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The Thrill

The Thrill

Judith Thompson

Playwrights Canada Press

“One of Canada’s most thoughtful playwrights, Thompson excels in creating poetic, exciting monologues for her characters and The Thrill has a number of them: speeches that make us sit up, listen and consider even the most mundane situation or detail in a fresh way.” —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine


Inspired by the life and work of the late disability rights activist Harriet McBryde Johnson.


Elora Dixon is a vibrant, middle-aged lawyer and disability-rights activist who has never walked a step in her life. A neuromuscular disease left her with a curved spine and a reliance on around-the-clock care. Nonetheless, she is an inexorable force when chance pits her against the notorious Julian Summer, who is in town promoting his internationally bestselling book. Julian is a fervent supporter of euthanasia, and Elora is the counter-argument—a living rebuke to parents who want the option of euthanizing a disabled newborn. So it comes as a shock, especially to Elora, when the two find themselves acutely attracted to one another. Will she learn to negotiate her feelings and her convictions, or will Julian’s beliefs begin to colour her own?


Judith Thompson is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for White Biting Dog and The Other Side of the Dark. In 2006 she was invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada, and in 2008 she became the first Canadian to be awarded the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Palace of the End. Judith is a professor of drama at the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.

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