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Matthew MacKenzie’s Bears will leave you breathless – NOW Magazine

by ahnationtalk on January 25, 2018233 Views

Riveting multidisciplinary play about an Indigenous oil sands worker mixes the personal and the political

January 24, 2018

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is not without controversy – but any news report could tell you that. Bears, written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie, is a dark comedy that goes beyond the headlines and dives into the devastating consequences of the industrial expansion on stolen land.

This snappy commentary on an oil-hungry settler state willing to widen a pipeline at the expense of First Nations peoples is an Indigenous-led, multidisciplinary co-production between Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and the Edmonton-based Punctuate! Theatre.

The play was a way for MacKenzie to connect with his Cree, Ojibwe and Métis heritage, and was developed with the help of Christine Sokaymoh Frederick (artistic director of AAPA), and Cree Elders Jerry and Jo-Ann Saddleback. The result is searing.

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