Stage Door News

Toronto: Factory Theatre presents the return of “BEARS” by Matthew MacKenzie February 28-March 17

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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 presents
2018 – 2019 Season

Written and Directed by Matthew MacKenzie
Factory presents
an Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts
and Punctuate! Theatre production
February 28 – March 17, 2019

Starring Sheldon Elter
Featuring Shammy Belmore, Karina Cox, Skye Demas, Lara Ebata, Zoë Glassman,
Tracy Nepinak, Rebecca Sadowski, Kendra Shorter, Gianna Vacirca

Choreography by Monica Dottor
Environmental Design by T. Erin Gruber
Costume Design by Monica Dottor and Brianna Kolybaba
Electronic Composition by Noor Dean Musani
Associate Direction by Patrick Lundeen
Stage Management by Kate Sandeson
Production Management by Trent Crosby

Factory Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide, Toronto
February 28 – March 17, 2019
Tuesday – Saturday @ 8pm | Saturday & Sunday @ 2pm
Ticket prices range from $40-$50 for regular performances
Student and Senior prices also available
For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit,
phone 416.504.9971, or in person at the box office 125 Bathurst Street (at Adelaide)
3-Play Passes Still Available. Prices start at $84

Social Media
@FactoryToronto • FB: @FactoryTheatreTO • IG: @FactoryTheatre
#ftBears       #ftCrossCanada

BEARS is a CrossCurrents Canada Presentation.

Photo: Sheldon Elter and cast in BEARS. © 2018 Max B. Telzerow.