Maria Vacratsis and Michaela Washburn. Photo by Alex Felipe.
“Such Creatures confronts audiences with pain, rage, fear and unimaginable choices. Thompson handles the harshest realities of human existence with sensitivity, artistry and always hope. Such Creatures strikes a graceful balance between accessibility and thoughtful, political theatre. The play is flawless.”
– Plank Magazine
“NNNN – Shakespeare’s words offer comfort, hope and ultimately survival to two seemingly dissimilar teens in Such Creatures. Cast as the title character in a non-traditional version of Hamlet, Blandy finds personal meaning in lines like “the readiness is all” and “I defy augury.” Sorele, who played Miranda in a school production of The Tempest, realizes that her jailers treat the Jews as despicable Calibans; she draws a positive, rebellious anger from elsewhere in the play’s text.
Though the two come from such different backgrounds – Blandy has known a lifetime of abuse and violence, Sorele comes from a privileged household – both characters talk about horrors but in distinctive ways. The older Sorele looks back over a 40-year gap to the experiences of the 1940s; her anger and energy are colder and more focused as it streams through her memory. Blandy is living with her suffering, and the result is a hotter fury and a jittery tension, an uncertainty of what the future will bring.
Director Brian Quirt adds a few staging surprises, but generally he allows his two fine actors simply to feel the intensity of Thompson’s words and share them with the audience. Every moment resonates with feeling, not least because neither playwright nor performers judge the characters for their weaknesses or heroicize them for their strengths.”
– Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine
by Judith Thompson
Such Creatures weaves together two deeply-linked monologues showing the astonishing courage and resilience of young human beings during earth-shattering moments. Each introduces us to a fifteen-year-old girl: the first speaks to us from contemporary Toronto, and the second from Auschwitz, 1945. Thanks to their shared love of Shakespeare, each girl believes in miracles when there is almost no hope and humour when there is nothing but fear.
Nightswimming and Theatre Passe Muraille were excited to welcome Judith back to TPM’s Backspace thirty years after her first work, The Crackwalker, burst onto the Canadian stage in that very same space.
Such Creatures is a beautiful and demanding addition to Judith’s body of work, a nearly perfect piece for two exceptional actors.
Published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2010.
For information about performance rights, please contact Rena Zimmerman at Great North Artists Management.
Read about Such Creatures in Canadian media:
Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto
January 14 to February 6, 2010
Directed by Brian Quirt
Featuring Maria Vacratsis, Michaela Washburn
Production Design by Beth Kates
Sound Design by Justin Haynes and Michael Laird
Stage Manager: Fiona Jones
Design Assistant: Silvia Temis
Fight Choreography: Siobhan Richardson
Wig Designer: Jacqueline Robertson
An early draft of Such Creatures received a public reading during the 2007 International Conference of the LMDA – Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas – in Toronto.
Thank you to Alison Sealy-Smith, Tracey Ferencz, Patricia Fagan, Silvia Maira Wannam, Marie Barlizo, Andrea Romaldi, and Naomi Campbell for their contributions to workshops of the play.
Awards – 2003
Michaela Washburn, Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Outstanding Performance; Dora nomination for Outstanding New Play.