From REAP Waterloo News
March 22, 2013


What do you get if you mix technology and theatre, bringing together technology inventors and Canadian playwrights? First, you get the Tech + Tech event, hosted at Quarry Integrations at its Felt lab from March 8th to 10th, and, second, some very intriguing answers to the question: “how can dramatists use technology to advance the meaning of a play?”

Text + Tech was co-coordinated by Lisa O’Connell, artistic director of Pat the Dog Playwrights Centre, in partnership with the FELT Lab, REAP, and Quarry Integrated Communications. The goal of the event was to show creators in the Arts sector the many ways technology can spur storytelling.

To do this, Text + Tech brought together leading Canadian dramaturge Bob White, playwrights Kyle Capstick, Trevor Copp, Christopher Duthie, Matthew Heiti, and Andy Houston with technology inventors Bob Rushby, Mike Perkins, and Vincent John Vincent, and experts Glen Meade, Bernie Roehl, and Mark Connolly.

Pairing up playwright and dramaturges with technology inventors and experts, Text + Tech formed break-out discussions on possible projects, examined the needs of the contemporary theatre-goer, and explored new ways to interact with the audience. One outcome: the idea of “Hack Days,” in which playwrights and innovators could network and brainstorm projects that will likely become a reality, as well as the using Open source media and sharing technological resources between dramaturges and inventors.


Both a performer and tech innovator at the FELT Lab, Bernie Roehl observed during the event’s opening talk, “Almost all technology comes from demand.” If a playwright makes a demand, the technology has the chance to rise and meet the challenge. But if no one speaks up on the one side nor listens on the other, great opportunities will pass by unnoticed.

Which is exactly what Tech + Text is: a chance to for two communities who can learn from each other to the benefit of both.

For more information on Pat the Dog Playwright Center, visit their website at

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