It’s more than 40 years since a young, award-winning Canadian playwright named David Freeman told an interviewer that what he yearned for most in life was a meaningful physical relationship with another human being.
It was a poignant admission, because Freeman had been born with cerebral palsy. And throughout his life he resisted marginalization by a culture unable to get a handle on the notion that his kind were as capable as anyone else of an entire range of human emotions, including sexual need and desire.
These emotions were given caustic, funny utterance in Creeps, his 1971 stage triumph about the plight of disabled youth trapped in the coils of an unfeeling rehab centre. Its premiere at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre was a groundbreaking event — not simply because it broke taboos by bringing subject matter like this to the stage, but because of its importance in legitimatizing Canadian drama at a time when playbills across the country were crammed with imported material from Broadway and London’s West End. (Continue reading » )