The Real McCoy
About the Show
Inspired by the true life story of Elijah McCoy, The Real McCoy tells the tale of this extraordinary black inventor, born in Canada to runaway slaves, who became a leading expert in the field of thermo-dynamics and whose invention of the self-lubricating cup revolutionized steam engine travel.
When others tried to imitate his inventions with lesser success, suppliers began asking for "the real McCoy", an expression of authenticity that has lasted more than a century. Yet McCoy's own true racial identity became a hindrance to his career interests, and his move to the U.S. was coupled with triumph and personal tragedy.
This is a powerful story that deals with the failed promises of the late industrial age, the struggle between science and faith, between pride and the unforgiving hand of God, all manifested in one Elijah McCoy.
The Real McCoy was developed through Factory Theatre's national CrossCurrents play development festival in 2005. It was first produced by the Factory Theatre (Toronto) in 2006, and revived in 2007 as a joint production between Factory Theatre (opening their 2007-8 Season) and the Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa).
Widely celebrated by both critics and audiences, the production has received numerous nominations and was featured in the year end ‘Top 10' lists of several Toronto newspaper publications.
The Real McCoy received its US premiere in the spring of 2011 at The Black Rep in St. Louis, MO, where it received rave reviews and was nominated for multiple Kevin Kline Awards, including Outstanding Director (for Andrew Moodie) and Outstanding Ensemble in a play.
For information regarding Licensing and/or Production availability for The Real McCoy please use our contact page.
"Remarkable ... stole my heart" NNNN, Critic's Choice - NOW Magazine (Toronto, Canada)
"Performances like this one set the bar both for ensembles and individual actors, and demand better of other plays attempting to marry good storytelling with social justice" - NOW Magazine (Toronto, Canada)
"Slickly crafted and always interesting ... delighting in the baroque turns of language the man favored and letting us peek inside the way his incredible mind functioned." - The Toronto Star (Toronto, Canada)
"Wint's stately, elegant portrayal of McCoy is worth the price of admission..." - The Globe and Mail (Toronto/National, Canada)
"A work that deserves the widest audience possible" - Eye Weekly (Toronto, Canada)