Canadian Rep Theatre proudly presents the world premiere production of Watching Glory Die written and performed by one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, Judith Thompson, in a solo tour de force role directed by Artistic Director Ken Gass. Ripped from the headlines, this riveting portrait of three inextricably linked women opens May 17 and runs to June 1 (previewing from May 15) at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs.
Though deliberately fictional, Watching Glory Die takes a daring dramatic leap from recent news stories – re the treatment of chronically disturbed young women in Canada’s prison system – to impart a deeply compassionate portrait of three women connected by tragedy. Searingly honest and profoundly moving, Watching Glory Die forges the kind of visceral lyricism that is the hallmark of Judith Thompson at her most powerful.
Glory is a troubled 19-year-old inmate, incarcerated for very minor offences at age 14, whose compulsive, rebellious nature leads to a non-ending, ever-spiraling clash with Corrections Canada. Rosellen is the girl’s suburban adoptive mother, desperately trying to stay connected to her daughter in the maze of prison bureaucracy. Gail is a working-class prison guard, struggling to walk the line between her ‘orders’ and her conscience.
Judith Thompson is the author of the plays Such Creatures, The Crackwalker, White Biting Dog, I Am Yours, Lion in the Streets, Sled, Perfect Pie, Habitat, Capture Me, Enoch Arden and Palace of the End. Her play, Thrill, premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2013. She has written two feature films, Lost and Delirious and Perfect Pie, as well as multiple television movies and radio dramas. A highly esteemed Canadian playwright, she is the recipient of two Governor General’s Literary Awards and is an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 2007, she was awarded the prestigious Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts and in 2008 she was awarded The Susan Smith Blackburn Award and Dora Mavor Moore Outstanding New Play Award for Palace of the End. Thompson is currently Professor of Drama at the University of Guelph and lives with her husband and five children in Toronto.
Ken Gass is the founding artistic director of Canadian Rep Theatre and Factory Theatre (1970-79; 1996-2012). Gass has directed numerous notable productions including The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway; Belle by Florence Gibson (Best Director Award, Ottawa); The Leisure Society by Francois Archambault (Dora Award, Outstanding Direction); Apple by Vern Thiessen; The Tiger of Malaya by Hiro Kanagawa; A Short History of Night by John Mighton; fareWel by Ian Ross and several acclaimed revivals of plays by George F. Walker including Better Living, Escape From Happiness, Beyond Mozambique and Tough! Gass is the winner of the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, The George Luscombe Award for theatre mentoring, The Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for contribution to Toronto Theatre, The Toronto Arts Award and is a recipient of the prestigious Silver Ticket Award. He recently directed Pacamambo by Wajdi Mouawad for Canadian Rep’s relaunch this season.
Set and costume design is by Astrid Janson, lighting design by Andre du Toit, projection design by Cameron Davis and sound design is by Debashis Sinha. The associate director is Nicky Guadagni and the stage manager is Nan Shepherd.
Tickets range from $18.00 – $42.00. For more information visit www.canadianrep.ca.