In this time of pause and intermission, we have a great opportunity to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we want to go next. What better time to gather for the first conference on touring theatre in Northern Ontario! We’re excited to announce Together But Apart – Conference on Touring Theatre in Northern Ontariopart of the 2020 PlaySmelter Northern New Works Theatre Festival – and – it’s all online and digital taking place over three consecutive Thursdays in November.

Together But Apart is an opportunity to bring both the emerging and existing touring community together for conversation and collective brainstorming. The conference offers the opportunity to hear inspiring success stories, participate in collaborative problem-solving, spend time networking, and enjoy an innovative virtual performance. It’s a meeting place where everyone is welcome; a chance for us all to develop professionally and build new partnerships.

Theatre is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary art form. It is imperative that we have participation from those involved in other arts disciplines; we firmly believe that the more silos we can break down, the stronger we will all be. We welcome and invite everyone involved in the arts in Northern Ontario to attend: Presenters, producers, artists, curators, performers, creators, volunteers, venue staff – anyone who is interested in seeing more Northern Ontario stories shared in Northern Ontario communities.

Thanks goes to the Canadian Heritage for their support in delivering this event.

Pat the Dog Theatre Creation and the PlaySmelter Festival would like to acknowledge that we are in Robinson-Huron Treaty territory and the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg.

What to Expect:

This conference will be delivered virtually: We will be using Zoom to gather, and Google Docs to collaborate and share notes throughout the conference.

Thursday November 12 | Taking stock 

Who are we? What do we do? Where do we intersect? 

Day 1 will focus on taking stock; of who is in the room, what networks and resources already exist, what exciting initiatives are underway. There will be opportunities to connect as a full group and in smaller breakout rooms.

Get ready to: Meet new people. Get inspired. Uncover new opportunities for collaboration.

Thursday November 19 | Talking Touring  

What does touring theatre in the North look like right now? What barriers exist for artists and presenters? What does it mean to share Northern stories in Northern communities? How is COVID changing “touring” ?

Day 2 will focus more specifically on touring theatre in Northern Ontario. Invited guests will share their experiences and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on connections to their own work, as well as participate in a speed-dating networking session. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to chat with creators about what their practice looks like right now, specifically in relation to digital creation and what touring digital work means. In the evening, conference attendees will be invited to experience an innovative online performance.

*Please note: To participate in the online performance, participants must register before November 16th” 

Get ready to: Reflect and share. Connect one-on-one. Talk practice and process.

Thursday November 26 | Looking Ahead

Where do we go from here? What supports need to be developed? How do we function as a network moving forward?

On Day 3 we will zoom out, and bring international touring networks and national and provincial funders into the picture. There will be space for collaborative brainstorming around big ideas, and we will end the day with discussion about the role of this newly formed network in the months to come.

Get ready to: Dream big. Ask hard questions. Determine next steps.

Lisa O’Connell (she/her) HOST
Artistic Director, Pat the Dog Theatre Creation

A fierce advocate for regional theatre artists, Lisa O’Connell 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. 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.

Laurel Green (she/her) HOST
Conference Design and Consultant

Laurel Green is a dramaturg, director, and producer. From world premiere theatre productions to games played on bicycles, virtual gatherings, festivals, and secret backyard shows; she collaborates to develop ideas from concept to realization, with a focus on process. She was Festival Producer for One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo, Artistic Associate at Alberta Theatre Projects, and part of the Cultural Leadership Program at Banff Centre. Laurel was named to Avenue Magazine Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40. Her most recent projects include Remixed (In the Soil, Nocturne), Directors Lab North, Trophy (Prague Quadrennial), and WROL (Without Rule of Law) (Persephone Theatre). Growing up in Sudbury, Laurel returned to the North as part of Pat the Dog’s PlaySmelter last year, directing a play reading, and offering a workshop through Regional Women Lead.

