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Who We Are


Kate Smith (she/her) is Artistic Director of Skeleton Key Theatre. Originally trained as an actor and singer (Dalhousie University)she has performed on stages across the country and is an award-winning theatre creator. Her work with Skeleton Key has been presented at the Ottawa International Children’s Festival, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the Shenkman Arts Centre (Petrie Island), the In The Soil Festival, the undercurrents festival, the Fresh Meat Festival, and all iterations of site-specific theatrical event subDevision. In 2017, the company was awarded a New Chapter grant through the Canada Council for the Arts in the amount of $96,000 for its innovative outdoor multi-disciplinary ambulatory piece Swan River, and the show was later nominated for a Prix Rideau Award for Best New Creation. Kate is a freelance director and performer, and also serves as Artistic Manager of Ottawa StoryTellers. She is a Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.


Lydia Talajic (she/her) is the General Manager of Skeleton Key Theatre. She holds a B.A. from the University of Ottawa in Theatre with a profile in Arts Administration, and has worked for almost ten years as a bilingual stage manager and administrator. As a stage manager, she has worked for companies such as Theatre Conspiracy, Théâtre la Vieille 17, Théâtre La Catapulte, the Fresh Meat Festival, and a Company of Fools. Her work has taken her all the way from Winnipeg to Québec City. She was the inaugural GM of the Youth Infringement Festival, a performing arts festival completely created by youth under 25. She is a recurring mentor for YIF and the Juvenis Festival in Kingston in stage management and production.

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Resident Artists

Vanessa Imeson (she/her) is an award winning Theatre Artist holding a combined BA Honours degree in Dramatic Art and English from the University of Windsor, MFA in Theatre Design from the University of British Columbia and diploma for Makeup Design for Film and Television from Vancouver Film School.  She designs costumes, make-up, wigs and puppets for a variety of collegiate programs and professional theatre companies across Canada while simultaneously acting as Head of Wardrobe for the GCTC. Vanessa is also a Core Artist and resident Designer with Ottawa’s Skeleton Key Theatre and A Company of Fools. 

Scottie Irving (he/him) is an Ottawa-based musician who specializes in keyboard performance (piano, synthesizer, accordion) and composition. Scottie is best known as a member of The PepTides, an independent Canadian pop band with electro, jazz, and soul influences. The nine-member collective produces all its own albums, videos, and concerts and tours through Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. The band has performed at major Canadian music festivals, written an original soundtrack to a Stuart McLean anthology Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe, and performed live on CBC Radio. Scottie created 90-minute live soundscapes for Heartlines (GCTC, 2021; Undercurrents, 2020) and Romeo and Juliet REDUX (Plosive Productions, 2016). He has exhibited with the visual art collective The Bellwethers (GrowOp, Toronto, 2020) and co-created Deluge (Undercurrents, 2021).

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HeLENS Photography
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