The play takes a hard look at the “permanently unemployable” that fall through the cracks of social services. As a companion to the play, Sowelu is conducting interviews (available below) with Portlanders about their experiences in the IDD and homeless populations. We hope you will take a look at what your neighbors are experiencing and add your voice to the conversation.
"Teresa is sexy, seductive, and mentally challenged. Worshipped by her boyfriend, she turns tricks at $5, 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 husban Joe, a relationship predicated on sexual violence and submission, fueled by alcohol and smokes. 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 Crackwalker captures the unpretty realities of the ignored in our society. First produced thirty years ago, Thompson's striking portrayal of the discarded class continues to move audiences today.
is one of Canada's most highly regarded playwrights. She has twice won the Governor General's Award for White Biting Dog (1984) and the anthology The Other Side of the Dark (1989); and the Chalmers Award for I am Yours(1987) and Lion in the Streets (1991).
She is particularly interested in the theories of Freud, and is more absorbed in the psychology of her characters than in their actions. All of her plays confront the horror and violence in modern society that is apparent to anyone who reads the newspapers or watches TV. She believes that everyone is capable of evil: there is within everyone "the other side of the dark." Many of her characters live precariously on the margins of society, threatening to disrupt the "normalcy" of a "civilized" society. They act irrationally, unpredictably, from strong feelings and fears.
"Judith Thompson has captured the corrosive imagery and exploding rhythms of life in the lower depths, where spiked heels are dangerous weapons and salvation is driving a cab. 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 2010-03-25)
"The Crackwalker's [characters] are mesmerizingly real. These people live with you." (Globe and Mail 2010-03-25)
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Check out these interviews with your neighbors and add your voice to the conversation!