And Bella Sang With Us. Photo by Emily Cooper.
Leanna Brodie and Sarah Louise Turner as Vancouver's first female police officers. Photo by Emily Cooper.

And Bella Sang With Us is inspired by Vancouver’s first women police officers.

And Bella Sang With Us
Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Street

1. Tell us about your show.

And Bella Sang With Us is about Vancouver’s, and Canada’s first women police officers, Constables Minnie Miller and Lurancy Harris, who were brought into the area now known as the Downtown Eastside/Chinatown to deal with ‘wayward women and children’.  It’s about the struggles they went through to find their way and make a difference in a police department and a city not used to women as authority figures.   It’s about how some things in our city and world have changed, but too many have not.   At it’s heart though, it’s a story about friendship.

2. Why should someone come see your show?

Come and see what happens when a dream team of Vancouver theatre pros, led by Sarah Rodgers, collaborate on a  drama with humour and song about a couple of Canadian underdogs. Come and see the results of Sally Stubbs’ re-imagining of an earlier script that was produced before it was ready  because she knew the story and the women it explored were worth it.

3. If your show was a superhero which superhero would it be, and why?

Underdog!  A television cartoon character created in the 1960s, Underdog, like our Constable-Underdogs, is an unlikely hero who struggles, makes  mistakes and finds unexpected ways of dealing with conflict and ‘villains’.    The usual final scene in Underdog episodes features a crowd of people.  They say, ‘Look in the sky!’ ‘It’s a plane!’ It’s a bird!’ Then an elderly woman wearing glasses shouts, ‘It’s a frog!’ Someone else says, ‘A frog?’ To this, Underdog, who always speaks in verse, replies:

4. If you could see only one show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, besides your own, what show would that be?

There are so many shows I’d love to mention here, but what comes to mind is Peripeteia by Elegant Ladies Collective.  For the last few years this group of women, from a variety of creative backgrounds and led by Leslie Stark, get together to devise a Fringe show.  I love that they do this purely for the joy of it.  They bring their own venue or perform in site-specific locations.  All their proceeds go to a selected charity.   They’re still deciding which charity to focus on this year.

The 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival runs September 8-18 on Granville Island and stages around town. Visit for tickets and information.