Theatre Projects Manitoba has been showcasing Manitoba arts and plays for over 24 years, and this year is no exception. From February 27 to March 9, they are presenting Winnipeg playwright Debbie Patterson’s Sargent & Victor & Me, a narrative which aims to unlock the mystery of how neighbourhoods evolve and how we cope with unstoppable processes of destruction.
Debbie brings to life stories about the strengths and weaknesses of Winnipeg’s West End. This one woman show, directed by her husband Arnie MacPherson, was written from a word-for-word series of interviews with residents connected to the area.
I wanted to find a way of involving people who don’t generally have a connection with the arts in the creation of a new piece. That’s primarily why I chose to use verbatim text and why I chose that area.
“I didn’t want to write anything: my own contribution would be as an editor and performer. I wanted their voices to be heard, not mine. I wanted to keep myself out of it.” says Debbie. “But what I’ve discovered is that, try as I might, there is no way to keep myself, my perspectives and opinions out of the play. I am in it, front and centre, and I need to acknowledge that presence. I’m also a performer with a disability: I have multiple sclerosis and it is slowly taking away my abilities. In performance my disability is obvious and must be addressed. But rather than being a weakness, this is a huge opportunity. As my brilliant dramaturge Iris Turcott pointed out, what’s happening to my body is what’s happening to the neighbourhood. I am blessed with a powerful metaphor with which to approach this story. We are both on an unexplainable downward spiral with no sure-fire remedy to improve the situation.”
For tickets & information to this wonderfully funny, emotional and boldy original play, visit http://www.theatreprojectsmanitoba.ca/wp/shop/.ca or call 204-989-2400.
Photo credit: Leif Norman