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Debbie Patterson

Canada - Manitoba


Image 1: Debbie sits in a purple manual wheelchair in front of a large tropical plant. She has white skin, long brown hair, blue eyes and deep laugh lines on her smiling face. She wears jeans and a bright blue T-shirt topped with a brilliant yellow faux fur jacket. Pink metallic runners and hoop earrings complete her sassy look.

Debbie Patterson is a playwright, director and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founder of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR), served as Artistic Director for Popular Theatre Alliance of MB, Theatre Ambassador for Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital year and as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange 2012 to 2018. She has taught at both Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba and works nationally as an accessibilty consultant and disability dramaturge. In 2016, Debbie became the first physically disabled actor to play Richard III in a professional Canadian production with SIR. In 2014 she was selected for the United Nations Platform for Action Committee’s Activist Award and was honoured with the Mayor’s Making a Mark Award in 2017. She is a proud advocate for disability arts as the Artistic Director of Sick + Twisted Theatre. She lives a wheelchair enabled life in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 Territory and on the shore of Lake Winnipeg on Treaty 2 Territory with her longtime companion Arne MacPherson.

Areas of Interest:

  • Performing Arts
  • Dance / Movement Arts
  • Comedy


  • Practicing artist or maker


  • Audio Description
  • Consulting
  • Playwrighting
  • Directing

Identifies with:

  • Disabled
  • Survivor
  • Queer
  • Feminist