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A BEAR AWAKE IN WINTER (Next Stage Theatre Festival)
Factory Theatre Mainspace
Toronto, January 10-20, 2019

director, writer, & producer · Ali Joy Richardson
cast · Hershel Blatt, Andrew Di Rosa, Michaela Di Cesare, Bria McLaughlin, Danny Pagett. Natasha Ramondino, Andy Trithardt
assistant director & assistant producer · Bryn Kennedy
stage manager · Lucy McPhee
lighting designer · Steph Raposo
sound design, fight choreographer, & production manager · Neil Silcox

2007. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. A high school band class. A new teacher from Toronto wants to be an inspiration to his jaded students but is afraid to come out to them. A boy bullies a girl in insidious ways until she takes matters into her own hands. An act of violence at a school dance fractures the community. This is a dark, funny, and difficult story about the fight to stand up for yourself.

Photos: Neil Silcox

“Bullying, suicide, consent and other urgent themes arise with startling ease and theatricality in Ali Joy Richardson's powerful new play…Richardson, who also directs, stages the play with imagination, bringing out both the comic and poignant moments…Look out for one exquisite scene in which a bullied kid and his bully talk in a frank, honest and hopeful way. As these kids might say, it delivers all the feels.” 
- Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine (NNNN)

“A short description of this play – that it’s about bullying in a high school band class in small-city Nova Scotia circa 2007 – doesn’t come close to capturing its complexity nor the significant entertainment it delivers…Writer/director Ali Joy Richardson skilfully balances the development of relationships with building tension toward a moment of upsetting violence.”
- Karen Fricker, Toronto Star (★★★ 1/2 stars)

”Stunningly confident, intelligent, & provocative entertainment.”
- Andy McKim (Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille)