Watching Glory Die is written and performed in a solo tour de force role by Judith Thompson, one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights. Recently showcased at The CULTCH in Vancouver and directed by Artistic Director Ken Gass, this riveting portrait of three women inextricably linked by tragedy is inspired by the real events surrounding the death of Ashley Smith, who asphyxiated herself while seven prison guards watched on video monitor.
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.