Opening Thursday…that’s tomorrow!
Sargent and Victor & Me is just hours away now. For anyone who would like a taste of this show, check out our teaser video below, courtesy Leif Norman.
And please don’t hesitate a moment longer for tickets – Opening Night and Students Night are sold out! Enjoy!
Limitations yield creativity in Sargent & Victor & Me
Debbie Patterson’s one-woman show examines a community on the brink
By Stacy Cardigan Smith
Debbie Patterson’s one woman show Sargent & Victor & Me, set in and around the West End intersection that is its namesake, was gleaned from a series of interviews Patterson conducted with individuals connected to the area. Each account – be it from a resident, business owner, food bank user, delivery boy, waitress, gangster, or incarcerated teen – brings a unique perspective on the strengths and challenges of this troubled area.
The result is a play that attempts to unlock the mysteries of how neighbourhoods evolve and how we cope with unstoppable processes of destruction.
Patterson began the project when she was Theatre Ambassador during Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital of Canada celebrations in 2010.
“My original goal was to just use the text I developed through interviews with people who have ever lived or worked near the corner of Sargent and Victor,” Patterson explains. “The theme of the Cultural Capital year was ‘Arts for All’ so 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.”
Since then, the work has seen many incarnations and has been read and performed in Winnipeg, Brandon and Iceland. In one version, four actors performed and Patterson directed – but that staging left her feeling disconnected.
“I missed having a direct connection with the people I had interviewed,” Patterson says. “I wanted to say their words myself because I had, in fact, come to love them all and wanted to honour their voices.”
A few solo versions – mostly consisting of monologues – were also staged.
“I didn’t write anything: my own contribution was as an editor and performer. I wanted their voices to be heard, not mine. I wanted to keep myself out of it.”
But as Debbie worked with the piece, she began to understand keeping herself out was impossible – partly because as an actor with MS, her disease undoubtedly affects the performance.
“That’s when I started writing about MS, using the process of living with an incurable degenerative condition as a metaphor for living in a neighbourhood that’s being overtaken by crime,” she explains.
The current one-woman staging is directed by Patterson’s husband Arne MacPherson.
The team behind the music and sound design is multi-disciplinary artists John K. Samson and Christine Fellows.
“The musical approach we’ve taken is in response to the limitations Deb gives herself in the play, that of one person playing multiple roles. More >
DEVISED THEATRE WORKSHOP : REMASTERING CHEKHOV WITH ONE TRUNK THEATRE
How can you take a masterpiece and make it your own? What are the foundations of collective collaboration? What can devised theatre look like?
Using excerpts of Chekhov short stories as a launching point, participants will be led through a variety of content generating exercises based on the work of One Trunk Theatre, Ghost River Theatre, Cowgirl Opera and Wyrd Productions.
The three day workshop will introduce participants to new methods of creating theatre, including non traditional and collaborative text-generation, visual approaches to storytelling and physical theatre.
Ideal for performers interested in creating their own work, including students, emerging artists or industry professionals. Participants should have a thorough understanding of theatre, and interest in expanding their practice.
When is it?
- Friday, Feb 7: 6-9 PM
- Saturday, Feb 8: 10 AM-6 PM
- Sunday, Feb 9: 1:30-10PM
Where is it?
STUDIO 320: 70 Albert Street
What’s the cost?
$60 for professionals, $40 students & participants in Master Playwright Festival
How do I register?
Email us or call 204-989-2400 – we’ll make it happen!