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‘Maybe we haven’t come as far as we think’ - Blue Bridge’s steamy classic Miss Julie explores gender disparity

Miss Julie runs May 30 through June 11 at Victoria’s Roxy Theatre
Mercedes Batiz-Benet, director and artistic director of Puente Theatre, hopes audiences come out of Miss Julie thinking “we need to do something”. (Courtesy Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre)

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre welcomes audiences to Victoria’s Roxy Theatre for the steamy and thought-provoking classic, Miss Julie, opening June 1.

Written by August Strindberg, this heated one-act production follows the intense affair between the zealous Miss Julie and Jean – her father’s passionate valet – one hot midsummer’s night. Profound debates between the two arise as the conversation darts from class disparity, to first loves, to gender inequality, resulting in escalating tragedy.

Directing the play is award-winning director and artistic director of Puente Theatre, Mercedes Bátiz-Benét.

“Strindberg pinpoints the place where the war between genders and the war between classes intersect. The fact that this play feels so potent 150 years after it was written is disturbing – maybe we haven’t come as far as we think,” says Bátiz-Benét.

In the play, Julie is an upper-class, noble character who seeks to get out of the class and sexual constraints of Swedish society in the 1880s. Julie becomes fascinated by the well-travelled and well-read Jean, who is already engaged to a servant named Christine. Their passion escalates throughout the story, and their interactions become a study in the exchange of power, Darwinism, class warfare, and the lingering effects of family trauma.

Batiz-Benet asserts that the themes of the play remain relevant over a hundred years later and will provoke discussion on these deeper issues.

“I hope that audiences come out of this play thinking that we need to do something. It can’t be that 200 years from now this play will still be timely. It’s on us. The CEOs who see the play, the bosses, the men that see this play might think ‘What can I do in my everyday life to change this situation? What can I do to make things more equitable? What can I do to help my other human beings transcend this inequality?’’”

Playing the cast of characters are Melissa Taylor, Kholby Wardell, and Stephie Bright.

“Theatre is a group effort, and I’m excited to get in the room and have conversations about how we can, to the best of our abilities, bring this story to life. I’m excited about the discoveries we’re all going to have about ourselves, about the play, about the characters, about playwriting, about theatre,” says Bátiz-Benét.

Miss Julie runs May 30 through June 11, 2023. For more information and tickets, visit or call 250-382-3370.

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Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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