Rebecca Ballarin (she/her) FACILITATOR/TECH SUPPORT
Metcalf Producing Intern, Pat the Dog Theatre Creation

Rebecca Ballarin 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 Inch,  7 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!

In this time of pause and intermission, we have a great opportunity to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we want to go next. What better time to gather for the first conference on touring theatre in Northern Ontario! We’re excited to announce Together But Apart – Conference on Touring Theatre in Northern Ontariopart of the 2020 PlaySmelter Northern New Works Theatre Festival – and – it’s all online and digital taking place over three consecutive Thursdays in November.

Together But Apart is an opportunity to bring both the emerging and existing touring community together for conversation and collective brainstorming. The conference offers the opportunity to hear inspiring success stories, participate in collaborative problem-solving, spend time networking, and enjoy an innovative virtual performance. It’s a meeting place where everyone is welcome; a chance for us all to develop professionally and build new partnerships.

Theatre is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary art form. It is imperative that we have participation from those involved in other arts disciplines; we firmly believe that the more silos we can break down, the stronger we will all be. We welcome and invite everyone involved in the arts in Northern Ontario to attend: Presenters, producers, artists, curators, performers, creators, volunteers, venue staff – anyone who is interested in seeing more Northern Ontario stories shared in Northern Ontario communities.

Thanks goes to the Canadian Heritage for their support in delivering this event.

What to Expect:

This conference will be delivered virtually: We will be using Zoom to gather, and Google Docs to collaborate and share notes throughout the conference.

Thursday November 12 | Taking stock 

Who are we? What do we do? Where do we intersect? 

Day 1 will focus on taking stock; of who is in the room, what networks and resources already exist, what exciting initiatives are underway. There will be opportunities to connect as a full group and in smaller breakout rooms.

Get ready to: Meet new people. Get inspired. Uncover new opportunities for collaboration.

Thursday November 19 | Talking Touring  

What does touring theatre in the North look like right now? What barriers exist for artists and presenters? What does it mean to share Northern stories in Northern communities? How is COVID changing “touring” ?

Day 2 will focus more specifically on touring theatre in Northern Ontario. Invited guests will share their experiences and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on connections to their own work, as well as participate in a speed-dating networking session. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to chat with creators about what their practice looks like right now, specifically in relation to digital creation and what touring digital work means. In the evening, conference attendees will be invited to experience an innovative online performance.

Get ready to: Reflect and share. Connect one-on-one. Talk practice and process.

Thursday November 26 | Looking Ahead

Where do we go from here? What supports need to be developed? How do we function as a network moving forward?

On Day 3 we will zoom out, and bring international touring networks and national and provincial funders into the picture. There will be space for collaborative brainstorming around big ideas, and we will end the day with discussion about the role of this newly formed network in the months to come.

Get ready to: Dream big. Ask hard questions. Determine next steps.

Lisa O’Connell (she/her) HOST
Artistic Director, Pat the Dog Theatre Creation

A fierce advocate for regional theatre artists, Lisa O’Connell 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. 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.

Laurel Green (she/her) HOST
Conference Design and Consultant

Laurel Green is a dramaturg, director, and producer. From world premiere theatre productions to games played on bicycles, virtual gatherings, festivals, and secret backyard shows; she collaborates to develop ideas from concept to realization, with a focus on process. She was Festival Producer for One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo, Artistic Associate at Alberta Theatre Projects, and part of the Cultural Leadership Program at Banff Centre. Laurel was named to Avenue Magazine Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40. Her most recent projects include Remixed (In the Soil, Nocturne), Directors Lab North, Trophy (Prague Quadrennial), and WROL (Without Rule of Law) (Persephone Theatre). Growing up in Sudbury, Laurel returned to the North as part of Pat the Dog’s PlaySmelter last year, directing a play reading, and offering a workshop through Regional Women Lead.

Rebecca Ballarin (she/her) FACILITATOR/TECH SUPPORT
Metcalf Producing Intern, Pat the Dog Theatre Creation

Rebecca Ballarin 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 Inch,  7 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!