ITSAZOO presents Sunrise Betties, a hard-hitting world premiere inspired by dark and long forgotten East Vancouver history. Playwright-in-Residence Cheyenne Rouleau draws on the city’s sordid past to weave a fictional tale of an all-female gang operating at the height of Vancouver’s street gang crisis in 1972. Enter to win tickets below »
Directed by local luminary Jamie King, the work promises to transport audiences 50 years back in time to a once notorious low-income, blue-collar East Vancouver neighbourhood where gangs clash for control of the drug trade, police openly practice corruption, and danger lurks in every alley.
- Dates: February 21 to March 10, 2024 at 8:00pm
- Location: Russian Hall (600 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver)
- Tickets: Purchase online. $30 Regular $20 Previews/Discounted Performance; $25 Student/Senior/Underemployed rate available
- AUDIENCE ALERT: This show contains Graphic Violence and Course Language. Not suitable for people under the age of 16. Contact [email protected] for more detailed content guidance.
Set in 1972, the story follows the fictional Betties, a fiercely loyal, all-female street gang, run by a powerful matriarch, who operate a small-time drug trafficking operation. When the gang inadvertently starts a turf war with a prominent mobster, a corrupt Vancouver Police officer mysteriously shows up offering to-good-to-be-true promises. This challenges the gang’s loyalty, revealing their tight-knit “family” may have a rat amongst them.
To accurately evoke the gritty setting and hard-living characters, Rouleau enlisted the insights and expertise of four consultants: Vancouver historian Aaron Chapman, author of The Last Gang In Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang; Kim Brucker, one of the only surviving female Clark Park members of the era; Danny “Mouse” Williamson, a high ranking Clark Park member; and John Grywinski, a retired VPD Inspector & founder of the VPD’s Integrated Gang Task Force. In addition to ensuring the play’s historic and tonal accuracy, each consultant will participate in post-show talk backs throughout the run.
Performed in the basement of East Vancouver’s historic Russian Hall, director King’s meticulously-crafted vision includes 360 degree staging to immerse audiences into the world of the play creating a visceral connection with its characters and events.
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