A new play set in post-wildfire Fort McMurray is set to make its debut at The Roxy on Gateway this week.
Bust is the brainchild of playwright Matthew MacKenzie. It takes place three weeks after the wildfire that razed the northern Alberta community.
The production is being billed as a “heartfelt dark comedy” about two families whose lives are linked to Alberta’s economy, moving in cycles of boom and bust. It revolves around a controversial call at a peewee hockey game that spurs two couples to act.
“The impetus to it was actually something I wrote when I was 19, about two hockey dads who were dealing with the after-effects of a hockey game – their sons’ hockey game,” MacKenzie said.
That concept evolved over the years, largely affected by the economic downturn and May 2016 wildfire.
“One family has lost everything they own because of the fire. The other family has lost everything because of addiction,” explained Brandon Coffey, who plays the character Ty.
Coffey was born and raised in Fort McMurray. His family was among those affected by the fire.
For Bradley Moss, the Theatre Network‘s artistic director, this project is personal too. A massive fire destroyed the Roxy Theatre on 124 Street more than two years ago.
READ MORE: Edmonton’s Roxy Theatre goes up in flames
“For ourselves, going through our own fire with the loss of the Roxy, I felt like we were the right theatre to do this play. We understand what it’s like to be displaced, we understand what it’s like to then try to rebuild your life,” he said.
Bust officially premieres Thursday evening at The Roxy on Gateway. Tickets are half-price for residents of Fort McMurray.
Watch below: A play set in post-wildfire Fort McMurray is set to make its debut at the Roxy Theatre. On Feb. 11, 2017, a couple of the actors in the production dropped by Global News Morning Weekend Edmonton to talk about the play.