Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale

Showing at SAMC Theatre’s Freedom Hall Nov. 21 to Dec. 2.

Access to education. Breaking barriers. Freedom and choice. These themes and more are part of TWU’s upcoming production, Blue Stockings.

From Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale is showing at SAMC Theatre’s Freedom Hall. The show runs Tuesday thru Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. 

See the show

About the play 

The future of education is at stake! It's 1896 and the women of Griton College are seeking the right to graduate from Cambridge. The students face daily challenges threatening to derail their quest for knowledge. First year Tess Moffat, has a more difficult choice: pick love and an unfulfilled education or fight for her place at school and commit to a lonely, difficult life. Times are changing but there’s hope for the twentieth-century.

This ground-breaking work by Jessica Swale, who notably directed the first play by a women at Shakespeare’s Globe, earned her an Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright nomination in 2013.

Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 at the SAMC Theatre.

Students in the lead

TWU students create magic in this fall’s production taking up all manner of leading roles both on-stage and behind the curtain. In addition to the 18 students, alumni, and faculty who are starring as the cast, their peers have helped to set the stage in areas of design, construction, scenic paint, lighting crew, and stage management.  

Starring as one of the Girton Girls is Cath de la Rambelje, a second-year student from Surrey with concentrations in theatre and film. She describes the play as “a journey of discovery, passion, and sacrifice,” adding, “Blue Stockings portrays the transformative decisions we make in life…”

Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 at the SAMC Theatre.

Fellow actor Sarah Grace Wiedenheft, who majors in English and theatre, believes the play is about “fighting to be recognized for your hard work and intelligence, standing up for what you believe, and what it means to choose both love and learning.”

“The Girton Girls have such a fierce desire to learn about the world that God created,” Wiedenheft remarks, “They are a reminder to me that everything we do should be for the glory of God and that learning and intellectual pursuit is worship just as much as anything else.”

“Blue Stockings portrays the transformative decisions we make in life…”

Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 at the SAMC Theatre.

'Fighting the good fight'

In addition to a crew of talented students, the play is directed by Sessional Assistant Professor Rebecca Martin, a TWU Theatre alumna, who says of the production, “This play is about fighting the good fight."

"Whether 1896 or 2023, our world is frequently divided. This play encourages everyone to stand up for what they believe in, and, more importantly, give voice to the marginalized and the oppressed. It's about doing the right thing, even when the cards are stacked against you.”

After graduating from Trinity Western, Martin went on to complete an MFA in play and screenwriting. She now teaches courses in the Theatre, English, and Media + Communications departments, and she recently led TWU’s summer travel study to New York.

Co-Chair of the Theatre Department Kerri Norris also joins the cast for Blue Stockings this fall. Among many meaningful messages in the play, the themes of choice and agency stand out for Norris. She highlights, “The women fight for a degree but what they are really fighting for is the right to choose education, to choose love, to choose both. To be recognized as valuable members of society."

Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 at the SAMC Theatre.

'Clash of characters'

Blue Stockings is a timely production in an era of many societal differences. “Its primary characters are put in situations that pull at their allegiances and force them into catastrophic situations...It’s a play about choice and determination,” says Seth Schouten of Burnaby, a fifth-year theatre major who minors in English. 

The play features “the clash of characters fighting for what they think is right…[and] wrestling with cultural customs,” according to Leighton Hoffman, a native of Delta and third-year theatre major.

He reflects, “As a Christian, the determination to fight for what is right in this story resonates with me, and it reminds me of the importance of showing respect and dignity in moments of disagreement. This story illuminates the complexity of navigating what is wise and honourable in life’s most tense and divisive instances.”

Women brave and strong

The strength of the play’s female characters is what impresses Lex Diersch, a fourth-year theatre major from Surrey, who remarks, “They show so much tenacity and defiance throughout the play, and I admire and want to embody their bravery and constant pursuit of knowledge in my life.”

“This play is about fighting for a voice and a place,” says Kiara McCarthy, an education major from Langley who plays one of the Girton Girls. “It is about standing up against people who may want to write your story for you."

She adds, "I believe that God is the only author of our story; it can’t be written by anybody else. Too often we try to control other people or decide what is right for them, but it’s only God that has that authority. And he is a good author!”

Trinity Western University presents Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 at the SAMC Theatre.

Cast & Crew of Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale

Directed by Rebecca Martin

Costume Designer: Aeron Elcheshen

Lighting Designer: Keagan Elrick

Set Designer: Cecilia Vadala

Stage Manager: Rui Zi Lin

Assistant Stage Manager: Evie O'Brien, Emily Walker

Promotional Photography: Jef Gibbons

Starring: Jack Derrenbacker, Lex Diersch, Leighton Hoffman, Cameron Lebold, Kiara McCarthy, Madalyn McMillan, Grace Moore, Sacha Mugisha, Berke Mutaf, Kerri Norris, Cath de la Rambelje, Aagaaz Sandhu, Seth Schouten, Carissa Tuininga, James Vandermeulen, Alex Walker, Sarah Grace Wiedenheft, Tahlia Wine

About TWU's School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC)

Immerse yourself in what you love best, whether it’s visual or performing arts, media, or communication. Grow with others who are just as passionate and exceptional as you. That’s the beauty of learning in community. Learn more at TWU's School of the Arts, Media + Culture.

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is a global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has campuses in Canada in Langley, Richmond, and Ottawa. Learn more at or follow us on Instagram @trinitywestern, Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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