Touring Bessie Carruthers

At Beaconsfield Carriage House and Courthouse Theatre

The Bessie Carruthers Study Club 

The Bessie Carruthers Study Club is touring Nova Scotia and PEI this summer, and will stop at Beaconsfield Carriage House in Charlottetown on July 24 and 27, and at the Courthouse Theatre in St. Peters on July 25 and 28.  

Imagine if a renowned British composer and suffragist had visited Charlottetown in 1919, inspiring local women to work for the vote. That’s the premise behind pianist Jennifer King and mezzo-soprano Suzanne Campbell’s original musical show.

Although the meeting didn’t happen, the historical character was real. British musician, composer, and renowned suffragist Ethel Smyth, who is now known as Dame Smyth, has been rediscovered as a significant composer of the last century and a formidable voice in the work of British suffragettes. The PEI connection, Bessie Carruthers, played an important role in persuading political leaders of the day to grant women the right to vote on PEI. Coincidentally, Carruthers is a close relative of former PEI Premier Catherine Callbeck.

Produced by Pirate Jenny Productions, The Bessie Carruthers Study Club stars Suzanne Campbell as Bessie and Jennifer King as Smyth.

Suzanne Campbell, a mezzo-soprano, teaches singing to students of all ages and performs frequently as a soloist across the Island. She is also a member of Sirens, a women’s vocal ensemble that won the 2023 ECMA for Choral Recording of the Year.

Jennifer King, based in Halifax, is a pianist, educator, and host of the Cecilia Concerts Sensory Accessible Concert series at Halifax’s Central Library. She is also a recording artist whose latest work, O Mistress Moon: Canadian Edition, received the 2023 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year.

The Bessie Carruthers Study Club was part of the 2019 Island Fringe Festival in Charlottetown where it performed to sold-out, standing-room-only audiences throughout the festival.

Visit for tickets and more information.