BEARS to Premiere in Toronto

Published December 16, 2017

TORONTO – A multi-disciplinary dark comedy about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre from Edmonton, in association with Native Earth Performing Arts and The Theatre Centre in Toronto, present the world premiere of BEARS, January 18-27, 2018.

The prime suspect in a workplace accident, Floyd has to get out of town fast. Pursued by the RCMP, he heads through the Rockies for Burnaby, B.C, along the route of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. By the time he reaches the Pacific, Floyd has experienced changes – his gait has widened, his muscles are bulging, his sense of smell heightened…

Written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie (SIA, The Particulars, The Other) and starring award-winning (and former tar sands worker) Métis theatre artist Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt), BEARS asks “What the hell is going on in Wild Rose Country?”

Unapologetically political, BEARS gives voice to the voiceless animals, and vulnerable landscapes, desecrated by the insatiable human desire for industrial expansion, while striving to increase dialogue about the devastating effects on Canada’s First Nations peoples. Originally developed in Edmonton, the sold-out workshop run also garnered five Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award nominations, and two wins for Outstanding Score and Outstanding Choreography.  Liz Nicholls of the Edmonton Journal reported, “BEARS is an Ode to Nature… It’s rare enough to find original theatre that is so definably of this place. Theatre that harnesses the divergent resources of multi-disciplinary artists so creatively to mount an argument is rarer still. You can’t really afford to miss BEARS.”

An Indigenous-led new Canadian play told through dramatic storytelling and choreography, an eight-person chorus, enchanting projections, and an evocative electronic soundscape, BEARS is an emotional, empathetic performance experience.

Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre
in association with Native Earth Performing Arts and The Theatre Centre
Present the Premiere of
Written and Directed by Matthew MacKenzie
Starring Sheldon Elter
Featuring Skye Demas, Lara Ebata, Christine Sokaymoh Frederick,
Zoe Glassman,  Alida Kendell, Aimee Rushton, Rebecca Sadowski,
Kendra Shorter,  Gianna Vacirca
Choreography by Monica Dottor
Environmental Design by T. Erin Gruber
Costume Design by Brianna Kolybaba and Monica Dottor
Sound Design by Noor Dean Musani
Associate Direction by Patrick Lundeen
Stage Management by Erin VoaklanderThe Theatre Centre, Franco Boni Theatre, 1115 Queen Street W
January 18-27, 2018 (no show Sunday, January 21) • All performances at 8pm
Opening Night: Tuesday, January 18, 2018 @ 8pm
Tickets: $25/adults, $17/students & seniors
and can be purchased online at
or by calling 416.538.0988 (service charges may apply)
While in Toronto, the company is also presenting MINOSIS GATHERS HOPE, a play for young audiences by urban Aboriginal Cree-Métis playwright Christine Sokaymoh Frederick. A young Métis girl, Minosis (Cree for kitten) must deal with feelings of abandonment, self-doubt and racism to come to terms with the dilemma of her inner life: an understanding that is vital for all Canadians whose cultures touch, evolve and interweave. Visit here for more information.

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