Debbie Patterson in "Molotov Circus" (Leif Norman)
"I sometimes wonder if I could have made a whole career out of performing as a topless accordion player if I'd been born a few decades earlier. "
—Debbie Patterson, Playwright
Playwright Debbie Patterson is the new Carol Shields Writer-In-Residence at the University of Winnipeg. She kicks off her four month term with a reading Wednesday January 18 at E-Gre Hall at the University of Winnipeg.
Patterson is known as a dynamic performer, a creative writer, a director and actor. She studied at the National Theatre School of Canada, is a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins and also serves as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg.
SCENE wanted to know what was at the top of Debbie Patterson's reading pile:
I have just read The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott and was completely captivated by the world she creates. This book is an historical fiction about three sisters who become vaudeville sensations.
It begins with the sisters, under the tutelage of their mother - herself a former vaudevillian, auditioning for a small time vaudeville house in Saskatchewan.
Throughout the book they travel to various vaudeville houses in Western Canada and the American midwest, including a lengthy stint in Winnipeg. Endicott's descriptions of Winnipeg at another point in history were a high point for me.
There's a chunk of the book that takes place in the Qu'Appelle valley on the shores of Lake Katepwa. My husband's family has a cabin on that lake so I was especially captivated by the descriptions of this area in the 1940's.