Ticket prices are $33 for adults and $28 for students with a free companion rate for VocalEye users. Please call 604-251-1363 to purchase and be sure to mention VocalEye.
This show contains mature themes and coarse language.
Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission. This performance will be followed by a Talk Back with the cast.
Described by Eileen Barrett
CREEPS offers a rare glimpse into the lived experience of disability, filtered through a 1970’s lens. The author, David E. Freeman, lived with cerebral palsy and was one of the first writers to put his own voice – a Canadian voice – on the stage in the early 70’s. Written on a typewriter that Freeman operated with a stick held between his teeth, CREEPS tells the story of four disabled men who spend their days toiling away in a “sheltered workshop”. Tired of the way they’ve been treated, they rebel and barricade themselves in the washroom.
Freeman’s introduction to the script describes a sheltered workshop as “a place where disabled people can go and work at their own pace without the pressure of the competitive outside world. Its aim is not to provide a living wage for the C.P., but rather to occupy his idle hours.”
This Realwheels production features a mixed-ability cast that includes three artists with disabilities alongside recognized professional actors.
Written by David E. Freeman
Directed by Brian Cochrane
The play is set in the men’s washroom of a sheltered workshop for individuals disabled by cerebral palsy. The year is 1970. It could be any large Canadian city.
There are seven actors in the show playing the workers and staff of the sheltered workshop. Three of the actors play additional roles in short fantasy sequences.
Pete weaves rugs at the workshop despite having a withered arm and pronounced limp.
Michael has a developmental disability as well as physical
Tom folds boxes at the workshop and paints in his free time
Sam uses a wheelchair and sands blocks at the workshop
Jim walks with crutches and works in the front office of the workshop
Miss Saunders supervises the workers at the workshop
Carson runs the workshop
Carnival Barker gives a demonstration
Glamorous Assistant assists the Barker by handing him his props
“Freeman, who lived with cerebral palsy, wrote the savagely funny play on a typewriter he operated with a stick held between his teeth. Factory Theatre premiered it, and soon after, it became the first play ever performed by Toronto’s iconic Tarragon Theatre, with a young John Candy starring in one of the roles. Creeps takes viewers into the world of the sheltered workshop—a term that’s largely fallen out of favour today, referring to a supervised workplace for people living with disabilities. Four men who work there stage a revolt against their treatment and the mundane tasks they have to endure, venting their rage and barricading themselves in the bathroom. The language is raw and uncensored. Those words reveal the characters as real, flawed people who abhor pity. And it gives a rare glimpse into the lives of people living with disabilities in the ’70s. Freeman himself had lived in one of these sheltered workshops and saw that people were spending their entire adult lives doing menial tasks for a pittance.” –The Georgia Straight
“David E. Freeman’s Creeps premièred in Toronto in 1971. Forty-five years later, it could still be considered radical, and most certainly remains relevant.” –Jewish Independent
“Cohen urges anyone interested in a realistic portrayal of the disabled – or, perhaps more accurately, a realistic portrayal of people – to see Creeps. Its provocations only make it more of a must-see.” -Westender