Lunchbox Theatre presents Camp Victoria, running from March 3rd to March 22nd. We sat down with Glenda Stirling, Lunchbox’s artistic director and the play’s director, to learn more about the upcoming show.

BeatRoute: Camp Victoria is set within an interesting moment in history. Can you tell me a bit about the historical context?

Glenda Stirling

Glenda Stirling

Glenda Stirling: The women in this story are crossing the Canadian Rockies in 1898 at a key point in history. Around that time, railway lines through the Rockies were just being completed and the West, particularly the Northwest, was still relatively “wild” and just opening up. In Northwest communities, women were doing things they would never had had the chance of doing in more established, socially codified Central Canada.

BR: It’s a story with a lot of strong female voices. Can you tell me about the cast?

GS: Lyndsay Burns, who plays Faith Fenton, is one of Calgary’s most accomplished actors and creators. Like Faith Fenton, she is not afraid to take a risk and comment on the world she sees around her. I read a critic at one point said she had, “ovaries of solid brass,” a quote I have always loved!

Julie Orton, who plays nurse, Maggie Payson, is a fantastic actor to work with. I worked with her when she had first graduated from the University of Calgary and was blown away by her talent and professionalism.

Shawna Burnett, who plays Nurse Rachel Hanna, is a Lunchbox and Calgary favourite. Like the other two ladies, she has played on nearly every stage in town and been nominated for a slew of awards.

BR: What made Lunchbox decide to produce Camp Victoria?

GS: It’s a fascinating time in Canadian history that we rarely see onstage, especially from a woman’s perspective. Ultimately, it is about how any of us define and then chase down our dreams. What do we want out of our lives and what are we prepared to do to get it? Those very human questions are ones we try to examine at Lunchbox and doing it in period costume with medicinal whiskey is just an added bonus!

Camp Victoria runs from March 3-22 at Lunchbox Theatre. Tickets and more information available at

By Genevieve Dale

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