A well-known Island theatre director has died.

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Erskine Smith, one of the founders of the Victoria Playhouse, died Saturday night. (www.victoriaplayhouse.com)

Erskine Smith founded the Victoria Playhouse and had been the artistic director for the theatre since it first opened in 1982. He was also an actor, director and storyteller.

The 67-year-old had been hospitalized with pneumonia. He died Saturday evening.

Last year, Smith was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in theatre.

Sharlene MacLean, a long-time friend and coworker of Smith's, said he was well-respected in the Island arts community.

"I can't express how much of a loss this is to the Island, and to theatre on the Island, and to the whole arts community on the Island," she said.

MacLean said Smith's death has left the theatre community in shock.