How It Ends

By (author): Debbie Patterson

Foreword by: Michael Sobota

Most of us, when faced with death, wish we could just have a little more time. But what if this is the little more time that we wished for? What are you going to do with it?

Grieving siblings Natalie and Bart have differing views on how we die. Natalie, a palliative care nurse, knows how drugs can help ease someone’s pain, and do so on their own terms; Bart, a minister, believes that surrendering to what may come can bring peace and wisdom. Through this immersive show about end-of-life choices, Natalie and Bart are guided by a disabled angel who helps them address their mother’s final decision and understand their own hopes and fears about death.

Packed with relatable existential questions, this joyously engaging and reflective play offers a welcoming space to think about what comes next.


Debbie Patterson

Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director, and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR), and the founder and current artistic director of Sick + Twisted Theatre. Playwriting credits include How It Ends, Sargent & Victor & Me (both for Sick + Twisted Theatre), the musicals Head (SIR) and Molotov Circus (SummerWorks), and numerous TYA shows for Prairie Theatre Exchange. In 2016, Debbie became the first physically disabled actor to play the title role in Richard III in a professional Canadian production. She was honoured with the United Nations Platform for Action Committee Manitoba’s 2014 Activist Award and the 2017 Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Mark Award. She was twice shortlisted for the Gina Wilkinson Prize. She is the matriarch of a family of artists and a proud advocate for disability justice, living a wheelchair-enabled life in Winnipeg and in a cabin on the shore of Lake Winnipeg with her partner and collaborator, Arne MacPherson.


Michael Sobota

Supposedly retired, Michael Sobota continues his writing career providing critical reviews of books, plays, art, musicians, and cultural organizations. Most recently, he led a workshop on writing literary criticism for the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop. He lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.


“Patterson’s script, which makes use of verbatim interviews she did with a variety of people about end-of-life issues, gracefully addresses ideas of agency and control, of surrendering without giving up.”

“A thoughtful and provocative piece.”


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Excerpts & Samples ×

THE ANGEL leads the audience through a passageway that leads to the cloud. On the way, we hear this:

In this universe, as far as I know, there’s only a little bit of life. And when you look at the planet from the space station, and see that thin layer of atmosphere, and you look beyond it, the black cold immensity of space.

Yes, there’s a billion billion billion billion stars in the galaxy, but there is a big unknown, that we don’t really know, we can speculate.

I think it is true that there is life throughout the universe. In fact, I hold with a very old mode of thought that everything is alive. That what is truly real is living consciousness. And that our material world of measurable energy and matter and dimensions, is merely a reflection of that greater, truer reality.

The idea of collective consciousness that underlies everything, and our eternal being in it, and all that sort of thing.

And our current manifestation, where we can only be in one place at one time, that sort of thing: that limiting sort of thing is an illusion. So within that paradigm, death is a much less significant phenomena

I’m a platonic sort of thinker.

Scientists, physicists and others, philosophers, they’re very caught in the human centric sense of life. The explanations they offer are so fantastical.

I can’t credit them either. They don’t inspire any confidence in me. So I hold to my intuitive sense of what reality really is.

Reader Reviews



64 Pages
7.70in * 5.10in * .13in


January 10, 2023



Book Subjects:

DRAMA / Women Authors

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