. Finding Temperance, a play she co-wrote and performed in, was produced by The Muddy Mary Project the same year and supported by the Shaw Festival through a Theatre Creators Reserve grant. Nicole is the founding Artistic Director of Sonderlust, a Kitchener/Waterloo-based theatre collective dedicated to the creation of original work and the staging of women’s stories. She will direct Sonderlust’s debut project, Wives Tales, slated for production in 2017. In her spare time, you’ll most likely find Nicole drinking coffee or attempting to write but being distracted by the internet.

Sarah Gartshore, OAC Playwright-In-Residence


Sarah Gartshore is a theatre creator and teacher who makes her home in Sudbury. Gartshore’s play Survivance will be directed by Muriel Miguel, founder of Spiderwoman Theatre in New York, as part of Native Earth Performing Art’s festival Weesageechak Begins To Dance 30. In 2017, Gartshore’s play ArmHer, written for Project ArmHer, an OAC funded multi–year collaboration between SWANS and Myths & Mirrors, will be performed during Toronto’s Nuit Blanche festival in September, Jumblies Theatre in October as well as in Sudbury on December 17th (National Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers). Her play Streetheart was given a staged reading with Filly Coast Theatre Collective in Sudbury and will be performed at Fringe North in Sault Ste. Marie in 2017. Gartshore’s play Debwewin, commissioned by Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, was given a staged reading at Pat The Dog Theatre Creation’s PlaySmelter of New Works festival, and performed at the Sudbury Theatre Centre as part of Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre’s National Aboriginal Day celebration. Currently Gartshore is developing POW!, a script that will make it’s home within a broad reaching project that highlights our Indigenous youth’s important contributions to this time of Truth telling.

Haritha Popuri , Dramaturg


After ten years of trying Ireland, New York, Kentucky, and Kansas on for size, Haritha Popuri finally clasped the Nickel Belt around her waist and found it to her liking. Eight winters later, she traded her frost-tipped mitts for a pair of wellies and trudged off to Halifax. After completing her liberal arts B.A. at the University of King’s College, she pursued an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. During her year in Toronto, she has interned for the 37th Rhubarb Festival, interned with Obsidian Theatre Company, and performed in the Toronto Fringe Festival. She is ecstatic to join PTD.

Myriam Léger, Special Projects


Myriam received her PhD in German from the University of Waterloo. She has worked in arts administration in Canada at Pat the Dog and at cultural departments and museums in Germany and Italy. After 10 years in Kitchener-Waterloo, she is now living in Munich where she is working with local arts organizations and theatres.