‘Unapologetically political’ dark comedy tackles a subject near (and not-so-dear) to Canadian hearts

The cast of Bears. Photo by Alexis McKeown.

If you’ve spent any time in Canada, particularly B.C., then you know the big story these days is the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline.

A new play from Alberta tackles the subject head-on. Presented by Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre, Bears is a multi-disciplinary dark comedy about the pipeline. It runs May 8-12 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre Historic Theatre.

Read more below.

In the play, Floyd is the prime suspect in a workplace accident. Pursued by the RCMP, he heads through the Rockies for Burnaby, B.C. Along the way, he follows the route of the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline. By the time he reaches the Pacific, Floyd is a new man—his gait has widened, his muscles are bulging, his sense of smell is heightening.

From the media release: “Few issues facing Canadians are attracting as much attention as the tar sands and the proposed massive expansion of their exploitation. Unapologetically political, Bears strives to increase dialogue about the devastating effects economic greed is taking on the lands of our country’s First Nations peoples.”

Written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie (SIA, The Particulars, The Other), Bears stars Métis theatre artist (and former tar sands worker) Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt). It also features Christine Frederick as Mother and a chorus of contemporary dancers.  Seven-time Dora Award nominee Monica Dottor provides the choreography.

Bears received five Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards nominations and won in two categories.

According to NOW (Toronto), it’s “a witty, riveting and evocative production that never loses its pace… it’s packed with the same adrenaline rush you’d get from a sprint. And like any run, Bears will leave you breathless.”

The cast of Bears. Photo by Alexis McKeown.





When: May 8 – 12, 2018
Where: Cultch Historic Theatre (1895 Venables St.)
Tickets: from $22. Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or tickets.thecultch.com.

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