The University of Winnipeg



Debbie Patterson Named 2012 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence

Playwright Debbie Patterson - photo by Leif Norman

Playwright Debbie Patterson – photo by Leif Norman

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg English department is pleased to announce that Winnipeg playwright Debbie Patterson will be our seventh Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence, from January to April, 2012.

Her inaugural reading, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
12:30 pm
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall

Patterson is a dynamic member of Winnipeg’s arts and theatre community, an innovative writer, director, and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR) and recently served as Theatre Ambassador for Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital year. Currently she serves as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange and is a member of the PTE Playwrights Unit.

Her playwriting credits include the musical Head, Candy from a Baby, and Molotov Circus, which was nominated for the Harry Rintoul Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She has written several adaptations of Robert Munsch stories for Prairie Theatre Exchange, which have gone on to be produced at theatres across the country. Her directing credits include Macbeth and Taming of the Shrew for SIR and Saint Joan for Theatre by the River.

Patterson’s residency is made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Carol Shields family, and The University of Winnipeg.

As Writer-in-Residence, Patterson will appear at public events on campus and will have an office in the English Department to meet with members of the community for private consultations.

She will also be giving the Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence Distinguished Lecture in March.

BACKGROUND: The Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence Program

The Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence Program at The University of Winnipeg was made possible by a generous donation from the Shields family. The program’s name honours the memory of Carol Shields, Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg from 1996 to 2000. Carol was a generous mentor to emerging writers, so this program is a fitting tribute to her. As UW President Dr. Lloyd Axworthy has said, “Carol was enormously committed to cultivating young writers. Through the thoughtfulness and generosity that the Shields family has shown to the University, opportunities have been created for many more people and emerging writers to discover their creative voices.”

Past writers in this program include Margaret Sweatman, Sandra Birdsell, John Weier, Maria Campbell, David Bergen, and Ivan Coyote.

Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: