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The Crackwalker

The Crackwalker
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Judith Thompson
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0887546218
ISBN-13: 9780887546211

About the Play:

The Crackwalker is a full-length drama by Judith Thompson. A tough, brilliant play that paints a stark portrait of the downcast and downtrodden members of society. The seminal play that brought Judith Thompson to the attention of audiences everywhere, it remains as vital today as it was when it premiered over 35 years ago.

The Crackwalker is about down-and-outers in Kingston, Ontario. Living with mental illness, Theresa and Alan struggle to make a home for their baby, but with disastrous results. Sandy and Joe are trapped in a booze-fuelled cycle of domestic violence and verbal abuse with no end in sight. And bearing witness to it all, a mysterious man called the Crackwalker, haunts them, and us, with the spectre of the ones left behind. In this unforgettable work, the line between a nightmare and our daily reality is not so easily separated.

The Crackwalker premiered in 1980 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, was remounted in 1982 as a co-production with Montreal's Centaur Theatre, and revived in 2016 at Factory Theatre in Toronto.

Cast: 3 women, 2 men.

What people say:

"The Crackwalker hit the scene like a bolt of lightning, jolting people alive with its bracing, brutal yet fragile characters and situations inspired by Thompson's own experiences as a social worker in Kingston, Ontario. Better viewed as a period piece than a timeless work, The Crackwalker crossed boundaries, offending and challenging many. Most importantly, Thompson broke new ground by insisting that while the play was rough and raw, it communicated critical truths about human failings and small Canadian towns." — The Book of Lists

"Maybe the most powerful play ever written in Canada...." — CBC

"Judith Thompson's first play is a graphic, harrowing glimpse at life on the edge, at individuals battered by poverty, ignorance and hopelessness." — The Vancouver Sun

"Exudes vitality." — Toronto Star

"Judith Thompson has captured the corrosive imagery and exploding rhythms of life in Kingston's lower depths, where spiked heels are dangerous weapons and salvation is driving a cab in Calgary. Thompson so clearly demonstrates an ability to expose the deepest roots of the theatrical experience… its language and humanity make the play a minor masterpiece." — Maclean's

"The Crackwalker's [characters] are mesmerizingly real. These people live with you." — The Globe and Mail

About the Playwright:

Judith Thompson, OC is a highly esteemed Canadian playwright and educator. She has twice won the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama for White Biting Dog and The Other Side of the Dark. Other often-produced works include Sled, The Crackwalker, I Am Yours, Lion in the Streets and many more. In 2006 she was invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada, and in 2008 she became the first Canadian to be awarded the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide for her play Palace of the End. She is currently a professor at the University of Guelph for the School of English and Theatre Studies teaching courses in acting and playwriting.

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