Our team

  • Lisa O’Connell – Artistic Director

    A fierce advocate for regional theatre artists, Lisa O’Connell (she/her) is the founding Artistic Director of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, a catalyst for new works of theatre and PlaySmelter, Northern ON’s New Work Theatre Festival. Artists work created at PTD have received or been nominated for the RBC Tarragon Playwright Award, the Carol Bolt Award, Governor-General’s Award (Drama), RBC Emerging Directors Award, among others. Work created at PTD has been presented at Magnetic North Theatre Festival, SummerWorks, Canadian Stage, Tarragon, MT Space, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Theatre Aquarius, The Grand Theatre, among others. O’Connell is a two-time 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. She was past Caucus Chair at the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Advocacy Committee of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Steering Committee Equity in Theatre and is the creator of Regional Women Lead, a national initiative to address gender parity for women in theatre. She is a recipient of a New Conversation Award (British Council/Canadian High Commission UK) for The Women’s Room with Lyth Centre, Scotland. 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.

    lisa@patthedog.org

  • Matthew Heiti – Artistic Associate

    Born in a meteor crater, Matthew Heiti is a writer, actor, director and teacher working in North Ontario. He holds a BFA in Acting from Ryerson University and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick. He has published a novel, The City Still Breathing (Coach House Books) and a play, Black Dog: 4 vs the wrld (Playwrights’ Canada Press). He has served as Playwright-in-residence with the Sudbury Theatre Centre and Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, working with emerging writers in Northern Ontario. He explores new work in strange places with Crestfallen (crestfallentheatre.com). In his spare time, he is usually working.

    matthew@patthedog.org

  • Rebecca Ballarin – Metcalf Producing Intern

    Rebecca Ballarin (she/her) is a theatre director and producer from Peterborough Ontario, currently based in Toronto. In addition to her training at U of T, she has completed directing workshops with a number of prominent Canadian directors, including Kim Collier, Laurel Green, and Jackie Maxwell. Recent credits include: As Director –  Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop! (Pearle Harbour),  Hedwig and the Angry Inch7 Stories (Hart House Theatre),  O (United Solo Festival),  291 (Parados Festival); As Assistant Director –  The Flick (Outside the March & Crow’s Theatre),  Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua (Pearle Harbour), The  Haunting of Hungerford House (Tweed & Company).

    Rebecca is the Artistic Producer of Pearle Harbour (a company that presents the theatrical work of Toronto-based drag queen Pearle Harbour), and Tweed & Company Theatre. She previously worked as the Network Coordinator for SPARC (Supporting Performing Arts in Rural and Remote Communities). Rebecca is passionate about collaboration, connection, and creating spaces that  encourage experimentation and play. She is so excited to be completing a Metcalf Internship under Lisa’s mentorship and can’t wait to connect with regional creators and help amplify their voices!

  • Taylor Marie Graham – Artistic Associate, Canada Council Mentee

    Taylor is a theatre artist and educator living in Cambridge, Ontario. She has worked in various capacities with esteemed artistic companies and educational institutions as Canadian Stage, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Tapestry New Opera Works, Humber College, Artscape, Rogers Television, amoung others. Taylor is the proud recipient of the George Ryga Award for Excellence in Playwrighting from York University, celebrated playwright Judith Thompson named Taylor as the “up and coming playwright to watch” in the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s The Playwright Applause campaign, and her opera The Virgin Charlie was nominated for a Dora Award for best new opera / musical. Currently, she is a PhD student at the University of Guelph, an English professor at Sheridan College, and an artistic associate at Pat the Dog Theatre Creation. For more information please visit taylormariegraham.com.