Welcome to Equity in Theatre

Decottignies, Michele


Michele Decottignies is a Canmore-based, multiple award-winning producer, presenter, playwright, director, designer and arts advocate with 25+ years experience in the professional arts industries. She founded Stage Left Productions in 2003 to house her daring blend of professional arts production with bottom-up, radical social justice praxis. Michele has made Stage Left the leading contributor to Disability Arts in Canada, a Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed, and a model of excellence Artist-Community Collaboration. She's also pioneered highly successful applied arts practices in Social Work, Adult Education, Aboriginal Health, Mental Health, Self-Advocacy, Independent Living, Youth Criminal Justice, Human Rights & Multiculturalism and many other domains. Within the broader arts community, Michele has worked in a variety of artistic, technical, administrative and/or advisory roles for many different professional and community arts companies throughout Alberta. Most notably, she assisted Michael Green in forming the Performance Creation Canada network, collaborated with many international jokers on the development of the International Theatre of the Oppressed Women's network, founded the Disability Arts & Culture Presenters' Network, chairs the Disability Arts Alliance of Canada, and most recently initiated the Calgary Congress for Equity & Diversity in the Arts. As an under-educated, working class, lesbian feminist artist/ activist with several invisible disabilities, Michele's practice is necessarily concerned with the development of artistic and cultural practices that foster rather than negate diversity. Her art work is multi- and interdisciplinary, collaborative and radical – using the arts to challenge dominant social paradigms that render difference invisible and undesirable in society. Her artistic practice boldly weaves together Theatre of the Oppressed, Popular Theatre, Performance Creation, Disability Art, Queer Art, and Feminist Art into experimental forms of Political Art. In the Theatre domain, Michele has produced, written and directed 15 original, collaboratively created productions – most notably, MERCY KILLING OR MURDER: THE TRACY LATIMER STORY, for which she won a Moondance Festival Columbine Playwriting Award.

Professional Role(s): 
Designer and Arts Advocate