Bear Grease

A LightningCloud production

2023-10-11 19:30 2023-10-14 20:45 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Bear Grease

https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/33712

In-person event

Get ready for a jaw-dropping, toe-tapping spectacle! Bear Grease takes the 1978 musical, Grease, on an Indigenous joyride, with fashion that slays, humour that tickles your funny bone, and music that makes you groove! It's a rez makeover for the beloved characters, keeping the authenticity alive while adding a burst of cultural flair. Buckle up for an electrifying experience that celebrates Indigenous cultures and dances its way into your heart—Bear Grease is a one-of-a-kind adventure...

Read more

Babs Asper Theatre,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
October 11 - 14, 2023

≈ 75 minutes · No intermission

Our programs have gone digital.

Scan the QR code at the venue's entrance to read the program notes before the show begins.

Last updated: October 5, 2023

A note from the Artistic Director, NAC Indigenous Theatre

I'm thrilled to welcome you all to Bear Grease!

This fun Indigenous twist on the beloved musical, filled with fashion, humour, and music will have you dancing, singing, and laughing in the aisles. Like cruising back in time in your uncle's '57 Chevy on a Saturday night — Bear Grease will have you grooving to this Indigenous take on the classic story of Grease. This production breathes new life into familiar characters while keeping their essence intact and adding an Indigenous cultural flair that is fun for the whole family.

So, miigwetch! Qwokstayup! Limlemt! A big thank you to all the incredibly talented artists who've poured their creativity into this production. I encourage you to savour every moment of this one-of-a-kind experience.

Enjoy the show!

Program

Crystle Lightning and MC RedCloud, affectionately known as "Cloud" — the creative minds behind Bear Grease — share their inspirations, success, and the importance of Indigenous representation.

WHAT WAS THE INITIAL INTEREST THAT SPARKED THE DEVELOPMENT OF BEAR GREASE?

Crystle: Cloud and I were watching Grease on TV. As teenagers and young adults, we loved it—Cloud was even in Grease in high school! As adults, we noticed how VERY WHITE the film was. You had to squint to see anyone of colour. That led us to the idea of imagining a Native Grease. 

“LOL, can you imagine a Native Grease?!” and Cloud IMMEDIATELY began singing “Summer Snaggin’, had me a blaaaast!” and we laughed so hard. Once the pandemic hit, we hunkered down and wrote a full 40-minute show, and it made its debut at the 2021 Edmonton Fringe Festival.

HOW HAVE INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS AUDIENCES RESPONDED TO THE INDIGENOUS HUMOUR IN THE SHOW?

Cloud: Our very first show sold out in under 15 minutes. Bear Grease was the fastest-selling show for the 2021 Edmonton Fringe Festival. The REASON it sold out so quickly is that before it went fully public, Fringe sent out an email blast to its theatre patrons, who happened to be almost fully white. None of our friends or family members could even get in.

We were a bit worried that they wouldn’t get our humour, but they rolled on the floor laughing and the response was phenomenal. So, we knew that with an Indigenous crowd, they would rip the roof off.

Crystle: We like to change the show a bit for different performances. For instance, if we're in Treaty 6 territory, in Cree territory, we'll infuse some Cree words to make it more meaningful for the audience.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS SIGNIFICANT TO HAVE AN ALL-INDIGENOUS CAST TO TELL THIS STORY?

Crystle: Although we live in a time where we can name 4 or 5 Indigenous shows on TV, we still make up less than 1% of the content out there. We believe representation is important, and Bear Grease takes pride in being an All-Indigenous cast. For far too long, we have been depicted only in period pieces — on horseback and in buckskin — and very rarely in a contemporary setting, almost insinuating that we were 'once upon a time'.

Artists

  • Sandy Crystle Lightning
  • fg5543kgephoto.7760-08.10.23
    Danny Henry “Cloud” Andrade
  • thtyhtyhkgephoto.8088-08.10.23
    Marty Teneil Whiskeyjack
  • ewrgkgephoto.8144-08.10.23
    Rezzo Tammy Rae
  • cicikgephoto.8020-08.10.23
    Canuckie Rodney McLeod
  • werwerewkgephoto.8048-08.10.23
    Jan Skylene Gladue
  • 4446kgephoto.8009-08.10.23
    Roger Bryce Morin
  • 45454kgephoto.8055-08.10.23
    Frenchie Melody McArthur
  • yyutrkgephoto.7984-08.10.23
    Arty McFly Artson
  • ygygygygygkgephoto.7979-08.10.23
    Sonny Justin Giehm

Credits

Bear Grease

Director
Crystle Lightning

Creators
Crystle Lightning
Henry “Cloud” Andrade

Writer
Henry “Cloud” Andrade

Showrunner
Omar "Panda" Ornelas

Lead Stage Technician
Parish Gambler

Featuring
Crystle Lightning
Henry “Cloud” Andrade
Teneil Whiskeyjack
Tammy Rae
Rodney McLeod
Skylene Gladue
Bryce Morin
Melody McArthur
Justin Giehm

NAC Production Team

Head Carpenter 
Charles Martin 
 
Head Prop 
Michel Sanscartier

Head LX 
Eric Tessier 
 
Head Audio 
Doug Millar 
 
Projection 
Dave Milliard 
 
Head Wardrobe 
Linda Dufresne 

Projectionists, Wardrobe Mistresses, Masters and Attendants are members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 471. 
 
NAC Indigenous Theatre is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and engages professional Artists who are members of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under the terms of the jointly negotiated Canadian Theatre Agreement.

NAC Indigenous Theatre Team

Artistic Director
Kevin Loring

Managing Director
Lori Marchand

Producer
Samantha MacDonald
Michelle Yagi

Associate Producer
Sage Nokomis Wright

Indigenous Cultural Resident
Mairi Brascoupé

Education Coordinator
Kerry Corbiere

Technical Director
Spike Lyne

Communications Strategist
Ian Hobson

Marketing Strategists
Monica Bradford-Lea
Marie-Pierre Chaumont

Senior Marketing Manager
Bridget Mooney

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees