Wed April 4 - Sat April 7, 2018


Downstage proudly presents
the Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Punctuate! Theatre production of
Bears by Matthew MacKenzie

A multi-disciplinary dark comedy about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, BEARS asks what the hell it is we think we're doing here 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, B.C, along the route of the Kinder Morgan 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...

Unapologetically political, BEARS gives voice to the voiceless animals, and vulnerable landscapes, desecrated by the insatiable human desire for industrial expansion, while striving to increase dialogue about the devastating effects on Canada’s First Nations peoples. 

Written and directed by theatre artist Matthew MacKenzie (SIA, The Particulars, The Other), starring award-winning (and former tar sands worker) Metis theatre artist Sheldon Elter (Metis Mutt), BEARS is an Indigenous-led new Canadian play told through dramatic storytelling and choreography, a seven-person chorus, enchanting projections, and evocative electronic soundscape. BEARS is an emotional, empathetic performance experience.

Originally developed in Edmonton, the sold-out workshop run also garnered five Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award nominations, and two wins for Outstanding Score and Outstanding Choreography.

Starring Sheldon Elter
Featuring Skye Demas, Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, Zoe Glassman, Alida Kendell, Aimee Rushton, Rebecca Sadowski, Kendra Shorter and Gianna Vacirca.
Written and Directed by Matthew MacKenzie
Associate Direction by Patrick Lundeen
Stage Management by Erin Voaklander
Choreography by Monica Dottor
Sound Design by Nurdean Musani
Environmental Design by T. Erin Gruber
Costume Design by Monica Dottor and Brianna Kolybaba

Ideal for: Performances, , recitals, rehearsals, workshops, and receptions
Capacity: 50 
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Included: Fully customizable lighting; user-driven space with no technical support provided 

Motel is an intimate, 50-seat black-box theatre located in the heart of downtown Calgary on the mezzanine level of Arts Commons, across the hall from One Yellow Rabbit's Big Secret Theatre. Instantly recognizable by its charming motel-style sign, Motel Theatre is the home of Downstage who curate the space as an affordable home for smaller theatre and performance companies in Calgary. 

This venue is in high demand with limited rental dates. If you are interested in renting this space, please first visit for further information then contact Jessie Paynter, Production Manager,, 403.294.7459.


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