A multi-disciplinary dark comedy about the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Bears stars award-winning Métis theatre artist Sheldon Elter. The play is coming to the Sunset Theatre in Wells for one night only, Thursday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. Pictured here are Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, Sheldon Elter and chorus members Kendra Shorter, Gianna Vacirca, Alida Kendell, Rebecca Sadowski, Skye Demas, Lara Ebata, Zoe Glassman and Aimee Rushton. Photo submitted

Award-winning multi-disciplianry dark comedy Bears has been making waves across the country

The critically-acclaimed play is coming to the Sunset Theatre in Wells for one night only Aug. 15

The Sunset Theatre in Wells is thrilled to be a last-minute add-on destination for a show that has been making waves across the country.

On Thursday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m., Matthew MacKenzie’s critically-acclaimed award-winning play Bears takes to the Sunset stage for one night only.

A multi-disciplinary dark comedy about the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Bears stars award-winning Métis theatre artist Sheldon Elter and asks the question, “What the hell is going on in Wild Rose Country?”

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, along the route of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. By the time he reaches the Pacific, Floyd has experienced changes — his gait widening, his muscles bulging, his sense of smell heightening.

Few environmental issues facing Canadians are attracting as much attention as pipelines and their proposed expansions.

Led largely by an Indigenous cast and creative team, Bears strives to increase dialogue about the devastating effects economic greed is taking on the lands of our country’s First Nations peoples. Unapologetically political, Bears is not just a play — it is an emotional, empathetic performance experience told through dramatic storytelling, an integrated eight-person dance chorus, an enchanting projection design and an evocative electronic soundscape.

Jerry Saddleback, Cree Elder and Dean of Cultural Studies at Maskwacîs College in Hobbama, Alb., says, “I’d never seen a play that speaks to issues facing Canada’s Indigenous peoples as effectively and beautifully as Bears does.”

Bears has been a sell-out success, garnering considerable arts and non-arts media attention. The official premiere was in January 2018 at the Theatre Centre in Toronto, and the production received numerous awards, including the Dora awards for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production in the independent theatre division. It was also co-winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Outstanding New Canadian Play Award and the Playwright Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award. The production has since toured to Calgary, Canmore, Maskwacis, Saddle Lake, Vancouver, Victoria and now Wells!

The Bears creative team contacted The Sunset Theatre’s artistic director about a month ago so see if they could add the 98-seat historic theatre to their tour itinerary. Karen Jeffery, artistic director and owner of the Sunset, jumped at the chance.

“We feel incredibly lucky to be hosting such an important and poignant piece of theatre,” she says. “The best theatre can happen anywhere and not just in big city centres.”

Don’t miss your chance to see Bears. Come join us at The Sunset! To find out more about Bears, visit punctuatetheatre.com/bears-info. To reserve your tickets for this very special performance, call 250-994-3400. The Sunset Theatre is located at 2357 Pooley St. in Wells. For more information, visit sunset-theatre.com.

— Submitted by the Sunset Theatre

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