Factory Presents The Return Of BEARS Next Month
After a highly-successful world premiere at The Theatre Centre last January, followed by a cross-country tour, BEARS, written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie and featuring Sheldon Elter in a tour de force performance, returns to Toronto for a CrossCurrents Canada presentation at Factory.
For its premiere, BEARS received eight Dora Award nominations and won for Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Play. A critical darling, BEARS also co-won the Toronto Theatre Critic's Award for Best New Canadian Play and made it onto most 'top ten' lists of the season. Prior to the Factory engagement, February 28 - March 17, BEARS will play Victoria's Belfry Theatre.
Floyd, a Métis oil patch worker is on the lam in the Western Canadian wilderness. The RCMP are chasing Floyd, as are private bounty hunters, as he flees from a workplace accident. Making his way through the Rockies for British Columbia, Floyd is assisted by the flora and fauna-portrayed by a chorus of contemporary dancers choreographed by Monica Dottor-in evading the authorities. Along his journey, Floyd undergoes a metaphysical transformation, not unlike the playwright's own when he discovered his Indigenous ancestry, a family secret hidden for generations.
Unapologetically political, BEARS gives voice to the voiceless animals and vulnerable landscapes desecrated by the seemingly insatiable human desire for industrial expansion. An Indigenous-led, multi-disciplinary dark comedy, BEARS strives to amplify the dialogue about the devastating effects of the Trans Mountain Pipeline on Canada's First Nations peoples.
Written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie (SIA, The Particulars, The Other, After The Fire) and starring award-winning (and former tar sands worker) Métis theatre artist Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt, After The Fire), BEARS is an emotional, empathetic, and experiential adventure.
Factory would like to thank the government funding bodies, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and The Government of Canada, our Season Sponsor BMO, as well as our generous donors who make developing, producing, and presenting Canadian theatre possible.
Founded in 1970, Factory was the first theatre company in the nation to devote itself to producing 100% Canadian content. 49 seasons later, Factory continues to lead in the development and sharing of Canadian stories having produced more than 300 productions from a diverse source of Canadian playwrights and launching the careers of countless theatre professionals.
Factory would like to acknowledge with gratitude all the storytellers, stewards, and caretakers - recorded and unrecorded - that continue to host Factory on their land. We would like to thank the Haudenosaunee, Wendat, Mississaugas of New Credit and other Anishnaabe Nations who have allowed us to create plays that have moved and transformed our audiences in Toronto for almost 50 years.