Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon shares her mother’s story in Betty’s Song
The funny and heartfelt show Betty’s Song is coming to Confederation Centre of the Arts this summer as part of The 2022 Charlottetown Festival.
Proudly sponsored by The Gray Group Real Estate & Development, The 2022 Charlottetown Festival includes seven productions across the Centre’s three venues – including Tell Tale Harbour, Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, and Hey Viola!
Sponsored by Key Murray Law, Betty’s Song is a new solo show created and performed by Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon. The production is inspired by the story of her late mother, who was one of the first women to captain her own lobster boat in Eastern P.E.I. This quirky coming-of-age story, featuring a soundtrack of Condon’s original music, takes you through the perils of a tough lobster lady raising a saucy teenager in 1990s Murray Harbour North.
The idea for the show first came from a track (also titled Betty’s Song) on Condon’s 2013 album This Great Compromise. As she performed the song over the years, Condon started to share more about her mother’s life as a young widow working as a fisherwoman. “Each year the stories would expand, and it seemed like something everyone could relate to,” she says.
For the final credit for her theatre degree, Condon took a playwrighting course during which she developed the idea for the show. She then asked Adam Brazier, the Centre’s artistic director of performing arts, to read the script for feedback. The two went back-and-forth fine-tuning the piece, which led to it being a part of the Festival.
The show features several colorful characters, all performed by Condon, and a ‘90s-inspired set and wardrobe. “What started off as a sentimental piece has turned into something very funny and endearing,” she says. The timing of this show is especially poignant, as Condon became a new mother herself last year.
Betty’s Song runs at The Mack as part of The 2022 Charlottetown Festival from July 5 – 29.