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The Crackwalker

The Crackwalker
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Sale Price: $13.56 CDN
You Save: $3.39 (20 %)
Author: Judith Thompson
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0887546218
ISBN-13: 9780887546211
Cast Size: 3 women, 2 men
on sale

About the Play:

The Crackwalker is a full-length drama by Judith Thompson. A tough, brilliant tragicomic urban drama that dances between the line of humour and horror, giving a harrowing, hilarious and heart-wrenching glimpse into the lives of four down-and-out individuals battered by poverty, mental illness, and addiction, who find themselves living life on the edge. The Crackwalker paints a stark portrait of the "permanently unemployable" members of society.

The Crackwalker captures the unpretty realities of the ignored in our society. Theresa is sexy, seductive, and mildly mentally challenged. Worshipped by her boyfriend Alan, she lives with whomever will take her in, is addicted to doughnuts, lies without thinking, and overflows with endless kindness, but she continues to hold on to her limitless innocence. Theresa and Alan survive on the goodwill of Sandy and her husband Joe, a relationship trapped in a booze-fuelled cycle of domestic violence and verbal abuse with no end in sight. A homeless man, whom they call the Crackwalker, haunts their lives, an embodiment of social and personal failure and hopelessness. Despite all their failings, however, the characters retain a semblance of friendship and loyalty, and even the Crackwalker consoles Alan in his final isolation and despair. The seminal play that brought Judith Thompson to the attention of audiences everywhere, her striking portrayal of the discarded class continues to move audiences today.

The Crackwalker premiered in 1980 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. Since then this Canadian Classic has been produced widely at professional theatres across North America and has been performed in college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

Cast: 3 women, 2 men

What people say:

"If you're looking for an escapist play to make you feel happy about the world, this isn't it. The Crackwalker is bleak and hard to watch (at times, excruciating). But it's the kind of show that does exactly what theatre is supposed to do – foster empathy, start a conversation, and force us to examine the world we live in." — Broadway World

"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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