Published December 10, 2018
TORONTO — Playwright Matthew MacKenzie returns to The Theatre Centre with the world premiere of “After the Fire,” directed by Brendan McMurtry-Howlett and featuring Sheldon Elter, January 10-19, 2019 for nine performances only. “After the Fire” is being presented at the same time one year after the world premiere of MacKenzie’s award-winning Bears took Toronto by storm.
Set in the aftermath of the 2016 summer wildfire that nearly destroyed Fort McMurray, “After the Fire”is a dark mystery that slowly reveals how two couple’s lives are so deeply affected by the disaster. This Indigenous-led, new Canadian work raises vital questions about the continued industrial development in Fort McMurray despite the devastating impact on the people and the environment.
Director Brendan McMurtry-Howlett (founding Artistic Director Shakespeare in the Ruff) leads a quartet of actors including Sheldon Elter (Bears) as Barry; Jesse Gervais (The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide) as Ty; Louise Lambert (Evangeline) as Carmell; and Kaitlyn Riordan (Portia’s Julius Ceasar) as Laura.
Last season, Bears sold-out in Toronto and across the country, receiving glowing reviews for its unapologetic and imaginative approach to pipeline politics. Bears won two Dora Awards for Outstanding Independent Production and Outstanding New Play; co-won the Toronto Theatre Critics’ award for best new Canadian play; and the Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award. Bears, which continues to tour, will be presented by Toronto’s Factory Theatre beginning in February 2019.
“After the Fire” offers a different approach in MacKenzie’s examination of fossil fuel addiction: focusing on how the exploitation of non-renewable resources affects the Fort McMurray families whose livelihoods rely on it.