Emerald Pig wins big at zone theatre festival

Maple Ridge theatrical group Emerald Pig gets accolades for A Particular Class of Women

A Particular Class of Women won outstanding ensemble and production at the Fraser Valley Zone festival last week.

A Particular Class of Women won outstanding ensemble and production at the Fraser Valley Zone festival last week.

Emerald Pig Theatrical Society’s production of A Particular Class Of Women raked in the awards at the Fraser Valley Zone Festival in Langley last week.

Charlene Rowley won ‘Most Outstanding Costumes’, John Stuart won ‘Most Outstanding Director,’ and the show swept the event by taking winning ‘Most Outstanding Ensemble’ and ‘Most Outstanding Production.’

The play is set to perform at Theatre B.C.’s Mainstage provincial drama festival on June 30 in Kamloops, where it will compete against eight other winning productions from around the province for the coveted Theatre B.C. Best Production Award.

“We are all just thrilled at winning this festival in Emerald Pig’s 10th anniversary year. The girls are packing their G-strings, and we are off to knock ’em dead in Kamloops,” says Stuart, who founded Emerald Pig a decade ago with his wife, Sharon Malone.

A Particular Class Of Women is a timely and also timeless play. Although it was written in the ’80s,  negative attitudes toward women in the stripping and sex trade professions still prevail today.

The play gives the audience an insight into who these strippers are:  they are women who have dreams, and loves and losses, and kids and family problems, and financial problems just like everybody else. They are not all drug addicts or victims of incest or have sexually deviant backgrounds.

“Before starting to work on this play, I had been maybe to three strip bars in my lifetime, and I had the same negative attitudes that everyone else had about strippers,” said Stuart.

“This play and the research around it really has opened my eyes as to who these women really are. They are just like everybody else.”

The play had a successful run in Maple Ridge, where a talk back panel was featured on opening night that included the cast and directors, women from Cythera Transition House, a writer of a book on strippers, a PhD student doing work on stripping, and a sexual health counselor.

A Particular Class Of Women also played to audiences in New Westminster and West Vancouver.

Emerald Pig has to raise approximately $6,000 to cover expenses to take the show to Mainstage in Kamloops. So watch for  several fundraisers before the event.