Next week, NeverYouMind Productions - a group co-created by Port Coquitlam's Lauren Campbell and Flora Kara of Port Moody - will mount A Particular Class of Women at the Inlet Theatre, a show by playwright Janet Feindel that was inspired by a 1985 Ontario court case where a judge minimized a crime against a stripper.
The Tri-City News caught up with Campbell recently about the play's reaction since NeverYouMind first brought it to the stage last October; here's a summary of what she said :
Tri-City News: What kind of responses are you getting this month at the Firehall Arts Centre and in North Vancouver?
Lauren Campbell: We have a mandate within our company and that is to create theatre that enlivens and stirs the soul, and we are definitely doing that with this play. People are seeing the human beings in these women. They are stripping off the stereotypes and seeing these women for who they truly are: Mothers, students and everyday women trying to make a life for themselves in this world. As one of the characters says in the play, "Stripping is just a job. It's just a job." People, when they walk out of the theatre, are realizing that and it's making them think about exotic dancers in a whole new light, which is very exciting for us as actors.
TCN: Why is the show important?
LC: It teaches us not to have pre-conceived judgements on people because of what they do for a living. We all judge people base on their profession whether they are a strippers or lawyers, etc., and this play teaches you to see past the profession and look at the human being.
TCN: Do you think much has changed in attitudes since the court case?
LC: I think that things have changed since 1985. Sex is much more open and out there in the world, and I feel that it has made people more open-minded.
TCN: What do you think about the Conservative government's current attempts to rewrite the prostitution laws, with public consultation ending March 17?
LC: All I have to say about that is there are women out there in very vulnerable situations and they need to be taking care of and protected so they don't get hurt or worse. And I think that our government needs to have better laws to protect them while they are out there working.
TCN: Do you plan to continue A Particular Class of Women after the Port Moody dates?
LC: For this show and our company, the sky is the limit. We haven't made any definite plans. We love performing this show and telling these amazing stories.
A Particular Class of Women runs at Port Moody's Inlet Theatre (100 Newport Dr.) from March 6 to 8. Tickets at $28/$23 are available by calling 604-551-0418 or visiting neveryoumindproductions.com.