David Freeman was born in Toronto, Ontario, on January 7, 1945. Freeman faced the challenges of cerebral palsy from a young age. He spent his early years at the Sunnyview School for the Handicapped, where he began writing short stories. At 17, his experiences working in a shelter inspired his first and most acclaimed play, “Creeps.”

He wrote freelance articles for Maclean’s and various Toronto newspapers. His piece “The World of Can’t,” highlighting the struggles faced by individuals with CP in society, was initially commissioned for television by CBC but was ultimately rejected for its unsettling content.

In 1966, he enrolled at McMaster University and earned a degree in political science in 1971. Following Bill Glassco’s advice, then at Toronto’s Factory Theatre Lab, he adapted “The World of Can’t” into the stage play “Creeps.” The play debuted at the Factory Theatre in 1971, later becoming the inaugural production at Tarragon Theatre, and has been staged widely in Canada and internationally. It was featured in “Modern Canadian Drama,” edited by Richard Plant in 1984.

David Freeman’s other notable works include “Battering Ram” (1972), a play about exploitation and dysfunctional relationships, “You’re Going to Be Alright, Jamie Boy” (1974), a story of a young man grappling with his dysfunctional family, and “Flytrap” (1976), exploring deviant relationships, reminiscent of Joe Orton’s work. He also wrote “Year of the Soul” for CBC radio in 1982.

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  • 1972: Creeps, by David Freeman, part of Canadian Play Series

    Creeps by David Freeman is a play that explores the lives of four men who reside in a mental institution. The play is set in the 1970s, and it delves into the experiences of the characters as they navigate through their daily lives in the institution. The play is part of the Canadian Play Series and was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1972.

    The play’s title, Creeps, refers to the derogatory term used to describe people with mental illnesses during that time. The play is a poignant commentary on the treatment of mental illness in the 1970s and the stigma attached to it. The characters in the play are complex and well-developed, and the play explores their individual struggles and relationships with each other. Creeps is a powerful and thought-provoking play that sheds light on an important issue and is still relevant today.